TPR appoints Charles Counsell to replace Lesley Titcomb as chief executive

The Pensions Regulator has named Charles Counsell as its new chief executive, taking over from Lesley Titcomb who will leave in February 2019.

Counsell, currently chief executive of the Money Advice Service (MAS), will look to build on the clearer, quicker and tougher approach, implemented by Titcomb, and will take up his role in April 2019.

Previously, Counsell was executive director of automatic enrolment at TPR, where he helped to design and implemented the auto-enrolment programme.

Commenting on his appointment, TPR chairman, Mark Boyle, said: “I am delighted that we have appointed someone of Charles Counsell’s calibre to drive forward our significant change programme.

“I know that Counsell will lead the organisation with his trademark energy, determination and passion. Charles is a delivery-focused leader who gets the job done which is exactly what we need at this crucial time.”

Counsell said: “The pensions landscape is changing. With more people saving into defined contribution than defined benefit pensions, individual savers rather than employers are bearing most of the risk.

"That makes the job of TPR even more important as it ensures that members are protected and those responsible for running schemes are both supported and held accountable.”

Titcomb announced her departure in May following three years in the role, to focus on spending more time with family, friends as well as taking up other opportunities.

Under Titcomb's leadership, TPR has also increased proactive case work by 90 per cent, using more powers and testing powers that were not previously used, set up an authorisation scheme for master trusts and redesigned a new approach to regulation to enable quicker interventions.

However, following high profile pensions cases including the collapse of Carillion and the British Steel Pension Scheme and BHS schemes before this, the regulator has been largely criticised for failing to act earlier.

Boyle added: “Lesley Titcomb has done a superb job over the last four years in driving the transformation of TPR. We are now a very different organisation and I want to thank her for all that she has achieved.”

Pensions Minister Guy Opperman, commented: “TPR has an increasingly important role to play in ensuring schemes are operating responsibly to protect savers’ investments, with almost 10 million more people brought into a workplace pension by this Government’s reforms.

“Counsell has outstanding pedigree and a wealth of experience, and I’m looking forwarding to working with him.”

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