The National Union of Mineworkers and trustees of the Mineworkers Pension Scheme (MPS) have agreed to work together to look at proposals for a better pension deal for ex-miners, during a meeting organised by Ashfield MP Gloria De Piero.
The meeting was held in Parliament on Tuesday (June 26) and attended by Labour MPs from coalfield areas who make up a working group on the issue, representatives from the National Union of Mineworkers and MPS trustees.
A report prepared by pension experts and commissioned by the NUM was discussed at a previous meeting with MPs and the preferred option was put forward to the trustees at this meeting.
Due to the complicated nature of pension forecasting, the trustees and report authors agreed to meet separately to go over both these proposals, and alternative suggestions for improving ex-miners’ pensions that the trustees have been working on.
It is hoped that following these discussions, a position can be agreed on that MPs will take to the Treasury for consideration by the Chancellor.
Gloria said: “It was very positive meeting and it is great to see that the NUM and the trustees are now working together on this important issue in order to get the best outcome for MPS pensioners.
“Ex-miners and their widows have been getting too small a slice of the MPS pension pie for too long now and it is a huge step forward that real figures that would make a real difference to their pensions are now being discussed.”
The government became the guarantor of the Mineworkers Pension Scheme following the privatisation of the coal industry in the 1990s.
Since then any profits made by pension investments has been split 50/50 between the government and scheme members.
In its role as MPS guarantor, the Government has received £3.4bn and has never been required to pay a penny into the scheme.
This amount far exceeds forecasts made at the time the surplus sharing arrangement was agreed.