Ros Altmann is the surprise new pensions minister

Ros Altmann will be the new pensions minister, prime minister David Cameron confirmed today. 

The announcement came as a surprise after many in the industry had already named David Gauke as the new pensions minister.

Neither Cameron nor Gauke had officially confirmed Gauke’s appointment, but pensions pundits on Twitter were mistakenly treating it as confirmed for much of the day after an earlier rumour spread fast.

The announcement - and the gossip that preceded it - amused many in the industry. Tim Sharp, policy officer at the TUC, tweeted: ”Steve Webb has only been gone a few days and we seem to have had several different pensions ministers already.”

Prior to the election, the Conservatives announced that if they were elected, Altmann would become a peer and take on a role as a minister for financial consumer protection and education. It is unconfirmed as yet whether she will continue the consumer protection and education job in addition to her new role as pensions minister.

Altmann is also the government’s older workers’ champion and has previously advised the government on pensions. She was previously director general of Saga from 2010 to 2013.

Many in the industry congratulated Altmann on her appointment. Susan Martin, chief executive of the LPFA, tweeted: “Huge congratulations to @rosaltmann on her new role! Ros wowed our fund members at our annual forum last September.”