My Lords, this amendment, tabled by the noble Baroness, Lady Drake, is identical to the one tabled on
I promised to come back on Report with a full statement on the Government’s position on the dashboard project. The Government are firmly committed to the delivery of pensions dashboards and have restated our commitment, as announced last week at the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association conference in Manchester by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Pensions and Financial Inclusion in another place. It was announced that, to take forward this work, the Department for Work and Pensions will take lead responsibility for the policy within the Government and manage the next phase of the project. Working with industry, consumer organisations and regulators, the department will conduct a feasibility study to examine the complex issues that still need to be addressed, such as those highlighted by noble Lords today, particularly the noble Baroness, Lady Drake. We will share an update on this work by spring next year.
The very helpful report published on
I feel it is important to emphasise again that the needs of the consumer will be at the heart of any design. We want to maximise people’s engagement in their pensions, while maintaining their trust. We will ensure that consumers’ interests are properly safeguarded and their information protected. I also emphasise that our intention is to work very closely with industry and other stakeholders —consumer organisations, regulators and others—in order to take this forward.
As I said in Committee, we believe that the current pensions function of the new body is wide enough to cover a number of the delivery options, including hosting a potential future dashboard. Therefore, specifying this in legislation is not necessary or desirable, as we do not want to stifle innovation nor pre-empt the outcome of the feasibility work. To legislate now would be premature, as we still need to do a lot of work to make pensions dashboards a reality. Indeed, as the noble Baroness, Lady Drake, said, this is a very real challenge and governance issues are critical. We have to have proof of concept before we can deliver.
I am grateful to all noble Lords who have taken part in this debate. I am very pleased that I could say what I have already said this evening—so on that basis, given that I was able to set out the proposals to which the Government are committed for taking this work forward, I hope that the noble Baroness will be willing to withdraw her amendment.