Freightliner Pensions Response

23 January 2010

Chris Hannon

Pensions Director

G&W UK Europe Region,

3rd Floor

90 Whitfield Street

London

W1T 4EZ

 

 

 

Dear Mr Hannon

 

Changes to the Freightliner section of the Railway Pension Scheme

 

I am responding to your letter inviting feedback in light of the company’s proposed changes to the Freightliner section of the Railway Pension Scheme.

 

I strongly oppose the changes that are being put forward. The Freightliner Pension Scheme is currently in surplus. I believe that there is simply no reason to introduce these changes other than to increase profits on the back of benefit cuts to future employees.

 

Whilst the company is at pains to say that the changes do not affect existing employees, this is far from a certainty. Pension schemes rely on a continuous flow of contributions. Introducing a 5 year qualifying period will reduce the amount of people in the scheme as people retire and leave, but the new workers who replace them are not permitted to join at that point. 

 

This creates a real problem as only active members can contribute to any future deficits. If the scheme was to have a shortfall in the future, there would be fewer people to contribute to this, meaning the active members would shoulder even more of this cost.

 

I also believe that the qualifying period robs new entrants of the opportunity to accrue an extra five years’ worth of pension. This is wrong at a time when the scheme is in good health. It will also create a two tier workforce and could lead to resentment amongst new staff.

 

I hope the company will therefore stop pursuing these unnecessary and unfair proposals.

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

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