- Gerald Jones, MP for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney, demands UK Government give fairer share of pension scheme profits to ex-miners
- In 1990s Government agreed 50/50 share of miners’ pension fund surplus in exchange for acting as pension scheme guarantor
- Government has since collected £4.4 billion from the arrangement, while average scheme payment to ex-miners is £84 per week
- MP calls for Government to review 50/50 sharing arrangements immediately and do right by thousands of ex-miners living in poverty
- Hundreds of former miners in Merthyr Tydfil/Upper Rhymney Valley affected by pension fund surplus sharing arrangements – changed from 70/30 to 50/50 in 1994
Gerald Jones, MP for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney, urged the UK Government to commit to an immediate review of the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme (MPS).
In a House of Commons debate on 11 June 2019, Gerald Jones spoke alongside other MPs to call for the Government to review the sharing arrangements for the MPS fund surplus, currently set at 50/50 between the Government and the miners since 1994, when British Coal was privatised.
Although the Government has not paid any money into the pension scheme since 1987, the current sharing arrangements have seen the Government collect £4.4 billion from the sharing arrangements, while the average payment from the pension scheme to retired miners is just £84 per week.
Many ex-miners across South Wales and the UK are currently living in poverty, and Gerald Jones demanded that the Government act now to “address the injustice and unfairness felt by thousands of former miners”.
Gerald Jones, MP for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney, said: “It seems grossly unfair that miners are receiving an average pension of £84 per week—in some cases, a lot less. If we contrast this with the £4.4 billion the Government have received, it is hard—in fact, nigh-on impossible—to justify. It is indeed, as others have mentioned, a disgrace.
“It is certainly not fair, as the Government have not had to contribute anything to the pension scheme. They must have made far more money than was ever forecast to be the case. It is therefore time for a review.”
Responding on behalf of the Government during the debate, Minister for Business and Industry Andrew Stephenson would not commit to a review of the pension scheme, stating that while he supported the proposals for a review put forward by the pension scheme’s trustees, the decision over a review was one to be taken by the Treasury, which is currently analysing the six different proposals made by the trustees.