Ill Health Retirement – High Court Hearing Is Going Ahead On 24 February 2022


Members will note from the letter sent by the Trustee in early February 2022, that a revised settlement was close to being agreed to in relation to the High Court case relating to the ill-health early retirement (“IHER”) benefits paid by the Fund.

We are pleased to report that revised settlement terms have now been finalised and signed. However, they remain subject to Court approval. They will be considered by the Judge for approval at a hearing, and the Judge will only approve the settlement if it is considered to be in the overall interests of both the members and the employers.

The Court hearing has now been scheduled for 24 February 2022 before Mrs Justice Bacon DBE. We will write to members again once the outcome of the hearing is known and some post-hearing steps have taken place. This will probably be in March 2022.

Further Background

By way of background, in August 2021, the Trustee wrote to members and explained the settlement which had been reached between the parties. A copy of that letter is available in the link here.

The previously agreed settlement has now been updated to take account of the newly identified historical issues. However, no changes have been made to the details previously provided about the members who may be eligible or to the process to consider claims as explained in the August 2021 letter.

Watching The Hearing

If any member wishes to watch the Court hearing remotely, please could they contact Mercer who will then pass on their request to the Court. Mercer’s contact details are set out below. If you have previously notified Mercer that you wanted to watch or listen to the Court hearing, then you do not need to do anything – your details will be passed to the Court.

More Information

Further updates about the case may need to be given at short notice. It takes time and cost to send communications by post to members. We will be writing to you by post about the outcome of the approval hearing after it takes place. However, other further updates will only be posted on the Fund website.

Please let us know, via Mercer, if you are not able to access the website and would instead like to receive updates by post.

If you would like more information, you can call our trained helpline agents on the freephone helpline below. This is a dedicated phone line for this case.

Helpline freephone number: 0800 197 6923

The helpline agents are only able to explain the settlement in general terms as described in the August 2021 letter in the link above. They are not able to provide any views or advice about the expected outcome in your particular case e.g., whether you will qualify and, if so, what compensation you might receive.

You can also write to us or email us at the address below. Again, we are not able to provide any views or advice about the expected outcome in your particular case.

Our address for enquiries by post is:

Merchant Navy Ratings Pension Fund
c/o Mercer Employee Benefits
Post Handling Centre U
St James’s Tower
7 Charlotte Street
M1 4DZ

Our email address for enquiries is:

Keeping Your Records Safe

As noted several times before, in relation to the IHER case, the key thing that you need to do now, if you are not in receipt of an IHER pension but think you might be affected by the IHER case, is keep safe any relevant records that you have.

In summary, the Trustee strongly recommends that, where possible, if you were in service on 8 October 1993 (even if you were in between ships on that date), you retain any medical and employment history and/or details about your past health. This is particularly around the time of leaving Merchant Navy service as a Rating. If you are incapable of doing so or are the survivor of a member who was in service on 8 October 1993, the Trustee recommends that the family / survivors / estates of the member retain any relevant details and/or records.

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