Grahame Morris MP

Member of Parliament for Easington

Easington MP Calls for Pension Justice for Mineworkers and their Widows

February 14, 2019 Blog 0

A number of constituents have contacted me about the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme, below is a list of actions Labour MPs representing former coal mining areas and I have taken to address this issue. 

Key Actions

  • A Labour government will commit to an immediate review of the mineworkers’ pension scheme and British Coal superannuation scheme surplus, sharing arrangements between government and scheme beneficiaries.

(Labour Manifesto: For The Many, Not The Few, p. 55)

  • EDM 235 – MINEWORKERS PENSION SCHEME

Primary Sponsor: Grahame Morris MP

That this House believes the Government should enter into open and fair negotiations with the Mineworkers Pension Scheme Trustees; recognises the 50-50 surplus sharing arrangement is grossly disproportionate for the Government guarantee; believes that the scheme should solely operate for the benefit of its members who contributed to the fund and worked in some of the most dangerous conditions to the detriment of their health; notes that successive governments have taken significant dividends in excess of £8 billion from the fund which would have otherwise improved the pensions and quality of life for former mineworkers; and, in view of the sums taken from the fund, calls on the Government to reach a fairer surplus sharing agreement to benefit former mineworkers. 

  • The Trustees would of course welcome an increase in the surplus sharing percentage, and as you may be aware have approached the Guarantor in the past to request meetings to discuss a potential change to the members share. The Minister has made it clear during recent discussions that the Government is not willing to discuss surplus sharing,

(Letter: Allen Young (N.East Pensioner Trustee Representative) to Grahame Morris MP, 6th December 2018)

  • Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme: Written question – 183336

Grahame Morris (Easington) – Asked on: 24 October 2018

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will launch a public inquiry to investigate concerns expressed by mineworkers on the then government’s influence and role in determining the surplus sharing arrangement for the Mineworkers Pension Scheme.

Claire PerryAnswered on: 29 October 2018

The Mineworkers Pension Scheme has worked well for all parties and credit must go to the Trustees for their excellent investment strategy and administration of the Scheme. As the Trustees have acknowledged, the Government guarantee has enabled an investment strategy that has resulted in scheme members receiving payments 33% higher than they would have been had they received only their actual earned pension up to privatisation. I do not therefore agree that a public enquiry is needed.

  • Occupational Pensions: Written question – 178493

Grahame Morris (Easington) – Asked on: 12 October 2018

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, for how many pension schemes the Government acts as a guarantor using a similar structure to that of the Mineworkers Pension Scheme.

Claire Perry – Answered on: 17 October 2018

The Government acts as Guarantor for two schemes for former railworkers, the Railways Pension Scheme – 1994 Pensioners Section and the British Rail Superannuation Fund (BRSF). These schemes each have arrangements for sharing surpluses but the mechanisms are different to those in the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme.