SAVERS are facing a four-year wait for much anticipated new technology that will let them view all their pension pots in one place online.
The new tool, known as the pensions dashboard, was first mentioned in 2016 but won’t go completely live until 2025.
Around 1.6 million savers have lots their pension pots, according to the Association of British Insurers.
This could be because people have moved jobs and lost documentation or you may not have realised that you were enrolled onto a pension scheme.
You could have a pension from several providers if you move jobs regularly, especially as companies have had to auto-enrol staff onto pension schemes since 2012 to boost retirement saving.
This can make it hard to keep track of all your pots.
Top tips to boost your pension pot
DON’T know where to start? Here are some tips from financial provider Aviva on how to get going.
- Understand where you start: Before you consider your plans for tomorrow, you’ll need to understand where you stand today. Look into your current pension savings and research when you’ll be eligible for the state pension, and how much support you’ll receive.
- Take advantage of your workplace pension: All employers are legally required to provide a workplace pension. If you save, your employer will usually have to contribute too.
- Take advantage of online planning tools: Financial providers Aviva and Royal London have tools that give you an idea of what your retirement income will be based on how much you’re saving.
- Find out if your workplace offers advice: Many employers offer sessions with financial advisers to help you plan for your future retirement.
The government first announced plans to tackle this in the 2016 Budget and setup the Pensions Dashboard Programme (PDP) to work with providers.
The idea is that savers will be able to see the value of their different retirement pots and who manages it in one place online rather than waiting for annual pension statements or not knowing where your money is.
The pensions dashboard has been hit by delays as the industry argued over the design and how to provide the data but the PDP has now set out a timetable for when 32,000 providers need to start supplying data.
The PDP has launched a consultation outlining three waves.
The first includes pension schemes with more than 1,000 members starting from 2023 and could take two years.
The second wave includes schemes with 100 to 999 members.
There is no set timeline for the second wave but the PDP said it should start once the larger schemes are live.
Wave three includes small and micro schemes -with 99 or fewer members – and will be staged later.
This will be backed up by legislation and Financial Conduct Authority regulation making it mandatory for providers to take part.
What is pensions auto-enrolment?
HERE’s what you need to know about pensions auto-enrolment:
What is pension auto-enrolment?
Since October 2012, employers have had to enrol their staff into workplace pension schemes as part of a government initiative to get people to save more for retirement.
When does auto-enrolment apply?
You will be automatically enrolled into your work’s pension scheme if you meet the following criteria:
- You aren’t already in a qualifying workplace scheme.
- You are aged at least 22.
- You are below state pension age.
- You earn more than £10,000 a year
- You work in the UK.
How much do I contribute?
There are minimum contributions that you and your employer must pay.
Your minimum contribution applies to anything you earn over £6,136 up to a limit of £50,000 (in the tax year 2019/20). This includes overtime and bonus payments.
A minimum of 8% must be paid into the pension, with you contributing 5% and your employer paying at least 3%.
What if I have more than one job?
For people with more than one job, each job is treated separately for automatic enrolment purposes.
Each of your employers will check whether you’re eligible to join their pension scheme. If you are, then you’ll be automatically enrolled in that employer’s workplace pension scheme.
Can I opt out?
You can choose to opt out, but you’ll miss out on the contributions from the government and from your employer. If you do choose to opt out you can opt back in later.
The PDP said: “It is important to distinguish between staging, which should begin as early as April 2023, and the point at which the data becomes publicly accessible – i.e when dashboards are launched to the public.
“Research has indicated low tolerance for an incomplete dashboards service and that consumers would prefer to wait until all their providers were included, rather than logging in to see incomplete information.”
Tom Selby, senior analyst at investment platform AJ Bell, said pensions dashboards could make life easier for millions of people who build multiple retirement pots over the course of their working lives.
But he said there will be anger at the delay, especially as the government initially said the pensions dashboard would be live in 2019.
He said: “This is a huge project involving vast amounts of data and with people’s life savings at stake, so the most important thing is ensuring that data is safe and the information people eventually see on dashboards is reliable.
“While the pace of the outlined timetable is enough to make a snail blush and will frustrate many – not least government ministers – it is infinitely better than headlines of another IT disaster.
“We hope the government and the FCA will hold the feet of the laggards to the fire to ensure dashboards become a reality as soon as possible.”
How to find a lost pension pot
You don’t have to wait for the pensions dashboard to see what is in your retirement savings pot.
Your employer should be able to tell you where your pension money is if you have been auto-enrolled onto a scheme.
There may be a website you can login to where you can view who manages your pension, how it is invested and alter your contributions.
Pensions providers are also supposed to send annual statements to scheme members so check old paperwork or emails.
You can contact old providers to get updated details of how your pension has performed.
The provider may ask for your national insurance number, date of birth or details of the scheme you were in so they can find the relevant details.
Check online if a provider has merged or been sold to another company as that could mean someone else is in charge of your pension.
If you still can’t find your lost pots, you can contact the Pension Tracing Service.
This is a free government service that lets you find your own workplace or personal pension scheme or someone else’s if they give permission.
You can search online by entering the name of your employer or old pension provider.
The service will tell you who managed your old company’s scheme and you will then need to contact them.
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Martin Lewis has warned Brits to check they are enrolled onto their workplace’s pension scheme – or risk losing out on a “hidden” pay rise.
Almost one million workers with multiple jobs are missing out on pension contributions from their employers.