13th July 2018 My Ref: MRP 23/1
To: The Secretary Regional Councils, All Shipping Branches
Merchant Navy Ratings Pension Fund (MNRPF) – Ill Health Retirement Benefits
The RMT have been informed by the MNRPF service providers (LCP) that the Trustee Board has uncovered an issue in relation to the level of benefits which possibly should have been paid to members who left service due to ill health after 11th March 1991. These members would have been in pensionable service prior to 8th October 1993.
We are advised that the Trustee improved the level of ill health retirement benefits offered to members on 1st June 1988 but due a reduction in the funding level of the MNRPF these benefits were reduced from 11th March 1991 to protect the fund.
However, following a recent review by the Trustee they have been advised by the funds lawyers that the decision to reduce ill health benefits may have been inappropriate as they maybe accrued rights and therefore should have been honoured.
So that this issue can be addressed fully the Trustee has decided, following further legal advice, to ask the Court for guidance and certainty on the legal issues associated with this issue. It is expected that the court process is unlikely to be resolved until early 2020.
I would advise you that the Pensions Regulator has also been made aware of the situation.
While it is unclear how many members this could potentially affect, I would advice that members of the fund are being informed of the situation and will be updated accordingly.
At this present time there is very little information available but if members require any other information about benefits they should contact the Pension Administrators, JLT Employee Benefits at the following address:
Merchant Navy Ratings Pension Fund
c/o JLT Employee Benefits,
Post Handling Centre U
St James’s Tower
7 Charlotte Street
Member Help Line: 01372 200385
I will keep you informed of developments.