My Ref: MRP 1/8/70 1st March 2019
Circular Num: NP/041/19
To: The Secretary All Branches & Regional Councils
Northern Sections of the Railways Pension Scheme (RPS) – Delay In 2018 Annual Pension Estimates
The RMT are advised that due to concerns with the general data used to calculate members’ pension benefits, the production of the 2018 Annual Pension Estimates (APE) for the Northern ex North West and ex-North East sections of the RPS were delayed so that these potential discrepancies can be identified and corrected.
While the data review highlighted errors which had been previously provided to some members, we are informed that a detailed review of data held by Northern has been examined and is now accurate. Management have advised our representatives on the Northern Pension Committees that they are now in a position to communicate to members about the delay and advice them that their APE’s should be sent to them by the end of May.
The following communication was sent to members of both Northern section of the RPS on 22nd February 2019:
“As you may be aware, there has been a delay in the production and release of your 2018 Annual Pension Estimate (APE). We apologise for this delay and want to take this opportunity to provide you with an update and, importantly, an expected delivery timescale.
During preparation for the production of the 2018 APEs, we identified some potential pension related data errors, which we wanted to investigate as a priority. In doing so we have focussed our attention on ensuring the accuracy of the data we provide to RPMI prior to any APEs (and, in some cases, Pension Savings Statements) being released.
To that end, we have been working with external, expert advisors to review and validate the data required to produced Pension Estimates and Statements. We are now nearing the end of this important data review and are working closely with RPMI to plan the transfer of the data to them.
We will be providing the data to RPMI shortly in order that they can assess the checks and processes that need to be undertaken, and in what timescales, in order for the them to produce APEs (and, in some cases Pension Statements). It is our current understanding that you will receive your APE by the end of May 2019.
Once again, please accept our apologies for the delay in the production and release of your APE, we are aware this may have caused you inconvenience and concern. We commit to ensuring that the Pension information you receive in your APE is accurate and will be in contact with you prior to the APE release to update you on progress.
Both the Railway Pension Scheme Trustees and the [RPS Section] Pension Committee, have been made aware of this situation.”
Our representatives on the Northern Pensions Committees still have a number of concerns in relation to some of the data kept and are intending to raise these issues with management at the next pension committee meetings which are due to take place in March.
I will keep you advised of developments.