Merchant Navy Ratings Pension Fund – Election of RMT Trustees

14th October 2015                            My Ref: MRP 23/1

         Circular No.NP/199/15
To: The Secretary Regional Councils, All Shipping Branches

Dear Colleague,

Merchant Navy Ratings Pension Fund – Election of RMT Trustees

The following resolution has been received from the Liverpool Shipping Branch:

“This Liverpool Shipping Branch calls upon the RMT General Secretary, National Secretary and Shipping and Offshore Committee to engage with the MNRPF Beneficiary Trustees in putting in to place fair, transparent, proportionate and most importantly democratic arrangements for all 25,000 plus MNRPF members to elect the MNRPF Trustees on a one member one vote arrangement.
This system is good enough to elect all full time Officers and Executive Members of the RMT and it will show the RMT to be an organisation fully committed to democracy.
This election process will also meet the Pension Regulators Code on Member Nominated Trustees. Particularly, the Regulators 3 principles of fairness, transparency and proportionality.
The shipping industry has declined dramatically since 1978 and since the abolition of the National Maritime Board and the trade union closed shop.
The RMT Shipping Grades membership, unfortunately, has also, declined dramatically and many RMT Shipping Grades members will not be MNRPF members.
All MNRPF members electing all MNRPF Trustees will prevent any perceived abuse of the current arrangements by people who are not members of the MNRPF and it should be the MNRPF members who elect and remove the MNRPF Trustees.”
In consideration the Shipping & Offshore Grades Committee of the Council of Executives on 9th September 2015 made the following report:

“That we note the resolution from Liverpool Shipping Branch.
RMT undertook a consultation with all Shipping Branches in 2011 in regards to the election of MNRPF trustees, which culminated in Decision No. S75, December 2011, and subsequent Circular NP/239/11. Following the consultation, this method of electing trustees was agreed which is open, fair and transparent.

We further note that RMT’s position in regards to the remuneration following that decision was, and still is, that no trustee on the MNRPF board should receive any financial remuneration other than out of pocket expenses.

In recent months, the General Secretary has received communications from some members of the pension fund in regards to the RMT involvement in the MNRPF board of trustees. Clearly, the Branch and some other Branches may feel the same.

In view of this, the General Secretary has written to the Chair of the MNRPF indicating that the RMT support an independent governance review, taking into account the number of trustees and the issue of remuneration.

We therefore instruct the General Secretary to write to the Chair of the MNRPF to reiterate the RMT position.

Branches and Regional Councils to be informed.”

I will keep you informed of developments.

Yours sincerely,


Mick Cash
General Secretary