Providers joined the dashboard project either as an altruistic move to help bring new benefits to UK citizens, or to influence the way in which it is designed and developed. Either way, with so many key decisions outstanding, it is probably too early to say whether it has been value for money.
This initial funding will certainly not be enough to see the dashboard project through to completion but any more funding is unlikely to come from further voluntary donations from these providers.
There has been a lot of debate on the technology but rather less on the question of who pays. Many providers want Government funding, at least to cover the start-up costs, but this seems unlikely.
Our view is everyone should be responsible for their own costs with minimal central funding. Provided a model is adopted that allows for competition between technology suppliers, then pension providers and dashboard services are free to select their own preferred technology supplier. With each party having control over their own costs there is a much better chance of a cost-effective outcome.
At a launch event a few months ago, the Treasury announced charges would be included on the dashboard but this has since slipped out of scope. From a technology perspective it would be very easy to implement, but the challenge is to get agreement on a common means of describing complex pension charges in a way that would allow members to compare providers fairly.
It would be straightforward to include at least some information on pensions in decumulation on the dashboard and I am surprised this has been left out of scope.
If the dashboard gets off the ground, then we should expect the scope to be extended fairly soon afterwards.