Philip Shier has been elected chair of the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority’s (EIOPA) pension stakeholder group, following the resignation of Benne van Popta.

Aon Hewitt actuary Shier, who was appointed to the Occupational Pensions Stakeholder Group (OPSG) in 2011 and reappointed in 2013, will serve out the remainder of Van Popta’s two-and-a-half-year term.

IPE understands that members of the OPSG elected him during the group’s first meeting of the year, held in EIOPA’s offices in Frankfurt on 9 March.

Shier beat one other candidate to the position.

He has previously been an outspoken supporter of the OPSG and warned that EIOPA’s stakeholder group would come to be dominated by insurance issues if the European Commission accepted proposals to merge the insurance group and its pensions counterpart.

EIOPA chairman Gabriel Bernardino previously told IPE he was in favour of retaining the two groups focused on insurance and pensions matters, respectively.

Van Popta resigned earlier this year to focus on his other responsibilities, which include chairing Dutch metal workers fund PMT and Detailhandel, the scheme for retail sector workers in the Netherlands.

He was elected chair in October 2013, succeeding the OPSG’s inaugural chair Chris Verhaegen

Janwillem Bouma, director of the pensions office at Shell Netherlands, was named as his replacement in late January.

In addition to serving on the OPSG, Shier has been president of the Society of Actuaries in Ireland and a member and later chairman of the Groupe Consultatif Actuariel Européen’s pensions committee.

The organisation, now known as the Actuarial Association of Europe, elected Shier as its vice-chairman in 2014.

OPSG members can only serve one term as chair of the group, and IPE understands Shier’s tenure would preclude him from seeking a full term in 2016.

Shier was unavailable for comment at time of publication.