The Pensions Regulator’s chief executive Lesley Titcomb will step down as head of the organisation in February 2019, its board has confirmed.
Titcomb joined the regulator in 2015 and will not renew her four-year contract that ends next year.
High profile events during her tenure included TPR securing £363m for members of the BHS pension schemes and £329m for Coats members, taking the amount secured through initiating anti-avoidance action to more than £1bn.
The regulator also set up an authorisation regime for master trusts and helped more than 9.6 million more people start saving for their retirement with more than one million employers complying with their auto-enrolment duties.
However, the watchdog has come under scrutiny in recent weeks for its handling of the collapse of construction firm Carillion. Earlier this month the work and pensions select committee and the business and energy and industrial strategy committee published a report criticising TPR’s response to Carillion and questioning the leadership of the organisation.
Responding to Titcomb’s departure, Royal London policy director Steve Webb says: “This is very disappointing news. The legitimate challenges about the work of the TPR have recently crossed the line into unnecessarily and inappropriately personal vilification of the current chief executive. This is particularly unfair given that many of the events in question happened before Lesley Titcomb was in post.”
Titcomb says: “This has been a difficult personal decision taken after extensive discussion with family and the chairman. I love working at TPR and am immensely proud of what we are achieving. But 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 says: “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 search for a successor will begin immediately and be led by TPR chair Mark Boyle.
The eventual appointment will be subject to the approval of the secretary of state for work and pensions.