Newsletter No. 19
HALCROW PENSIONERS ASSOCIATION
Newsletter No 19 : June 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 to remove your name.
Meeting with the Pensions Regulator
Three members of the HPA and our solicitor met with senior staff of the Pensions Regulator on Monday 20th June and received from them an explanation of their involvement. HPA presented a list of 37 questions and were advised that some of these will be answered in a report under Section 89 which would be issued to the HPS trustees within the next two weeks‚ although there would be statutory restrictions on the disclosure of information. The HPA trusts and hopes that the HPS Trustee will share this information with all members of the HPS. HPA stressed to the Regulator that the report should be issued in time for the road shows, as members would need time to digest and confer on the information in the report before deciding how to respond to the ultimatum.
TPR revealed that they had received an application for a Regulated Apportionment Arrangement (RAA) on 28th April and had granted approval on 29th April. They had failed to mention this information when writing to HPA's solicitor in their letter of 18th May. TPR claimed they informed all "directly affected parties" of the granting of the RAA and of a 28-day time limit within which to appeal to the Upper Tribunal. However, they did not consider the HPS members or the HPA solicitor to be directly affected parties. HPS members might beg to differ.
Legal action based on the information revealed at the meeting is now under consideration. Please watch out for a further newsletter which we hope to issue within a few days.
Scheme members have been invited to attend roadshows. These will provide an opportunity for HPA members to ensure that other scheme members are made aware of HPA's existence. HPA plans to have representatives at the roadshows and this will be an opportunity to meet them and share ideas. We have received a report that roadshows at Milton Keynes, Birmingham, Warrington and Edinburgh may have been cancelled due to insufficient demand.
The situation with HPS continues to attract the attention of the pensions press. No doubt many other companies will be watching with interest and will be tempted to follow CH2M's precedent for reducing their pension scheme liabilities. John Ralfe is following the HPS saga closely and recently had another article in the Financial Times. To avoid having to hack through the paywall you can read the text here.
What should HPS Members Do?
Common sense dictates that in a fluid situation, as we have here, making a decision is best left to the latest opportunity ie just prior to 5 August 2016 deadline.
Please Spread the Word About HPA
Given the current challenging situation which has major implications for HPS members' future financial security, HPA wants to reach out to as many members of HPS as possible. The ongoing media campaign should help in enhancing awareness but please dredge through your individual memories and make all former colleagues who might have an interest in the Halcrow Pension Scheme aware of the current situation and of HPA's existence. HPA endeavours to represent all members of HPS, not just those in receipt of a pension.
If you haven't been with HPA from the start or want to remind yourself of previous events then you can browse through the previous newsletters for which there is a full list here.