§ Sir John Hannam
To ask the President of the Board of Trade what progress is being made on drafting the regulations and related documents that will be needed to implement the new arrangements for British Coal pensions after privatisation.
§ Mr. Eggar
I am today placing in the Libraries of both Houses copies of the latest drafts of the regulations and related documents needed to implement the new arrangements for the mineworkers' pension scheme and British Coal staff superannuation scheme after privatisation. The documents are grouped in six volumes as follows:
- 1. MPS (Modification) Regulations; MPS Scheme and Rules; MPS Guarantee Deed;
- 2. SSS (Modification) Regulations; SSS Scheme and Rules; SSS Guarantee Deed;
- 3. Industry-Wide Coal MPS Regulations; Industry-Wide Coal MPS Trust Deed and Rules; Coal Industry (Protected Persons) Pensions Regulations;
- 4. Industry-Wide Coal SSS Regulations; Industry-Wide Coal SSS Trust Deed and Rules; Coal Industry (Protected Persons) Pensions Regulations;
- 5. Memoranda and Articles of Association for MPS Trustees Ltd., Industry-Wide MPS Trustees Ltd. and Industry-Wide MPS Co-ordinator Ltd.;
- 6. Memoranda and Articles of Association for Coal SSS Trustees Ltd., Industry-Wide Coal SSS Trustees Ltd., and Industry Wide Coal SSS Co-ordinator Ltd.
These draft documents flow from schedule 5—the pensions schedule—of the Coal Industry Act 1994. The drafts are being prepared in close consultation with the trustee of the MPS and SSS and are nearing finalisation. It 537W is currently intended that the modification regulations for the MPS and SSS should be laid before Parliament in August for coming into force in September. The industry-wide MPS and SSS regulations and the Coal Industry (Protected Persons) Pensions Regulations will be laid later.
Earlier working drafts of the documents contained in volumes 1, 2, 3 and 4 as listed above were placed in the Libraries of both Houses on 22 February. Drafts of the documents contained in volumes 5 and 6 have not been provided previously and some explanation of their purpose may be helpful.
The new documents, which are also being prepared in close consultation with the trustees of the MPS and SSS, are the memoranda and articles of association of six new companies: two trustee companies for the modified MPS and SSS, two trustee companies for the industry-wide MPS and SSS and two "co-ordinator companies", whose purpose is explained below. All the pension schemes will provide that the duties of their trustee, which as in the present SSS will be a trustee company, shall be exercised through the board of directors of that trustee company. The directors of the trustee companies will thus have duties and responsibilities corresponding to those of individually appointed trustees. Each of the trustee companies for the modified schemes will have equal numbers of directors appointed on behalf of scheme members and the Government respectively. The trustee companies for the industry-wide schemes will have equal numbers of directors appointed on behalf of employees and employers respectively.
Each of the two industry-wide schemes will be established by a specially formed "co-ordinator company" which will exercise a "principal employer" role under the industry-wide schemes. All the directors of the "co-ordinator companies" will be appointed by employers of members of the relevant industry-wide scheme.