UK – The Occupational Pensions Regulatory Authority is launching a campaign to ensure that companies are offering staff access to a pension scheme.

“Over the next 12 months, Opra will be sending surveys to employers across the UK to find out if they are breaking the law,” Opra said.

It would target businesses in a specific region, starting with the North East in May.

Firms with five or more staff have had to offer their employees the opportunity to join either a stakeholder pension scheme of an alternative since 2001.

“Opra is now looking to identify those employers who have not yet complied with the law,” it says. Opra has the right to fine companies up to 50,000 pounds (70,000 euros) if a pension scheme is not in place.

Opra, set up in 1996, has recently said it wants to become “more flexible, proactive, advisory and risk-focused”. It has come under fire for being obsessed with details at the expense of the “big picture” of pension regulation.