Press release

New Chair appointed at National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) Corporation

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Otto Thoresen has been appointed as the next Chair of the NEST Corporation.

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The Minister for Pensions, Steve Webb, today (18 November 2014) announced the appointment of Otto Thoresen as the next Chair of the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) Corporation.

His appointment, which was confirmed in a statement to Parliament, will commence on 1 February 2015 and run for a 5 year term. Mr Thoresen is currently Director General at the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

NEST is a low-cost, occupational pension scheme that employers can choose to use to meet their automatic enrolment duties. NEST has a public service obligation to admit any employer which applies to it.

Pensions Minister Steve Webb said:

I am very pleased to announce that Otto Thoresen has been appointed as the next Chair of NEST Corporation. Otto brings a wealth of pensions and business experience to the role.

NEST is already successfully supporting around 1.6 million scheme members and working with over 9,000 employers. The next 5 years will be decisive as 1.2 million small and micro employers start to automatically enrol their staff.

I would like to thank Lawrence Churchill, the outgoing Chair, for his dedication in making NEST a reality and for successfully steering the Corporation through its early years. I am confident that Otto’s appointment will ensure that NEST continues to effectively support the introduction of automatic enrolment through the next phase of implementation.

Otto Thoresen, said:

This is an exciting time for the UK pensions industry and NEST has a key role to play in the future of pension provision for millions of UK citizens and their employers. I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to work with the Trustee Board of NEST to ensure we make the strongest contribution we can to delivering good outcomes for everyone enrolled into NEST.

Automatic enrolment, which has already affected more than 4.7 million workers, is continuing to play a major role in reversing the decade-long decline in private sector pension saving. Figures published recently by the DWP show 6.7 million eligible workers in the private sector saved into a pension in 2013 (46%) – up from 5.9 million (42%) in 2012.

Young people working in the private sector showed the largest increase in the proportion saving into a pension between 2012 and 2013, growing more than any other age group – 30% of those aged 22 to 29 saved in 2013 compared with 24% in 2012. But growth in the number of pension savers has been seen across all working age groups.

By the time automatic enrolment is fully rolled out in 2018, it is estimated that between 8 and 9 million people will be newly saving, or saving more, into a workplace pension as a result.

More information

NEST is a low-cost, occupational pension scheme that employers can choose to use to meet their automatic enrolment duties. NEST has a public service obligation to admit any employer who wishes to use it to meet their duties.

NEST Corporation is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions. The Chair and Trustee Members of NEST Corporation form the corporate trustee of NEST. These are public appointments made by the Secretary of State for the Department for Work and Pensions. All appointments follow an open and fair competition, and are regulated by the Office for the Commissioner of Public Appointments.

Lawrence Churchill will step down as the Chair of NEST Corporation on 31 January 2015.

Otto Thoresen’s appointment will commence on 1 February 2015. The appointment will be for a period of 5 years. The remuneration will be £91,000 a year for a time commitment two and a half days a week.

Otto Thoresen has extensive experience in pensions, financial services and consumer issues across a range of private and public sector organisations. He is currently Director General of the ABI and has served on the Board of the ABI since 2005. He was previously Chief Executive with AEGON Group from 2005 to 2011 and Chief Finance Officer between 2000 and 2005. He has also held a series of senior marketing roles at Abbey Life, Royal Life Holdings and Scottish Equitable. He was the independent reviewer of the Treasury Review of Generic Financial Advice (Thoresen Review), published in 2008. He is:

  • a trustee of Young Enterprise – which incorporates the Personal Finance Education Group (pfeg)
  • an adviser to the Citizens Advice Board Edinburgh
  • a governor of the Pensions Policy Institute
  • a trustee of Step Change, a debt charity

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Published 18 November 2014