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British Coal Compensation

Volume 691: debated on Tuesday 17 April 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What was the financial consideration received upon the sale to UK Coal Limited and its predecessors of the assets and liabilities of the former British Coal Corporation and British Coal Opencast Executive. [HL3112]

In 1994, the assets of the British Coal Corporation were offered for sale in the form of five regional coal companies and a number of stand-alone “care and maintenance” collieries. Following the selection of RJB Mining plc as preferred bidder for the three English companies and Ellington and Thorne Collieries, the relevant assets were combined to form one company, Central and Northern Mining Ltd. RJB Mining plc purchased that company on 29 December 1994 for an agreed price of £815,300,000.

RJB Mining Plc changed its name to UK Coal plc in 2001.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they have made an assessment of the loss of pension rights by former employees and current pensioners maintaining entitlement under the former British Coal pensions schemes. [HL3113]

When the British Coal Corporation was privatised in 1994, the Government guaranteed that the pension entitlements of members of the Mineworkers' Pension Scheme and the British Coal Staff Superannuation Scheme would always be met and would always rise in line with inflation. That commitment has been, and continues to be, honoured. Additionally, scheme members are entitled to a 50 per cent share of any periodic valuation surpluses. This has helped enable very substantial bonus pensions to be awarded over and above guaranteed, index-linked pensions.