UK – Myra Kinghorn has become the first chief executive of the Pension Protection Fund, the central insurance fund being launched to bail out underfunded schemes in wind-up.

Kinghorn is a member of the Occupational Pensions Regulatory Authority board and non-executive director of the Serious Fraud Office. She will start in September, after Lawrence Churchill takes up his post as chairman of the PPF in July.

Andrew Smith, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, said: “The breadth of experience and expertise in the financial and pensions world that Myra brings to the PPF will be key to its success in improving security for pension scheme members.”

The National Association of Pension Funds welcomed the appointment. Its spokesman said: “We are pleased to see the chairman and chief executive in place and look forward to working with them.”

The PPF was part of the Pensions Bill published on 10 February. The fund has come under criticism, however. Solvent pension schemes will have to pay a levy into the fund, which would then be invested to provide a pot in case of a member insolvency.

But the Society of Pensions Consultants and Association of Consulting Actuaries feared it would lead to further defined benefit scheme wind-ups and penalise well-run members.