In a recent House of Commons debate on private pensions schemes, Alistair Carmichael, MP for the Shetlands and the Orkneys, criticised some major employers in the UK for failing to pay their pensioners discretionary inflationary increases for their pre-1997 service. Carmichael, whose constituency includes companies such as BP, Shell and Exxon, delivered an eloquent and fervent speech, saying there was “a fundamental point of fairness at stake”, condemning such organisations who would have encouraged their staff to sign up to the company pension scheme, with the latter’s expectation of receiving annual increases in line with inflation during retirement.  The MP maintained that pensions “are simply deferred income, with our being paid later, after we have stopped working, for the service we have done.”  He went on to say that the corporates “don’t seem to understand that they are the inheritors of businesses built by others and that those others are

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Letter to MPs – Pensions Earned Pre-1997 – fair annual cost of living increases for pensioners are needed

Dear XXXXXX                   Date  MP for XXXXXXXXXXXXX I write to seek your support for our campaign to achieve fair annual cost of living increases for elderly pensioners whose incomes are hugely impacted by inflation. These are the thousands of members of UK defined benefit (DB) company pension schemes who receive no or only limited cost of living increases on their pensions earned before 1997.  You will be aware of the debate on DB schemes in Parliament on 17 January and the evidence submitted by pensioner action groups to the Works and Pensions Committee last October. The predicament of BP, HP and other pensioners highlighted on both occasions resonates with the parlous situation faced for many years by members of the two Reuters UK final salary pension schemes.  I am a member of the Reuters Pension Review Group (PRG), formed by Reuters DB pensioners

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Reply to PRG on behalf of the Minister for Work and Pensions

From: Ministerial Correspondence, Caxton House, Tothill Street, LONDON SW1H 9DA  Our Ref: TO2024/12322 19 February 2024 Dear Ms Dean, Thank you for your email of 9 February to the Minister for Pensions about the Reuters Pension Scheme. Government Ministers receive a large volume of correspondence and they are unable to reply personally on every occasion. I have been asked to respond. You will understand that neither Ministers nor their officials can comment on an individual case or scheme, however, it might help if I explain why there can be differences in the treatment of benefits earned before and after 1997 and between schemes. Before April 1997, there was no statutory requirement on defined benefit schemes to increase pensions once in payment, apart from any Guaranteed Minimum Pension element (paid in place of the additional State Pension) earned between April 1988 and April 1997 which must be increased by

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Why have the net assets of RPF fallen significantly in 2022? 

Sharp-eyed pensioners were concerned when they spotted that Reuters Pension Fund assets had dropped by more than a billion pounds between 2021 and 2022. The latest accounts show a 39% drop in assets from 2.8 billion pounds to 1.7 billion. This information is from the Reuters Pension Fund Website – Members Information – Questions and Answers. “A fall in RPF’s asset value could be concerning when viewed in isolation.  However, RPF’s goal is to create an investment strategy which meets the pensions due (“liabilities”).  So, we primarily focus on how the asset value compares to the measured liabilities whilst ensuring there is a sufficient level of highly liquid assets in the fund to meet ongoing cashflow requirements. RPF uses a risk management strategy called “liability driven investment” or “LDI”, where the investment manager creates a portfolio of UK government bonds (known as “gilts”) and inflation-linked gilts which is designed

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