TPR appoints Charles Counsell as chief executive

Kim Kaveh reports...

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has appointed Charles Counsell as its new chief executive, who will take over from Lesley Titcomb next year.

Counsell is currently chief executive of the Money Advice Service – the body that will become part of the Single Financial Guidance Body when it launches next year ­- and has previously served at TPR as executive director of automatic enrolment, which has now brought in nearly 10 million into workplace pension savings.

He will take over as the chief executive of TPR at the start of April following the departure of Titcomb at the conclusion of her term at the end of February.

Commenting on the 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.

“Charles was the architect of the AE programme which has helped shape our approach to the changes we are now implementing to become a clearer, quicker and tougher regulator.

“I know that Charles 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.”

He added that 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. Charles takes over a much strengthened position from which to continue this transformation so that TPR is better able to fulfil its statutory objectives and meet the challenges that the pensions sector will face in the future.”

The search to replace Titcomb started in September, after she announced her resignation in May. It was also confirmed in September that her successor’s salary will be paid a salary and bonus of up to £222,500 per annum alongside a Civil Service pension.

Pensions minister Guy Opperman said: “TPR has an increasingly important role to play in ensuring schemes are operating responsibly to protect savers’ investments.

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

Counsell added: “The work that TPR does is ever more important in a world where millions more people are saving into workplace pensions.

“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. It is such an exciting time to join TPR and I relish the challenge and opportunity to work with a great team to make a real difference for savers.”