The Trustees


Trustee Board Coal Staff Superannuation Scheme Trustees Limited (the Trustee)

The Scheme’s Committee of Management (the Committee) is made up of eight Trustee Directors, of whom four are Appointed and four are Elected.

Appointed Trustee Directors

Appointed Trustee Directors are appointed, and may be removed, by the Committee. When there is an appointed Trustee Director vacancy, a Nomination Group of two appointed and two elected Trustee Directors is set up to recommend a suitable candidate to the Committee. The term of office for an Appointed Trustee Director is three years. The maximum number of terms that can be served is three, although this can be extended with the agreement of the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (the Guarantor).

Elected Pensioner Representative Trustee Directors

The Pensioner Representative Trustee Directors are elected by Scheme members from four geographical constituencies. The term of office for an elected Pensioner Representative is four years, after which the Pensioner Representative will be eligible for re-election. There is no maximum number of terms for an elected Pensioner Representative.


BCSSS Appointed Trustees

Dame Kate Barker

Dame Kate is Chairman of the Trustee Board and a member of the CPT Board. Dame Kate is an economist and her experience as Chief Economic Adviser to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), and member of the Monetary Policy Committee at the Bank of England is invaluable in supporting BCSSS. Dame Kate also brings with her a wealth of trustee experience from the CBI and the Yorkshire Building Society. Kate enjoys bell ringing.

Alan Whalley

Alan is Chairman of the Risk and Assurance Sub-committee. Alan is an actuary with more than 35 years’ experience advising trustee boards and companies on all aspects of occupational pension schemes. He now sits on five boards. Alan was the Chief Executive of Mercer UK, and before that the European Managing Partner of Watson Wyatt (now Willis Towers Watson).Being part of a mining family, Alan became a Trustee so he could deploy his skill and expertise for the benefit of BCSSS members. Alan enjoys reading, rugby and Formula 1.

Jim Shearer

Jim is Chairman of Administration and Benefits Sub-committee and the Discretions and Appeals Sub-committee. Jim was Commercial Services Director in British Coal having worked in several coalfields, as a Deputy Area Director and Staff Manager. He served as a Trustee of The Coal Industry Social Welfare Organisation (CISWO) for 25 years. He has been committed to public service for many years and has been a Trustee of several organisations including a 12 year spell as Chair of the Legal Services Commission Pension Scheme. He became a Trustee of BCSSS so he could continue to serve and support people of the industry. Jim plays golf and tennis and is a Season Ticket holder at Leicester City.
 Alan Rubenstein Alan Rubenstein

Alan is Chairman of the Investment Sub-committee. Alan originally qualified as an actuary before spending the majority of his career in Asset Management, Banking and the Public Sector, where he most recently served as the Chief Executive of the Pension Protection Fund, the UK’s ‘lifeboat’ scheme for failed defined benefit pensions. Prior to becoming a Trustee Alan served for over three years as an external adviser to the Investment Sub-Committee. Alan is currently a non-executive Director of esure Group plc. He is an avid watcher of Ski Sunday and wishes that he could learn to ski like that.

BCSSS Elected Trustees

 James Grant

James Grant

James Grant is the Pensioner Representative for Scotland and North East England. James is a member of the Administration and Benefits Sub-committee, the Risk and Assurance Sub-committee, and the Discretions and Appeals Sub-committee. James started in Bedlay Colliery at age 16, worked on the coalface from age 18 and later became a full-time Mines Rescue Brigadesman. After leaving the industry, he gained a Master of Science degree in IT, was an IT Manager for 15 years and ran his own IT business for 8 years. Now that he can no longer walk the long-distance trails, climb Munros or play football, his time is spent reading, cooking, and doing what he promised when elected - serving members to the best of his ability.

