Vanguard’s Marker to chair pension switching group

Vanguard’s Marker to chair pension switching group
 Andrew Marker, chair of Star steering group

Andrew Marker, head of retail pensions at Vanguard Europe, is set to replace Tom McPhail as chairman of the Star steering group after the latter left the industry last month. 

As chairman, Mr Marker is responsible for setting and ensuring companies adopt industry-wide standards to promote good practice in pension switching.

Mr Marker will assume the chairmanship alongside his role as head of retail pensions at Vanguard, where he is responsible for product design and implementation. 

He has more than 25 years of experience in retail and occupational pensions by taking on various roles across operations, proposition, and product design.  

He has also worked with the UK regulators and through various trade bodies helped shape UK retail pension regulations.

Mr Marker said he is committed to “taking a stand” for retail investors to ensure they are being treated fairly by the industry.

He said: “I strongly believe in the development of a robust set of transfer standards adopted by all within the industry and the importance this will play in the success of the financial services within the UK market. 

“Government and regulators have set a clear challenge to the industry: fix this for the benefit of your customers or we will impose regulations on you. It is essential that the perspective of the end retail investor is taken into account in the formulation of transfer standards. 

He added: “Within this framework it is also important to understand the challenges certain proposals may have on organisations operating in the UK market, both from a cost and practicality perspective. 

“Implementing and evolving standards within the market will need to balance all of these challenges and also has the benefit of improving the robustness, competitiveness and value-for-money of the UK pension and savings market.”

Mr Marker replaces founding chairman Tom McPhail after he stepped down from his role as head of policy at Hargreaves Lansdown last month and left the pensions world altogether to begin a new career path in public affairs for an electric scooter retailer.

Launched in October 2018, Star is a partnership between Criterion and TeX and focuses on delivering the Transfers and Re-registration Industry Group framework, which was published in July and proposes a 14-day maximum limit for cash transactions and 15 days for occupational scheme switches.

Pension switching involves moving a defined contribution pot from one provider to the next and is different from pension transfers, which see defined benefit pensions being moved into DC schemes.

The Steering Group is made up of senior members, and is overseen by the Financial Conduct Authority, the Department for Work and Pensions, The Pensions Regulator and other consumer groups.

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