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New Director of Automatic Enrolment announced

Ref: PN20-17

Issued: Monday 4 May 2020

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has announced the appointment of Mel Charles as its new Director of Automatic Enrolment.

Mel will be responsible for leading TPR’s work to ensure the continued long-term success of automatic enrolment (AE).

His work will include supporting employers as they navigate the current COVID-19 challenges, helping them to continue to meet their responsibilities towards millions of staff saving into a workplace pension thanks to AE.

Mel joined TPR in 2011 with a central role in the design and delivery of automatic enrolment. He then led the ‘TPR Future’ programme that re-designed the organisation’s approach to regulation, challenging it to become ‘clearer, quicker and tougher’.

TPR’s Chief Executive Charles Counsell said: “I am extremely pleased that Mel has been appointed to lead our automatic enrolment team, particularly in these challenging times. Mel played a key part in the initial roll out of automatic enrolment which has been a huge success that we at TPR are extremely proud of.

“Mel was also at the forefront of TPR’s work to sharpen our approach to become the clearer, quicker, tougher regulator that we are today. I am confident his wealth of experience and skill will be invaluable in maintaining the success of AE, so that savers receive the pensions they are entitled to, now and in the future.”

Mel said: “I am very proud to be returning to TPR’s automatic enrolment operation as its director, but I could never have predicted that my re-introduction would be in the incredibly difficult circumstances created by COVID-19.

“Like many organisations in the UK, we are in a period of constant review and change. We will continue to make sure that our guidance and regulatory activity is proportionate as we support employers to meet their responsibilities to provide pensions for their staff.

“Despite the current challenges, we must not lose sight of the fact that automatic enrolment is a long-term commitment to savers that has required the combined effort of Government, employers, pension schemes and a range of other service providers to deliver.

“It is my privilege to be leading the team responsible for protecting those savers as they work towards their retirement.”

Notes for editors

  1. Mel Charles is a qualified solicitor and began his career in private practice. He later joined the Civil Service, holding senior positions in policy, financial management, risk and programme delivery. He has worked in various areas, including the Lord Chancellor’s Department, the Department for International Development and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. He joined TPR in 2011 with a central role in the design and delivery of automatic enrolment before leading the ‘TPR Future’ programme.
  2. Nearly 10.3 million people are saving or newly saving thanks to automatic enrolment, more than 1.6 million employers have put their staff into a workplace pension and nearly 446,000 employers have completed their re-enrolment responsibilities.
  3. The Pensions Regulator is the regulator of work-based pension schemes in the UK. Our statutory objectives are: to protect members’ benefits; to reduce the risk of calls on the Pension Protection Fund (PPF); to promote, and to improve understanding of, the good administration of work-based pension schemes; to maximise employer compliance with automatic enrolment duties; and to minimise any adverse impact on the sustainable growth of an employer (in relation to the exercise of the regulator’s functions under Part 3 of the Pensions Act 2004 only).

Press contacts

Ciara Bridge-Butler

Media Officer (AE)
01273 662018

Matt Adams

Senior Media and Parliamentary Manager
01273 662086

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