A REPORT into the pensions scheme for miners has said that it is "unconscionable" that many of the scheme's beneficiaries are struggling to make ends meet.

The report by Westminster's Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee said the UK Government should review the surplus sharing arrangements in the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme to ensure they are fair and deliver a better outcome for pensioners.

The government should also relinquish its entitlement to the Investment Reserve, and transfer the £1.2 billion fund to miners, to provide an immediate cash uplift to former miners, the report said.

The Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme report has found that, given the strong financial performance of the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme, and the “vast sums” which have been paid to the UK Government, it is “unconscionable” that many of the scheme's beneficiaries are struggling to make ends meet.

The Committee’s report examines the scheme’s controversial 50:50 split surplus sharing arrangement and notes that “allowing the arrangement to continue would appear antithetical to the Government's stated aim of redressing socio-economic inequality and 'levelling up' left-behind communities”.


The arrangement was agreed in 1994 in return for a government guarantee that the value of pensions would never decrease.

The report notes that, to date, the government has received £4.4 billion in cash payments from the scheme and is due to receive at least a further £1.9 billion - at least £6.3 billion in total. The government has not paid anything into the scheme.

Darren Jones, chairman of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, said: “The government has benefited from billions of pounds of surpluses since 1994 without having to contribute a pound of taxpayers’ money to miners’ pensions. Mining communities have suffered from pit closures for generations.

“Whilst the government’s guarantee to the pension fund has provided vital security to Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme members, it’s clear that the Government has profited to a far greater extent than originally envisaged.

“The Government should now act quickly on our recommendations by agreeing to hand back more of future surpluses to pensioners and delivering an immediate uplift through the return of the £1.2 billion investment reserve.”

The report calls on the government to acknowledge that continuation of the arrangements in their current form deserves a review and that a better outcome for pensions should be found.