Counsell quits TPR for MAS

TPR executive director of auto-enrolment Charles Counsell is leaving The Pensions Regulator to become chief executive of the Money Advice Service, it has been announced.

Counsell-Charles-2011-700x450.jpgCounsell joined TPR in 2011 to set up and drive the roll out of automatic enrolment across the UK. More than 7.5m more people saving in a workplace pension during the six years he has overseen the controversial auto-enrolment project, which some had predicted could run into problems such as widespread refusal to engage by employers, inducements for employees to opt out or technical issues. While most providers targeting the small and micro market report significant levels of employers missing their staging deadlines, the project has generally been perceived as a success. He was awarded an OBE in 2017 for services to workplace pension reform.

No replacement has yet been named but TPR says an announcement will be made in due course.

TPR chairman Mark Boyle says: “I want to warmly congratulate Charles on his appointment and thank him for the contribution he has made. The success of the automatic enrolment programme, so far, is in no small part due to Charles’ energy, vision and drive. He has built a team of highly talented people here at TPR who will be pushing on with this crucial work and we will announce a successor very soon. We wish Charles every success in his new role.”

Counsell says: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at The Pensions Regulator and I know I leave a team of people who are completely committed to making sure Automatic Enrolment remains a success story.

“The reason I was so keen to join TPR was to help shape and drive the roll out of AE because I am passionate about helping people have a better standard of living in their retirement. I am delighted to have worked with such a talented team in TPR, that has worked together with others in Government and across the pensions, payroll and advisory industries to make AE such a success.

“So far more than 7.5 million people have been given access to a workplace pension. These new savers are among many people who need support with their financial decisions and I relish the opportunity to help people get the guidance they need and to contribute to increasing financial capability in the UK.”