A pension agreement between the National Union of Mineworkers and the Mineworkers Pension Scheme is “just the first step”, according to a pensions lobbyist.
The agreement was reached at a meeting organised by Gloria De Piero, Ashfield MP, where both the NUM and MPS trustees consulted on a new deal both the miners and the government were likely to accept.
However, former Mansfield miner Mick Newton, of the UK Mineworkers’ Pension Association, believes that while an agreement on the terms of a proposal is positive, more needs to be done to claim back money “lost” by ex-miners and their families since 1994
He said: “What we have been campaigning toward for several years involves accessing money taken from the pension fund and returning it to the miners.
“The original agreement was for the miners’ pension fund to be split 50/50 between miners and the government.”
However, he says that after taxation it has become more like 70/30 in favour of the government – earning billions for the government at the expense of former miners.
Mr Newton said: “We call this the great pension deception, because the pension fund was worth £27 billion back in 1994 and is now worth £11bn.
“We want a three -year review set up monitoring miners’ pensions, and for money to be returned to the miners and their families.”
Ms De Piero’s meeting featured Labour MPs from other coalfield areas, who discussed proposals on a new deal to put to the treasury.
She said: “It was a positive meeting and great to see the NUM and the trustees working together on this important issue to get the best outcome.
“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.”
Mr Newton’s organisation has a petition with more than 50,000 signatures campaigning for miners’ pensions, including 5,000 former miners from this area.