EMT pension statement is misleading

24 April 2012

East Midlands trains have reacted to ASLEF members’ decision to take industrial action over pensions next month by putting out ‘information’ that is, according to the union, ‘highly misleading’. The company’s managing director claims that their pension proposals will ‘save drivers around £500 a year’ and ‘will have no impact on their pension benefits’. Not so, says ASLEF general secretary Mick Whelan.

‘To cut pension contributions in the current climate is highly irresponsible. It is widely believed that fund’s assets have dramatically reduced since the last valuation. Also, the charitable-sounding statement that drivers would save money ignores the fact that the pension scheme is split 60/40 between the employer and the employee - so if our members are saving £500, the company is saving £750. In total that’s £1,250 a year less going into the fund per active member.

‘This is simply storing up trouble for the next valuation and the future of the scheme. It is disingenuous to suggest our members are getting something for nothing. The current owners of the East Midlands Trains franchise may have no responsibility over the pension fund in a few years, whereas our members face the prospect of either cripplingly high contribution rates or reduced benefits due to a short-term cost-cutting decision made by EMT that has left the scheme in deficit.’

ASLEF members working for East Midlands Trains have overwhelmingly voted in support of industrial action to protect their pensions and have informed the company of intention to strike on 1st, 3rd, 8th, 10th, 15th and 17th May.

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