Pensions dashboards – where people will be able to see all their retirement savings pots in one place – will not be ready until 2023.
A timeline set out by the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) shows schemes and providers will start being compelled to connect to the dashboards in 2023.
It is expected there will then be sufficient findable pensions so that dashboards will be ready to be offered to consumers.
Investment platform AJ Bell said the Government will be criticised for delays, after previous indications that dashboards would be introduced from 2019.
But Tom Selby, a senior analyst at AJ Bell, said: “Rushing the introduction of half-baked pensions dashboards would have risked causing terminal damage to a project which has the potential to revolutionise retirement engagement in the UK.
“Allowing people to see all their retirement pots in one place is a colossal undertaking, particularly when you consider the hotchpotch of different schemes that exist.”
It is hoped the dashboards, which could be viewed with the touch of a smartphone screen, will make it easier for people to see exactly how much in total they have saved for their retirement – and how much more they may need to put aside.
The scheme will complement automatic enrolment – the landmark drive which has brought millions of people into workplace pension saving.
Helen Morrissey, a pension specialist at Royal London, said: “After already progressing at a snail’s pace for some time, it is hugely disappointing to see this project further delayed.
“Of course such projects are complex but the potential that dashboards have to help people take control of their retirement planning is huge and must be grasped. Every delay risks letting down a generation of savers.”
Kate Smith, head of pensions at Aegon, said: “The timetable has been pushed out by four years. Although this is disappointing, we believe the delay is worthwhile using the extra time to get things right…
“Critical mass is needed from day one, to allow people to find the majority of their pensions.”
Rob Yuille, assistant director and head of long-term savings at the Association of British Insurers, said: “Most importantly, today’s update provides a clear timeline of when we can expect the public to start using dashboards and what needs to happen first.
“That gives certainty for industry and allows time to make sure the dashboards work effectively and are user friendly. The timeline is longer than we might have wanted but the project has now made tangible progress and reached key milestones.”
Minister for pensions and financial inclusion Guy Opperman described the new timetable as “sensible”.
He said: “Bringing information to savers at the touch of a smartphone screen will transform how we all think about and plan our pensions, improving financial resilience for later life.”