11th October 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
The RMT has been advised by management that the BRASS matching agreement the RMT reached with HRE following the TUPE transfer of former LNER Fleet Engineering Staff to HRE has not been implemented.
The agreement reached by your RMT representatives meant that those employees who were not working for BR prior to privatisation in 1994 i.e. non-protected members, will be able to make contributions into the RPS Additional Voluntary Contribution (BRASS) arrangement and the employer will “match” £ for £ anything the individual pays into BRASS up to maximum of 15% of a members pensionable pay.
This concession was given following negotiations as a result of the employer’s decision not to allow non-protected members the right to transfer-in their preserved ECML section of the RPS benefits into the new HRE section of the RPS.
The purpose of this agreement was to potentially mitigate any financial loss at retirement non-protected members may face as a result of management’s decision in not allowing these individuals the right to transfer their past service benefits into the HRE Pension Scheme.
We are advised that this failure to implement this agreement is due to a process problem between HRE and the administrators of the RPS (rpmi) which has resulted in the employers matching contributions not being added to members BRASS accounts.
However, while we are informed by management that that they are working hard to resolve this issue with rpmi, so that there is no detrimental loss to members’ BRASS accounts, I can advise you that the RMT National Executive Committee when considering this issue have instructed me to write to HRE and rpmi urging them to implement the BRASS Matching system as soon as possible. I can advise you that this will be done without delay.
I will also make it clear to HRE management that we expect them to make good any BRASS Matching payments not already been made , which includes any investment losses due to these late payments not reaching our members BRASS accounts.
I will keep you informed of developments
11th October 2019