Railways Pension Scheme
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My Ref: MRP 1/8/1 7th September 2016
Circular Num: NP/214/16
To: The Secretary All Branches & Regional Councils
Railways Pension Scheme
The following resolution including amendment was carried at the 2016 RMT Annual General Meeting:
“This branch expresses its concern and disappointment with the deal that all four rail unions have reached with the TOCs over changes to the Railway Pension Scheme. In particular, this branch is opposed on principle to:
1. Our members being effectively forced to give two more years of their lives to the employer merely in order to obtain the same level of benefit that were promised on entering service.
2. The doubling of penalties from approximately 3% to 6% per year for anyone retiring before the increased “Normal Retirement Age” a fact which was not mentioned in the propaganda sent out by the employer.
3. The arbitrary cap on future pensionable salary increases of RPI +0.25% per year which threatens to permanently trap our lower paid brothers and sisters on a poverty pension as the effect of this change means that no matter how successful we are in future in winning the long-overdue pay justice to their salaries, any such successes will no longer be reflected in their eventual pension.
This branch does not believe that the fact these changes were prompted by Tory government legislation makes them any more acceptable than if they had been instigated
directly by the employer, as this branch believes the private train operators and the Tories are two sides of the same coin and we reject totally the notion that our members should in any way shoulder the cost of changes made by the party favoured by the employers to pay for a crisis we did not cause.
We believe that the attack on the RPS was a missed opportunity for a united cross union campaign throughout our industry to strike a blow against the Government’s vicious austerity agenda.
We also note that the deficit in the RPS is dwarfed by the profits sucked out of the industry by the employers during the past 20 years.
This branch therefore requires of the General Secretary that our union, in response to any changes whether they originate from the government or employer:
1. Oppose any future changes to the RPS that result in a worsening of benefits.
2. Any increase in contributions that are necessary to maintain the existing level of benefit are met with an immediate and corresponding pay claim to compensate in full all our members.
3. Instruct all negotiators that it shall be union policy that any detrimental change to a pension scheme shall be recognised as a cut to earned benefits and be opposed as any other cut to pay would be.
4. Instruct negotiators that it be a standing instruction that where any pension has been devalued, in pay talks claims shall include that the Pension Scheme benefits and contributions be restored to levels as at privatisation and be open to all members regardless of date of entering service.”
This item was placed before the National Executive Committee on 5th September 2016 where the following report was adopted:
“We instruct the General Secretary to take up the issues raised in the motion in line with the AGM decision.
Further the RMT remains committed in defending the Railways Pension Scheme.”
I will keep you informed of developments.