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Eurostar Pension Deficit Update

14 July 2011

An update for members on the latest position on the valuation of the Eurostar Pension scheme for 2011.

 

An update for members on the latest position on the valuation of the Eurostar Pension scheme for 2011. As you are aware in September 2010 Eurostar UK Ltd restructured to become Eurostar International Ltd (Owned by SNCF - 55%, London Continental Railways (LCR) and the Department for Transport - 40% and SNCB at 5%). This change in ownership has resulted in the scheme changing from a healthy funding position to one where there is a massive deficit which will mean members having to pay much higher contributions through no fault of their own.

The reduction in value has been part mitigated by LCR with a payment into the fund of £30m in March 2011. The liabilities of the section have also been changed to exclude High Speed 1 (HS1), Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL) and LCR member transfers. This still leaves a deficit of £42m and values the fund at 85% (compared to 105% in 2007).

The union's will be arguing that we will not accept any increase in employee contributions to make up the funding deficit until the designated employers pay the full deficit to place the scheme back into a healthy financial position.

The TSSA Eurostar Branch has passed the following motion:

"This branch instructs TSSA that we should not accept the current pension valuation. We would not agree to an increase in member’s contributions to cover the shortfall in the scheme until the additional funding requirement of the government and LCR is resolved. Furthermore we request the TSSA at senior level should put pressure on the government and LCR to deal with the funding shortfall."

What’s next:

We have requested an Emergency Company Council meeting to discuss this matter. Should the matter not be resolved TSSA, working with our sister unions will endeavour to ensure that our members do not face the burden of increased contributions using all means at our disposal. We will keep you updated with any further developments and will continue to apply pressure to the relevant stakeholders to address the shortfall.

Now is the time to speak to your colleagues who are not members of a union to join and stand together to protect your pensions.

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