UK - Member contributions at South West Trains - part of the Stagecoach group - are set to double to 10% this year.
Employer contributions will also double to 15% to take the total to 25% – the level prescribed by the government when train services were privatised in 1995.
Stagecoach company secretary and scheme trustee Derek Scott said that at the time of its privatisation, the South West Trains’ scheme had a substantial surplus. This has since been used to offset contributions and augment member benefits.
The company expects no backlash from staff or unions over the rise in member contributions.
Scott explained: “The company is in regular correspondence with its members – it will not be a surprise to them; everyone knew the funding rate was supposed to be around 25%.
“The scheme surplus was always due to run out in 2003 – had the investment markets been better there might have been new surplus to use.”
Last year it was revealed that employees at Stagecoach’s coach and bus operations had to increase their contributions by 40% in a bid to save their DB scheme from closure.
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