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PQM strengthens board with industry leaders

01 October 2013

The Pension Quality Mark (PQM) has today (Tues) announced the appointment of three key figures to its Board of Directors.

Lord Hutton, former Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, and Vicky Wright of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) have both been appointed non-executive directors.  Julian Mund - who recently joined the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) as Business Development Director - will bolster the PQM Board as an executive director. All three will take up their new positions on 3rd October at the next PQM Board meeting.

Lord Hutton is a Labour peer, who oversaw pensions policy under Tony Blair and was recently hired by David Cameron to shake up public sector pensions. The former cabinet minister was Secretary of State when the Turner Commission recommended radical reform of workplace pensions, including the introduction of automatic enrolment. These reforms are now being implemented by the current Government and will result in up to nine million more workers saving in a pension scheme.

Ms Wright recently retired as a consulting associate at Towers Watson, where she had worked since 2005. She is a highly respected and experienced member of the human resources profession, with an illustrious career spanning 40 years. She has substantial board level experience, is currently a Deputy Chairman of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, a Director of the General Practitioners Defence Fund and sits on the board of CIPD. Ms Wright is a Visiting Professor at Middlesex University Business School and sits on the Court of Newcastle University.

Mr Mund joined the NAPF from the Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy (CIPFA), where he was Director of Markets and Product Development. He has held a number of senior positions at CIPFA over the past 16 years and has a good understanding of developing and marketing products and services within a membership organisation.

The PQM Board oversees the operation of the Pension Quality Mark, in particular the setting of standards, and meets quarterly to discuss strategic issues. The PQM is the only benchmark to distinguish a good quality defined contribution (DC) pension. Its standards focus on issues of governance, saver communications and employer contribution levels. The PQM initiative was launched by the NAPF in September 2009 and the standard has been given to 186 pension schemes, covering over 300,000 active scheme members.

Chris Hitchen, PQM Chairman, said:

“We are delighted to welcome Lord Hutton, Vicky Wright and Julian Mund to the PQM Board and look forward to working with them. With their outstanding experience in their respective industry professions, they will bring new vigour to PQM at a transitional time for the world of pensions. I am confident their knowledge, experience and expertise will be a significant asset to our work.”

He added: “As Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Lord Hutton was instrumental in starting the current reforms, which mean that by 2017 all employers will have to enrol their workers in a pension scheme.  The introduction of Automatic-Enrolment, which Lord Hutton championed in Government, is ensuring millions more workers join workplace pensions.  

Lord Hutton said:

“I am delighted to have been appointed to the PQM board. Auto-enrolment is a critical part of the pension reforms. With millions of workers being automatically-enrolled into workplace pension schemes, PQM has a key role to play in driving up standards and ensuring these workers save in a good scheme.”

Vicky Wright commented:

“PQM plays a vital role in helping employers communicate their pension offering to employees and it’s a privilege to play an active part in that. PQM’s job is to ensure that the pension schemes used by these new savers are good quality and enable workers to save with confidence.  I am excited and honoured to join the PQM Board to help grow, promote and strengthen good governance in workplace pensions.”

Julian Mund said:

“The work that we do is vital in raising standards in DC and restoring public trust in pensions. I look forward to working with the PQM Board and its members to meet the challenges that lie ahead.”

Notes to editors:

1. There are two standards, PQM and PQM PLUS. Under PQM, the scheme’s total contributions must equal at least 10% of an employee’s pensionable salary, with a minimum employer contribution of 6%. Under PQM PLUS, the scheme’s total contributions must equal at least 15%, with a minimum employer contribution of 10%.


2. For further details on the Pension Quality Mark & the Friend of the Pension Quality Mark initiative: http://www.pensionqualitymark.org.uk/ and http://www.pensionqualitymark.org.uk/friendofpqm.php


3. After a career in academia, Rt Hon Lord Hutton of Furness was elected to the Barrow and Furness seat in the 1992 general election. After working in the Department of Health from 1998, he was made a member of the Privy Council in 2001. In the reshuffle following the 2005 general election, he was made Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, replacing, Alan Milburn. Following the resignation of David Blunkett, Hutton replaced him in the role of Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in November 2005. After completing his tenure as Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform in 2007, he was moved into the role of Secretary of State for Defence in a reshuffle the following year and, in June 2009, he resigned his cabinet position and announced his intention to stand down as an MP.


4. Vicky Wright has worked in the field of human resource management for the past 40 years and was President of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) between 2006 and 2010. During the first 15 years of her career Vicky worked in line personnel management and industrial relations, as well as undertaking research at Bristol Polytechnic and being an employee relations advisor for the Confederation of British Industry. Since 1986 Vicky has been a consultant.  She was Managing Director of Hay Management Consultants Ltd and their Worldwide Head of Reward Consulting before joining Ernst & Young LLP as a Partner in 2001.  Between 2005 and 2011 she worked at Watson Wyatt Limited (now Towers Watson) where she was a Director, Consulting Services advising clients on human resources strategy; performance measurement and management; and executive reward. Vicky has a BSc in Geography from the University of Durham; an MSc (with Distinction) from London Business School; and an Honorary Doctorate from Middlesex University.  She is a Chartered Companion of the CIPD and received the award of their Gold Medal in 2010. She is a Past President of the UK Management Consultants Association.


5. Julian Mund joined the NAPF as Business Development Director at the end of September 2013.  Before joining the NAPF he worked at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) for almost 16 years.  Most recently he was CIPFA’s Director of Markets and Product Development where he led CIPFA’s business development, sales and customer service teams.  He also led on business growth and strategic development across CIPFA's commercial business.  Prior to this Julian was Director of Operations at CIPFA and headed up the delivery of their commercial services which included events, training, publications, recruitment services, benchmarking, and consultancy.  Julian worked at the Department for Education before joining CIPFA. Julian has a degree in mathematics from London University and a masters degree in policy research from Bristol University.  He is a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society and a Member of the Institute of Directors.  Julian also chairs the Resources Committee of one of his local primary schools.


Contacts:

Dee Sullivan, Head of Media and PR (interim), 020 7601 1717 or 07917 506 683, [email protected]
Aimee Savage Richards, Press Officer (interim), 020 7601 1718 or 07825 171 446, [email protected]