Outgoing Zurich Financial Services UK, Ireland and Inter-national life chief executive Lawrence Churchill has been confirmed as the first chairman of the Pension Protection Fund.
Churchill resigned from Zurich last week after 18 months. He joined the company in 2002 from Unum Provident.
The Government had been looking for an industry big hitter to head the PPF. The fund has already faced criticism for plans to charge schemes a flat rate regardless of their deficits in the first year of its existence.
Churchill will be involved in hammering out the details of how the controversial scheme will be funded and what level of protection will be given when it comes into force in 2005. The fund is not backed by a Government guarantee and a similar scheme established in the US in 1974 is currently running with a deficit of £6.5bn.
Work and Pensions Secretary Andrew Smith says: “I am delighted that such an important and prominent figure as Lawrence Churchill is taking on this important role.”
Churchill says: “To be the first chairman of the PPF is a challenge that I am looking forward to with relish. Having spent many years work-ing in the financial sector, I appreciate the significance of the fund and the impact it can make.”