Northern Rail ex North East Section Of The Railways Pension Scheme (RPS)

3rd October 2014                            My Ref: MRP 1/8/70

                                                                 Circular Num: NP/195/14
To: The Secretary All Branches & Regional Councils

Dear Colleagues,

Northern Rail ex North East Section Of The Railways Pension Scheme (RPS)

I refer to my previous Circular NP/122/14, 8th July 2014, in relation to the resolution submitted by the Leeds City Branch regarding members of the Northern Rail ex North East section of the RPS taking their pension benefits early whilst remaining in employment.

As you will recall the resolution expressed concern that Northern Rail were no longer allowing members to take their benefits early whilst continuing to work, unless a Case Review Body approved the application. There was further concern that this seemingly this change of policy was being introduced without the knowledge of scheme members.

The RMT wrote to both management and the administrators of the RPS asking for clarity and clarification on this issue and I can report the following.

The rules of the Northern Rail ex North East fund have not been changed. Members aged between 55 and 60 can still apply for their benefits early and remain in employment with the consent of the employer.

Following a number of Northern Rail ex North East Pensions Committee meetings it was agreed to set up a Case Review Body in March 2013 so that there was trade union input into each request. The RMT have representatives on this Pensions Committee.

However, ultimately the discretion still rests with the employer to accept or reject an application.

This matter was placed before your General Grades Committee on 2nd October 2014 and the following decision was adopted:

“The correspondence on file is noted from management in relation to the setting up of the Review Body.

The General Secretary is instructed to write to management requesting that all members of the Northern Rail ex North East Section are informed by way of letter of the Review Body and its function. Branches and Regional Councils to be informed.”

I have now written to management in line with this decision and will keep you informed of developments.

Yours sincerely,


Mick Cash
General Secretary