Mineworkers' Pension Scheme

April 23, 2019

I'm keeping the Mineworkers' Pension Scheme on the Government's radar and I have signed a letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, which calls for a formal review of the Mineworkers' Pension Scheme.


The letter puts forward the case that the 50 per cent share is not justified given the strong returns generated by the scheme and the absence of any payments into it by the Government.


The full text of the letter is as follows: 


Dear Chancellor,


We are writing to you regarding the surplus sharing arrangements for the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme and ways that we can ensure a fairer deal for former mineworkers.


The 1994 arrangement saw the UK Government agree to guarantee the scheme and all pensions in cash terms in return for a 50% share of any subsequent surpluses.


This has seen the Government receive a total of around £4.1 billion from the scheme since 1994, although it has not made direct payments into the scheme itself.


We want to fully recognise the importance of the Government guarantee and the protection that it provides to former miners and are clear that this must continue.


However we do believe that there is a strong case both for providing greater protection for pension bonuses and for revisiting the sharing arrangements. We understand that the trustees have been in communication with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) regarding long-term protection for bonuses and have put forward a proposal for consideration.


It is our belief that the strong returns generated by the scheme combined with the absence of direct payments from the Government make the continued withdrawal of a 50% share for the current arrangement difficult to justify.


Specifically, we call on the Government both to include a stronger level of protection for members’ bonuses as part of the guarantee and to consider taking a reduced share of the surplus to allow a greater proportion to be returned to mineworkers.


To this end, we would request that HM Treasury undertake a formal review of the surplus sharing arrangements, the case for reform and means of enhancing existing bonuses along with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.


We would additionally request clarification regarding the Minister with overall responsibility for the scheme as we understand that this position has not been formally confirmed.


We look forward to working with HM Treasury, BEIS, former mineworkers, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the trustees to assist with this and how we can work together to make sure that former mineworkers, their families and communities receive their fair share for their decades of hard work.

The following MPs have added their signatures to Nick Smith MP’s letter so far:


1.       Nigel Adams MP (CONS)


2.       Tonia Antoniazzi MP (LAB)


3.       Sir Kevin Barron MP (LAB)


4.       Ben Bradley MP (CONS)


5.       Kevin Brennan MP (LAB)


6.       Alan Brown MP (SNP)


7.       Chris Bryant MP (LAB)


8.       Sir William Cash MP (CONS)


9.       Yvette Cooper MP (LAB)


10.   Ann Clwyd MP (LAB)


11.   Wayne David MP (LAB)


12.   Gloria De Piero MP (LAB)


13.   Jonathan Edwards MP (PLAID)


14.   Julie Elliott MP (LAB)


15.   Chris Elmore MP (LAB)


16.   Chris Evans MP (LAB)


17.   Helen Goodman MP (LAB)


18.   David Hanson MP (LAB)


19.   Carolyn Harris MP (LAB)


20.   Dan Jarvis MP (LAB)


21.   Gerald Jones MP (LAB)


22.   Susan Elan Jones MP (LAB)


23.   Stephen Kinnock MP (LAB)


24.   Ian Lavery MP (LAB)


25.   John Mann MP (LAB)


26.   Conor McGinn MP (LAB)


27.   Ed Miliband MP (LAB)


28.   Jessica Morden MP (LAB)


29.   Grahame Morris MP (LAB)


30.   Albert Owen MP (LAB)


31.   Stephanie Peacock MP (LAB)


32.   Jo Platt MP (LAB)


33.   Dennis Skinner MP (LAB)


34.   Ruth Smeeth MP (LAB)


35.   Owen Smith MP (LAB)


36.   Gareth Snell MP (LAB)


37.   Alex Sobel MP (LAB)


38.   Jo Stevens MP (LAB)


39.   Nick Thomas-Symonds MP (LAB)



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