The UK pensions dashboard isn’t due for launch until 2019, but Denmark created theirs 20 years earlier – although to be perfectly honest it didn’t really take off until 2008. What impact will its launch have in the UK?
We invited Michael Rasch to speak to our workplace pensions team. Michael works for Pension Info, who run the Danish pensions dashboard. Michael gave us a fascinating insight into how a dashboard can boost engagement with savers. In a country of 5.7 million people, the dashboard has 1.2 million registered users, who in 2016 logged in a combined 3.2 million times. Michael also revealed that the record for log-ins to the dashboard by a single user in one year was 900!
He also gave an interesting example of how the power the media can increase engagement. In 2012 the dashboard saw the highest usage in its history, which was at least partly due to a TV show about missing or unclaimed pensions.
While the details of the UK dashboard are still being ironed out, it was interesting to see how quickly a well-developed dashboard can pull in the necessary data. In a live demo it took less than 60 seconds for data from five different providers to be displayed – up-to-date and in real-time. When you see something like that you start to understand why the UK pensions industry is hoping that the dashboard will be the key that unlocks consumer engagement.
The Danish dashboard allows you to not only see your pension savings, but also start to model what those funds could provide in the future. The user can change certain assumptions to see what the impact might be on their retirement plans, then download pension reports which can be used for mortgage and loan applications, or shared with your pension provider.
The Danish dashboard also gives users details of their protection insurances, both individual and the ones they get from their employer. However, it doesn’t enable the user to make changes to their pensions, increase contributions or consolidate pension on the dashboard itself.
Here are the lessons I feel we can learn from Denmark:
- Patience - The Danish dashboard wasn’t an instant hit. It was first built in 1999, but it wasn’t until a relaunch in 2008 that it really took off.
- Simplicity - Certain functionality may not be there, but getting all of your pension info on a page in real-time will be a big step in the right direction.
- Pragmatism - The Danish dashboard can access the vast majority of pensions in Denmark, but not all. Though this doesn’t make it a failure. Anything that helps boost engagement should be welcomed, as knowledge of pensions is pretty low in the UK. Our recent research found that less than a quarter of people understand the tax benefits of having their bonus paid into their pension – i.e. that they’d receive tax relief on it. The dashboard could be our best chance yet to help improve this situation.
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