Merchant Navy Ratings Pension Fund Beneficiary Trustee Director Election

My Ref: MRP 23/1

26th August 2020

Circular Num: NP/210/20

To: The Secretary All Shipping Branches & Regional Councils

Dear colleagues,


Please be advised that pensioner and deferred members of the MNRPF will shortly receive a letter from the pension fund advising them that there are two vacancies for Beneficiary Trustee Directors (BDs) which need to be filled by 1st April 2021.

Previously the MNRPF trustee board comprised of 5 Beneficiary Trustee Directors (BDs), 5 Employer Trustee Directors (EDs) and 2 Independent Trustee Directors (IDs). As a result of regulatory action carried out by the Pensions Regulator in 2019/20 which was a consequence of trustee review carried out on behalf of the board by Dame Jeannie Drake a number of changes were made to the way the board operates which included the number of Trustee Board Directors.

Following discussions between the Nominating Bodies of the MNRPF (the RMT and Employers Group) it was agreed by your National Executive Committee (NEC), after taking legal advice, to change the number of trustees from 12 to 9 which would consist of 3 BDs, 3 EDs and 3 IDs. This reduction of the trustees was part of a number of demands made by TPR which included amending Duel Majority voting.

While reluctantly the NEC agreed to these changes the TPR decided that it wanted the entire board to be replaced by a sole trustee, i.e. Independent Trustees which would have resulted in the RMT no longer having a right to nominate its own trustees. Effectively the RMT would lose their influence over the MNRPF which we believed was not in the best interest of fund members.

Following considerations made by a Determinations Panel, who recognised the changes which had been made to the fund structure etc., they decided in favour of maintaining the RMT’s right as a Nominating Body and from a member perspective their right to elect their own trustees.

While since February 2020 there has been an interim board in place the fund now seeks nominations for a Pensioner Member Director and a Full Membership Director. Both pensioners and deferred members can stand for the Full Membership Director position.

The third BD position is appointed by the NEC and is currently the RMT Pensions Officer Paul Norris who will continue in this position once the election process is completed. Andy Gordon, who is the NEC member for Maritime Region 3 (North), also sits on the interim trustee board as a BD but will step down once the new BDs are appointed.

The term of office for the Pensioner Member Director will be for 4 years and 5 years for the Full Membership Director. The terms of office are different to avoid losing experience and skill at the same time.

Please note relevant members of the fund can only stand for one of the two positions not both.

While both positions are open to all relevant members of the fund, regardless of whether they are RMT members or not, the RMT retains the power to withdraw a nomination if it feels that an individual is unsuitable to carry out the duties and responsibilities of a trustee. Therefore the RMT will be reviewing applications/candidates once the nomination window closes and if necessary will invite individuals to be interviewed by the NEC.

For clarity the nomination process will start when papers are sent out by Civica Election Services on 4th September 2020 and will close on 30th October 2020. The NEC will then consider candidates and once completed if necessary an election will take place between 22nd January 2021 and 5th March 2021.

I will keep you updated on developments.

Yours sincerely,

Mick Cash
General Secretary