Network Rail Track Renewal Contracts - Pensions

My Ref: MRP 1/8/1                                31st January 2014
                                         Circular Num: NP/018 /14

To: The Secretary All Branches & Regional Councils

Dear Colleagues,


It has come to my attention that Network Rail will shortly be reviewing track renewal contracts and as a result the RMT have concerns that some employees may be offered inferior pension rights in the event of contract changing hands.

As you will be aware track renewal workers fall into two categories when it comes to pension rights, there are those with protected and indefeasible rights, and those who are not protected by the Railways Act 1993. 

The RMT are concerned that those non-protected workers who are presently saving for their retirement in either a defined benefit pension arrangement or a decent defined contribution scheme may well see their future retirement provision reduced in the event of contract changing from one employer to another.

As you will be aware when it comes to future pension provisions in the event of a business transfer, TUPE legislation is inadequate in providing ‘like for like’ future pension provision. It would therefore be a disgrace if, as a result of a decision by Network Rail, these workers received inferior future pension provision following their employment being TUPE transferred.

The RMT believe that to avoid such a situation where our members future pension provisions are detrimentally effected, preventative action is required in advance of any decision being made on these contracts.

We therefore believe that Network Rail have an obligation to guarantee that employees future pension provisions are fully protected so that in the event of a transfer of employment they receive pension provisions no less favourable then they would have received had their employer not changed.

The RMT have written to Network Rail requesting an urgent meeting with senior management to discuss this issue.

I will keep you informed of developments.

Yours sincerely,
R. Crow
General Secretary