Halcrow Pensioners Association

Newsletter No. 15


 Newsletter No 15 : April 2016

You have been sent this newsletter because you may be a member of the Halcrow Pension Scheme. If you are not a member then please use the unsubscribe link at the bottom of this email to remove your name from the mailing list or email the webmaster at halcrowpensioners.org.uk to remove your name.

Reminder of 2016 Annual General Meeting

The 2016 HPA AGM will take place in a sub-forum of the HPA forum between 17th and 24th April. Only members of HPA who have paid their annual membership since October 2015 will be given access. Those members who have previously joined the forum to re-acquaint themselves with it. If you cannot see the AGM forum please contact the webmaster. Anyone who has not previously joined the forum should do so by following these instructions. Note that you will not be able to join the meeting until notified that you have been given access rights (this should happen with 24 hours).

Those who have forgotten their password can reset it using the "Forgot your password link". If you have any difficulties then please email the HPA webmaster.

The meeting will be the member's annual opportunity to contribute to the direction and operation of HPA. The proposed schedule for the meeting is:

Stage Date
Commencement of AGM 17 April
Discussion 18 to 21 April
 Voting  22 to 24 April

The agenda is here and the minutes of the 2015 AGM are here. Nominations or proposed items to be discussed at the AGM can be posted in the 2016 AGM forum to provide opportunity for others to view and, if appropriate, comment on them. Alternatively, please email them to the secretary. An updated agenda will be issued at the start of the meeting. The AGM is the opportunity for the members to provide their views on the direction of HPA and how to react if changes are proposed to HPS.

Call for Committee Members

The HPA committee is conscious that it is predominantly formed of people formerly based in Burderop Park and is seeking to broaden its membership both in terms of geographical coverage and age. Please consider if you could help and contribute to the deliberations, much of which is conducted electronically so location is not a bar to committee membership. Through this involvement you will also improve your understanding of pensions-related issues. If interested then please  express your interest in the forum or email the HPA Secretary who can also provide additional information about what the committee does.

2016 Subscriptions

For those who haven't already paid, the HPA treasurer looks forward to receiving your 2016 subscription. It remains at £10. Payment by bank transfer is preferred because there are no transaction charges although you can also pay by credit card through our PayPal portal. Details of the payment methods are here. Please remember to notify the treasurer if paying by direct debit so that money and names can be matched. Access to the 2016 AGM will be restricted to those who have paid their 2016 subscription.

Other Pension Scheme News

HPS isn't the only pension scheme with funding problems. One which has been making the news recently is the BHS staff pension scheme and there is discussion about whether the previous owner still has responsibiity towards the pension scheme deficit (could this be applied to HPS?). Also in the current news is the Tata / British Steel pension scheme. Will it be transferred to the Pension Protection Fund as discussed here or will the Pensions Regulator put pressure on the foreign parent company to make good the funding deficit? The information here shows that scheme's funding ratio is good compared to HPS and the size of the deficit may be less than for HPS. Page 3 of that document also provides some useful definitions of some pension terminology.

Membership Database

One of the motions passed at the 2015 AGM was to collect location data for members in order to identify which MPs might be best targeted in the event that parliamentary support is needed (the Pensions Regulator may be more responsive to MPs than it is to pension scheme members). A field has been added in the newsletter subscriber database. All newsletter recipients are therefore requested to check and update their data using the link to their personal preferences at the bottom of the email newsletter. If you have any difficulties please contact the webmaster.

Pension Protection Fund Status

Updated graphs showing the status of the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) are presented here and some observations from the PPF Purple Book 2015 are presented here including comparison of HPS with other schemes monitored by the PPF. The Purple Book is published annually by the Pension Protection Fund and the Pensions Regulator. It provides comprehensive data and analysis on the defined benefit pensions' landscape.

Please Spread the Word About HPA

Please make all friends and acquaintances who might have an interest in the Halcrow Pension Scheme aware of the current situation and of HPA's existence. Use the link at the bottom of the email newsletter to send a copy to anyone else. It is better that they get informed more than once rather than not at all. If changes to the HPS are proposed then there may be a limited time available to react.

Burderop Park

If anyone is wondering what is happening to Burderop Park which CH2M sold one year ago, there is a link here to material displayed at a recent public consultation held at Burderop Park.

Previous Newsletters

If you haven't been with HPA from the start then you might be interested to browse through the previous newsletters. There is a full list here.