Chief executive of Pensions Regulator announced

first chief executive designate of the new Pensions Regulator has been
confirmed as Tony Hobman, currently CEO of the Occupational Pensions Regulatory
Authority (Opra).

Smith, the secretary of state for work and pensions, announced the appointment,
and said the new regulator would have an essential role to play in providing
pensions security, and will be crucial to ensuring the success of the Pension
Protection Fund (PPF).

£400m PPF is designed to protect members of private sector defined benefit
schemes whose firms become insolvent with insufficient funds in their pension
schemes, so they can be reassured they will still receive most of the benefits
they were expecting.

Pensions Regulator was announced as part of the Pensions Bill, which was
published in February 2004. The chairperson and board members of the Pensions
Regulator will be appointed in the coming months.

By Michael Millar

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