My Ref: MRP: 1/8 15th July 2011
Circular No. NP/132 /11
To: The Secretary All Branches & Regional Councils
RAILWAYS PENSION SCHEMES – 2010 ACTUARIAL VALUATION
As I am sure you are aware the Railways Pension Scheme (RPS) tri-annual actuarial valuation is presently being carried out by the scheme Actuary and as part of this consultation process the RMT, along with other trade unions, has been having discussions with railway management about these results.
The draft valuation results reveal that the majority of RPS sections are in deficit although some are showing a surplus. The Actuary has indicated that like other UK pension schemes which are in deficit this can be contributed to a number of factors, including poor investment returns and improvements in mortality.
As with past valuation, talks between management and the trade unions have centered on the affordability and sustainability of the RPS. The Actuary has outlined a number of options which could be used to reduce each sections deficit, which include further increases in employer and employee pension contributions and benefits changes.
The valuation results for each section are still to be finalised and whilst there has been discussions about reducing future pension liabilities, the RMT’s policy will be to protect existing and future pension benefits.
I would therefore like to remind all RMT representatives that no agreement should be reached on amending contributions or benefits, either through Pensions Committees or in direct discussions with the employer, without prior consent from Head Office. Details of any employer proposals should be forwarded immediately to Head Office.
The RPS 2010 Actuarial Valuation must be completed by 31st March 2012. If, however, there are any proposed changes to RPS pension arrangements a member consultation period will begin at least 60 days before the 31st March 2012.
I shall, of course, keep you advised of developments.