UK PPF chief quits

Kinghorn joined the firm in 2004 – she was previously a board member of the Occupational Pensions Regulatory Authority (Opra), which has now been succeeded by the Pensions Regulator, and a non-executive director of the Serious Fraud Office.

The PPF said that she would continue as chief executive "hopefully until a new appointment can be made - otherwise the board will appoint an interim chief".

Kinghorn's original contract was to run to August 2007. She justified her decision by saying: "I feel that after almost two years of involvement the time is right for me to step down and hand over the reins to someone who can build on our successes to date. This will allow me to redress my work life balance and return to my former part time non-executive career."

The timing of her departure has still not been decided, but she is due to leave "in the spring", says a PPF spokesman. However, her contract specifies a six month notice period, starting from the submission of her resignation on 8 March, putting her earliest leaving date in September.

The PPF refused to explain this discrepancy, saying that she "would be taking some leave in the notice period".

Kinghorn's departure comes in the middle of the introduction of the PPF's risk-based levy. This replaces the flat-rate levy, which was criticized as subsidising badly-run funds. Employers have until the end of this month to submit final comments on the risk-based approach.

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