Bleddyn Hancock

Bleddyn Hancock has been the Pensioner Representative Trustee for North West England, West Midlands, Wales and Northern Ireland since 1995. Bleddyn is a member of the Investment Sub-committee. Bleddyn became a Trustee so he could use his experience as a Scheme member and trade union official for the benefit of Scheme members. Bleddyn enjoys reading, history, walking and war gaming.

John Sheldon

John Sheldon has been the Pensioner Representative for East Midlands, Southern England and Overseas since October 2014. John is a member of the Investment Sub-committee, the Administration and Benefits Sub-committee, the Discretions and Appeals Sub-committee, and the Risk and Assurance Sub-committee. John became a Trustee as he considered that his accounting knowledge would contribute to the efficient running of the Scheme. John enjoys genealogy research and motoring.

The Trustees must follow the Scheme Rules and legislation, they must act prudently, responsibly and honestly, and most importantly they must act in the best interests of the Scheme beneficiaries.

The Trustee’s main responsibility is to pay Scheme beneficiaries the right benefits at the right time in line with the Scheme Rules. Their duties are wide ranging as set out below:

Monitoring investment performance and strategy
The Trustees work with their investment adviser to ensure the current strategy remains relevant and delivers the Trustees’ investment objectives, and use JP Morgan as their independent investment performance measurer.
Investment strategy & Investment of the Scheme’s assets

The Trustees must make sure their investment strategy is consistent with their:

  • funding objectives;
  • risk appetite, based on the funding objectives; and
  • the Scheme’s liquidity needs to pay benefits and other items of expenditure.
Working with advisers

The Trustees have overall and ongoing legal responsibility for the administration, management and investment decisions relating to the Scheme.

Specialist providers help them run the Scheme effectively; these include the following:

  • A Scheme Actuary (the Government Actuary)
  • Administrator (Capita)
  • Auditors (Ernst & Young LLP)
  • Executive (Coal Pension Trustees Services Limited) 
  • Investment adviser (Coal Pension Trustees Investment Limited)
  • Principal Legal adviser (Linklaters LLP)
Statement of investment principles
The Scheme is not required to produce a Statement of Investment Principles under the Occupational Pension Schemes (Investment) Regulations 2005. However, under Clause 9A of the Scheme Rules the Trustee must prepare and maintain a written statement of the principles governing decisions about investments for the purposes of the Scheme. The Statement is reviewed at least every three years and immediately after any significant change in investment policy and is available here or on request to the Scheme Secretary.
Risk management
The Trustees have a Risk Management Framework, which is designed to manage the risk of failure to achieve the Trustee’s objectives and can provide reasonable, but not absolute, assurance against material misstatement or loss. Risk appetite measures have been established and the Framework includes a system of internal controls to help the Trustees identify, evaluate, prioritise and manage the Scheme’s risks. Compliance with the Framework is monitored by the Committee.
Providing information to members
The following information is available to BCSSS members on request to the Scheme Secretary:
  • The Scheme’s Trust Deed & Rules.
  • Actuarial valuations.
  • The Scheme’s statement of investment principles.
The information below can be found on the website, either via the publications page or by clicking on the links below:
Resolving disputes with members

The Trustees have formal arrangements in place for considering complaints between the Trustee and members, prospective members, someone entitled to benefits following a member’s death, and individuals who were, or who claim to be, in one of these categories.

In line with Section 50 of the Pensions Act 1995 and The Occupational Pension Schemes (Internal Dispute Resolution Procedures Consequential and Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2008, the Scheme has an Internal Dispute Resolution Procedure. This legislation provides members with the right to ask for any complaint, which the Scheme’s administrators have been unable to resolve, to be referred to the Committee or to a person appointed by them. The Committee has appointed the Scheme Secretary or CPT’s Chief Executive Officer to consider first stage complaints made by members. Any members not satisfied with the first stage decision can appeal to the Discretions and Appeals Sub-committee.

A copy of the Internal Dispute Resolution form can be found here.

Record keeping

One of the most important tasks for the Trustees is to ensure the Scheme has good quality member data.

