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The OPA expresses the views of all member associations whether representatives of traditional Final Salary Schemes (Defined Benefit), Defined Contribution Schemes and deferred members, or hybrids of these types of scheme.
The Alliance policy is determined by the Council in consultation with its member associations. It lobbies parliament and responds to government enquiries on any matters concerning occupational pensions. Our constitution is available here.
The OPA’s services to members include keeping members informed on current pension issues and offering advice based on other member associations’ experiences (but not legal advice).
The OPA also conducted surveys of its members’ schemes between 2008 and 2012 to help the council formulate our policies.
The OPA also offers to those who do not have their own websites the hosting of single webpages to publicise details of individual member associations.
Initial History, Recent Events and Changes to The OPA:
Occupational Pensions Alliance has been active since 2003/4 after a merger of COPAS and The Association of Occupational Pensioners (AOP), and other Associations subsequently. In 2006 Gordon Williams, Council Member and representative of ROPA created the OPA Website using the Domain name previously registered by Brian Marks also a Council Member and first Chair of OPA.
Sadly both these senior members passed away during the last six months of 2012. This unexpected development, coupled with the retirement of Roger Turner as Executive Secretary in September 2012, has removed three very important contributors to the formation of OPA which has become a welcome force on the national pensions scene including occupational pensions. Fortunately OPA’s Council and its current organisation have been able to rise to the challenges of coping with these personnel changes and the impact on its organisation and communications.
Tributes and Acknowledgements:
We should like to pay tribute to the efforts, expertise and knowledge contributed by Roy Causton of the Thorn EMI/HMV Pensions Association from 2003 until the Summer of 2016 which comprised service as a OPA Council member and organiser of the South East Regional meetings including a number of presentations by experts from the Actuarial and Pensions professions. Also to record Eric Goulding of ROPA service who followed Gordon Williams representing his Association on the OPA Council for more than 4 years between 2012 and 2016. More recently in May 2017, David Reeve, one of the founding members of the OPA, retired from the council after 14 years service which was much appreciated. Also in November 2017, Bill Pitt, who had been co-opted to the OPA council as an advisor, died rather suddenly. He took the committee pictures in 2017.
Since September 2021 we have tried to continue the OPA operations and the Council has met in December 2021 and then twice in the first part of 2022. Gradually it has been possible to renew communications with member associations where they were recovering from the impact of Covid.
However from last year’s subscription numbers it appears that only 14 out of the previous 24 member associations paid up and are in contact, although not all have responded to the AGM notice and invitation to attend on 12 May 2022 in Lower Sunbury at the Riverside Arts Centre.
December 2022 – A special meeting of OPA Council and Representation of Membership Association, was held on Wednesday 30th November at The Arts Centre Lower Sunbury to ensure closing down OPA as a result of the loss of Membership Association and the lack of resource to manage the Association any longer, particularly with the loss of the Treasurer in August 2021 and the retirement of Peter Austin at the end of December 2022 after 20 years service.
The decision was agreed by those members present to close OPA by 31st December 2022 and the website by 2023. Also to make final payment in winding down the financial account with four final donations to four charities concerning the elderly including a final payment to Age UK.