Guest column: Ill workers should not have to fight to get their pensions

John Mann MP

I have been contacted by a constituent, who used to be a miner, about their pension.

The law says that if someone falls ill when they are not old enough to receive their pension, it is up to the pension scheme to decide whether it releases the funds.

In almost all cases, this happens but it shouldn’t be a long fight to receive the money that you have spent your working life contributing to.

The process to release a pension early is lengthy and can create unnecessary stress for those affected and their families.

This is why I am tabling a Bill in Parliament to correct this anomaly so that every ill person does not have to fight an extensive battle to receive the pension that they are entitled to.

I want to make sure that everyone gets the money that they have spent their whole working lives saving for, and do not have to face the worry over whether they will receive their pension.

The Trade Union Congress’s ‘Dying to Work’ campaign is something I wholeheartedly support.

The organisation has a charter that I have signed up to as an employer and I encourage businesses in Bassetlaw to sign up as well.

If your workplace is signed up to the charter, it is committing to treat those who develop a terminal illness whilst in work with protected employment rights.

Those who are diagnosed with a terminal illness face great uncertainty and distress and there should be guaranteed support in place when it comes to their employment.

The stress for the individual and their family of being diagnosed with a terminal illness does not need to be amplified by the uncertainty of their employment.

The news this week that more than 1,500 new jobs will be created in Worksop is excellent.

Works to create the new junction at Manton Wood Distribution Park is underway and this will open up the site to new employers.

This is on a key route between the A1 and M1 which makes it very attractive for companies that require fast transport routes and good connectivity.

The Aviva Community Fund awards funding of up to £25,000 for local community projects across a range of categories such as health & wellbeing, skills for life and community support.

They all need your vote (you have up to ten votes) and you can view all the projects proposed online at http://bit.ly/2m3HdZ7

This Sunday, we pause to remember those who have lost their lives whilst serving in the armed forces.

I very much value this time when the community comes together as one to pay our respects.

As usual there will be a march leaving Worksop Town Hall at approximately 10.30am to the war memorial on Memorial Avenue where wreaths will be laid after the minute’s silence at 11am.

This will be followed by a service at the Priory church.

More from News