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South-Eastern Rail Franchise

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:03 pm on 23rd April 2019.

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Photo of Andrew Jones Andrew Jones Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport) 5:03 pm, 23rd April 2019

The Pensions Regulator is an independent body and the pensions that we are talking about are those of private companies, so the role for the Government is not a direct one. Operators are currently liable for the full pensions risk during their franchise term. These competitions—including the east midlands competition, which was mentioned by Lilian Greenwood—included a risk-sharing mechanism with the Government that actually reduced the risk to which operators are exposed. Under this mechanism, the operators retain risks that they are able to manage. There have been some changes, but they are about risk-sharing for the future; so there was a notable change in the franchises.