Lesley Titcomb, the chief executive of The Pensions Regulator, is set to step down amid continuing pressure from MPs over her handling of the BHS and Carillion crises.
She will leave the watchdog in February next year when her four-year contract comes to an end.
A successor has not yet been named.
During her tenure, Titcomb has endured criticism from Labour MP and Work and Pensions Select Committee chairman Frank Field over her “tentative and apologetic approach” to the downfall of both BHS and Carillion.
When BHS collapsed it left behind a £571 million pensions deficit, which affected over 22,000 employees and former employees’ pensions.
Although the regulator was key to helping secure a £363 million payment from former owner Sir Philip Green, Field said if the regulator had been “nimbler, more assertive and more pro-active” it would never have gotten to that stage in the first place.
Titcomb said: “This has been a difficult personal decision taken after extensive discussion with family and the chairman.
“I love working at the Pensions Regulator and am immensely proud of what we are achieving.
“But as I turn 57 next month, the end of my contract in February 2019 feels like the appropriate moment to find more time in my life for family, friends, other interests and opportunities.”