UK pensions: State pensions statements to go digital potentially as early as April, as service currently in public beta testing, says pensions minister Baroness Ros Altmann

 
Hayley Kirton
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The new digital service will hopefully make access to state pensions details much easier (Source: Getty)

Pensions minister Baroness Ros Altmann has today said that statements for the state pension could potentially be digital from April onwards.

Speaking in front of the Work and Pensions Select Committee regarding its inquiry into understanding the new state pension, Altmann revealed that the new digital system was currently in public beta testing and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) hoped to start rolling out the system in the next few months.

Altmann explained that, once it was properly implemented, the digital system would allow people to easily see their pension starting amount and their forecast, and also let people access details of their national insurance payments.

Read more: New state pension due in April 2016

“It’s in colour, it’s in bright boxes, it’s in all the things that we want that the current system can’t do,” said Altmann.

The Committee was quizzing Altmann for her views on its recent interim report, which discovered that many people were confused about their entitlements under the new state pension, which will apply to those reaching state pension age from 6 April 2016 onwards.

The report slammed the current quality of state pension communications, calling on the DWP to take immediate action to make sure that key information, particularly state pension age, was clearly highlighted on statements.

Read more: Osborne confirms new flat state pension will be £155.65 a week

Altmann responded that the current statements already incorporated many of the suggestions the Committee had made, including limiting statements to one page in length and stating pension age clearly.

The DWP is not the only department to turn to digital in a bid to help people understand their financial position. Last month, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) announced that it was launching online Personal Tax Accounts, which are designed to give people a more real-time overview of their tax position.

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