Cynon AM welcomes Welsh Government’s call for miners pension scheme fairplay

Cynon Valley AM Vikki Howells has welcomed a commitment from First Minister Carwyn Jones AM that the Welsh Government will be calling on its UK counterpart to conduct a review of the workings of the UK Mineworkers Pension Scheme.

The Scheme is the private pension plan to which UK miners contributed, and jointly with the British Coal Staff Superannuation Scheme, has 430,000 members and represents the second largest funded pension scheme in the UK.

However, concerns have been raised that the scheme doesn’t benefit mineworkers and their dependents as much as it could have done, and the National Union of Mineworkers and campaign groups like the UK Miners Pension Scheme Association have called for a review.

The Cynon Valley AM, after joining members of the Association in Aberdare who were collecting signatures calling for the Scheme’s review, asked the First Minister if he would follow up his June 2016 letter to the UK Government supporting the campaign.

Vikki Howells AM said:-

“I recently met with campaigners from the UK Miners Pension Scheme Association, who highlighted to me how the current workings of the scheme badly affect miners’ widows, in particular, with some, for example, receiving just £10 a week.

“Would you write to the UK Government again, highlighting the way that reform of the scheme could not only benefit miners, but also promote economic equality for miners’ widows in my constituency of Cynon Valley and elsewhere in Wales?”

First Minister Carwyn Jones AM replied:-

“I met with representatives from the South Wales National Union of Mineworkers a few weeks ago, and they outlined, again, strongly, the case for a review.

“We will be writing to the newly elected UK Government, requesting it to consider a review of the scheme.

“As a Government, we have indicated our support for a review of the current arrangements for the surpluses of the mineworkers’ pension scheme, as Members will know—that’s already been said in Plenary.

“I wrote to the trade unions this February to reiterate our support for a review.”