Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association > About us > Our governance > Our DB Council

Our Db Council

The Defined Benefit Council is responsible for making our DB policy. It has up to 15 members and meets around five times a year. A number of working groups and sub-committees contribute to the detail of our DB policy and lobbying work.

Chris Hogg FFA
National Grid
Chair, DB Council

Chris is CEO to the National Grid pension trustees, appointed in 2018 with a focus on evolving the governance structure, including expanding the internal expertise beyond investment.

Chris was previously CEO to the Royal Mail pension trustees, and was with Royal Mail from 2009. Experience included the transfer of assets and liabilities to Government, design and implementation of numerous funding and investment solutions, member of the Investment Committee, and accountability for the executive service to the trustee boards of all Royal Mail’s pension arrangements.

Chris chairs the PLSA’s Defined Benefit Council and is a member of the PLSA Board.

Chris previously worked as a pensions consultant at KPMG providing company-side advice to a range of clients, and started his career as an actuary at Aon Consulting.

Janet Brown

Janet Brown is a partner at Sackers and has been involved in pensions since 1997, dealing with all aspects of pensions advice on DB and DC arrangements. She advises a wide range of DB pension scheme clients, both trustee and employer, across the oil, chemical, banking and the university not for profit sectors. Her work covers mergers and demergers, corporate transactions, scheme funding and helping both schemes and employers navigate the increasing complexity of pensions legislation and regulation.

Janet is a solicitor, having qualified in 1997. She has a law degree from King’s College London and became a partner at Sackers in 2006.

Robert Brown
Towers Watson

Robert is Chairman of Willis Towers Watson’s Global Investment Committee, responsible for all the firm’s investment assumptions and views. Robert joined Willis Towers Watson in 2002, previously spending seven years at First Quadrant and 11 years at NatWest Investment Management. He also advises some of the firm’s largest clients.  

Robert holds BSc and MSc degrees in economics and is a member of the Securities Institute. He is a non-executive director of the PLSA and a member of its Defined Benefit Council, Chairman of INQUIRE’s Advisory Panel and a member of the ESMA CWG Working Group.

Nicola Elder

Nicola Elder
BG Group

Nicola has worked in the pensions industry since 1990 in a roles spanning administration, consultancy and, in the last 10 years, the in-house teams of FTSE 100 organisations, all of which are members of the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association.

Nicola is Group Pensions and Benefits Manager for BG Group with a global remit covering 25 international assets. Prior to joining BG Group, Nicola was a member of the global reward leadership team at Centrica, heading up European pensions, and has also worked within the in-house pension teams of BAE Systems and RWE nPower.

Nicola is a Fellow of the Pensions Management Institute (PMI) and holds the Diploma in International Employee Benefits. She volunteers as an examiner for the PMI professional qualifications and is currently a Senior Examiner for the one of the joint PMI/International Employee Benefits Association examinations. Nicola is also a PMI Fellowship Network Ambassador.

Bill Galvin
Universities Superannuation Scheme

Bill Galvin is Group CEO of Universities Superannuation Scheme Limited (USS), the corporate trustee of the pension scheme for academics at UK universities.  USS is one of the largest pension schemes in the UK with 330,000 members, with funds under management of approximately £48 billion.

Before joining USS, Bill was CEO at the Pensions Regulator (tPR) for three years, and prior to that was executive director for strategy at tPR.  Bill has also worked at the DWP where he was responsible for the policy framework governing private pension protection through the period of establishment of tPR and the Pension Protection Fund.

Frank Johnson

Frank joined RPMI in 2004 as Finance Director and became Managing Director, Investments in 2009, supporting the trustee of the multi-employer rail industry pension schemes. He oversaw the investment business streams of RPMI and RPMI Railpen, with assets under management of some £20 billion. Frank left RPMI Railpen in 2015.

Frank is a Non-Executive Director of GO Investment Partners, which manages constructive activist investment funds in Europe and Japan. He is also Non-Executive Director of the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association and a member of the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association DB Council. He also sits on the Board of the Railway Benefit Fund, a registered charity. Frank is a chartered accountant and hold a Commerce degree. Before joining RPMI, he held a number of finance director posts in the transport sector.

