As reported in the Barnsley Chronicle on 4th October, Stephanie met with representatives from the National Union of Mineworkers recently, to continue the campaign on getting a fairer deal for retired miners in the Mineworkers Pension Scheme.
The local MP has long campaigned on the issue, namely calling for a change to the surplus sharing arrangement of the Scheme amongst other alterations.
Agreed in 1994, the surplus sharing element sees the Government entitled to 50 per cent of any surplus made by the Scheme.
The agreement has seen the Government pocket over £4bn from the scheme since, all without paying in a single penny of their own.
It was later revealed by the Government in response to a parliamentary question from local MP Peacock that the deal was agreed without expert actuarial advice on the arrangement.
Along with regularly pressing the Government to make changes that would give more money to retired miners, the Barnsley MP has secured Parliamentary debates on the subject, met with Scheme trustees, and recently co-signed a letter to the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Parliamentary Select Committee calling for an enquiry into the Scheme.
Working alongside the NUM and parliamentary colleagues in other coalfield communities, Barnsley East’s MP is pushing for several changes to be made to the Scheme that would see bonus elements of the pension guaranteed, and the 50:50 sharing surplus arrangement reviewed in order to be shifted in favour of miners and their families.
Commenting, Stephanie said:
“In the same way that mining powered our community, our community powered a nation, and those who did so deserve nothing less than a fair arrangement that properly looks after them in later life.
“But the Mineworkers Pension Scheme has for too long shifted money into the reserves of the Treasury instead of the pockets of the retired miners and their families who need it most.
“I will continue to push the Government at every opportunity to amend the Scheme and finally acknowledge the contribution miners in Barnsley made to our country.”