The government has appointed Guy Opperman parliamentary under-secretary for pensions and financial inclusion at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
The position, otherwise referred to as minister for pensions and financial inclusion, replaces that of parliamentary under-secretary of state for pensions. This role was previously held by Richard Harrington, who moved from the DWP to the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy as part of the reshuffle that followed the outcome of the June 2017 general election.
The position of parliamentary under-secretary of state for pensions replaced that of minister of state for pensions in July 2016. This was held by Baroness Ros Altmann between May 2015 and July 2016, and by Steve Webb between May 2010 and May 2015.
The remit for the parliamentary under-secretary of state for pensions included pensioner benefits, the state age pension review, credit unions, private and occupational pensions, auto-enrolment, and oversight of pensions bodies such as The Pensions Regulator, the Pension Protection Fund, and Pensions Ombudsman.
The scope of the parliamentary under-secretary for pensions and financial inclusion’s responsibilities has been expanded to cover financial inclusion and guidance, which includes the Single Financial Guidance Body, Credit Unions and Post Office Card Accounts. Regulatory powers are now also listed under the minister’s private and occupational pensions remit.
Guy Opperman is Conservative MP for Hexham. He was government whip and Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury between July 2016 and June 2017. His previous government roles include assistant government whip, and private parliamentary secretary to former immigration minister Mark Harper.
Prior to becoming an MP, Opperman worked as a barrister for 20 years.
Opperman said: “It is a privilege to have this opportunity to undertake a role promoting financial inclusion and helping people prepare for later life, with both a state and private pension.
“Automatic enrolment has been a huge success and I look forward to our efforts to build on this.”