Theresa May has given her backing to new pensions dashboards which will enable workers to check their future retirement finances on their mobile phone or tablet computer.
She launched a feasibility study on the development of the hi-tech tools, which would bring together multiple pensions from different workplace or private schemes in one place, to help savers understand what income they can expect in retirement.
Pensions minister Guy Opperman said the idea could “revolutionise” the way Britons prepare for later life.
The development and design of the dashboards will be industry-led, with the first free services expected to be made available in 2019.
Government will legislate where necessary to protect pension savers and the personal information of consumers, and to ensure that data is made available appropriately by pension schemes.
The new technology is intended to make it easier for individuals to check their data and help them consider if they need to be paying more into their pensions. Services could even help find “lost” pension pots.
Mrs May said: “Bringing pensions online will transform retirement planning – giving people straightforward access to all their pension information in one place.
“I welcome the industry’s commitment to make this new technology a reality.”
Mr Opperman added: “Having 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.
“Bringing pensions information into the digital age has the potential to revolutionise the way we all think about and plan for later life.”
In surveys, more than a quarter of people aged 55 and over and not retired said they did not know the size of their pension savings, while eight in 10 people with a defined contribution pension have not given much thought to how much they should be paying in.
Nigel Peaple, director of policy and research at the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association, said the publication of the feasibility report marked a “significant step forward” for the dashboard project.
“There are a number of important questions which will need to be worked through, such as on governance, compulsion, regulation, the timetable and funding,” said Mr Peaple.
“We look forward to working with the industry, savers and the Government to make a success of the dashboard.”
Yvonne Braun, director of long-term savings policy at the Association of British Insurers, said: “Being able to access all your pension information in a single place will transform retirement planning for millions. Dashboards will also help reunite people with an estimated £20 billion in lost pensions money.”
The Government is now seeking views from the public on what they want the new services to look like and how they want them to work.