My Ref: MRP 23/1
27th May 2021
Circular Num: NP/180/21
To: The Secretary All Shipping Branches & Regional Councils
MERCHANT NAVY RATINGS PENSION FUND (MNRPF)
As you may be aware the Employers’ Group (EG), the other MNRPF nominating body, have decided that they will not be putting their trustees on the MNRPF Board as a result of the NEC’s decision to support Peter Hall and David Douglas’ nominations. Therefore, as a consequence of the EG’s decision the MNRPF Trustee Board would not be quorate from August and would not be able to make important decisions which could potentially effect members receiving their benefits in the long term.
The Pension Regulator was informed of this situation and called a meeting of all parties involved which includes the RMT, EG and the current Trustee Board.
Despite the RMT’s strong protests the EG have refused to move from its position and would prefer to see the MNRPF Trustee Board move to an Independent sole Trustee Board then have any of the former trustees back on the board. They include their own former trustees. The EG simply believes that if any of the former trustees were reappointed this would lead to the problems which were highlighted in the two independent reports, Muse and Drake reports. These reports identified that the former Trustee Board was dysfunctional and led to the Pension Regulator taking action which included issuing a Warning Notice. I have attached the Pension Regulators Intervention Report to give you further background to this action.
The RMT believe that if such problems were to repeat themselves, they would be dealt with by the nominating bodies but the EG believe that due to the money that the past problems have already cost the fund, well over a £1million, this is a risk they are not prepared to take.
The Pensions Regulator has made it clear that if a solution is not found quickly, they will use their emergency powers and appoint an independent trustee board and both the RMT and EG will have not influence in respect of the MNRPF.
The Pensions Regulator has made a proposal which is being worked on which would allow the RMT and EG to remain key stakeholders of the fund and while it far from where the union wants to be it is clear this issue is not going to be resolved.
In consideration your NEC on 13th May 2021 adopted the following majority report:
“That we note the proposal from the Pensions Regulator which proposes that independent Trustees are appointed for the scheme without either the Employer or Employees having representatives.
Further, we note that consultation on pension matters in relation to the MNRPF will take place via the Maritime Pensions Forum which has been established and consists of the General Secretary, the National Secretary, and members of our Maritime sub-committee.
The NEC will need to nominate our Representatives to that body.
The General Secretary is instructed to inform the Pensions Regulator of this union’s support in principle for this proposal and seeks further engagement on the details of the arrangements. The General Secretary is instructed to seek the involvement of the two existing trustee to be invited to the Forum when MNRPF matters are discussed.
This NEC records its thanks to our former Trustees on the MNRPF.”
As you will appreciate discussions are still ongoing and I am unable to go into further details. However, I can assure you that all member benefits are safe and will be unaffected by any decision which is made by the RMT.
I will keep you updated on developments.