The Mineworkers Pension
Dating back to Roman times, coal mining thrived all over the U.K. and was the backbone of British industry until the 1970s, when the rapid decline began. By the mid-1970s, less than a quarter of a million people worked within the coal mining industry. This further plummeted to less than 50,000 in 1993 and by the time the last deep coal mines closed in 2015 at Hatfield, Thoresby and Kellingley, less than a handful of thousands were left.
The Mineworkers Pension, like many other defined benefit final salary pension schemes, contained extremely valuable benefits and guarantees. Despite this, many Mineworkers were victims of two specific types of poor pension advice that if taken, may have left them substantially out of pocket.
SERPS - State Earnings Related Pension Supplement
Firstly, many working in the industry were persuaded by financial advisors to contract out of SERPS (State Earnings Related Pension Supplement – the “top up” portion on national insurance contributions). This meant leaving their Mineworkers Pension and was an option between 6th April 1978 and 5th April 1992. Whilst it meant reduced contributions for the employer, we now know that this advice has left many former Mineworkers with much poorer pensions than if they had opted to remain.
Secondly, many Mineworkers leaving the industry or retiring were again given advice by financial advisors that resulted in them transferring their Mineworkers Pension away. Defined benefit final salary schemes typically contain significant guarantees and benefits that are immediately lost when moved and again can result in a much poorer outcome than if left alone.
If you or your late spouse took professional advice any time after 29 April 1988 to exit the Mineworkers Pension Scheme, substantial compensation may be payable even in the event the original amounts involved were small. If you are concerned that you may have lost out, Beat the Banks is currently offering an entirely free pension check. To find out more call our team on 01382 200474 or text to 87007