23rd December 2019
My Ref: MRP 1/8/61
To: The Secretary All Branches
HITACHI RAIL EUROPE (HRE) SECTION OF THE RAILWAYS PENSION SCHEME (RPS) – BRASS MATCHING CONTRIBUTIONS
I refer to my previous Circular, NP/228/19, 28th October 2019, as I previously reported it was agreed between HRE management and this union that those non-protected members who are not permitted to transfer their past service benefits from LNER into the HRE section will have the opportunity to receive BRASS matching contributions from the employer. However, due to administrative problems this agreement has yet to be implemented.
I can report that management have written to the RMT and advised that while they are still unable to give an exact date of implementation of BRASS matching they are able to confirm that they are close to finalising the administrative process.
Management have also confirmed that BRASS matching will be backdated to the original date of implementation of 1st March 2019 and that investment returns will be backdated to this date. Those members who have not yet contributed to BRASS will be given a “window of opportunity” to benefit from this agreement. The final details will follow once known.
Non-Protected Members who want to either begin or increase payments into the BRASS will then be able to apply and have their contributions matched by Hitachi Rail on a £ for £ basis, subject to the scheme maximum.
The maximum you will be able to contribute to BRASS each tax year as a non-protected member, is 15% of your gross pay or 20% of your pensionable pay, whichever is more, less your normal pension contributions.
HRE will allow an annual opportunity to increase BRASS contributions in line with pay reviews and matching will be made in respect of these increased contributions.
We are currently in discussions with RPMI, the administrators of the RPS, in respect of the issuing of “Annual Pension Estimates” and “Certificates of Benefits” to those non-protected members who were not permitted to transfer their LNER benefits in the HRE section. Once these discussions have been concluded I will update members.
I will keep you informed of developments.