UK - Lawrence Churchill, the current chair of the Pension Protection Fund (PPF), has been named as the chair designate of the NEST Corporation, the trustee board responsible for the new national pension scheme to be rolled out from next year.
The NEST Corporation of trustees will be responsible for making certain key decisions, such as agreeing a statement of investment principles, for the new National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) (previously known as personal accounts). It will be formally established on 5 July 2010 at which point the Personal Accounts Delivery Authority (PADA) will be wound up. (See earlier IPE article: Experts warn of cracks in pensions NEST egg)
Churchill is the first appointment to the trustee board and he will take on the role of chair designate from 1 February 2010 before taking on the full responsibilities of the chairmanship in July.
And he confirmed: "One of my first tasks will be to take part in the selection of the other trustee members who will form the NEST Corporation to ensure that it has a wide range of skills and experience to help it launch and run NEST."
He will remain as chairman of the PPF until 30 June 2010, when his term of office is scheduled to end. The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) confirmed it will shortly begin a recruitment exercise to find his replacement. Churchill's new appointment by the DWP will be for an initial period of five years, with an annual salary of £97,500 (€111,136).
Angela Eagle, minister of state for pensions and the ageing society, said: "Lawrence Churchill brings a wealth of experience of pensions to this challenging role, and has a long career of operating at the highest level in large and complex organisations. His appointment as chair demonstrates our commitment to recruiting people with a proven track record and the expertise to get the job done."
Tim Jones, chief executive of PADA, added: "He has extensive experience in financial services and pensions - both from an industry and consumer perspective. I am confident that he will use his many years of experience to help guide NEST Corporation through the days to come with an expert hand. This is an exciting and critical time for NEST. Lawrence will play a major part in helping to deliver it."
However, Paul Macro, a senior consultant at Towers Watson, warned: "This is not an easy job, even if all the systems are delivered on time and on budget. In a DC environment, employees must shoulder investment risks but few DC savers feel confident about making investment choices. The default fund that NEST designs for people who shy away from these decisions will influence millions of people's retirement outcomes but can never be right for everyone."
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