GLOBAL - Pensions academic John Shoven is to leave the board of consulting firm Watson Wyatt Worldwide.

The company said in a regulatory filing that Shoven would not seek re-election to the board at the next annual meeting in November "due to conflicting professional commitments". 

He'll continue as a board member, and as a member of the committees on compensation and governance, until he leaves.

"Mr Shoven has served as a director of the company for four years and we are grateful for his dedicated service to Watson Wyatt, its employees and stockholders," the company said. "There were no disagreements between Mr. Shoven and the company."

Shoven is the Charles R. Schwab Professor of Economics at Stanford University and Director of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.

His current research interests are listed as asset allocation and asset location theory, the effects of taxes on the relative performance of mutual funds, the long-run future of pension fund saving and public policy towards pensions.

Elsewhere, rival firm Hewitt Associates in London has appointed John Foster to its new defined contribution consulting team. He joins from Prudential.

He's spent more than 20 years advising public and private sector companies and trustees on issues relating to the DC pensions and benefits market.

The appointment came as Aon Consulting called on the UK government to clarify the impact of new employment equality regulations means for DC schemes.

Aon says the wording of the legislation as it stands is vague and could lead to a further decline in employer-sponsored pensions in the UK.