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New members for TPR’s Determinations Panel ahead of master trust authorisation

Ref: PN18-40

Issued: Friday 3 August 2018

The Pension Regulator’s (TPR) Determinations Panel has recruited five members, as it prepares to rule on master trust authorisation applications.

Three new members, Sarah Chambers, Antony Townsend and Mike Urmston, will take up their posts in September.

Existing members Tony Foster and David Latham have also been re-appointed for a second term to the panel.

The appointments mean the panel will increase from nine to 12 members between September 2018 and July 2019, as the panel increases its capacity to consider applications by master trust schemes for authorisation as part of new legislation to protect savers.

From October 2018 the Determinations Panel will determine authorisation applications from existing master trusts which want to remain in the market after considering recommendations put forward by TPR staff.

Current panel members Elizabeth Neville, Alasdair Smith and Peter Hinchliffe will step down in July 2019 after completing their second term.

Welcoming the appointments, panel Chairman Andrew Long said: "I am very pleased that we have attracted such highly-qualified individuals to the Determinations Panel.

“They will bring a range of experience to the roles, joining a panel that deals with important cases and issues at what will be a particularly busy time because of the new master trust authorisation process.

“I would also like to thank the panel members who will step down in July next year for their contribution to the panel since 2011.”

Editor's notes

1. The panel is responsible for making formal decisions relating to cases where TPR seeks to use certain powers. The panel has the power to make a determination where:

  • TPR takes action in relation to a breach of pensions law
  • a problem has arisen in a scheme that TPR considers can be put right with the use of one of its powers or
  • an application has been made by trustees, managers, members or employers of a scheme for TPR to use one of its powers

The panel operates separately from other parts of the organisation, including the case teams, and is not involved in investigating cases.

2. All panel appointments have a four-year term, and are renewable once.

3. The newly appointed members are:

Sarah Chambers
Sarah is currently the chair of the Legal Services Consumer Panel; an Electoral Commissioner; a Judicial Appointments Commission panellist (appointing judges at all levels); a Civil Aviation Authority Consumer Panel member; chair of the Applications Panel of the Renewable Energy Consumer Code. Her previous roles include CEO of Postcomm, Commissioner of the Competition Commission (and subsequently a panel member of the Competition and Markets Authority) and directorships in several civil service roles.

Antony Townsend
Antony was appointed Financial Regulators Complaints Commissioner in May 2014. He is chair of the UK and Ireland regulatory board of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and a member of its Global Regulatory Board, chair of the regulatory board of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, a member of the board of the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care where he is chair of the Scrutiny Committee, and a trustee of South Warwickshire Citizens Advice. He was the first chief executive of the Solicitors Regulation Authority from its establishment in 2006 until January 2014. He was also the General Dental Council’s chief executive from 2001-2006. In the 1990s, Antony held a number of senior roles at the General Medical Council, including director of standards and education, and head of conduct. His earlier career was with the Home Office, where he worked primarily on criminal justice issues.

Mike Urmston
Mike is a qualified actuary with many years experience at Board level in the Life and Pensions industry. He was chief actuary and finance director in the UK with Aviva plc until 2006. He now has a portfolio of non-executive roles. In the past he has been a member of the FCA’s Regulatory Decisions Committee, a Trustee of the Aviva Staff Pension Scheme and non-executive director of Ageas UK, Tesco Underwriting and Admin Re. At present he is chair of Phoenix Life and will be chair of Standard Life following the Phoenix acquisition of Standard Life Assurance, chair of AIG Life and a member of Council of the Medical Protection Society.

The renewed members are:

Tony Foster
Tony is currently a serving member of the Determinations Panel. He is also a non-executive director at an NHS foundation trust. Tony has spent most of his career in the chemical industry, including as a director at ICI Chemicals and Polymers Limited and chief executive of ICI Chlorochemicals. He was also a commissioner at the Criminal Cases Review Commission for 10 years and a non-executive director at the Competition Commission. Tony was a lay member of the Financial Protection Committee at the Solicitors Regulation Authority, a member of the Discipline Committee at the Institute of Chartered Accountants, chairman of the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency and a non-executive director of the Legal Ombudsman.

David Latham
David is currently a serving member of the Determinations Panel. He has practised as a solicitor for much of his career, often as managing partner. David was appointed to the judiciary in the Employment Tribunals in England and Wales where he continued for in excess of 20 years (both full time and part time). For the last five years of his judicial career he was President of the Employment Tribunals in England and Wales until he retired in March 2014. This role involved chairing hearings, leading the judiciary in the jurisdiction and judicially managing 12 regional employment judges, around 400 employment judges and 1,600 non-legal members. He was also the director of national training for the jurisdiction during his judicial career. David is currently chair of the board of directors of Northampton Partnership Homes, a social housing company.

4. TPR 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; 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 TPR’s functions under Part 3 of the Pensions Act 2004 only).

Press contacts

Kimberly Middleton

Media Officer (DC)
01273 349554

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