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UK pensions regulator chief to step down in February 2019

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(Reuters) – Britain’s pensions watchdog head Lesley Titcomb will step down at the end of her four-year contract in February 2019, The Pensions Regulator said on Thursday.

The search for her successor will begin immediately and will be led by Chairman Mark Boyle, the watchdog said

Titcomb, who was appointed chief executive of the watchdog in 2015, oversaw the collapse of construction outsourcing company Carillion Plc earlier in the year and department store chain BHS in 2016.

MPs had said earlier in May that the government needs to do more to tackle the regulatory and legal environment that allowed Carillion to become a “giant and unsustainable corporate time bomb”.

Carillion’s failure was a story of “recklessness, hubris and greed” and could happen again, a 101-page report by the Work and Pensions committee and the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy select committee had said.

The government said in March it was planning to give greater powers to the pensions watchdog to protect employees after retirement by being able to impose “punitive fines” on companies which put their pension schemes at risk.

BHS fell into administration in 2016 with a pension deficit of 571 million pounds with 11,000 jobs lost as result. Carillion was pushed in liquidation in January in Britain’s biggest corporate failure in a decade after banks pulled the plug on lending to the company.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru)

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