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18 March 2011

This is to update you on the latest information on Pensions.

Company Council meeting

On Monday 14 March 2011 we met with the company and went over several items including several Pensions related matters.

Railway Pensions Scheme – Non Collectively Bargained staff

We raised concerns regarding some of our members in the Railway Pension Scheme that are not covered by collective bargaining. Near the end of 2010 they received letters asking them to make a decision to either accept the cap of the RPS pension or accept a cap to their future wage rises and were asked to respond by the deadline of 31 December 2010. Those members who did not respond by the deadline would be considered to have accepted a cap to their future wage rises.

TSSA were concerned that those members who hadn’t responded should be given a further opportunity to complete and return their responses and so we asked the company for a further period of time for individuals to do this.

The company has since advised me that there are 52 individuals who didn’t respond to this letter by the deadline and as such they are prepared to write out to these individuals and give them a small window of opportunity to do so.

I would encourage anyone in this position to respond to the letter, whilst the choice is up to you as to how you would respond I would remind you that both TSSA and RMT agreed to the Cap on Pensionable pay of RPI+1% as outlined in our previous circular:

Railway Pensions Scheme – Collectively Bargained Staff

TSSA also raised the fact that some members who received the same letters detailed above were in fact covered by collective bargaining. HR have asked us for a list of members who received these letters but who are in fact covered by collective bargaining. Thank you to those members who responded to our request for this information outlined in the previous circular we will be ensuring that HR are aware of you and update their records accordingly. If you didn’t previously respond then please contact me].

Amey Group Personal Pension Plan

TSSA raised further concerns around the change over between the Amey Saver Scheme to the Amey Group Personal Pension Plan (Amey GPPP) as we were worried about individuals not having had enough time to make a decision as to whether to switch over to the new scheme. We asked for an extension to allow individuals to make this decision.

The company advised that they would write out to individuals who did not respond by the deadline of 11 February reminding them that they can join the new scheme. Amey advised that these individuals would be treated as new entrants into the scheme however and not transfer their previous contribution rates over unless there was mitigating circumstances to explain why they didn’t respond by the deadline.

TSSA again asked the company to have direct trade union representation on the Governance committee that oversees the Pensions scheme. The previous response we received from the company was that they were likely to look for employee representation on this committee. TSSA wants an assurance around having trade union seats to ensure that your interests are represented on this body. I await a response from the further representations we made at the company council. If Amey continues with their previous proposals then they may call on staff to stand to be on this forum.

If you are a TSSA member in the Amey GPPP scheme and interested in getting involved on the governance committee then please email me].

What else can I do

We currently have vacancies for staff representatives in both Amey Consulting and Amey Inter Urban, if you are interested in doing more to help your fellow members then please contact me].

We also need to ensure that there is strong union membership to protect all of your rights in the future. If you have colleagues who aren’t in a trade union then they need to join!

If you want more information on why they should join then have a look at our national joining week literature here:

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