Halcrow Pensioners Association

Newsletter No. 27


 Newsletter No 27 : April 2017

Reminder of 2017 Annual General Meeting

In accordance with HPA's constitution, an Annual General Meeting shall take place in April and notice was given in Newsletter No. 26. The meeting is about to start and the schedule is:

Stage Date
Commencement of AGM  20 April
Discussion  20 to 24 April
Voting  25 to 27 April

The agenda is here and the minutes of the 2016 AGM are here. Nominations or proposed items to be discussed at the AGM can be posted in the 2017 AGM forum to provide opportunity for others to view and, if appropriate, comment on them. Alternatively, please email them (also any apologies) to the webmaster. An updated agenda will be issued before the meeting. The AGM is the opportunity for the members to provide their views on the direction and strategy of HPA.

The HPA committee is seeking new members, particularly those who are deferred pensioner scheme members. If you would like to help or would like to improve your understanding of pensions-related issues then please contact the HPA secretary who can also provide additional information about the committee activities. Distance is not a problem as most committee discussion takes place using the internet.

2017 Subscriptions
For those who haven't already paid, the HPA treasurer looks forward to receiving your 2017 subscription. It remains at £10 as agreed at the 2016 AGM. 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. Access to the 2017 AGM will be restricted to those who have paid their 2017 subscription. If you have paid then please check that you have access to the forum. If you haven't registered then please do so or if you have forgotten your forum registration details then please email the webmaster. 

Something to Read
The  DWP is currently holding a consultation to seek views on suggested measures to help ensure security and sustainability in defined benefit (DB) pension schemes. The consultation closes on 14th May so there's still time to express your views on how a situation similar to HPS can be avoided in the future. You may also want to read the report by the parliamentary committee which looked at defined benefit pension schemes. The British Steel Pension Scheme is an ongoing saga similar to HPS but with much greater transparancy about the discussions (there's a report about the company offering to put in a one-off payment of £520M - use your favourite search engine to get more details).
The Future
The need for HPA continues and among the possible ongoing tasks are:
1.    To closely monitor HPS2 and watch out for CH2M trying to reduce pensions further or claim back contributions on the grounds of the scheme being over-funded (a few years of higher inflation could create this situation).
2.    To lobby for improvement of legislation to prevent companies with complex corporate structures shifting profits and evading pension liabilities (which they will look on as another form of taxation.
3.    To absorb the lessons learned during the past few months.
4.    To pass on these lessons to the wider community of those whose DB pensions will now be at great risk from the CH2M/Halcrow “success”.

Previous Newsletters
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.