Chris Curry is the Director of the Pensions Policy Institute (PPI) with overall responsibility for leading and managing the PPI. Chris originally joined the PPI as Research Director in July 2002 and was responsible for the research programme for eleven years. At the PPI Chris has authored and presented a number of research reports analysing pensions (including state, private and public sector pensions), pension reforms and other provision for retirement income. Chris is experienced in presenting research findings to a wide range of audiences and to the media.
Chris started his career as an Economic Adviser at the Department of Social Security (now the Department for Work and Pensions). Work at the DSS included analytical support for the Pension Provision Group, and working on the subsequent Pensions Green Paper published in December 1998. Work at the DSS included analytical support for the Pension Provision Group, and working on the subsequent Pensions Green Paper published in December 1998.
After working as part of the Poverty and Social Exclusion Team, Chris joined the ABI as Senior Economist in August 2000, where his pension background led to work on the analysis of stakeholder pensions, the Pension Credit and annuities.
Chris has a BSc (Hons) in Economics from the University of Warwick, and an MSc in Economics from Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London.
Mel Duffield is the Deputy Director of the Pensions Policy Institute (PPI). She has overall responsibility for the PPI's Research Programme and the support of the PPI's Director.
Prior to joining the PPI in October 2013, Mel held the position of Head of Research and Strategic Policy at the NAPF.
Mel previously worked in the civil service for almost eleven years and held posts in HM Treasury, the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department for Education. Between 2006 and 2008, she was appointed Head of Pensions Strategy and Analysis at the Treasury, having held a number of economic and policy advisor roles on pension reforms whilst at the DWP.
Mel has a BSc in Economics from the University of Nottingham and an MSc in Economics with distinction from the University of Bristol.
John has been the PPI’s Senior Policy Analyst since 2008 and he leads the quantitative analysis and modelling research. In his time at the PPI John has worked on a number of PPI modelling projects on public sector pension reform.
In addition John has led on the PPI's research into the role of housing in supporting retirement (which involved developing modelling of tenure and the size of housing wealth in the UK), and worked on research sponsored by AEGON that considered simultaneous reforms to pensions tax relief, state pensions and access to private pensions.
John joined the PPI in 2008 from Hewitt Associates. At Hewitt he worked within the Pensions Actuarial Services team, overseeing the modelling of standard and non-standard pension scheme calculations for the consultants to present to the clients.
Prior to joining Hewitt John worked for the Government Actuary's Department for 8 years in the Occupational Pensions directorate, during which time he designed their investment roll-up model and designed models for the use of other Government departments.
John has a BSc in Actuarial Mathematics and Statistics from Heriot Watt and a Post Graduate Diploma in Actuarial Management from Cass Business School.
Dr Leandro Carrera
Leandro is a Senior Policy Researcher at the PPI. Leandro joined in 2010 and has taken the lead in updating the PPI’s Pensions Primer which gives a detailed description of the current pensions system. Leandro also led the report writing for the PPI’s research into projections of future levels of pensioner poverty for Age UK. Leandro is currently leading the PPI’s research which will provide an analysis of the latest developments in the provision of pensions in the private sector.
Leandro was previously a research officer at the London School of Economics' Public Policy Group. There, he led a three-year project on the measurement of productivity in the public sector, on which he is currently finishing a book. He also led seminars and published articles on pension policy and public sector performance.
Leandro holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Arizona with a specialization in research methods. His Ph.D. thesis analyzed pension policy in Western Europe and Latin America. Prior to this, he worked as a consultant for the Argentine Government and in the private sector.
Melissa is a Senior Policy Researcher at the PPI. Melissa joined the PPI in October 2012 from Action on Hearing Loss where, most recently, she led a research project around hearing loss in care homes, conducted a literature review around the management of hearing loss and other long-term conditions and a review of models of hearing service provision. She was also the organisation's policy lead on social care.
Prior to this, Melissa worked as part of the Social Research Team at the Inland Revenue (now HM Revenue and Customs). Work at the Inland Revenue included the provision of research support to the Revenue Policy Team, and management of research around Self Assessment. Previously, Melissa worked in personal tax at PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Melissa has a BA (Hons) in French with International Studies from the University of Warwick, and an MSc in Social Research Methods from the University of Surrey.
Ciaran is the Policy Modeller designate and joined the PPI in October 2013. Ciaran is responsible for using and developing the PPI's suite of actuarial pension models.
Previously, Ciaran has held the position of Actuarial Consultant at Pollock and Galbraith, and Actuarial Analyst at Legal and General. She has also acted as a Freelance Post-Graduate Teacher on Introductory Economics at the University of Stirling and as a Freelance Consultant to the Government expert panel on ash disease.
Ciaran has a first class MA in Biological Sciences from Oxford University and is about to complete a PhD on the 'Delivery of Sustainable Pollination Services: A Risk Management View' from the University of Stirling.
Jemma is the PPI Finance and Office Manager and joined in February 2013. Her responsibilities at the PPI cover all aspects of finance, administration and event planning. She is currently covering for Maritha Lightbourne who is on maternity leave until mid 2014.
Before joining the PPI, Jemma was the Finance Manager of a North East charity which supported adults into employment and she worked closely with the CEO and trustees on the management and governance of the organisation.
Jemma has an MA in Business Management with distinction from Northumbria University and a BSc in Psychology and Statistics from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. She also holds an IAB Level 3 in Computerised Bookkeeping and is studying towards her CIMA qualification.
Maritha is the PPI Office Manager and joined in June 2005. Maritha is currently on maternity leave and will return to the PPI in February 2014. Her typical responsibilities at the PPI cover all aspects of administration, finance and event planning.
Maritha started her career as a Junior Accounts Assistant at Chrysalis Music and volunteered her time to assist in the administration of a not for profit organisation.. She was later employed by the RAP Academy where she worked closely with the Management Team in constructing life skill programmes for youth workshops, she also managed various projects and youth events within the organisation.
Maritha has an NVQ2 in the AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) and an NVQ3 in Business & Adminstration. She has since graduated from Greenwich University with an FdA in Business and Management.