COMMONS

Pension Regulator Chair pre-appointment: Committee to take on scrutiny

13 October 2016

The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions has agreed to the Committee’s suggestion that it take on formal pre-appointment scrutiny of future appointments to the Chair of the Pensions Regulator.

The Committee is also releasing details of forthcoming witnesses, including the current Pensions Regulator and the Bank of England, in its ongoing major inquiry into pension regulation.  

Chair's comment

Frank Field MP, Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, said:

"In our report on BHS we stressed the importance of the Pensions Regulator having strong leadership. The public is so often best served by the Committee and the Government working hand in hand. I am therefore very pleased that the Secretary of State has agreed to allow the Committee to conduct pre-appointment scrutiny of future Chairs.

I am also pleased that there will be another first for the Committee on Monday, as for the first time ever the Committee will be taking evidence from the Deputy Governor of the Bank of England. This will be the first time the Bank’s Governor or Deputy Governor has made an appearance in front of the Committee.

What are the effects of monetary policy on pension schemes and how does the Bank take into account pension schemes in its decision-making? Many of the economic assumptions that underpinned existing schemes until even quite recently are being wiped away. If low interest - and growth - rates are now to be considered the "new normal", what are the implications for defined benefit pension schemes and their regulation? To what extent will there be an economic trade-off between honouring the existing defined benefit pension promises to older generations, and providing jobs for younger generations?"

Future evidence sessions

In addition to the experts the Committee heard from this week including former Pensions Minister Steve Webb, the Committee hears from witnesses including (all TBC):

  • Dr Ben Broadbent, Deputy Governor of the Bank of England with responsibility for monetary policy (Monday 17 October 2016)
  • Baroness Altmann, former Pensions Minister (Wednesday 19 October)
  • Pensions trustees including Chris Martin, Chair of trustees of BHS and Halcrow pension funds among others (Wednesday 19 October 2016)
  • Alan Rubenstein, Chief Executive of the PPF (Wednesday 2 November 2016)
  • Lesley Titcomb, Chief Executive of the Pensions Regulator (Wednesday 23 November 2016)
  • Richard Harrington, Pensions Minister (Wednesday 23 November 2016)

Further information

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