About 10m people in the UK stand to retire with £15,000 less if the government does not take action to help savers keep track of their pension pots, according to new analysis.
The forecast was made by 38 degrees, a campaign group with 3m members, as the government faced growing calls not to ditch an initiative promising to allow savers to see all their pension savings in one online hub.
The so-called pensions dashboard— designed to bring together private, workplace and state pension information — was due to be launched in April next year.
But in July, it was reported the government was preparing to “kill off” the dashboard. Esther McVey, the work and pensions secretary, was said to believe it was not a service that should be provided by the state and that it was a distraction from efforts to roll out universal credit.
An online petition calling on Ms McVey not to scrap the dashboard has so far attracted 150,000 signatures.
To calculate its figure of £15,000 in pension losses for savers, 38 degrees looked at the government’s projections that there will be about 49.6m dormant or forgotten pension pots, worth £757bn, by 2050, if a dashboard were not created.
Dividing £757bn by 49.6m equals an average pension pot size of £15,200 that could potentially be overlooked when an individual retires.
Millions of people stand to lose hard-earned savings if the government breaks its promise to provide the pensions dashboard, 38 degrees said.
“Two years ago the government promised to provide a website by 2019 that would help people keep track of their hard-earned pensions,” said Lorna Greenwood, campaigns manager with 38 degrees.
“They now need to honour that promise and deliver the pensions dashboard on time.”
In 2016, the government asked the pensions industry to build a prototype dashboard, ahead of the launch of a full dashboard by April 2019. While a prototype was built, the government is yet to put a regulatory framework in place so that information can be stored and access safely.
The department of work and pensions had been expected to publish a feasibility report into the dashboard in March, but this was delayed. The DWP said this week that the study would be published in “due course”.
Date published: 30 August 2018
Josephine Cumbo, Pensions Correspondent
Word count: 375
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