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Royal Seamen's Pension Fund, 1912-1980

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0064 RSP
Held at: National Maritime Museum
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Full title: Royal Seamen's Pension Fund, 1912-1980
Date(s): [1919-1987]
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 88 items
Name of creator(s): Royal Seamen's Pension Fund


Administrative/Biographical history:

British seamen and British shipowners under the National Health Insurance Scheme of 1911 were required to pay a contribution to the National Insurance Fund. The Lascar Fund became established so that contributions by shipowners could be made with respect to foreign seamen employed in British ships. This fund later became The Seamen's Pension Fund and subsequently after receiving a grant of Royal Charter in 1931, The Royal Seamen's Pension Fund. A scheme for the Constitution of a Governing Body was established in 1919. This Governing Body comprised of seven representatives of shipowners and seven representatives of all persons entitled to benefits from the fund. The fund was administered until 1928 by an officer of the Ministry of Health, after which time it was deemed necessary to set up a separate establishment with its own secretary for the body. Initially, benefits were awarded only to those seamen who were members of approved societies. In 1929, the Governing Body decided that benefit should be broadened to all those seamen residing in the United Kingdom who had either served in the British merchant marine or British fishing fleets. The overarching requisite for being eligible for benefit was number of years of service at sea as a master and seaman, being resident and dwelling in Britain, natural born or naturalised British subjects. Preference was given to those applicants who served not less than 24 years actual sea service in foreign going ships. The minimum age a pension could be awarded was 65 for a man and 60 for a woman (requiring not less than 15 years service at sea). In 1928 pensions were made payable for life.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of the Royal Seamen's Pension Fund. Included are minutes of the Governing Body, 1919 to 1977 and the Finance Committee between 1930 and 1977, ledgers 1920 to 1972, reports of the Governing Body and Reports of the Seamen's Advisory Committee 1912 to 1979, including cash books 1920 to 1965, register of seamen's pension 1944 to 1987.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:

Please contact the Archive for further information.

by agreement with the fund these registers are subject to a 40 year closed period.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Please contact the Archive for further information.

Finding aids:

Detailed catalogue online at the: National Maritime Museum website .

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The collection was presented in 1988 by D. C. Barker, Secretary of the Royal Seamen's Pension Fund.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Edited by Sarah Drewery, Sep 2011.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:

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