Former UK pensions minister Steve Webb has joined Royal London Asset Management (RLAM) as its new head of policy.
Webb, until the May election a Liberal Democrat MP and member of the junior coalition party, is the UK’s longest-serving pensions minister, having held the position for the entire five-year duration of prime minister David Cameron’s first term.
The newly created role of director of policy and external communications will see him working on policy areas including long-term saving and consumer protection, both areas of focus as the 2014 pension freedoms – which allow savers over 55 to draw down the entirety of their pension pot – bed in.
Webb said it was exciting to be taking on a role at RLAM “at a time of such dramatic change in the world of pensions”.
“Having been involved in designing policy in areas such as automatic enrolment, I am looking forward to seeing how it is implemented on the front line.
“As someone who has always wanted a better deal for pension savers, the customer-focused ethos of Royal London is a perfect fit with my priorities and I am greatly looking forward to this opportunity.”
Phil Loney, RLAM’s chief executive, praised Webb’s time in government and background in public policy.
The former minister, who lost his seat at the election after the collapse of the Liberal Democrat vote, was a professor of social policy at Bath University before entering parliament in 1997, and spent nine years at the Institute for Fiscal Studies.
During his time in government, he oversaw the introduction of the single-tier state pension and led the debate around defined ambition (DA), which culminated in the passage of the Pension Scheme Act allowing for the introduction of collective defined contribution in the UK.
Since leaving office, he has sought to defend his legacy, arguing DA was more than an academic exercise.
Webb’s move to the asset management industry follows Aberdeen Asset Management’s hiring Gregg McClymont, the former Labour shadow pensions minister, as its new head of retirement savings.