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Ellison: New NAPF chief Hitchen faces “more of the same”

UK - Railpen Chief Chris Hitchen takes over as chairman of the NAPF from Robin Ellison who sees "quite tough challenges" ahead for his successor.

"The last two years have been particularly challenging for anyone in the pensions world," Ellison told IPE, adding that Hitchen will face "more of the same". Ellison summarised: "I learned a lot and it was very interesting, at times infuriating and in cases frustrating."

"We had the pensions commission, the restructuring of the state pension system, and a huge quantity of new regulations. Changing market forces saw DB schemes on the decline and DC schemes are not yet quite replacing them," the outgoing chairman said who also oversaw the restructuring of the NAPF itself during his two-year term.

Ellison also pointed to "quite tough political challenges" like the ongoing simplification of regulations and the introduction of the NPSS, which the NAPF  "will try and make it work as best as it might". He said that Hitchen will also have to deal with the "political vacuum" as "none of the political parties has a long term strategy on pensions".

£18bn Railpen head commented on his own appointment: "With pensions reform at a critical stage, it is more important than ever that the NAPF and its members can bring their knowledge and expertise to bear. 

"We need to ensure that retirement provision is deepened, not just widened, and that the fantastic value for money and good governance of the best occupational pension scheme are built into the savings structures of the future."

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