MPs call for better deal on miners’ pensions

Barnsley East MP
Barnsley East MP
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EX-MINERS should get a bigger share of billions of pounds generated by their pension pots, according to Yorkshire MPs.

The Government has confirmed it has received more than £3bn from the Mineworkers Pension Scheme over the last 20 years.

The bonus is the result of a deal struck by ministers in 1994 with the trustees of the British Coal pensions schemes.

Under the terms of the agreement any surplus created through the schemes would be shared on a 50-50 basis between the miners and the Government.

However, the size of the surplus created and the fact the Government was benefitting despite not making any contributions over the period, has angered MPs from across former mining areas.

Barnsley East MP Michael Dugher is among several Labour MPs across Yorkshire to sign a letter calling on the Mineworkers Pension Scheme trustees to agree a fairer deal.

Mr Dugher said: “Thousands of miners from Barnsley and across Yorkshire have worked extremely hard to build up a pension pot for their retirement.

“I believe they and their widows should have a much greater share of the huge surplus that has been built up.

“This country owes a huge debt of gratitude to our former miners. We owe it to them and their families secure a far better, fairer deal for them.”

A parliamentary question to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy revealed the scale of the benefit the Government has enjoyed from the miners’ pension deal.

Since 1994, the exchequer has received £3,4bn but not made any payments into the scheme in its role as guarantor.

The letter says: “Our constituents believe that this arrangement now needs to be reviewed so that the former miners and their widows benefit from the scheme’s success to a greater or lesser extent.”

The 23 MPs to sign the letter have requested a meeting in Parliament, along with a representative of the National Union of Mineworkers, to discuss how miners can receive a bigger share of the proceeds from the pension fund.