Railway Clearing System Superannuation Fund Association

The Railway Clearing System was formed in 1842 as a way of dividing fares between different train companies in the days when a plethora of railway companies owned different sections of the line. The Railway Clearing System was run by a Clearing Committee made up of delegates of the constituent companies.

A superannuation fund was first proposed in 1844, but it failed as the constituent companies who were approached were not interested. Similar attempts in 1849 and the early 1850s suffered the same fate. However, in 1872 a proposal was accepted by both the Clearing Committee and constituent companies and in the same year an Act to establish the Railway Clearing System Superannuation Fund was given Royal Assent.

The Fund was run by a committee of management, six appointed annually by the Clearing Committee and six by contributing members. The Fund was operated for the benefit of salaried officers and clerks of Railway Clearing House and salaried officers and clerks of any railway company or joint committee who were parties to the Clearing System established in 1850. For a 2½% contribution from members and employers an annuity would be paid at retirement, if the member was over 60. The annuity would amount to a percentage of the average salary earned whilst the individual was a member of the Fund. Other benefits were available on resignation, death or retirement through ill-health.

The Fund was closed in 1966, by which time it had 48,493 members: the Fund was particularly important for the employees of small companies who would not have been in a position to establish their own pension scheme for staff.

For those interested in exploring the history of the RCS Superannuation Fund further, G. Robertson’s A History of the Railway Clearing System Superannuation Fund Corporation contains an appendix with a list of the railway companies and joint committees who participated in the fund and a table of the Fund’s membership in 1905 arranged by railway company or joint committee. The National Archives holds records of the Fund, in Divisions RAIL 1032, 1080-1097.

Source of information

All the information provided on this page is from G. Robertson ‘A History of the Railway Clearing System Superannuation Fund Corporation’.

The Pensions Archive Trust - Registered Charity No. 1122633    

Chairman - Alan Herbert     Secretary - Peter Dawes