Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/435/5143

From The Socialist newspaper, 13 April 2006

Rail pensions in crisis

AROUND 100 railworkers attended the last meeting organised by the rail trade unions to discuss the imminent pensions crisis in the industry.

An Aslef member

RMT general secretary Bob Crow spoke, alongside Gerry Doherty of the TSSA and ASLEF district organiser Mick Whelan. They were joined by Bob Rixham of Amicus.

There used to be one railway pension scheme, now there are as many as 100 sections of the scheme. They cover all the train operating companies, engineering firms, Network Rail etc. Some of these sections are small and vulnerable to collapse if just a few members leave.

It is also clear that the administration costs of so many schemes are enormous. In one scheme, to keep it viable, contributing members face having to pay in 18.5% of their salary. Last year an actuarial valuation was carried out and Gerry Doherty said the results were delivered to TSSA offices in a wheelbarrow, such is the apparent complexity of the information!

Some things are easier to understand. The Tory government took £300 million out of railway pensions pre-privatisation. Gordon Brown has trousered an extra £5 billion per year from pension funds generally. The chief executive of Network Rail got a top-up to his pension last year of £140,000.

The government might pretend that they can't interfere but they poke their noses in to the industry when it suits them. They gave various train operating companies £70 million in the last two years to offset losses they had made during industrial disputes.

If the rises in contributions being talked about go ahead, railworkers can expect any pay rises in the next few years to be eaten up in pension contributions. High-level contributions will deter people from joining the pension schemes. They will become unsustainable and workers will leave, saving the bosses the bad publicity of having to close the schemes.

Even the actuarial valuation shows that schemes which have been closed to new members have a worse funding ratio than those which are still open. The unions are campaigning for - no cuts in benefits, streamline the sections of the scheme to reduce administration costs and improve viability, cap contributions at 10.56% of salary, which is the most we would have paid under British Rail, open the scheme to all railworkers.

These are basic, minimum demands but the minister responsible, Alistair Darling hasn't agreed to meet the unions to discuss the matter. Bob Crow did suggest we should have a whip round at the meeting, raise a £million and ask for a decent pension instead of a peerage.

The unions have called a lobby of Parliament for Tuesday 9 May, starting at 1pm. I presume this is due to MPs being on lates that week.

Contributions are due to rise on 1 July, so in the absence of progress there will have to be ballots for industrial action well before then.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 13 April 2006:


Socialist Party campaigns

Don't let Blair wreck the NHS

Hands off Cardiff's schools

Iraq - condition critical

Bush eying regime change in Iran

How to fight fuel poverty


Socialist Party election campaign

Huddersfield - the bandwagon is rolling!

"Standing up for working people"

Election campaigns boost sales of the socialist

Fighting fund target smashed - again!

May Day greetings


Socialist Party review

1926 General Strike - Workers taste power by Peter Taaffe


International socialist news and analysis

Mass struggle in France forces government retreat

Build for 1 May general strike in the USA

Italian opposition scrapes home but workers must stop the return of Berlusconi

Kazakhstan Riot police repelled by shanty town residents


Socialist Party workplace news

Stop New Labour's old Tory policies

Rail pensions in crisis

Vote Len Hockey

Organise to defend jobs at Visteon

New deal in the offing in local government?


 

Home   |   The Socialist 13 April 2006   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Pensions:

triangleBT pensions review - oppose the attacks on the pension schemes

trianglePlymouth PCS members fight relocation threat

triangleRoyal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangleSet for national strike action

triangleCWU strike ballot to win 'Four Pillars'

Rail:

triangleBrutal rail privateer Abellio takes over Midlands rail services

triangleNationalise rail now

triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleStrike wave continues

Pension:

triangleYoung people being strangled by debts

triangleThyssenKrupp - Tata steel merger

triangleCWU strike ballot - why I'm voting Yes

Unions:

triangleAfter the budget - unions must launch pay fight

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

13/12/17

Woolwich

Support the Crossrail Woolwich walkout

7/12/17

Blacklisting

Unite protest against blacklisting

7/12/17

RMT

Anti-DOO lobby of Liverpool's transport committee

6/12/17

Donald Trump

Mobilise to stop bigoted billionaire Donald Trump's state visit to Britain

6/12/17

Transport

Arriva bus strikers stand firm

6/12/17

Pensions

BT pensions review - oppose the attacks on the pension schemes

6/12/17

PCS

Driving examiners walkout hits first day of new test

6/12/17

Newham

School staff strike against privatisation

6/12/17

Rail

Brutal rail privateer Abellio takes over Midlands rail services

6/12/17

PCS

PCS Left Unity celebrates 40th anniversary at annual conference

6/12/17

North Yorkshire

Court maintains injunction against fracking protesters

6/12/17

Waltham Forest

Waltham Forest Universal Credit protest

6/12/17

Coventry

Coventry Socialist sales hit 1,000

6/12/17

TUSC

TUSC conference to debate 2018 elections

6/12/17

Liverpool

Liverpool John Moores Uni landslide for Socialist Students

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle8 Dec Local government pay: fight for the full 5% claim

triangle6 Dec Strikers rally in Liverpool

triangle6 Dec Corbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme

triangle5 Dec Victory at Glenfield shows people power can save our NHS

triangle5 Dec Labour council Blairites deselected

triangle30 Nov Victory: Glenfield Children's Heart Centre saved!

triangle30 Nov Dramatic retelling of Grunwick strike

More ...

triangle13 Dec Caerphilly Socialist Party: Are we heading for an era of war?

triangle14 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Universal Credit - the Tories' latest assault on the poor

triangle18 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Religion and Socialism

triangle19 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas social

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2