New Chair of The Social Security Advisory Committee appointed


The Department for Work and Pensions announced that Dr. Stephen Brien has been appointed as Chair of the Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC). 

The Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC) is an independent statutory body that provides impartial advice on social security and related matters. It scrutinises most of the complex secondary legislation that underpins the social security system.

Dr. Stephen Brien was selected for the huge wealth of experience he has amassed, after working with organisations domestically and abroad committed to improving the lives of the most vulnerable.

Stephen has brought analytical and consulting experience to diagnosing the issues and developing implementable solutions, including through his work developing welfare reform agendas with the Centre for Social Justice.

Speaking on his appointment, the Lords Minister for Work and Pensions Baroness Stedman-Scott said:

I am pleased to announce that Dr. Stephen Brien will be the next Chair of The Social Security Advisory Committee.

Over the last 25 years, Stephen has worked across academic, professional services, government and third-sector organisations.

Stephen brings a breadth of leadership experience across a range of public services and his insights on policy will be invaluable. I look forward to working with him.

I also thank Liz Sayce for all of her contributions as Interim Chair, her work has been truly appreciated.

Dr. Stephen Brien said:

I am delighted to be appointed as Chair of the Social Security Advisory Committee. The Committee plays an important role contributing to the development of a social security system that works for all. I would like to thank Liz Sayce and Carl Emmerson for all their contributions as Interim Chair and Vice Chair respectively, and look forward to working with them and the other committee members in providing constructive and independent advice to the Government.

Dr. Brien will take up his post from 14 September 2020 for a four-year term and will replace Liz Sayce, Acting Chair, who stood down on 31 August 2020. 

Further information

  • The Chair of the Social Security Advisory Committee is appointed by the Secretary of State for the Department for Work and Pensions. This appointment was made following an open competition regulated by The Office for the Commissioner of Public Appointments.

  • Remuneration for the Chairman’s role is £22,000 for a minimum of 60 days per annum.

  • For more information about the Social Security Advisory Committee can be found here.

Media enquiries for this press release – 020 3267 5144

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Published 6 October 2020

Last updated 6 October 2020
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