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Old 13-04-2012, 09:16
MartinP
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The assets of all 101 local authority pension funds in the UK are dwarfed by their liabilities, creating a deficit which taxpayers are ultimately liable for.

The Taxpayers’ Alliance found local authorities across the UK had a combined pension deficit of £54 billion in 2010-11. The figure works out at £2,076 for every one of the 26million households in Britain.

This was a fall from £91 billion in 2009-10, which was a particularly bad year for local government pension funds, but is slightly more than the £51 billion figure in 2008-09.

Matthew Sinclair, the alliance’s director, said: “The deficit in the Local Government Pension Scheme remains a ticking time bomb that’s being left for future generations of taxpayers to deal with.

“With an ageing population and a crisis in the public finances, generous final salary schemes like the LGPS are inflexible and too expensive, and need urgent reform. Councils should not take false comfort in the improvement in the stock market.

“Their pension liabilities continue to far outweigh their assets and the situation remains worse than two years ago.”

Birmingham City Council had a deficit of £1.3 billion, the biggest deficit in 2010-11 and the only council with a deficit of more than £1 billion.The local authority in Scotland with the largest deficit in 2010-11 was Glasgow City Council with £625 million.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/poli...n-Britain.html

What a mess and not an easy one to solve. With so many people in the scheme and such massive numbers it can only be right that more of the investment risk is taken by the workers themselves, it cannot be right that taxpayers as a whole are responsible for the entire deficit.
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Old 13-04-2012, 09:59
ALANM
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The local authority in Scotland with the largest deficit in 2010-11 was Glasgow City Council with £625 million.
With average life expectancy across Glasgow just 73 years, the people of this particular city get a very poor deal from their pension contributions. The deficit figure quoted is most likely based on UK average life expectancy figures which are of course much higher. In reality, this scheme almost certainly has a massive surplus.

First let's look at Glasgow as a whole. The Glasgow City Council area, made up of seven constituencies including Glasgow East, has the lowest life expectancy in the UK.

The most recently available data, for 2004-06, puts life expectancy at birth at 73.7 years overall. For females, it's 77 years. For males it's just 70.5 years.
http://www.channel4.com/news/article...a/2320267.html
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Old 13-04-2012, 10:09
MartinP
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I am not sure how life expectancy is factored in but in the study all information is taken from individual local authority annual statement of accounts.
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Old 13-04-2012, 10:10
GreatGodPan
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Wow! After the recent Rich man's budget with its cutting tax for the very wealthy, the granny tax, the parlous state of the economy,rising unemployment and other recent embarrassments for the govt. it's nice to see the Usual Suspects going into battle on their usual old nags - public sector pensions!!!

And quoting the Taxpayer's Alliance too!

I'm coming over all nostalgic.......

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Old 13-04-2012, 10:13
Phil 2804
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Everything seems to cost families £2,000. Its as if its the standard figure used by right wing think tanks to try and scare the horses into supporting their agenda.

Doesn't work on me. Everyone who works should be able to expect a decent retirement. The real issues with pensions are in the private sector where fewer than 25% have any pension provision and that number is shrinking, compared to 90% in the public sector.

When we sort out private sector pensions, then and only then, should be we look at the public sector.
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Old 13-04-2012, 10:17
MartinP
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Doesn't work on me. Everyone who works should be able to expect a decent retirement. The real issues with pensions are in the private sector where fewer than 25% have any pension provision and that number is shrinking, compared to 90% in the public sector.

When we sort out private sector pensions, then and only then, should be we look at the public sector.
That head in the sand approach doesn't work on me. Ultimately someone has to pay for the public sector pensions and if you ignore the problem it will fall to all taxpayers. I don't see how that is particularly fair.
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Old 13-04-2012, 10:18
MartinP
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Wow! After the recent Rich man's budget with its cutting tax for the very wealthy, the granny tax, the parlous state of the economy,rising unemployment and other recent embarrassments for the govt. it's nice to see the Usual Suspects going into battle on their usual old nags - public sector pensions!!!

And quoting the Taxpayer's Alliance too!

I'm coming over all nostalgic.......

Anything to actually add to the debate? Are you of the "head in the sand" persuasion as well?
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Old 13-04-2012, 10:19
ALANM
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What I find interesting is that there's never any shortage of media outlets - including the BBC - prepared to offer their support and assistance to the Government and the likes of the taxpayers' alliance in their ongoing campaign to slash public sector pensions.

