Jones is a former chief executive of retail banking at NatWest and currently co-director of the think-tank Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation.
The authority will offer independent advice to the government and is expected to be responsible for getting personal accounts up and running, and for ensuring that employers meet their obligations.
Personal accounts will extend the benefits of an occupational pension – including an employer contribution and tax relief – to millions of employees who currently do not have access to a good workplace scheme.
Employees will contribute a minimum of 4% of their earnings a year, matched by a minimum 3% employer contribution and 1% in the form of tax relief from the government.
Pensions minister Mike O’Brien said: “Setting up a trust-based occupational pension scheme, with billions of pounds of funds under management, is not a job for government. That is why we are recruiting leaders with a proven track record in the private sector to make sure we get the design of personal accounts right.”
Jones said: “Personal Accounts will go live in 2012 and there is much to be done – building on the excellent work that has characterised the initiative to date – to ensure that the service that emerges is the right one.”
The appointment of Paul Myners as chair of the new authority was announced on 1 August.