Pensions

Pension Protection Fund boss to step down

The chief executive of the Pension Protection Fund, the UK pensions lifeboat, Alan Rubenstein, has confirmed to FTAdviser that he will step down next year after nearly nine years in the post. 

A former investment banker at Lehman Brothers, Mr Rubenstein joined the PPF‎ in April 2009.

During Mr Rubenstein’s eight-year tenure as chief executive, the PPF has grown from £2.9bn of invested assets to more than £30bn today, while 235,000 members have transferred to the PPF.

Arnold Wagner, chairman of the PPF, said “The board is extremely grateful to Alan for his excellent leadership of the PPF over the last eight years and wish him every success in the next phase of his career.

“As a result of his achievements as chief executive, the PPF is in a strong position, well placed to continue to protect the millions of people in the UK who belong to defined benefit pension schemes. Our task now is to locate a successor to pilot the PPF through its next phase of development.”

Mr Rubenstein said: ”After eight hugely enjoyable and successful years with the PPF, I have decided that the time is right to seek a fresh challenge.

“I’m enormously proud of the progress we have made during my time as chief executive. The PPF has grown from an organisation whose very survival was in doubt to one which is now a firmly established part of our national pensions fabric.

“Above all, between the Pension Protection Fund, and the Financial Assistance Scheme which we run for government, almost half a million people are now better off thanks to the protection we provide.” 

The PPF’s annual report for 2016 to 2017 reported a healthy financial position with invested assets up from £23.4bn to £28.7bn.

As a result of good investment performance and lower than expected claims, the PPF’s funding ratio has increased to 121.6 per cent, up from 116.3 per cent last year.

Simon Kew, restructuring services assistant director at Deloitte, said: “Alan Rubenstein has led the PPF tremendously well during his tenure and deserves every future success. The PPF is a very positive pension story.”

Former pensions minister Steve Webb agreed.

He said: “I’m sure Alan Rubenstein could have earned several times as much in the private sector – he has done a great job.”

The PPF protects millions of people throughout the UK who belong to defined benefit pension schemes. 

If their employers go bust, and their pension schemes cannot afford to pay what they promised, the PPF will pay compensation for lost pensions.

More than a hundred thousand people now receive compensation from the PPF and hundreds of thousands more will do so in the future. The PPF is a public corporation, set up by the Pensions Act 2004, and is run by an independent board.

stephanie.hawthorne@ft.com

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