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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.
Current News – Select Committee Enquiry Report – December 2016, and other Pension news.
The Government’s previous announcements on the encashment of defined contribution pensions at retirement after the 1st April 2015 dominated the Pensions and Financial Communications World and the Media coverage thereof prior to the General Election in May 2015 to the detriment of any other Pension subject and coverage at the current time. Since that time, other changes in the pipeline present significant challenges but also opportunities to the future of the pensions market. As a result of this and in view of another White Paper, the OPA Council has delayed a main review of current strategy and role in advising its member associations. At its meetings in 2017 and early 2018, it also decided to postpone its programme and timetable to consult on these matters and important changes until the Select Committee Inquiry Report and White paper publication later in 2017, which have been released and debated, but except for strengthening the power of the Regulator has not provided any clear guidance on other important matters.
Chair of OPA