The Trustees have outsourced the management of member data to the administrator and have established internal controls including regular data reviews to help them monitor the quality of member data. If, as a result of a review, the Trustees want to improve the quality of particular aspects of the data they will create data improvement plans and work with the administrator and other specialists, such as tracing agencies, to gather and validate the data they need.

Members can help the Trustees ensure the Scheme data is of a high quality by telling the administrator when their personal details change.

Conflicts of interests

The Trustee has a Conflicts of Interest policy which sets out its principles for identifying, managing and monitoring any Trustee, Scheme official or Scheme adviser’s actual or potential conflicts of interest which may arise whilst carrying out Trustee business and decision making. The policy is reviewed regularly. Meeting procedures require the declaration of any conflicts of interest at the start of each meeting. Click here to view the Conflicts of Interest policy.

Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Scheme

Members are invited to attend the AGM which is hosted by the Committee of Management and Scheme officials. It is usually held at the end of September / beginning of October. The AGM consists of presentations including:

  • An update from the Scheme’s Chairman.
  • A summary of the Scheme’s Report and Accounts.
  • A review of the Scheme’s funding position.
  • A summary of investment strategy and performance.
  • An update on Trustee appointments.
  • Answers to any questions which members have submitted in advance of the meeting.

The presentations are followed by an open forum session where members are able to raise questions from the floor. A transcript of the whole AGM, including the slides presented, is usually available on this website before the end of the following December.


All Trustees are encouraged to contribute fully in the Committee’s decision making. They are required to take decisions on issues that are complex and require knowledge of Scheme specifics and of asset management techniques. Training is provided to all new Trustees to ensure they are able to fully meet their responsibilities and comply with the trustee knowledge and understanding requirements of pensions law. A continuing programme of training for all Trustees complements their existing knowledge.


Members of the Committee are entitled to be paid for the work they undertake for the Scheme.

For all the Committee members, other than the Chairman of the Committee and the Chairmen of the Investment Sub-committee (ISC) and the Risk and Assurance Sub-committee (RASC), the rates of pay are set by the Guarantor.

The Committee determines the pay for the Chairman of the Committee and the Chairmen of the ISC and RASC, subject to the Committee providing the Guarantor with suitable reassurance that the amount paid is appropriate relative to the wider market and that the individual’s competence for the role has been measured.


The Administration and Benefits Sub-committee

The Administration and Benefits Sub-committee is responsible for overseeing the administration of the Scheme, monitoring the performance of the administrator and setting out the detail of benefits policy. Its focus is on the continuity of administration service delivery, so that the administrators calculate pensions and provide information which is always accurate and timely. The Sub-committee is also responsible for the appointment, decision to retain, or to replace the Scheme administrator, subject to the overriding agreement of the Committee of Management.

The Investment Sub-committee

The Investment Sub-committee oversees the development of, and makes recommendations on changes to, the investment objectives, policies and strategy of the Scheme for approval by the Committee of Management. This includes the appointment of investment managers, consultants or other investment advisers. The Sub-committee also sets clear objectives, risk parameters and scope for these appointees, and is responsible for their oversight and for measurement of their performance. The Trustee membership of the Investment Sub-committee is supported  by two non-voting members who have been chosen to assist with the specialised issues involved.

The Risk and Assurance Sub-committee

The Risk and Assurance Sub-committee reviews and monitors the overall risk management framework of the Scheme. The Sub-committee continuously assesses the risk of the Scheme not meeting its stated operational and regulatory strategic objectives, considering proposals for additional controls or actions where appropriate. It also monitors the status of mitigating actions, particularly where strengthening of, or changes to, key controls has been identified.

The Discretions and Appeals Sub-committee

The Discretions and Appeals Sub-committee makes decisions on cases which require the Trustees to exercise their discretionary powers under the Scheme Rules and considers complaints made under the second stage of the Scheme's Internal Dispute Resolution procedure.