What is the RPS?

The Railways Pension Scheme has nearly 340,000 active and retired members and represents more than 150 rail companies. Commonly known as the RPS, it is one of the UK’s largest pension arrangements.

RPS at a glance 2020

You may be eligible to join if your employer has a section in the RPS.

The RPS is divided into the 1994 Pensioners Section, Shared Cost Arrangement, Defined Benefit Arrangement, Defined Contribution Arrangement, Omnibus Section, and Industry-Wide Defined Contribution Section.

Employers may set up more than one arrangement in the Scheme and more than one section of the Shared Cost Arrangement.

There are several advantages to the RPS:

  • The sections' assets are combined into pooled investment funds, which mean they benefit from economies of scale in terms of management costs and access to a wide range of investments.

  • There is a single Trustee which oversees investments management and governance.

  • Movement of employees between participating rail companies is simplified, and it may be possible to change employer while staying in the Scheme. Check with your pensions administrator Railpen by emailing csu@railpen.com or telephone the Helpline on 0800 012 1117. Please quote your pension reference number in all communications with Railpen.


The RPS was set up on 1 October 1994 during privatisation of the railway industry, when all members and assets in the former BR Pension Scheme were transferred over.

How the RPS looked at the end of 201​8:

Scheme Structure (2018)