Parties must commit to end miners’ pensions raids

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Plaid Cymru has called on all parties to make a commitment in their general election manifestos to reform the fifty-fifty split in the miners’ pension scheme (MPS) surplus which has resulted in billions being drawn from the pot by the British Government.

Last year, Plaid Cymru AM Steffan Lewis secured the unanimous support of the National Assembly for Wales for a full review of the scheme’s surplus in order to secure former miners keep any surpluses in their scheme and enjoy enhanced pensions.

25,000 miners are thought to be in receipt of the MPS in Wales.

When the coal industry was privatised in 1994, the UK government agreed to guarantee the total pension would not fall in cash terms, and that if there was a surplus it would be shared 50/50 with the scheme's members.

Since the deal was struck, the UK government said it had received £3.35bn from the scheme.

Plaid Cymru AM Steffan Lewis said:

“Billions have been taken out of the miners’ pensions scheme and the pot has been used as a cash-cow for Westminster for too long. Everyone agrees that there is no public liability in terms of the pension scheme, with the fund performance far better than expected.

“If miners themselves got to keep any future surpluses then they could enjoy a better quality of life in their later years after working in such tough environments. This money belongs to them and all parties in this election should make a commitment in their manifestos to review and reform the fund surplus so that there are no future government raids on it.

“The list of injustices by Westminster against former industrial communities is lengthy. The scandal of the miners’ pensions fund is an ongoing injustice and with every year that passes, former miners are missing out on enhanced pensions because of the mean-spirited UK government. I call on all parties to end the injustice as soon as the forthcoming election is over.”

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