Pensions lifeboat head Alan Rubenstein to step down next year

The head of the Pension Protection Fund (PPF), the UK’s pension lifeboat, is to step down after nearly nine years in the role.

Alan Rubenstein will leave his position as chief executive early next year. An announcement will be made tomorrow morning after the Department for Work and Pensions was briefed, Whitehall sources told Sky News.

The PPF has been thrust into the limelight with the high profile failure of BHS and its pension scheme.

Writing the PPF’s annual report published earlier this month, Rubenstein said the year had been “one full of significant developments in the world around the PPF”.

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When Rubenstein took over in 2009 around 80 per cent of the liabilities of schemes in the PPF were covered. The July annual report revealed 121.6 per cent of liabilities were backed by assets held. This equates to a surplus of £6.1bn.

However, the surplus is dwarfed by the aggregate deficit of all the UK’s pension schemes – some £226.5bn.

All UK companies with a defined benefit pension scheme must pay a levy to the PPF. Such a levy effectively insures pension scheme members in the event of a terminal shortfall.

Payouts by the PPF, however, are both capped and subject to lower annual increases than could otherwise be expected.

A total of 235,000 people have pensions funded by the PPF, 12,000 of which were transferred in the last year.

The PPF has been contacted for comment.

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