31/01/2017 10:57 GMT | Updated 01/02/2018 05:12 GMT

It's Time The Government Committed To A Fair Deal For Miners And Their Widows

Ian Forsyth via Getty Images

Labour MPs from ex-coalfield communities and the National Union of Mineworkers have come together to ask the trustees of the Mineworkers' Pension Scheme for a meeting to review an arrangement that has left ex-miners billions of pounds worse off.

The surplus sharing arrangement was made between the Government and the trustees of the British Coal pension schemes when British Coal was privatised back in 1994.

As part of that deal the Government become the guarantor of the Mineworkers' Pension Scheme and it has since been entitled to half of any surplus made by the scheme,with the other half going to the scheme's members - the miners.

Under this arrangement the Government has received nearly £3.4billion and has not had to pay a single penny in, even during the years when the scheme was in deficit.

This is far more money than anybody anticipated it would make and it's fair to say that the Government has been more than paid back for its role as guarantor.

Thousands of miners worked extremely hard for decades in order to build up a pension pot that would mean they could have a comfortable retirement.

We believe former miners and their widows should have a greater share.

The trustees who are responsible for managing the MPS, including investing the scheme's funds, have a role to act in the best interests of all beneficiaries of the scheme.

It's time they sat down with us to work out how to deliver a better deal for the miners and their widows.

Below you can read the text of the letter we have sent to the trustees, and also a list of the co-signatories.

Gloria De Piero is the Labour MP for Ashfield

Letter to MPS Trustees by HuffPostUK on Scribd