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Opra says it is being overrun by bad SSASs

Opra says regulating small self-administered schemes is a waste of its time and that its resources are being exhausted by an overwhelming number of small badly run pension schemes.

It says questions should be asked as to why it must spend valuable resources on regulating small SSASs.

Opra says because Ssas members run the schemes themselves, it does not need to intervene as it is only protecting scheme members from themselves.

It hopes the Pickering review will look at whether to exempt Ssass from some of Opra&#39s duties.

It says 80 per cent of the occupational pension schemes it regulates contain around 1 per cent of total members.

Only 1,753 schemes have more than 1,000 members, whereas more than 88,000 schemes have fewer than 11 members.

Opra says looking after these small schemes drains its resources, saying many are badly run, with poor admin and accounting practices. It believes a disproportionate amount of its work is taken up dealing with problems generated by tiny schemes.

Communications manager Nick Edmans says: “The legislation is not necessary to protect people from themselves in Ssass. They do not need a clip on the ear for paying contributions late because they are only hurting themselves. So it is questionable whether they need protection through legislation. It has been suggested that Ssass should be exempted from certain aspects of legislation.

“There is a tendency for small schemes to be badly run. There are a vast number of tiny schemes which all carry the same regulatory requirements. We put a lot of effort and energy in to these tiny schemes.”

James Hay director David Seaton says: “It is a nonsense for Opra to be involved and we would be happy to see Ssass excluded. There are instances where we still have to be careful, such as over the role of appointed advisers, but generally it is a waste of taxpayers&#39 money.

“If members want to muck about with their money, it is up to them.”

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