Giles Watling, MP for Clacton, has contributed to a Parliamentary debate on the Pensions Dashboard, an online tool that is currently under development.
The Pensions Dashboard will provide accurate, secure and easy-to-understand information about an individual’s pension pots all in one place. Currently, £400m worth of pension funds go unclaimed, and those with many jobs during their lifetime will have more than one type of pension and many different pension pots to think about – including the State Pension. Savers tend to look at these pension pots separately, making it hard to work out how much money they’ll have in retirement. The Dashboard addresses those issues, and the Government, regulators, and the pensions industry are all trying to make separate versions available in 2019.
Speaking in a Westminster Hall debate on the Pensions Dashboard on 6th February, Giles welcomed the development of this platform, as it will put individuals in control of their data. Giles said:
“I have no doubt that the dashboard will be a positive development for Clacton, where, like most places across the country, we have an aging population. In fact, we have the third-highest percentage of retirees in the country. There are 27,485 pensioners in Clacton—a number that now includes me—and by 2030 that is expected to increase by more than 20%, to 32,982. That means that at least 5,497 individuals out there working hard for their retirement will end up living, by sheer good fortune or whatever, on the glorious sunshine coast of Clacton in my wonderful constituency.
“I want every one of those people to have a comfortable retirement, just as I want those who are already retired and living in my constituency to be comfortable; they are, after all, 40% of my electorate.”
During the debate, Giles also raised concerns that the savers of today are not saving enough – only 40% of millennials are likely to have enough for retirement. Giles said:
“In the future, when the savers of today retire, they are likely to come under greater pressure from a combination of factors, including reduced wealth and higher expenditure on social care and housing. We must mitigate those pressures, and I believe that the Pensions Dashboard gives us the opportunity to do just that.
“…I ask the Government to approach the development of the dashboard platform with one aim in mind: ensuring that everyone saves more, but especially the young…We are exposing ourselves to huge potential pressures on the welfare and social care systems—issues that we are already struggling to grapple with today—if current savers move into retirement without adequate income.”
Speaking after the debate, Giles said:
“The Pensions Dashboard is an online portal that lets you see your investments. This potentially transformative idea that can help to ensure the savers of today have enough for a comfortable retirement. Worryingly, younger savers aren’t saving enough, and the Government’s version of the Dashboard can address this by encourage them to save more, if it incorporates Retirement Income Targets.”