Pension scheme meeting booked

Yvonne Fovargue
Yvonne Fovargue

Trustees of the mineworkers’ pension scheme (MPS) have agreed to meet with MPs, raising hopes the terms of the fund could be reformed.

A campaign calling for the Government to rethink the “scandalous” amount it takes out of the fund has attracted support from borough representatives.

Since the pension fund was privatised in 1994, Conservative, Labour and coalition governments have taken 50 per cent of the surplus amounts.

This is because the Treasury under-writes the scheme but some politicians now say the funds taken out - some £3bn - far outweighs their risk, prompting the calls for reform.

Trustees of the MPS have this week contacted Labour MPs and representatives from the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) agreeing to their request.

As a signatory to the letter requesting a meeting, Yvonne Fovargue MP said: “I am pleased that the concerted efforts of MPs representing former mining areas has resulted in the offer of a meeting .

“I believe that a way forward must be found that improves the current scheme for the remaining members.”

Wigan councillors last year backed a motion calling on the public accounts committee to review the terms of the scheme. The motion was proposed by Labour’s Coun Keith Cunliffe. He said: “This meeting is the latest in a 20 year campaign to get fairness and justice and there have been many false dawns, but I am cautiously optimistic.

“A 15 per cent take is more realistic and reflects the actual risk for the Government.”