WPC chair Timms receives knighthood

WPC chair Timms receives knighthood
Work and Pensions committee chair Stephen Timms

Work and Pensions committee chair Stephen Timms has received a knighthood in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

Timms, who was first elected as a Labour MP to represent Newham North East in 1994, which later became East Ham, was awarded the honour for his political and public service.

Speaking about the knighthood, Timms said: “I’m not sure I’m more deserving than one of my colleagues, but I’m pleased and my 93-year-old mother is pleased about it as well.

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“It’s been a huge privilege to serve East Ham as the MP for 28 years, with 10 years as a local councillor before that. We’ve seen a lot of changes in this area.”

Timms has served in the Tony Blair and Gordon Brown governments, including as minister of state for pensions at the Department for Work and Pensions in 2008 and financial secretary to the Treasury in several periods over the years.

He was also shadow minister for employment from 2010 to 2015.

Timms added: "The work and pensions select committee, which I chair, has got absolutely vital work to do as we go through the current cost-of-living crisis. So, there’s a great deal more to be done in the years ahead.”

The committee is now in the third stage of its inquiry into pension freedoms, looking into savings for later life, where MPs have received calls from master trusts to support auto-enrolment rate increases with option down options, as a way of protecting those on lower earnings.

The next evidence session on this inquiry will take place on June 8 and will include former pensions ministers Baroness Ros Altmann and Sir Steve Webb, as well as the Pensions Regulator chief executive Charles Counsell.

Maria Espadinha is editor of FTAdviser's sister publication Pensions Expert