60 years worth of savings lost for 6,000 fishermen around the UK
Due to the failure of administrators to keep appropriate records of their names and addresses, thousands of fishermen around the UK have lost out on their pension plans.
The schemes had been running from as early as the 1920’s. In spite of a campaign to find the fishermen who contributed, which is about to end, only half of the 12,000 members have been found.
The scheme was moved between a number of companies. The money, of which there is approximately 1.8m, is now in the tenure of insurance firm Aviva and is administered by a company called Capital Cranfield Trustees.
Fishermen from Fleetwood, Hull, Aberdeen and Grimsby all paid a penny a week into the scheme, which was chaotically run: Addresses were seldom updated, national insurance numbers failed to be noted down, and names and addresses were inaccurately recorded.
Former home secretary Alan Johnson told Radio 4’s You and Yours, “The fact that they only took their surnames and their initials – not even their full Christian names – no NI number, no addresses, no telephone numbers. There’s no excuse at all for such awful maladministration”
Robert Batemen, a former Hull trawlerman, stated “I just can’t put words into it. I think school children could run a better piggy bank scheme. It’s gone from company to company and no-one’s bothered whether the records were kept properly”.
No hope for finding missing members
Aviva and Capital Cranfield Trustees have insisted that they both inherited the badly administered fishermen’s pension scheme. They say they have done their utmost to find the missing members, including spending 3%00,000 of their own money on tracing services.
As part of the campaign to find the missing members, Aviva gave almost £2.5m to nearly 4,000 fishermen in 2007.
Ken Grantley, who spent his life at sea and signed himself up to the fishermen’s pension scheme when he was 16, says he has not received a penny. He is now 60.
“They can’t tell me what address they sent it to”, he says. “There’s thousands of fishermen who were involved who haven’t had their money. Now, some of them are struggling to get by”.