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Don’t be a hostage to fortune

In 2012, Ben Affleck surprised critics by going the other side of the camera to direct Argo, the winner of the 2012 Best Film Oscar.

The story is of the six Americans who managed to escape to the official resident of the Canadian Ambassador when the American embassy was invaded by Iranian revolutionaries. A phony Canadian film project was hatched to smuggle out the six Americans. Many of the team and the White House had grave doubts that the operation would succeed.

The much talked about Pensions Dashboard project has many who doubt that it will be a success. As in Argo, there are doubters. Some are saying that the project does not go far enough and requires more information to be available on each contract for it to be of any use. Others are saying that there will not be enough providers and schemes participating so it requires for it to be a mandatory requirement to provide member data. There are also very valid concerns about security, hosting and cost.

We know from the customers that contact us that:

  • people have lost pensions and do not realise
  • looking for a lost pension is difficult because it depends on the type of scheme
  • people get frustrated if they go down one route and hit a dead end.

We also know that lots of people that have lost pensions do not even start looking. We launched a tool to help manage people’s expectations and show them the different routes that they may need to take, you can use the tool here.  

Our customer perspectives on the dashboard project are:

  • simple to access and use – having a dashboard with easy access that says you may have a pension (whatever type) with X is a big step forward from where we are today. It also means that the customer needs to take action to check that there is a pension. If the dashboard requires a secure login, the customer may simply not bother.
  • value for money – this will make it much easier to trace pensions than currently so maximum participation of providers and schemes should be the focus rather than multiple tools that repeat what is already available
  • keep the faith – people will not flock to use it (they did not in Sweden) but work will need to be done to promote its use and it is only one part of a support system for customers

The dashboard should be a win-win-win:

  • for customers – discover that they have more pension than they realised
  • for industry – customers less likely to cash in a small pot of £5,000 when they see it makes up part of their overall pension fund of £50,000, say and
  • for Government – an important tool to help people take responsibility for their retirement income

As with Argo, we know that it may be difficult to smuggle out the details of the lost pensions but let’s get behind the project to ensure that it works.

If you've got a question about lost pensions or want to find out more about how to track one down, please call our team on 0300 123 1047 (Mon-Friday 9-5). 

We never contact our customers out of the blue

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