19 March 2014
Shipping members that have served in the Merchant fleet may be entitled to hundreds of pounds in pension payments.
RMT has revealed that members of the Merchant Navy Rating Pension Fund (MNRPF) are missing the opportunity to increase their pension entitlement due to the fact that pre 1978 Service Credits were being incorrectly calculated.
RMT’s Liverpool shipping branch asked union write to the MNRPF trustee board requesting that they inform members of their possible entitlement to these credits.
These credits were established as a result of a surplus in the MNRPF in the mid 1980’s with the aim to provide scheme members with some form of pension provision for Merchant Navy service before the MNRPF commenced in 1978.
These benefits are in the form of fixed pension additions for each year of pre 1978 service, increased while a member remains in service to help protect their real value from inflation.
Service also counts for those individuals who were on the Merchant Navy Establishment Register (the Pool) during their working life but remained a member of the MNRPF.
Pre 1978 Service Credits are awarded in the form of an annual pension with the possible option to exchange for a tax free lump sum payment subject to the usual limits. Members can receive in the region of £400 annual pension pro-rata for each year of pre-1978 Service Credits.
The union also submitted an appeal on behalf of an RMT member through the MNRPF Informal Disputes Resolution Procedure (IDRP) requesting that the Fund Trustees reconsider his award of five years Pre 1978 Service Credits and increase this award to the maximum eight years.
The appeal was based on the fact that the Trustee and Fund Administrator had not counted all employment service as continuous. Although the member had a break of more than 12 months his sea career had started in 1965 and therefore his total service was in excess of the eight years maximum credit award.
There were also some inconsistencies with the MNRPF rules as a result of changes that appear to have been made in the 1990s.
As a result, over the coming months, fund administrators are checking the details of individual members to ensure that they receive their full service credits.
Some members may be contacted as the administrators will need more data.
If concerned members have not heard anything by June they should contact the administrator, Ensign Pensions Administration, through the members’ website at www.mnrpf.co.uk.