21st July 2011
Circular No. National Policy 137/11
Pensions Act 2008 – seafarers and offshore workers to be covered
I am writing to advise members that RMT has secured a significant victory with a Government commitment that seafarers and offshore workers will be included in the provisions of the 2008 Pensions Act.
The legislation will apply a minimum statutory pension for workers who are not covered by an occupational scheme and employers will be required to automatically enroll their workers. The RMT Parliamentary Convenor has been advised that in broad terms this will apply to seafarers and offshore workers who are classified as ordinarily working in Great Britain.
This has come about due to concerted lobbying from John McDonnell MP and the RMT Parliamentary Group. Representatives of the Group met with the Minister Steve Webb and got his agreement in principle that seafarers and offshore workers should be included.
Following this the union worked with Department for Work and Pensions officials and provided them with information on the number and location of seafarers and offshore workers. RMT was still faced with opposition from the Chamber of Shipping but further representations were made as the Pensions Bill was being debated in Parliament and the Minister has now advised John McDonnell MP that seafarers and offshore workers are to be included through secondary legislation.
The secondary legislation will be the subject of a consultation exercise in the next few months. At this stage the detail of exactly how the legislation will be applied is still to be determined.
RMT will be working to press for the maximum possible coverage and I will advise Branches further in due course.