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Head of Operational Strategy and Planning

Reporting to: Director of Automatic Enrolment
Team: Automatic Enrolment
Contract type: Permanent
Salary: From £76,656 per annum
Location: Brighton
Closing date: Wednesday 2 September 2020

Job ref: 1960

TPR grade: 4

About us

TPR is responsible for protecting workplace pensions in the UK, working with employers and those running pensions to help people save safely for their retirement. We have an excellent office location in the heart of Brighton and have a diverse, lively and professional growing workforce.

We are committed to making TPR a great place to work and doing all we can to support our people to reach their full potential. Join our expanding team for the chance to be a part of the biggest change to pensions in a generation.


This role is the de facto automatic enrolment chief of staff responsible for the AE operational strategy, stakeholder engagement, design, analysis and assurance. It will lead the work of the AE Management and Risk Committees and operate as adviser to the director on the full range of AE responsibilities. It will provide leadership of a multi-disciplinary team to maintain the existing end to end design and provide the future design, strategic backdrop, ongoing government engagement and underpinning evidenced based analysis that gives AE its coherence, ongoing sense of purpose and reputation for excellence.

The role also leads the planning, assurance and budget management processes for the director, and the post holder represents the director at the most senior level associated TPR governance forums.

The post holder has a role as an AE and TPR senior leadership team member in proactively enhancing TPR’s reputation by influencing government and senior external stakeholders on AE innovation and future direction, and in working with TPR ‘heads of’ on examples of best practice in the AE operation.

The role provides a cohesive end-to-end design for AE operations and services, and a future efficient operating model that must be integrated across TPR.


  • design and deliver the medium and long-term operational strategy and strategic design for AE, enabling government policy and TPR strategy by designing and implementing a series of new automatic enrolment operating models for the national AE operation, with underpinning evidence base for the future funding requirements (TOM21 phases 2 and 3)
  • represent the directorate across government on strategic initiatives to further AE’s strategic objective, building cooperation between TPR and government, and enhancing our profile as a thought leader
  • lead AE’s strategic design engagement work with the policy and strategy teams (DWP and TPR) to ensure the design and regulations are aligned and meet the overall TPR objectives, and provide assurance to DWP on TPR’s AE delivery
  • ensure that changes in approach are reflected in AE business end-to-end design and architecture
  • act as the “voice of the employer” within AE to deliver timely and highly professional advice and support, which will in turn inform innovation and our ongoing continuous product/service improvement programme
  • lead the management and review of the directorate budget and operational planning cycle, representing the directorate in senior meetings and negotiations
  • provide direction and agenda for AE management committee as well as managing its secretariat
  • lead the directorate's operational performance reporting and risk reporting processes  and provide AE's underpinning analysis, volumetrics and evidence base to drive the operation and continuous improvement, and provide robust market intelligence for industry-wide planning and government AE funding
  • provide ongoing business testing and assurance across both projects and operational delivery

Essential criteria

  • developing approaches and tactical tools to achieve strategic objectives including the development of operational and regulatory strategies
  • lead the design, testing and implementation of new approaches/effective solutions to complex, wide-ranging issues, where there is often unlikely to be a single ‘right’ answer, balancing risk and where there will be far-reaching implications for the established working practices of teams within the immediate work area (AE directorate) and across the wider organisation
  • experience of working with central government and the wider public and regulatory sector, including building professional and government networks to further business priorities
  • a track record of leading complex design and delivery work and a proven ability to set the direction and translate strategic priorities into clear outcome-focused objectives for managers and teams in a demanding leadership role
  • proven understanding of how to successfully navigate and comply with the governance arrangements of a large scale and complex operations and/or programmes of work
  • successful track record of communication and facilitation at a senior level – able to work with customers and key stakeholders at all levels and across different organisations both inside and outside government
  • excellent political awareness and understanding of the current issues across public/government policy and how politics may impact on pensions policy with successful experience of establishing and maintaining relevant professional networks and working with central government and the wider public and regulatory sector
  • strong knowledge of AE pensions arrangements, legislation and regulation in the UK

Person specification

  • proactive and flexible
  • calm under pressure
  • problem solving and analytical skills
  • communication skills at all levels
  • leadership skills

Salary and benefits

As well as a starting salary of £76,656, we offer:

  • Civil Service Pension arrangements, which are recognised as some of the best in the pensions world
  • discretionary bonus arrangements
  • access to performance related pay progression
  • 25 days annual leave provision
  • flexible working arrangements
  • development opportunities
  • enhanced parental leave arrangements
  • a free employee assistance programme
  • an excellent office location in Brighton

How to apply

We provide an exciting, supportive and flexible working environment, and are committed to helping our people meet their full potential.

The Pensions Regulator is an inclusive employer and offers equal opportunities to all regardless of an individual’s age, disability, gender identity, marriage or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. TPR welcomes applications from the BME and LGBT communities who are currently under represented at TPR.

Candidates who declare that they have a disability and who meet the essential criteria for the job will be offered an interview.

Applications will be considered on a part time and job share basis.

Please send your CV to along with a covering letter ,quoting ref 1960 with details of how your experience and skills meet our essential criteria and details of your notice period.
Please be aware we are currently holding interviews through Skype due to COVID-19.

If you have any enquiries with regards to this role or if you have a disability and wish to request a reasonable adjustment at any stage of the recruitment process, please email