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Pension guru Ritchie retires

Pension guru Stewart Ritchie has fired a parting shot to the Government over the danger of means-testing to personal accounts as he announces his retirement after 36 years in the industry.

Aegon’s pensions development director, who retires from the end of this month, says the issue of means-testing cannot be ignored. Ritchie says: “The Government has taken it off the front-burner but that does not mean it has gone away. There cannot be a fudged solution to this.

“If we have not resolved the issue by 2012, the media will tell readers this is toxic. For the people at whom it is aimed, they would be right to say that.”

Ritchie joined Scottish Equitable in 1972 as an actuarial trainee and qualified as a fellow of the Faculty of Actuaries in 1977. He completed a two-year term as president of the Faculty of Actuaries in 2008.

In 1989, as chairman of the Association of Pensioneer Trustees, he led a successful opposition to Government plans to restrict own-company investments in small self-administered schemes to 5 per cent of scheme assets. Ritchie says he is particularly proud this.

“At the time, that would have decimated SSASs. Getting the Government to change its mind was my first big achievement,” he says.

In 1997, Ritchie was appointed to the Government’s Pension Provision Group and in 2001 he became a founding member of the Pensions Policy Institute.

His contribution to the pension industry and actuarial profession was recognised in 2002 when he was awarded an OBE.

Aegon chief executive Otto Thoresen says: “Few people have worked as hard to improve the pension landscape in the UK over the last 30 years as Stewart Ritchie.”

Syndaxi Chartered Financial Planners managing director Robert Reid says: “Stewart is very good at getting complicated pension information across in a manner that people could understand. He has had a substantial input on Government policy over the years.”

Aegon head of pensions development Rachel Vahey will take on Ritchie’s responsibilities but retain her current role.

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