NUM SUPPORTS FINDINGS FROM BEIS COMMITTEE REPORT INTO MINEWORKERS’ PENSION SCHEME

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is supporting findings from the House of Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee Report into the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme released today (Thursday 29 April).

Campaigning for a review of the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme since 1999, the NUM believes that former mineworkers should be entitled to a greater return than the ‘option of a guarantee with a 50:50 split, take it or leave it’ imposed back in 1994.

Furthermore, it hopes that the evidence shared in the report will reinforce that it is in the best interests of a Government that truly champions a levelling up agenda to redirect its entitlement to the Investment Reserve of £1.2bn to pension members. 

Key findings from the report show:

  • The Scheme’s Trustees had little choice but to accept the Government’s proposal to divide future surpluses on a 50:50 basis, as a condition of securing the Government’s guarantee during the negotiations in 1994.
  • The 50:50 split was, and remains, arbitrary.
  • To date, the Government has received £4.4bn from the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme. This is already more than the 1994 expectations of what the Government would receive.
  • The Government has not paid any funds into the Scheme since the surplus sharing arrangement was put in place in 1994.

Based on the evidence, the report concludes that ‘with the benefit of hindsight, it is clear that the government has already profited greatly from the Scheme. The Government must acknowledge that continuation of the arrangements in their current form deserves a review and a better outcome for pensioners should be found.’

General Secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers, Chris Kitchen, comments: “The NUM welcomes the BEIS Report and supports the implementation of the recommendations as soon as possible.

“It is clear from the findings that the current arrangements in respect of the 50:50 surplus sharing arrangement are not fair. The Government has so far received more than was ever expected at the inception of the guarantee, and therefore should forgo any claim to the Investment Reserve Fund.

“We urge the Government to accept the recommendations and allow the MPS Trustees to redress the unfair imbalance. Mineworkers who paid money into the Scheme should be the ones that benefit, not Governments that have never put a penny in.”

The report refers to the ‘inadequate pensions’ received by former mineworkers. It shares that the median pension is only £65 a week, so 50 per cent of members have a pension of less than £65 a week, 25 per cent less than £35 a week and 10 per cent less than £18 per week.

Kitchen concludes: “This report is the result of years of hard work and dedication by the NUM, as well as many others – from individual MPS Pensioners to MP’s. We all know that change is needed and believe this is the perfect opportunity for a Government committed to ‘levelling up’ to do something tangible about it.”

For further details about the report please visit: Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme (parliament.uk)

Ends