New guide for pension scheme trustees from OPRA

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Opra today announced the publication of an updated version of its keynote publication: A guide for pension scheme trustees. The new version is now available on the Opra website at www.opra.gov.uk/publications/guides/.

At the beginning of June Opra will send printed copies of the new guide to the trustees of every live occupational pension scheme in the UK - some 100,000 individual copies.

The guide explains the basic principles of occupational pension scheme trusteeship and includes guidance on a wide range of trustee responsibilities such as:

- appointing professional advisers;
- payment of contributions;
- the minimum funding requirement;
- investment and custodianship;
- providing information to members;
- reporting to Opra.

The guide is aimed at existing trustees and those who are thinking of becoming trustees, as well as for people interested in finding out about the duties and responsibilities of a trustee. It should also help employers offering occupational pensions to understand the
trustee's role.

The updated guide incorporates suggestions Opra has received about the first edition, published in 1997. It also reflects Opra's experience gained from regulating pension schemes over the last four years.

Printed copies of the guide will be available from the first week of June, free of charge, from the Opra helpdesk by calling 01273 627600.

Guidance on applying for MFR extensions
Opra has also published Opra Note 9, a guide on how to apply to Opra for minimum funding requirement (MFR) extensions. This Opra Note will only be published on the web.

Although Gordon Brown's Budget speech on 7 March 2001 announced that the MFR is to be abolished, there is no firm timetable yet for its replacement. Until new legislation is passed, the MFR remains in force and employers or trustees may still wish to apply for extensions of the periods to restore MFR funding

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