BTPF Constitution


Constitution and Standing Orders – Adopted at the AGM held on 14th October 2021
1. The Federation Exists
To promote the non-political and non-sectarian interests of all persons (and their dependants) who have been employed by an organisation associated with the railway industry (including subsidiaries of what was British Rail) and who are members of one of the Federation’s affiliated bodies (see clause 3 below). In particular the federation will represent the interests of members in:
a) All matters relating to Railway Pensions and State Benefits
b) All matters relating to Travel Facilities and other associated concessions applicable in retirement.
c) Providing advice/help wherever possible in any matter affecting the general welfare of individual members.
In addition to individuals no longer employed in the railway industry, branches can, at their discretion, recruit active railway staff and non-railway pensioners as Associate Members.
The Federation encourages Branches to promote social activities amongst members.2. Officers
2.1 The Federation shall have a President and any number of Vice Presidents. Any new President or Vice Presidents must be agreed at the Annual General Meeting.

2.2 The National Officers of the Federation shall be:

ChairmanVice Chairman
SecretaryAssistant Secretary
TreasurerMembership Secretary
Website ManagerAssistant Website Manager
Director of the Railways
Pension Trustee Company
Ltd when sponsored by BTPF
Travel Facilities Representative

2.3 The Chairman and Vice Chairman shall be elected for three years after which they shall be eligible for re-election. All other Officers except the Trustee Director shall be elected for one year and shall be eligible for re-election.All nominations must be proposed and seconded by separate Branches/Areas/Councils/Associations and received by the Secretary at least 28 days prior to the date of the AGM, together with a commentary/background. The nominations and commentaries to be circulated to Branches and Area Councils to enable consideration of the merits of the candidates. The only exception being that in the event of no nominations being received by the closing date, nominations will then be accepted from the floor at the Annual General Meeting.

2.4. A National Committee comprising the National Officers, the President and the Vice Presidents will meet from time to time to determine issues for recommending to Federation Meetings (see para. 4.1). Other members may be invited to attend in a supportive role when deemed necessary by the Chairman of the National Committee. The quorum will be 5.

3. Membership
3.1 The Federation is made up of several formally affiliated bodies. Organisations can be affiliated at any full Federation meeting. Any newly formed branch should be aligned with an appropriate Association, Council, Railway Business, or recognised group, wherever practicable. Failing this, Branches may be established on an individual or “Stand Alone” basis and each such instance must be approved at a subsequent full Federation meeting.

3.2 Delegates to Federation meetings shall be elected by each body on the basis of one delegate per 500 members, or part thereof.

4. Meetings
4.1 The Federation shall meet not less than twice per annum, but an Extraordinary General Meeting may be called on the written request of not less than three delegates (representing three member bodies). Due notice will be given to member bodies, and only the business for which the special meeting is called shall be dealt with.

4.2 The first meeting of the year shall include the Annual General Meeting, when the National Officers for the ensuing year and any new President or Vice Presidents shall be elected, and a financial statement in respect of the preceding year shall be presented.

4.3 The Chairman, or in his absence the Vice-Chairman, shall preside over each meeting.

4.4 The ordinary rules of debate shall apply. The President and Vice-Presidents, Officers and Delegates shall each have one vote. With the exception of Constitution changes, motions having a simple majority shall be considered “carried”. For proposed changes to the Constitution, two thirds of the vote must be in favour of the change to gain acceptance. In the event of a tie for any motion, the Chairman will have the casting vote.

4.5 No delegate will be accepted if the nominating body has not paid the appropriate levy.

4.6 Member bodies may send “visitors” to Federation meetings; they may participate in debate but are not entitled to a vote.

4.7 Items for the agenda including Constitution changes, (but excluding emergency items), shall be sent to the Secretary not less than 28 days prior to the meeting, and shall be notified to delegates not later than 14 days before the meeting. Emergency items will be advised without time restriction.

4.8 The Secretary shall send copies of the minutes to the Secretary or nominated member of each affiliated body, as soon as possible after each meeting.

4.9 Policy decisions of the Federation shall be binding on all affiliated bodies.

5. Finance
5.1 An annual Affiliation Fee shall be paid in January by each affiliated body, based on its number of Members including Associate Members at 31st December immediately preceding. The fee shall be decided at the last full Federation meeting of the calendar year.

5.2 Fees shall be paid to the Treasurer, who alone is authorised to receive monies and, together with another Officer, make payments on behalf of the Federation for day to day expenses of the Federation. A deputy may be appointed by a Federation or a National Committee Meeting for a specified period.

5.3 The monies of the Federation shall be deposited in a bank or similar account under the title “B.T.P.F” Signatories for withdrawal and signing of cheques shall be Chairman, Treasurer, Secretary; any two being required. Internet banking (BACS) undertaken by one of these signatories is acceptable but one of the other signatories of the Account should check the BACS payments and initial the Bank Statements at each Federation Meeting.

5.4 Apart from the provisions of Para. 5.2, the National Committee has delegated authority to incur expenditure up to £500 provided at least 5 officers (or the majority of officers present at a meeting if that is greater) approve. Any sum in excess of this must be referred to a Federation Meeting.

5.5 Finances will be audited annually by an independent Examiner and will be approved by the Annual General Meeting.

6. Honoraria
Shall be paid as decided at the Annual General Meeting each year.

7. A sub-committee, selected from the Officers of the Federation, shall be the Authority for entering into negotiation with any appropriate organisation on behalf of the membership.

8. In furtherance of the interests of the Federation, particular issues may be remitted to the National Committee, working parties or sub-committees drawn from the membership. Findings and recommendations are to be reported to a full meeting of the Federation for decision.

9. Any organisation which has an ‘affinity’ with the railway industry but where by reasons of their constitution would only marginally benefit from affiliation may be considered for ‘associate’ membership on individual merit. Where this is agreed, a donation would be payable on admission and each January thereafter, the amounts being subject to review and adjustment as appropriate.

10. The Federation Meeting will decide by majority who it supports as its nominee for the position of a Director of the Railways Pension Trustee Company Ltd whenever an election becomes due. Nominations should be invited by the Secretary at least 28 days before the meeting with a response needed at least 7 days prior to the meeting.

11. The British Transport Pensioners Federation and the Retired Railway Officers Society make a joint nomination for Trustee on the 1994 Pensioners Section Committee. In the event that it is agreed that this should be a member of the British Transport Pensioners Federation then the Federation meeting will decide by majority who it supports as the nominee for the position.

12. The Federation may be closed down provided two thirds of delegates (as defined by Clause 3 of this Constitution) vote in favour of such action at a Meeting called in accordance with Clause 4. In such an eventuality, any Cash Reserves of the Federation, excluding that within the Memorial Fund, will be distributed to those Branches still in existence at the date of the meeting pro-rata to their membership reflected in the most recent Capitation fee paid in January or February of the year of the Meeting.

If all Branches are disbanded at the same time as the Federation, the Reserves will be donated to charities agreed at the Meeting whose aim is to broadly assist retired people. If money still exists in the Memorial Fund, this will be passed in Trust to a Branch of the Federation as nominated and agreed at the Meeting for that Branch to continue oversight of the Railway Memorial at Alrewas. If no Branch is prepared to accept this responsibility, the Memorial Fund will be passed to the National Memorial Arboretum.