Prototype digital dashboard developed showing people's pensions all in one place
Plans to create a pensions dashboard which can work out in seconds how much income someone could have when they retire have taken a step forward.
An industry project to design a prototype system, which should one day allow people to see all their pension pots online in one place, has been delivered on time and been demonstrated to government ministers, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) said.
Under government plans previously announced, the digital pensions dashboard will be available to use generally by 2019, making it easier for people to see how much money they have saved in total and work out how much they still need to save for a comfortable retirement.
On average, workers have 11 different jobs during their lifetime, meaning they can end up juggling many pension pots of varying amounts.
The ABI is managing the pensions dashboard prototype project on behalf of the Treasury.
The project involves input from the Government, independent experts and pension firms including Aviva, LV=, Legal & General, Prudential, Scottish Widows, Royal London and Standard Life.
The behind-the-scenes technology being developed could eventually allow people to find all of the pension savings belonging to them among over 60 million different pension pots, administered by thousands of different schemes and pension providers, along with the state pension.
Under the plans, the service would be offered by a range of different providers rather than by a single, central service.
Yvonne Braun, the ABI's director of long-term savings and protection policy, said: "The prototype demonstrates once and for all that the technological hurdles can be overcome.
"Giving people access to clear information about all their pensions has the potential to revolutionise how they think about saving for their retirement."
The dashboard will work by someone confirming their identity by using a process like gov.uk/verify which offers secure online access to information such as details on the state pension and tax returns.
The user will click a box giving the dashboard permission to share their information with multiple pension schemes and providers.
The system will show all the pensions it has found on a single page, with the names of the schemes and their estimated value at a particular retirement age.
There will also be an estimated value at the top for someone's combined monthly or annual income in retirement. In most cases, this will only take "a matter of seconds", the ABI said.
It is expected the dashboard will also allow someone to click on each pension pot to get more information about their savings and to view contact details for that scheme.
The pensions dashboard system does not involve creating a large store of pensions data. The technology fetches and delivers back the relevant information when a user makes an enquiry, the ABI said.
Economic Secretary to the Treasury Simon Kirby said: "Pensions dashboards will allow consumers to more easily see all their pension information in one place for the first time and I'm delighted with the prototype system the industry has created."
Pensions Minister Richard Harrington said: "This project has enormous potential to help people keep track of their pension and make the most of their hard-earned savings."