It has been five years since the Government first announced the project, which aims to improve consumer access to fintech, allowing Britons to view all of their pension pots from one destination. However, the project has been subject to a number of delays.
Now, the dashboard is touted for release in 2023 – yet the finer details about the project remain unclear. This poses a number of issues to advisers and consumers alike, and in many ways, it will complicate the task of preparing for this improved digital access to pensions.
So, how can advisers ensure that they are adequately prepared for the arrival of the dashboard when it comes into place?
A national reluctance to embrace retirement fintech
Firstly, advisers must be aware that UK adults are not exactly chomping at the bit to make the most of the platform. Indeed, recent research from My Pension Expert found that over a third (34%) of adults do not know how much they have saved into their pensions, indicating a general apathy towards pension planning amongst savers.
Making matters worse, few (20%) understand what the Government’s platform is. Even further still, just 16% believe that the Dashboard will change the ways in which they manage their pension, meanwhile 60% reject the idea of their personal pension provider introducing new technology to manage their pension online.
Clearly, this reluctance goes beyond just public sector initiatives. Although technology is generally pervasive in society, it seems as though many individuals in the UK are tentative about embracing new and novel solutions to manage their retirement finances more generally – and it is vital for advisers to understand why this is the case.
Are Britons set in their ways?
One factor to bear in mind is the fact that some individuals may not be too comfortable using technology. Those nearing retirement age may not be as IT literate as younger members of the population, and as such, the thought of adding another piece of technology to their daily lives may not seem enticing.
For others, trust may act as a barrier to welcoming the Government’s dashboard. According to research from Edelmen, just 47% of people on average say that they trust peer-to-peer and digital payments companies, compared to the 64% who say they trust banks, for example, and it is easy to see where digital pension management may fall into this equation. In this vein, fintech sector scandals, as well as data and regulatory concerns might be at the heart of Britons’ hesitancy, and advisers should bear this in mind.
How can advisers prepare for the dashboard?
That said, there are several things that advisers can do to calm their clients’ nerves ahead of the dashboard’s release.
First and foremost, advisers should lead with transparency, keeping their clients informed about the changes that will come into place when the Dashboard arrives, as and when new information about the platform emerges. Doing so will ensure that individuals are not overwhelmed by new tech, and that they fully understand how they can consolidate their pension pots when the time comes.
Likewise, advisers should look to incorporate some fintech-related guidance to their clients when advising on their portfolio. Certainly, many clients would stand to benefit from the dashboard, so advisers should do what they can to ensure that they are comfortable with such technology ahead of its arrival and be available to answer any pressing questions Additionally, delivering a demo to clients, showing how to make the most of the platform, as well as some helpful guidelines, would not go amiss.
That said, the Government will also have a large part to play in how easily Britons take to the dashboard. As with any major change, it will take a cross-sector effort to prompt individuals to engage with retirement fintech in a meaningful way. This will likely take various educational incentives within the public sector, to ensure that individuals have the skills and knowledge required to utilise the platform.
Ultimately, when the dashboard finally launches, the key for advisers will be to communicate the fact that consumers can only stand to benefit from the platform, given its ability to provide a thorough overview of pensions.