UK – Former opposition pensions spokesman David Willetts has been appointed senior policy advisor for actuarial consultancy Punter Southall & Co.

He will assist with a number of pension initiatives, and chair seminars and workshops on a variety of pensions issues, said a spokesperson.

Willetts – who was previously the Conservative Party’s work and pensions secretary and remains an MP - started at Punter Southall at the beginning of September.

According to a Punter press statement released today, the appointment of Willetts, 49, has come at a “key time for pensions”.

The Pensions Commission – which is due to report in November – has made pension matters a pinnacle focus in many media reports.

“I think this is a right fit for him in some ways. He wants to be engaged in the pensions arena, and contribute towards the pensions debate,” the spokesperson added.

“Punter Southall has contributed much to the government debate, and this will be a good exchange of ideas and views.”

“After six years of involvement in pensions as the Shadow Secretary of State I believe there is still much that I can contribute. Working with Punter Southall is a great opportunity to combine their enormous expertise and my policy interests. I hope it is of value to them and more widely to the national pensions debate,” said Willetts commenting on his appointment.

Punter chief executive John Batting said, “David is widely regarded as an authority on pensions and we are delighted he has decided to join us. We look forward to incorporating his input into a range of pensions projects we have underway, and are sure that his advice on overall pensions strategy will prove to be invaluable.”

Punter Southall & Co is a member of the Sanlam Financial Services (SFS) group.