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Work and Pensions Committee approves appointment of Sarah Smart as Chair of the Pensions Regulator

23 April 2021

The Work and Pensions Committee has endorsed the appointment of Sarah Smart as Chair of The Pensions Regulator (TPR).

In a short report following a hearing with the candidate on Wednesday, the Committee concludes that Mrs Smart has the personal independence and professional competence for the role.

While scrutinising the appointment, the Committee asked a range of questions about how TPR manages potential conflicts of interest for its Board members—not only in Mrs Smart’s case, but more widely. At Mrs Smart’s request, more details about her interests have been published on TPR’s website, and TPR is urgently reviewing its Code of Conduct and related rules.

Rt Hon Stephen Timms MP, Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, said:

“We wish Mrs Smart every success in her new position and look forward to working with her. We are satisfied with the steps that she is taking to guard against any potential conflicts of interest and we also welcome her commitment to urgently improving transparency at The Pensions Regulator. It plays an important role protecting people’s savings, so it is absolutely vital that any potential conflicts of interest are set out for all. The Committee will be keeping a close eye on progress.”

Pre-appointment hearings add to a committee’s scrutiny of the Government as they ensure parliamentary oversight of key public appointments, helping to ensure that the Government’s preferred candidates are suitable for the roles. The purpose of the hearing is to enable the Committee to investigate whether a candidate has the necessary competence, expertise and independence for the post, should they be appointed.

Mrs Smart is currently acting Chair of TPR and has been a non-executive director since 2016.

Further information

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