UK- Pensions regulator the Occupational Pensions Regulatory Authority (Opra) has published a guide for trustees that is designed to help reduce the time it takes to wind up occupational schemes, a process that can often take several years.

The guide covers various provisions introduced under the Child Support, Pension and Social Security Act 2000. They include:

* record keeping;
* reporting about winding up;
* Opra's powers to direct trustees and others;
* applications for modifications;
* notification of the probable need for an independent trustee.

Trustees are now required to make regular progress reports to Opra which can, if necessary, intervene in the winding up of a scheme.

New legislation meant that as of the beginning of June, trustees were obliged to report to Opra any scheme that is taking more than twelve years to be wound up.

Costas Yiasoumi, European principal at Mercer Human Resource Consulting, says: “the guide will be helpful to trustees and the industry in that it simplifies a very complex procedure.

“It consolidates much of the regulatory material, and succeeds in clarifying trustees' obligations and the timeframes they must work to under the new legislation."

Further details of the new Opra guide are available at: