Chief exec at Pensions Regulator to stand down

Written by Jim Dunton on 1 June 2018 in News
News

Lesley Titcomb announces "difficult personal decision" after Carillion and BHS flak

Lesley Titcomb. Credit: Parliament TV

The chief executive of the Pensions Regulator has announced she will leave the watchdog when her current contract ends.

Lesley Titcomb’s four-year term is due to finish in February. She said she had taken the “difficult personal decision” not to seek another term “after extensive discussion with family and the chairman".

Titcomb, who is married to Conservative MP Mark Prisk, was subjected to a February grilling by MPs on the Work and Pensions Select Committee in relation to the handling of collapsed outsourcing and construction firm Carillion’s underfunding of its own pension schemes.


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Committee chair Frank Field remarked ahead of the session that the trustees of Carillion’s main pension schemes had asked the regulator to intervene with the company as far back as 2010, but that it had only started the “arduous process of chasing money down” a few days after the company “formally announced there was no money left”.

The regulator has also faced questions over its handling of the £571m pensions black hole revealed after the collapse of retailer BHS on Titcomb’s watch.

Announcing her decision to leave, Titcomb said she loved working at the regulator and was “immensely proud” of what the team was achieving.

“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,” she said.

“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.”

The TPR chair Mark Boyle said the organisation, which is independent of government but accountable to the Department for Work and Pensions, respected Titcomb’s decision, but would 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,” he said.

“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.”

According to the Pensions Regulator’s most recent annual report, Titcomb’s pay was in the £220,000-£225,000 bracket in 2016-17, with a salary of £205,000-£210,000 topped up by a bonus.

She would be entitled to six months pay plus any accrued bonus if her contract were terminated early, according to the document.

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