Halcrow Pensioners Association

News

Latest News

(Updated April 2017)

Newsletters

Newsletter 27 has been published and ireminds members of the 2017 Annual General Meeting.

Newsletter 26 has been published and includes notice of the 2017 Annual General Meeting.

Newsletter 25 has been published and contains a summary of news from the past few months.

Newsletter 24 has been published and contains a summary of HPA's efforts over recent months.

Newsletter 23 has been published and provides updated advice on the options available to HPS members.

Newsletter 22 has been published and contains an analysis of the four options available to HPS members and sets out the current HPA objectives.

Newsletter 21 has been published with an update on the application to the Upper Tribunal and other news.

Newsletter 20 has been published. The main news is that an application has been submitted to the Upper Tribunal on behalf of the HPA to appeal the decision by tPR to issue a Regulated Apportionment Arrangement (RAA) in respect of the HPS.

Newsletter 19 has been published. The main news is a meeting with the Pensions Regulator and the discovery that the pension scheme members were not considered by the Regulator to be "directly affected parties".

Newsletter 18 has been published and mainly discusses the letter dated 21 May 2016 which offers two choices to scheme members.

Newsletter 17 has been published and provides an update on events relating to the proposed replacement pension scheme.

Newsletter 16 has been published and focuses on the secret court hearing about a replacement pension scheme which would provide substantially reduced benefits.

Newsletter 15 has been published and provides updates on a selection of relevant subjects.

Newsletter 14 has been published, primarily to give notice of the 2016 AGM, but also contains some suggested reading.

Newsletter 13 has been published hot on the heels of newsletter 12 and notes the comments in the 2014 Halcrow annual reports which may have implications for the Halcrow Pension Scheme.

A full list of all the newsletters is provided here.

Membership Subscriptions

The treasurer always welcomes subscriptions and once a new year has arrived then the next subscription is due. Members are requested to pay their membership subscription by either using the button on the membership page for payments using PayPal, debit cards or credit cards although a direct bank transfer is preferred because there are no transaction costs. Please remember to notify the treasurer when you pay your subscription.

HPA Annual General Meeting

The next HPA Annual General Meeting is proposed to take place in April 2018.

Official Transcript of the Court Hearing

See the court hearing page for a link to the official transcript of the court hearing held on 9th November 2011.

Halcrow Trust Pay-out

The trustees of the Halcrow Trust distributed the proceeds from the sale in 2012 to those people they considered to be eligible which did not include all the beneficiaries (such as widows of former Halcrow employees) as defined in the Trust Deed on this page.

Halcrow Pension Scheme Website

The Halcrow Pension Scheme has its own website where member communications, reports and statements are accessible. However, it is password-protected because some information there may be commercially sensitive. Logon credentials can be obtained from pensionsteam(at)halcrow(dot)com who will, on request, add scheme members to the email circulation list.

Prrevious News

The Outcome of the Court Hearing:

The Outcome of the court hearing.

Although the judge agreed that the pensioners had a just case he did not think it strong enough to delay the sale. However, the submission to the Court has ensured that the size of the deficit and the promises for future funding by CH2M Hill are more clearly on the record.

Click for more information

High Court:

Steve Brichieri-Colombi went to the High Court in the Rolls Building, Chancery Lane, London, with Malcolm Bennett on Monday, and asked the Court to satisfy itself that the concerns raised by the HPS and the Pensions Regulator over the position of the HPS deficit were properly addressed in the Scheme Arrangement proposed by Halcrow. The judge heard the submission and advised he would issue a decision on Thursday.

Submission to Court Hearing

Sources of information re CH2M offer for Halcrow:

1. Recommended acquisition of Halcrow Holdings Limited by CH2M HILL Europe Limited

2. Halcrow Annual Reports, 2004 to 2010

3. Halcrow Pension Fund (HPS) triennial Valuation Reports for 2008 and 2005 (click link at right)

4. HPS annual report to members for 2010 scheme year (Values at 31 December 2010) (click link at right)

5. Halcrow Trust (HT) Rules dated 5th November 1990 (click link at right)

6. HPS Deed of Amendment 2010 (click link at right)

7. Q&A Sheets issued by Halcrow and HPS on 3rd October (7a and 7b), 10th October (7c) and 2nd November (7d) (click link at right)

8. Newspaper reports in, inter alia, the Times, the Financial Times, New Civil Engineer and the Denver Post. The reporters themselves are being asked to clarify sources of information inconsistent with the documentation above.(available from original source by typing CH2M Hill Halcrow in Google)

9. Reports on share falls at Mouchel
Mouchel Plummets Profit Warning
Crisis for Mouchel as Shares Dive and Cuthbert Quits
Mouchel Shares Plummet - Following Massive Accounting Error

10. Very interesting snippets of information sent to me by Halcrow engineers around the world who are HPS members (mostly deferred). (not available for general distribution)

11. Purchase of Scott Wilson by URS of San Fransisco.

Notes from these sources:

(1) Shows the Halcrow Trust (HT) on 28th September 2011 owned 15 million shares (see (1) above), which, valued at £5.64 (ex dividend) at an exchange rate of 1.57, comes to a total of $136 million. It also shows the need for the High Court to approve the deal

(2) Shows the history of Halcrow's profit and loss, debt-build up and number of employees from 2003 to 2010

(3) Shows graphs of the expected cashflows on earned pension benefits from which the total (undiscounted) payments £1,255 million for 2005 and £1,606 million for 2008 can be estimated.

(4) Shows the pensions fund deficit on 31st December 2010 (the latest figure available) was £149 million, and that the scheme members would qualify for the Pensions Protections Fund in the event it failed.

(5) Shows the HT beneficiaries are the "officers and employees and retired officers and employees"; and that the 3 Trustees of the HT have full discretion over the disposition of trust funds, even when it is self-serving.

(6) Shows the ease with which the HPS can be wound up; the procedure involved; and that the Trustees appointed by Halcrow can take majority decisions

(7) Shows that the HPS Trustees have asked the Halcrow Directors to put part of the proceeds into the HPS to reduce the deficit, but that the Directors have refused to do this.

(8) Shows that it was reported by the Times that £75 of the proceeds of the sale would go to the HPS. However, in (7c) the HPS states "There appears to be no truth in this part of the Times article and the HPS Trustees have written to the Times correcting this."

(9) Shows how rapidly the value of Mouchel (another UK consultant) shares fell when they realized they were "dead in the water" after profit warnings. The results for Halcrow for 2011 seem likely to be headed this way, if calculated in the normal way.

The HT is a discretionary trust with beneficiaries that include employees and ex-employees of Halcrow. The Trustees are appointed by Halcrow, and are allowed to be self-serving. When CH2M Hill pays the HT for its shares Halcrow, the HT Trustees can dispose of the funds in any way they see fit, with no obligation to pay off or reduce the deficit on the HPS which, according to (4) above.

See also the links to the Pension Protection Fund

NCE Reports:

Halcrow's CH2M Hill takeover comes after bad 2010

CH2M Hill takeover could see Halcrow expand into maintenance

Halcrow's new owners eye global markets: Jacque Rast first interview

Denver Post (note price equivalent to 260 million pounds!!!):

CH2M Hill acquiring British engineering firm Halcrow Group

Times Article:

Investigation into Halcrow pensions after US takeover