UK - Closing the Network Rail final salary scheme will trigger a raft of further scheme closures within the industrywide Railways Pension Fund, unions fear.
The Transport Salaried Staff Association and the RMT union are in talks with Network Rail chiefs and the government over plans to close the defined benefit scheme – part of the £13.5bn Railways Pension Fund – and replace it with an “inferior” defined contribution plan.
Employer contributions to the final salary schemes are curr-ently 20%. Under the DC arrangement, the employer will contribute 7% and employees will pay 4%. The RMT says the drop in contributions is unacceptable.
And a spokesman for TSSA said the closure of the scheme would ultimately affect more than just the 16,000 active and deferred members.He said: “They are going to save 10% on the cost by switching, which is fair enough but the scheme is inferior by a long way. But that is just the thin end of the wedge.
“We are really unhappy with it because it will affect the whole industry because once one company does it, huge swathes of the industry will follow.”
The union is meeting with Network Rail representatives in two weeks and will meet with government officials at the start of June in an attempt to stop the closure.
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