Chief executive of The Pensions Regulator (TPR), Lesley Titcomb, has decided to step down from the role at the end of her four year contract in February 2019.
Ahead of her departure, TPR said that Titcomb and the executive team will continue to drive forward the significant programme of change she has been leading to make the regulator clearer, quicker and tougher.
Mark Boyle, chairman of the TPR board, said: “On behalf of the board and the whole organisation I want to express our appreciation for the superb job Lesley is continuing to do as our chief executive. We respect her decision, but will be very sorry to lose her. She has been a real catalyst for change, working with energy and drive to get results and make a difference to the way we work.
“Lesley has strengthened our leadership team and will continue, over the coming months, to implement TPR Future, the change programme she and I instigated together which is already making us a more effective regulator.”
Titcomb said: “This has been a difficult personal decision taken after extensive discussion with family and the chairman.
I love working at TPR and am immensely proud of what we are achieving. But as I turn 57 next month, the end of my contract in February 2019 feels like the appropriate moment to find more time in my life for family, friends, other interests and opportunities.
“However, in the nine months before my departure we have a lot more to do. I will be here leading that work with my strong, committed TPR team.”
In the three years since Titcomb became chief executive, TPR said it has focused on being more visible and proactively engaged to ensure members of pension schemes get the pensions they have been promised. It has:
•Helped more than 9.6m more people start saving for their retirement with more than one million employers complying with their automatic enrolment duties;
•Secured £363m for members of the BHS pension schemes and £329m for Coats members, taking the amount secured through initiating anti-avoidance action to over £1bn;
•Negotiated enhanced pensions for the members of the British Steel Pension Schemes by securing over £500m from Tata Steel UK to set up a new scheme;
•Increased proactive case work by 90 percent, using powers more often and testing powers not previously used;
•Secured seven successful criminal prosecutions for failure to provide information, wilful non-compliance with automatic enrolment duties and recklessly providing false or misleading information to TPR;
•Set up an authorisation regime for Master Trusts to ensure people can save with confidence;
•Redesigned and begun implementing a new approach to regulation, focusing more proactively on mitigating risks through ongoing oversight, escalating intervention and quicker action across more schemes.
The regulator said the search for a successor will begin immediately and be led by Boyle. The eventual appointment will be subject to the approval of the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.