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Manuel Cortes Letter to Train Operating Companies (TOCs) On Railways Pension Scheme

15 January 2020

Re: Financial Times Article, 'Britain's Railway Mess Will Not Be Sorted Until Pensions Are Reformed'.

I am writing to you following the publication of the above article which appeared in the Financial Times today and makes a series of claims about the state of the Railways Pension Scheme (RPS).

As the title implies, the authors of the article are blaming the current problems in the railway industry on the deficit in the RPS, ignoring the structural problems that Keith Williams has been looking at as part of his Government commissioned Rail Review.

It also ignores informal discussions that have been taking place between the TOC employers, RDG, RPMI and the railway trade unions under the IPSG process and which have also involved The Pensions Regulator and Department for Transport.

The FT piece calls for the closure of the Scheme, replacing it with a defined contribution arrangement which by its nature is likely to be an inferior pensions’ offering for railway workers, some of whom will have statutory protected status and/or an indefeasible right to membership of the RPS.

In drawing this matter to your attention, I am writing to ask how you intend to respond to the suggestions in the article?

I also want to make it very clear that TSSA will resist any attack on the way that the RPS is structured or if any attempt is made to close it in any form, including to further accrual and winding up.

I look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely

Manuel Cortes, TSSA General Secretary

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