Ashfield MP hails miners’ pensions talks a success

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Ashfield MP Gloria De Piero has hailed a meeting to fight for a fair deal for former miners over pension payments as a success.

The meeting, held between Ms De Piero, other Labour MPs who represent coalfield constituencies, including Bolsover MP Dennis Skiner, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and trustees of the Mineworker’s Pensions scheme, took place at the House of Commons.

The purpose was to discuss how a better pension deal for former miners and their widows can be achieved.

Ms De Piero organised the meeting to enable MPs and the NUM to speak directly to the trustees, regarding whether they would be willing to ask the Government to review the surplus sharing arrangements.

The current arrangement sees the treasury and scheme members share any profits made by investments of the pension fund 50/50.

Ms De Piero said this has resulted in the Government pocketing billions of pounds without having to make any payments into the scheme.

After discussing the issue, all members agreed to work together to present the case to the treasury.

They hope for a review of the MPs surplus sharing arrangement, and protection of existing bonus payments for scheme members.

Ms De Piero said: “The meeting was good natured and informative, but most importantly it ended with real progress being made, with MPs, the NUM and the trustees agreeing to work together for the benefit of all the ex-miners out there.”

Following the meeting, the next step will involve collating the financial information needed, in order to present the case to treasury officials.