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Former pensions minister Webb knighted as FSA director gets OBE


Former pensions minister Steve Webb is among a number of financial services figures to be knighted in this year’s New Year’s Honours list.

Liberal Democrat Webb, who served as pensions minister under the coalition government between 2010 and 2015, oversaw the introduction of flagship government savings reforms including automatic enrolment and the state pension triple lock.

Other of Webb’s ideas did not make it past industry criticism however, for example introducing ‘defined ambition’ pensions that would act as a half-way house between defined benefit and defined contribution schemes as well as ‘pot-follows-member’ arrangements.

Webb joined Royal London as director of policy after losing his seat in the 2015 general election.

His knighthood was given ‘for political and public service.’

The Pensions Regulator auto-enrolment director Charles Counsell was also awarded an OBE for his services to workplace pension reform.

Counsell says: “I am delighted to receive this award which recognises the commitment and expertise of my colleagues to ensure that automatic enrolment successfully meets the challenge of creating a new and robust culture of saving in the UK.”

TPR colleague Andrew Young, an actuary, was awarded an OBE for services to pension policy.

Meanwhile, former Financial Services Authority director Sheila Nicoll was granted an OBE for services to financial services and voluntary service.

Nicoll, who took leading roles on projects like the RDR and last funding review of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme is currently head of public policy at Shroders having left the FSA when the FCA was created.

Lloyd’s of London chief executive Inga Beale was made a Dame for services to the economy.



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There are 8 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Shows you how worthless these things are, if they, (civil servants and bureaucrats) have to pat each other on the back with a gong of some sort or another.

  2. Did Webb actually devise and implement any pension policies or, as I rather strongly suspect, was he just the Treasury’s PR mouthpiece? A complete lack of evidence to the contrary, combined with Ros Altmann’s later revelations, strongly suggests that he knew nothing about George Osborne’s Pension Freedoms initiative until the day it was announced or, if he did, he was under strict instructions not to mention it to anyone. The role of Pensions Minister is purely titular and I see nothing different now that Richard Harrington has assumed it. He talks the talk but, in practice, he has no authority actually to get anything done. But hey, if I’m wrong, I’ll gladly stand corrected. Just show me some evidence.

    • Andy Robertson-Fox 3rd January 2017 at 10:27 am

      He introduced the triple lock and was the architect of the 2014 Pensions Act, and navigated the path of the single tier pension.
      Of course, the disaster it inflicted on the Waspi women, scrapping widowed spouse’s pensions based on late partners NI contributions and the abolition (in 2020) of Pensioner’s Adult Dependency Allowance, for example, cannot be overlooked. Nor, too, should his abandoning his principles and reneging on the frozen pensioners.

      It is appreciated that the Treasury hold the purse strings but the government determines the policy and the Departmental Minister produces the mechanics to operate within the budget. Whether Webb’s boss, Ian Duncan Smith, chose to withhold his discussions Osborne is another matter.

  3. A Knighthood for the man who was Pensions Minister in 2011 when legislation was passed to make women born in 1953 reach State Pension Age in 5 different years – 2015, 16, 17, 18, 19. This not only ruined the retirement plans of thousands of women but their physical and mental health too.

  4. The very fact that Webb placed section 20 into the Pensions Act after being so much against the policy of the frozen pension for a minority of pensioners living abroad when he was in opposition which was at that time imposed by regulation 3 shows utter contempt for justice and the fact that the pension belongs to these pensioners who have made the same contributions as the other 96% of pensioners who are treated fairly and honestly.
    He knew this very well as he spoke against it at every opportunity before becoming Pensions Minister.
    Whether he could or could not have done anything is not the issue but he should have had the moral fortitude to speak up against it in defence of his complying with the Code of Conduct of MP’s which clearly states that :
    5. Members have a duty to uphold the law, including the general law against discrimination.
    6. Members have a general duty to act in the interests of the nation as a whole; and a special duty to their constituents.
    7. Members should act on all occasions in accordance with the public trust placed in them. They should always behave with probity and integrity, including in their use of public resources.
    He failed miserably and should not have this ‘honour’ which brings the whole system into disrepute.

  5. Knighted for 5 years service as pensions minister under the coalition government between 2010 and 2015. So what? Knighted for doing his job, and badly at that. I’ve been serving the public for nearly 40 years so where’s my gong? We all know the honours system is a joke but if you ever needed proof here it is.

  6. Anthony Badaloo 3rd January 2017 at 8:10 pm

    Good luck to those who deserve the gongs. The FCA seems oblivious to un fair and unlawful claims made by some providers who abuse the court process to make false claims. As per PPI, they will ignore the complaints until the facts are established elsewhere.
    Sign the petition
    Anthony Badaloo dipPFS ACPA is Principal at Barnet Based Financial Advisers Church Hill

  7. What rubbish, I could point a finger at many people who have done more than those people, If you want a gong join the FCA none stays to long is seams then you get a job with an enormouse salary. Do you remember Hector £3 million from Barclays and only stayed about 6 months and for most of that he was off sick ????????

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