• Government Criticized by the IPSE for Opting out of Pension Dashboard Project Sep 7, 2018
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    The UK Government has recently announced that it would no longer lead the implementation of the “pensions dashboard” project. According to Esther McVey, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, the private sector would take the lead role in the rollout of the project.

    The aim of the pensions dashboard project was to integrate information relating to pension schemes. The information concerning the state, private and workplace pension schemes would be integrated once the project is completed in April 2019. It will allow pension savers to view available pension from one central location.

    While the Minister for Pensions and Financial Inclusion, Guy Opperman, had reassured that the Government would pass legislation to protect the personal information of pension savers, he did not offer assurances that the Government will compel pension providers to reveal comprehensive data. And most importantly, he did not confirm whether the project will also incorporate state pension data.

    Criticism of the Government’s Decision by Industry Experts
    Experts have opined that the project may fail if the Government does not make a strong commitment towards the project. According to the head of retirement policy at Quilter, Jon Greener, the Government cannot back away from this project since without state-pension data the main ingredient of the project will be missing.

    A research by Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE) published in the article How to Solve the self-employed pension crises show that more than 50 percent of freelancers and contractors trust government data.

    IPSE has further stated that the lack of suitable pension schemes for these self-employed individuals is a ticking time-bomb.

    The government has a key role to play in solving the pension problems among off-payroll workers, according to IPSE’s Senior Policy Advisor Jonathan Lima-Matthews. That is the reason that the IPSE is ‘bitterly’ disappointed with the government’s decision to back down from the project.

    Contracting professionals who work as employees of umbrella companies will not be affected since compliant firms tend to auto-enroll them in pension schemes. But professionals who work through their own limited companies suffer due to unavailability of suitable schemes.

    The Government needs to have a role in solving the crises since only 31 percent of contracting and self-employed professionals have enrolled in a pension scheme. The reluctance of the Government to share pension data will create difficulties in developing a pension scheme that serves the need of all contracting professionals.
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