John Chilman will retire from his position as Railpen chief executive officer in 2025, after six years in the role.

Chilman was appointed as CEO of the £34bn (€39.7bn) railway pension scheme in 2019. Prior to his appointment he was the scheme’s chair of trustees and a member of the trustee board since 2007.

During his time at Railpen, Chilman has seen the internalisation of the investment management capability, the development of fiduciary services and a significant increase in the size of Railpen’s assets under management.

This, Railpen said, helped to ensure the scheme has continued to deliver value for members at a time when pensions are subject to ever-increasing regulation and change.

Chilman also led the work to ensure the scheme has the scale and efficiency necessary to continue to support a multi-employer scheme with over 100 legally distinct sections and evolving section and member needs, as well as providing quality and member-centred, third party administrative services to many other schemes, Railpen noted.

Chilman said: “I have given the board a lot of notice of my decision, so that there can be a thorough recruitment process for the next stage in Railpen’s evolution, and that I can pass on the shirt to someone who can take Railpen forward in continuing to achieve its purpose to secure our members’ future.”

Railpen chair Mike Craston said that Chilman helped to transform Railpen in his time as CEO, both operationally and culturally.

“John’s energy and enthusiasm have united colleagues behind a common purpose, and he leaves Railpen in a much stronger position than when he and I joined. My focus now is on the difficult task of filling John’s shoes,” Craston said.

Railways Pension Scheme Trustee chair Christine Kernoghan added: “John was the chair of the trustee when I first became a director, and while it was a loss for the trustee when he moved into the CEO role, John has enabled Railpen to flourish under his leadership. The trustee board knows how important the scheme is to members.”

Kernoghan added that everyone at Railpen shares Chilman’s passion and it will be “vital” that dedication continues as it has under his leadership.

Railpen said the retirement announcement does not affect Chilman’s position as chair of the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association policy board or as a trustee of the Pensions Policy Institute.

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