UK – The government has named Malcolm Wicks as its new pensions minister, filling a post that had been vacant since the departure of Ian McCartney.

Alongside Wicks, Desmond Browne has been named minister for work, replacing Nick Brown, who has resigned. Both new ministers are in the department of Andrew Smith, secretary of state for work and pensions.

Wicks, 55, represents Croydon North and has a background in social policy while Browne, 51, is MP for Kilmarnock and Loudoun in Scotland. Chris Pond was named as undersecretary at the department. The announcement was part of a broad ministerial reshuffle.

Last week, Smith made a series of proposals designed to protect members of pension schemes. The plans include a pension protection fund, fairer distribution of assets if a scheme is wound up and a replacement for the Minimum Funding Requirement. The ideas received a mixed response from the pensions community.