UK - Stakeholder pensions are taking an increasingly large part of the regulator's time, new figures show.
Concerns over stakeholder have rocketed throughout the year while reports to OPRA generally are falling.
The pensions regulator said it received 8858 reports about stakeholder in the third quarter – up 42% on the previous quarter and an 86% increase on the first three months.
Overall, the total number of reports declined steadily during the year – from 79,889 reports in the first quarter to 56,212 for the July-September period.
OPRA said that of these, only 1953 merited further investigation and cases were created as follows:
- 976 – payments to occupational pensions.- 418 – payments to personal pensions.- 508 – other occupational pension breaches.- 51 – stakeholder access requirements.
OPRA stressed that most of the reports “concerned relatively trivial matters”, which it was trying to deter.
Spokesman Nick Edmans said: “In situations with trivial breaches of a few days slippage we have asked actuaries and auditors not to bother reporting them.
“The regulator is a finite size and we want to shift the focus on to real problems to prevent us drowning in a sea of trivia.”
Trustees made up the bulk (38%) of the reports, which led to further enquiries. Occupational scheme providers made 21% of reports, auditors 13%, actuaries 9% and “others” 9%.
Only 4% of reports came from scheme members or employers and administrators only contributed 2%.
Financial penalties totalling £75,950 were imposed between July and September.
The OPRA board made 24 determinations and received a further four earlier determinations over the third quarter.
It also appointed trustees to 413 pension schemes using powers under section 7 of the Pensions Act.
In 39 cases, this involved appointing existing members as trustees to their own scheme. Of the remaining 374, trustees were appointed in 364 cases from OPRA’s panel of trustees.
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