City MP backing fight over miners’ pension ‘injustice’

MP Sharon Hodgson (fourth from left) at a meeting over miners' pensions.
MP Sharon Hodgson (fourth from left) at a meeting over miners' pensions.

An MP is calling for changes to ‘end the injustice’ over the miners’ pension scheme.

Sharon Hodgson, MP for Wasington and Sunderland West, says it is ‘shameful’ the Government is pocketing 50% of the surplus from the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme investments.

It is a complete disregard for mineworkers and their families who rely upon this pension

Sharon Hodgson MP

Mrs Hodgson this week attended a meeting, organised by Gloria De Piero MP, for Labour MPs from coalfield areas, the National Union of Mineworkers and trustees of the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme.

And, she hailed the meeting a success.

The aim of the meeting was to discuss with the trustees of the pension scheme about if they would support a renegotiation of the pension’s surplus sharing arrangement, which currently sees the Government pocketing 50% of any surplus that the pension investments make.

The Government has made £3.4billion directly from the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme, but has not paid in a penny, and is still making £51million a year from the arrangement.

None of the surplus has been distributed out to the mineworkers in the pension scheme.

During the meeting, it was agreed they would all work together to present a case to the Treasury for a review of the surplus sharing arrangement scheme and protection of existing bonus payments for scheme members.

The next step will be to collate the financial information needed so the case can be presented to Treasury ministers and officials.

Mrs Hodgson MP, said: “It is shameful that the Government is pocketing so much of the surplus made from the mineworkers’ pension scheme, yet have not contributed in any way to the pot of money along with scheme members not benefitting from the surplus growth.

“This is a complete disregard for mineworkers and their families who rely upon this pension to support themselves and it is welcome that there is an agreement between Labour MPs, the NUM and the trustees of the pension scheme to make a strong case to ministers to review the current arrangements and end this injustice.”