UK - Network rail has agreed to reopen its defined benefit scheme following the threat of a 24-hour walkout by members of the RMT.
Under the deal, which was thrashed out by union general secretary Bob Crow and NR chief executive John Armitt, new employees will join a money purchase scheme for the first five years of service. They will then be eligible to join the firm’s DB scheme.
Workers at any agency or sub-contractor in the rail industry which transferred to Network Rail would also be eligible to join the scheme and a new pensions forum has been set up.
Crow said: “Our position has always been that retaining a final salary pension scheme that provides dignity and security in retirement for our members was key to settling this dispute.”
The deal was agreed only hours before the two sides were due to appear in court after the company contested the validity of the union’s strike ballot.
The RMT suspended the strike, which was due to begin on Tuesday, and is now balloting members with a recommendation that they should accept the deal.
Armitt said: “This is a fair deal for the company and our employees, rewarding length of service and commitment.”
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