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Amey & Colas Rail Pensions and the TUPE transfer of High Output employees to Network Rail

27 March 2015

TSSA has received a Measures letter in regard to the situation of pensions after the transfer of employees.

 

Set out below are the issues raised by Network Rail:

· Network Rail has advised that it will be necessary for the existing pension arrangement to be changed. Arrangements will be implemented in relation to employees who transfer to Network Rail under the TUPE arrangements to enable them to become members of one of the Network Rail schemes.

· Anyone who is already in the Section of the Railway Pension Scheme (RPS) at the point of the TUPE transfer will be automatically entered into the Network Rail section of the RPS when the TUPE takes place, this includes RPS members who do not have a legal right to be in the RPS.

· All other employees coming across under TUPE are assessed for eligibility of the Network Rail pension schemes by reference to their length of continuous service with the rail employer they are transferring from.

· Transferring employees who have five or more years continuous company service at the date of TUPE are offered membership of the RPS, the Network Rail CARE Pension Scheme (CARE), a type of defined benefit scheme, or the Network Rail Defined Contribution Pension Scheme (NRDC). This option to join the RPS is a one off option and no further opportunity will be offered.

· Transferring employees with less than 5 years’ continuous company service at the date of the TUPE transfer are offered membership of CARE or NRDC, but will be eligible for the RPS scheme when their continuous service reaches 5 years.

· At all times, the eligibility rules for each Network Rail pension scheme and company policy will prevail. Where a transferring employee is offered the option of joining the RPS or CARE but fails to respond they will be enrolled into the NRDC automatically.

Please note that the TSSA cannot advise on what you should do in regard to your pension, however we can explain how the different schemes work.

The Railway Pension Scheme (RPS) has two schemes with Network Rail a RPS60 and RPS65, they are both Defined Benefit Schemes where final salary is the basis for calculating an individual’s pension. Only those that have a protected status as per the Railways Act of 1993 will invited in to RPS60, everyone else eligible will be invited to join the RPS65 scheme.

The CARE scheme looks at an individual’s average salary over their career when calculating their pension.

The Network Rail Defined Contribution scheme, the pension is calculated on the amount you and your employer have invested over a period of years, the final pension amount cannot be predicted until the time of application to receive your pension and is largely dependent upon market returns.

Those currently in the RPS scheme, the Colas or Amey sections, will become deferred pensioners in those schemes, you will be invited by RPS to state whether you want to transfer past pension contributions into the Network Rail Scheme (RPS). There is a timescale on opting for this transfer of 15 months. Anyone failing to transfer within those timescales will not be allowed to transfer their past pension contributions into the Network Rail (RPS).

I must reiterate that in regard to pension advice members should seek that advice from an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA).

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