Guy Opperman, former pensions minister, has confirmed his appointment as minister of state in the UK’s Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), following prime minister Rishi Sunak’s most recent cabinet reshuffle.

Opperman – serving under secretary of state Mel Stride who has also just been appointed to his new role – said in a Twitter post that he was “delighted to be appointed by HM The King as minister of state at DWP in the PM’s new government.”

He added there was ”lots of work to do and I look forward to working with the new secretary of state”.

In a letter in early July addressed to the then UK prime minister Boris Johnson, Opperman announced his resignation as pensions minister, which has led to the pensions industry signalling that Opperman’s work over the past five years could have gone “to waste”.

He then returned to his post one day after he had resigned following Johnson’s own resignation. However, just a few weeks latter he announced he was leaving his post of more than five years and claimed he would focus on his constituency, his duties as a backbench member of parliament (MP) and his new baby,  he said in another Twitter post.

Opperman had in fact been removed from his post by Johnson’s brief replacement, Liz Truss, who – amidst the cabinet’s current musical chairs game – was prime minister for a mere 44 days, making her the UK’s shortest-serving prime minister.

“After the recent merry go round in government we welcome Guy Opperman back as the pensions minister, the longest serving pensions minister replacing the shortest serving pensions minister,” said Kate Smith, head of pensions at Aegon.

“Government spending is expected to be under the cosh so the returned pensions minister will need to be mindful of this, particularly when considering new policies,” Smitth said.

“But we hope Guy’s reappointment means at least in some regards that ‘normal service resumes’, with lots of unfinished business to tackle. It’s important that pensions dashboards and improvements to automatic enrolment, specifically the 2017 review recommendations, and value for money for members remain at the top of this list as well as thinking about longer term policy,” she added.

Opperman was parliamentary under secretary of state at the DWP between 14 June 2017 and 8 September 2022.

Previously, he served as private parliamentary secretary to Mark Harper, the then immigration minister, and also as a government whip (lord commissioner of HM Treasury) from 17 July 2016 to 14 June 2017. He was elected Conservative MP for Hexham in May 2010.

Before his political career, Opperman was called to the bar in 1989. He spent 20 years as a barrister and was also director of his family’s engineering business until 2009.

More pensions appointments

Additionally, two other ministers have been appointed to serve under secretary of state Stride.

Tom Pursglove, MP for Corby, has been appointed as a minister of state at the DWP, while Laura Trott, MP for Sevenoaks, has been appointed as parliamentary under-secretary of state (PuSS) at the department.

Departmental responsibilities for the new ministers have not yet been confirmed but pensions minister Alex Burghart has now been moved to become a PuSS at the Cabinet Office.

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