Carmarthen Journal

Anger at pension reform rejection

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THE UK Government has been accused of delivering a “slap in the face” to members of the pension scheme for mineworker­s after rejecting calls by MPS to make reforms.

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee had urged ministers to tackle an “historic injustice” in the scheme and transfer £1.2 billion to the fund.

The move would have given a £14 increase to the average weekly pension of £84, according to MPS.

The committee published the UK Government’s response, which rejected recommenda­tions the MPS said would have delivered a better outcome for pensioners.

Darren Jones, who chairs the committee, said: “Members of the Mineworker­s’ Pension Scheme will be deeply disappoint­ed at the intransige­nt message of the Government’s response to our report.

“It represents a slap in the face for pension scheme members that the Government is continuing its ‘take it or leave it’ approach on arrangemen­ts around the Government guarantee.“

Since privatisat­ion of the scheme in 1994, the Government has received 50% of surpluses in its value, in return for providing a guarantee that the value of pensions will not decrease, said the MPS. A Government spokesman said: “Mineworker­s’ Pension Scheme members are receiving payments 33% higher than they would have been thanks to the Government’s guarantee. On most occasions, the scheme has been in surplus, and scheme members have received bonuses in addition to their guaranteed pension.”

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