UK - Louise Inward, head of corporate risk management at the Pensions Regulator, is to join a consulting firm.

She’ll join PricewaterhouseCoopers, working with pension partner Richard Farr, from June 1. A spokeswoman for PWC was not immediately able to comment.

Inward was instrumental in the regulator’s sensitive clearance procedure. This is where those considering deals involving firms with defined benefit pension schemes are assured their actions “will not be found retrospectively to have fallen foul of the legislation”.

It’s become a high-profile task as pensions have increasingly taken centre-stage in a number of merger and acquisition transactions.

The role has now been taken by Fiona Crisp, a spokeswoman for the regulator said. Inward had been at the regulator for four and a half years.

Earlier this year the regulator said it had received more than 200 clearance applications from organisations seeking assurance that they will not fall foul of anti-avoidance legislation.

At the time Inward said: “This clearance process was requested by industry and it is clear that it is being used. Companies are taking into account their pensions deficits, and deals are still going ahead."

Elsewhere, Members of Parliament were today investigating the proposed National Pensions Savings Scheme, one of the key recommendations of Lord Turner's Pensions Commission.

The Treasury Select Committee was hearing evidence over two days from industry associations, experts and regulators.

First up was consumer group Which and consulting firm Cazalet. Then came the Association of British Insurers, the National Association of Pension Funds and the Investment Management Association

Tomorrow sees the Financial Services Authority's retails chiefs Clive Briault and Dan Waters.

The NAPF, promoting its "Super Trust" idea, told MPs that the move from defined benefit to defined contribution pensions represented "a seismic shift in policy for the UK". It needed to be planned very carefully.

"Defined contribution pensions transfer most of the risk in the pensions system to consumers who are ill-equipped to handle it," said chief executive Christine Farnish.

Unsourced media reports have suggested the government is planning a two-speed approach to pensions reform. Under the plan, it would bring forward changes to the state pension while delaying the introduction of the NPSS.