Nicola Mark
Norfolk Pension Fund

Nicola, Head of the Norfolk Pension Fund since 2001, is the elected Practitioner representative on the Local Government Pension Scheme National Advisory Board, having previously served in the same role in the Shadow Scheme Advisory Board. Alongside the PLSA Defined Benefit Council and Local Authority Sub Committee, Nicola also sits on the CIPFA Pensions Panel and Chairs the National LGPS Frameworks project, a collaboration of LGPS Funds working to deliver benefits across the LGPS. Over the years Nicola has contributed to a number of working parties, including the Myners review and Lord Hutton’s Independent Public Service Pensions Commission. Nicola was awarded an MBE for services to local government in 2015.

Susan Martin
Local Pensions Partnership

Since April 2016 Susan has been the Chief Executive of the Local Pensions Partnership an end to end pension provider. Previously Susan was the Chief Executive of the LPFA. She has over 30 years’ experience in pensions, partnership working, joint ventures, mergers and organisational change working across all sectors. She regularly contributes to debates and discussions across a range of issues and has represented LPP at domestic and international events presenting LPP’s strategy on asset and liability management. Susan sits on the Investors Committee of the 30% Club, which aims to increase Board diversity, and is a member of the PSLA’s DB Council.

David McGibbon
Calmac Pension Fund
Local Group Representative

David is the Chairman of David MacBrayne Limited, the Government-owned company which provides ferry services to Scotland's islands and remote peninsulas. He is a member of the Calmac Pension Fund Trustees and is Chair of the Investment Committee. He is a former Deputy Chairman and former Chair of the Group's Audit Committee. 

David is Chair of the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association's Scottish Group and is on the Association’s DB council. David is a qualified accountant and has spent most of his career in the private sector. From 1982-2002, he was the Finance Director and Company Secretary of Grampian Holdings plc. 

David is a former Chairman of the Group of Scottish Finance Directors and a former Chair of the London Stock Exchange, Scottish Council. David is a Fellow of the Institute of Directors.

Thomas Mercier
Invensys Pension Scheme

Thomas is the Chief Investment Officer of the Invensys Pension Scheme, a UK corporate defined benefit scheme with approximately £5bn of assets. Thomas oversees the Scheme’s investments, liaising with its advisors and asset managers.

Prior to joining the Scheme in 2010, Thomas spent over 10 years at Goldman Sachs in various teams, including Corporate Pensions Advisory, Debt Capital Markets and Credit Strategy. 

Mike Nixon

Mike is Head of Pensions for Leonardo, a manufacturer with major UK businesses in helicopters, electronics, defence and security systems. He is responsible for two medium-sized DB schemes which remain open to future accrual as well as a DC scheme for new entrants that meets the Pension Quality Mark Plus standard. The schemes cover 7,500 employees supported by £1.8bn in assets.

He has 30 years of industry experience in total, having previously worked for occupational schemes within the insurance sector.

He holds professional qualifications from both the Chartered Insurance Institute and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and is based in Yeovil, Somerset.

Jackie Peel

Jackie has been UK & Ireland Benefits Director at Mars, a multinational food company, since 2011.  Her principal responsibilities are for the defined benefit (final salary and cash balance) and defined contribution pensions arrangements.  She is also a member of the Mars Global Benefits Leadership Team which steers the company’s strategic direction for benefits.  Jackie has also held in-house roles as Associate Director of pensions at Barclays Bank and Pensions Director at VT Group plc (a service company specialising in government outsourcing contracts). Before moving in-house, Jackie spent 17 years with Aon Hewitt in various roles specialising in Executive benefits and Global benefits.

Colin Richardson

Colin is a professional trustee with PTL acting for 12 occupational pension schemes ranging up to £1 billion.  Colin is an actuary and prior to joining PTL he worked as a Scheme Actuary and actuarial consultant with a number of major pensions consulting firm including senior roles at Barnett Waddingham, KPMG LLP, HSBC Actuaries and Consultants, JLT and Buck Consultants.

Colin is a former chair of the Association of Consulting Actuaries (ACA) Investment Committee and member of the Local Government Committee.

Colin has extensive experience of funding, investment strategies and the interaction of these with the employer covenant. Colin also has extensive defined contribution experience acting as trustee for six DC Master Trusts and is a member of the Independent Governance Committee  (IGC) for the workplace pensions for Aegon and Blackrock.  Colin chairs the PTL Governance Advisory Arrangement committee which undertakes the IGC role for 12 workplace pension providers.

Colin is part of The Pensions Regulator’s working party considering revised standards for professional trustees.