Zurich: Pensions dashboard will be a boon for advice
January 28, 2019
The launch of the pensions dashboard could spark an increase in demand for advice as consumers look to consolidate their pots, according to leading platform provider Zurich.
In its formal response to the government’s pension dashboard consultation, which closed today, Zurich said bringing together pension data could encourage more people to engage with their savings and seek advice on their retirement finances.
It also claimed the portal could help narrow the “pension awareness gap” and reduce the cost of advice by slashing the time it takes advisers to find and value customers’ pots.
Citing evidence from the Financial Advice Market Review, Zurich said opening up the dashboard to advisers could cut advice charges by up to £400 per pension.
Alistair Wilson, Zurich’s Head of Retail Platform Strategy, said: “Giving consumers a complete overview of their retirement savings could encourage more people to speak to an adviser about consolidating their pots, especially in the lead up to retirement.
“A simple and easily accessible dashboard will help close the pension awareness gap and drive more consumers to engage with their savings, which could lead to an increase in demand for advice.
“It’s also been estimated that a dashboard could significantly reduce the cost of advice by easing the administrative burden on advisers. This in turn could open up advice to more consumers.
“We shouldn’t underestimate the ambitious scale of the dashboard development, and while a lot of detail still needs to be worked through, we are keen to see this progress quicker than the government’s current timetable.”
In its response, Zurich called for the government to standby its promise of making it compulsory for pension providers to sign-up to the dashboard.
The provider also urged the government to include state pension data from the start, as well as information on final salary pots.
However, as a safeguard, Zurich said the government should be cautious about including defined benefit transfer values, which savers should be able to request via the workplace instead. Despite this, the dashboard needs to provide useful insights for savers in final salary schemes, it said.
Zurich warned against excluding small self-administered schemes and executive pension plans from the dashboard, which would weaken the message around compulsion.
It also called for the government to bring forward its plans for implementing the dashboard from the proposed three to four year timetable.
Wilson said: “We agree that three to four years from the introduction of the first public facing dashboard is a reasonable timeframe for the majority of eligible schemes to be supplying their data to dashboards. However, our view is that timelines should be shortened to ensure appropriate focus across the industry.”
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Notes to Editors
Zurich in the UK
Zurich provides a suite of general insurance and life insurance products to retail and corporate customers.
We supply personal, commercial and local authority insurance through a number of distribution channels, and offer a range of protection, retirement and savings policies available online and through financial intermediaries for the retail market and via employee benefit consultants for the corporate market.
Based in a number of locations across the UK - with large sites in Birmingham, Farnborough, Glasgow, London, Swindon and Whiteley - Zurich employs approximately 6,000 people in the UK.
Our Corporate Responsibility strategy aims to create value for both our company and for society as a whole. We use our core skills, risk and investment management expertise, to have a positive impact on both. For more information about the Zurich's commitment to Corporate Responsibility and the Trust's work, please visit our website here.
Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich) is a leading multi-line insurer that serves its customers in global and local markets. With about 53,000 employees, it provides a wide range of property and casualty, and life insurance products and services in more than 210 countries and territories. Zurich’s customers include individuals, small businesses, and mid-sized and large companies, as well as multinational corporations. The Group is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, where it was founded in 1872. The holding company, Zurich Insurance Group Ltd (ZURN), is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and has a level I American Depositary Receipt (ZURVY) program, which is traded over-the-counter on OTCQX. Further information about Zurich is available at www.zurich.com.