The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has published the pensions dashboard feasibility study, nine months after it was originally due.
The report - unveiled today (3 December) - forms the starting point for consultation on a range of matters including delivery models and governance. It follows months of uncertainty on dashboard delivery, and concerns that the government seemed to be stepping back from the project, which is due to launch next year.
The document states that the DWP will begin with a non-commercial, single dashboard, facilitated by the soon-to-be-launched Single Financial Guidance Body (SFGB). It added it will move to a multi-dashboard approach over time, but that the SFGB option would always be available.
The project will be fully funded by the industry, and the DWP will seek to legislate for compulsion "when parliamentary time allows" - although it will also exempt small self-administered schemes (SSASs) and Executive Pension Plans (EPPs).
The DWP also hopes that that schemes, such as master trusts, will be able to supply data from 2019/20, and that the majority of schemes will be able to supply data by 2023. State pension data will be included when possible, although a link to the ‘Check Your State Pension' service will be available from the start.
In its consultation, it is also asking if there are certain types of information that should not be allowed to feature on dashboards in order to safeguard consumers; and if there should be a phased approach to building the dashboard service.
Furthermore, the DWP wants to know the fairest way of ensuring that those organisations who stand to gain most from dashboard services pay and what the best mechanism for achieving this is.
In a statement, pensions and financial inclusion minister Guy Opperman said the dashboard represented a "major milestone in our radical pension reforms".
"Plain pensions information at the touch of a screen will ensure better-informed, more engaged savers and help many more people to plan effectively for retirement," he said.
"Bringing pensions information into the digital age has the potential to revolutionise the way we all think about and plan for later life. People, young and old, should have all the help they need to get ready for retirement and maximise their pension incomes and, working with industry, we will ensure they do."
The consultation closes on 28 January.
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