HC Deb 07 March 2003 vol 400 cc1278-9W
Mr. Todd

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what progress she has made in reviewing the division of surpluses on miners' pension funds. [100869]

Mr. Wilson

As I announced in a joint statement with trustees on 17 January 2002, the Government has been in discussion with the trustees of the British Coal Staff Superannuation Scheme and the Mineworkers' Pension Scheme on the future of the Government Guarantee for those Schemes, including the division of fund surpluses.

Against the background of large falls in world stock markets, which continue to have a major effect on investment performance, the trustees have been advised that the Government does not feel it would be right to adjust the current 50/50 surplus sharing arrangements.

A number of other changes to the Guarantee arrangements have been agreed. In addition, discussions were to have continued to consider different methods of paying for the Guarantee and other ways of guaranteeing bonuses, where these different methods might offer advantages to Scheme members whilst not representing a significant additional burden on the taxpayer. However, NACODS South Wales have instigated a Judicial Review concerning the Guarantee to which the Government is obliged to respond. As a consequence, until this has been resolved, the Government does not feel it would be right to continue those discussions with the Trustees.

Cash £
millions 1996–97 1997–98 1998–99 1999–00 2000–01 2001–02 2002–03
BCSSS 39.5 39.5 107.1 107.1 110.3 216.0 216.0
MPS 0.0 113.0 113.0 0.00 315.0 196.0 196.0
Total 39.5 152.5 220.1 107.1 425.3 412.0 412.0

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