New chair appointed to The Pensions Advisory Service

Ann Harris has been appointed by the Minister for Pensions, Richard Harrington, as the new permanent chair of The Pensions Advisory Service.

Ann will oversee the continued delivery of free, professional and impartial guidance on pensions and support for people if they have a problem or complaint about their workplace or private pension.

The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS) delivers its information and guidance service through a variety of channels including telephone, web chat, written and online enquiries, outreach events and on its website. It is also responsible for delivering Pension Wise’s telephone services.

Minister of State for Pensions, Richard Harrington said:

"Ann Harris brings a wealth of experience and skills to The Pensions Advisory Service which does excellent work in helping the public with pension inquiries.

"With more than 178,000 customers, and more than 2.7 million visits to its website in the past year, TPAS’ services are very much in demand so it’s vital it attracts a senior leader of such high calibre."

Ann Harris OBE said:

"I am delighted with my new appointment as TPAS Chair.

"This is an exciting time for TPAS, as it prepares for the proposed transition to a new single finance guidance body.

"I am determined that it continues to deliver its core business of giving people professional, independent and impartial help with their private pensions."

About The Pensions Advisory Service

The TPAS service is free to the public. It is delivered by in-house pension specialists and a nationwide network of volunteer advisers who have typically worked in the pensions industry in roles that have required a high level of technical knowledge.

Single finance guidance body

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and HM Treasury have recently consulted on a single guidance body bringing together:

• the Money Advice Service
The Pensions Advisory Service
Pension Wise

The consultation sets out a proposal to create a single body providing debt advice, money guidance and pensions information and guidance. The body would complement financial guidance provided by the third sector and industry, provide more targeted support for consumers and generate efficiencies.

This new body will make it easier for consumers to get the guidance they need.

Ann Harris OBE – Biography

Ann previously worked for 40 years as a civil servant, latterly holding senior Civil Service roles in finance and programme management. She was awarded an OBE in 2009, for her services to DWP.

Ann’s roles outside DWP include acting in a trustee role for the Civil Service Pension programme, management board and operations committee. Ann is also an audit committee member for the Gambling Commission and volunteers regularly for her local Citizens Advice Bureau, where she is a volunteer trustee. She previously served with TPAS as a non-executive director for 18 months prior to becoming chairperson.