Railway Pensions Commission - Final Report

30 January 2008

The Rail Pensions Commission – which was set up in 2006 in response to the threat of industrial action by all the rail unions - has released its final report. ASLEF’s first reaction is ‘acute disappointment’ that it has failed to meet any of the key demands made jointly by the rail unions.


ASLEF had 4 key objectives on pensions. These were to

  • cap all employee contributions to 10.56% (the rate of contribution under the British Rail Scheme)
  • keep all benefits at their current level and ensure no reduction in pension provision.
  • streamline the current pension provision in the industry from 103 schemes to 3.
  • ensure that all employees have access to the scheme.


General Secretary Keith Norman said the union’s initial reaction is one of disappointment that the long-awaited report ‘does not address itself to these major issues we raised with the Commission.’


ASLEF is campaigning to ensure that rail pension schemes remain effective and ensure the wellbeing of our members in retirement. Many of the 103 separate schemes set up to replace the single BR scheme have come under attack by the rail operators


Some of the proposals in the Report appear attractive on the surface. It has, for example, suggested a contribution rate of 8 per cent for members and 12 per cent for the employers with a cap on member’s contributions at 10 per cent. However, we would be expected to accept much reduced pension payments for this – including accepting pension linked to a ‘career average’ rather than a final salary, and pensions based on one-fiftieths. It contains no plans to reduce the number of schemes or keep current benefit levels for new employees.


‘ASLEF will continue to push for the pension provision that rail workers deserve. Our four original objectives define what we mean by this,’ Keith Norman says.


To read the full Railway Pension Commission report , click here.

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