Corries digs in for ex-miners’ pension justice
Former miners who transferred pension funds after they were made redundant could claim tens of thousands of pounds in compensation.
Glasgow and Yorkshire-based solicitors Corries has acted for men who were given bad advice and told to leave employer-run pension schemes.
Bruce Corrie, who specialises in employment law, said: “It was shocking what happened. Everything is a lot better these days, but at that time there was very little training required to work in financial services.
“Typically, what happened was a miner lost his job and would be persuaded to become a financial adviser and would get a day’s training and be sent into the pit village to persuade all their friends to sign up for it.
“Of course, they were much younger men then and they weren’t thinking ahead to the future.
“When people get made redundant they become distrustful of their employer and, particularly amongst the miners, there was a lot of unrest; they just didn’t want anything to do with British Coal.”
The lawyer said many workers’ pensions were reinstated after a UK government review in 1994 forced companies to allow former employees to re-join schemes.
“A lot of them were [allowed] but some weren’t and there was a variety of reasons for that – they had moved home or had emigrated or just didn’t get the letter.
“In some cases they weren’t even sent the letters.”
One ex-miner got more than £80,000 after transferring his retirement funds from the Mine Workers Pension Scheme.
The man, who did not want to be named, told The Herald he paid £2,000, at the most, into his work pension. He was persuaded to move his funds to a personal pension plan with National Financial, now Phoenix Life, when he moved from the British Coal Board.
He removed the funds three years ago.
“It was almost £9,000 so I thought, that’s better than I thought it would be, so I took it. For me that was it, end of story.”
He then noticed an advert by Corries, who took on his case and won him £64,000.
“If I had stayed in the mine workers’ pensions, that’s probably the amount I would have got,” he said.