MP's demand the pensions watchdog explain the 'staggering, parlous state' of the railways retirement fundBy City & Finance Reporte
MP’s demand the pensions watchdog explain the ‘staggering, parlous state’ of the railways retirement fund
The pensions watchdog has been asked by MPs to explain the ‘staggering, parlous state’ of the railways retirement fund.
Frank Field, chairman of the House of Commons work and pensions committee, has written to The Pensions Regulator (TPR) over the £7.5billion black hole in the Railways Pension Scheme.
The letter came just days after the Department for Transport barred Stagecoach from three bids to run rail franchises in a row over how to plug the shortfall.
Concerns: The chairman of the House of Commons work and pensions committee has written to The Pensions Regulator (TPR) over the £7.5bn black hole in the Railways Pension Scheme
Birkenhead MP Field has waded into the row over the retirement scheme, which has 340,000 members.
Writing to TPR chief executive Charles Counsell, he demanded to know ‘the extent of the deficit and [the regulator’s] actions and future plans to work with firms and the Department for Transport to address this shortfall’.
Field said the ‘one positive’ from the decision to disqualify Stagecoach from running the services was that it showed the Government was taking the issue seriously.
However, Stagecoach claims that these contracts were the first time companies were asked to take on pensions burdens and that the Government had previously always pledged to be the ultimate guarantor of the pension scheme.
In response, the Department for Transport said Stagecoach submitted ‘non-compliant’ bids that breached the rules.