The UK Pension Fund System
The UK Pension system is a three pillar pension system. A flat-rate first-tier pension is provided by the state and is known as the Basic State Pension (BSP). Second-tier or supplementary pensions are provided by the state, employers and private sector financial institutions, the so-called three pillars of support in old age.
Most occupational pension schemes in the UK have been set up as Pension Trust Funds. The interests of the beneficiaries are set out in the trust deed. In 1995, the Pensions Act established the Occupational Pensions Regulatory Authority (OPRA) as the regulatory authority for the pensions industry. It is financed by an annual levy on pension schemes. OPRA tookover most of the responsibilities of the Occupational Pensions Board (OPB) which had been set up under the 1973 Social Security Act to monitor schemes, rules on the preservation of benefits for early leavers, equal access and contracting-out requirements.