There's never any attempt to dig out the facts or consider the bigger picture, they just reprint the press releases verbatim.
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Old 13-04-2012, 10:27
Sallyforth
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Everyone who works should be able to expect a decent retirement. The real issues with pensions are in the private sector where fewer than 25% have any pension provision and that number is shrinking, compared to 90% in the public sector..
^ This.

And privatising the public sector will only move the pensions imbalance between individuals and employers into one sector. Will those still fortunate enough to have any pension then still get scapegoated?
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Old 13-04-2012, 10:27
andykn
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That head in the sand approach doesn't work on me. Ultimately someone has to pay for the public sector pensions and if you ignore the problem it will fall to all taxpayers. I don't see how that is particularly fair.
Because taxpayers said they'd pay it when they employed those people.

It's a fair contract.
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Old 13-04-2012, 10:31
GreatGodPan
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Everything seems to cost families £2,000. Its as if its the standard figure used by right wing think tanks to try and scare the horses into supporting their agenda.

Doesn't work on me. Everyone who works should be able to expect a decent retirement. The real issues with pensions are in the private sector where fewer than 25% have any pension provision and that number is shrinking, compared to 90% in the public sector.

When we sort out private sector pensions, then and only then, should be we look at the public sector
.
Excellently put.

All workers must stick together on this - a decent pension should be a fundamental right, irrespective of sector worked in.

Private as well as public sector workers must be prepared to fight for what is - or should be - theirs.
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Old 13-04-2012, 10:35
TheEngineer
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Sorry GGP but you are engaging in "sound bite politics" of the worst kind

Wow! After the recent Rich man's budget with its cutting tax for the very wealthy,
Reversing a temporary tax rise that was noting more than a political move that almost certainly caused more damage than any tax raised.

The best way to avoid tax avoidance and evasion is to simplify the tax system. There is no extra tax, just a freeze in allowances. This and a decent rise in the state pension (yes it is RPI but it would have been lower under the Labour formula) still means pensioners have more cash in their pockets.

the parlous state of the economy,rising unemployment
Thanks to the policies of the previous administration. You can't clear up a decade of mismanagement in a couple of years.

other recent embarrassments for the govt
I assume you mean things like the pasty issue? Or the "jerry can" comment. In the first instance it is another attempt at tax simplification. In the latter people went in to "panic mode". If the unions had negotiated quietly behind the scenes rather than scaremongering then this would never have happened.

it's nice to see the Usual Suspects going into battle on their usual old nags - public sector pensions!!!
Which we as taxpayers are on the hook for if the councils don't pay up - do you not think flagging this as a concern is valid?

And quoting the Taxpayer's Alliance too!

I'm coming over all nostalgic.......

Just remember, nostalgia is always rose tinted
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Old 13-04-2012, 10:52
ALANM
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Many others, including BT pensioners like me, are also victims of the ongoing war against public sector pensions.

Those of us who joined the company before privitisation had their pensions linked to CPI instead of RPI in the 2010 budget. This resulted in an increase of 4.8% (RPI) last year for those who'd joined the scheme after privitisation in 1985 but just 3.1% (CPI) for those who joined earlier. It's been estimated that this change will eventually reduce the value of pensions in payment to the company's longest serving employees by up to 25%.

That said, BT is happy because this measure on its own reduced the deficit by £2.9bn.

http://www.lv.com/media_centre/news/...?detailid=3711
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Old 13-04-2012, 10:55
Murky Past
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Which we as taxpayers are on the hook for if the councils don't pay up - do you not think flagging this as a concern is valid?
We as taxpayers should be willing to pay for decent staff for public services.

As someone has already pointed out, the real problem that needs flagging up is that the private sector gets away with not offering decent pension contributions to their employees. THEY are the problem we need to tackle given that we have an ageing population.
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Old 13-04-2012, 10:58
MartinP
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Because taxpayers said they'd pay it when they employed those people.

It's a fair contract.
Depending on the contract, elements of the pension scheme can be amended and many things have changed since some of the people were employed. Fairness cuts both ways.
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Old 13-04-2012, 11:07
jmclaugh
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I can only laugh that private sector pensions are being touted as the real problem while ignoring the issues with public sector ones which the thread is about.

It has often been said that local government pension schemes are funded by contributions from employees which are invested and paid from such investements as opposed to those of central government pensions which are funded on a pay as you go basis by taxpayers. It appears local government shemes have fared no better than their private sector counterparts except they seem to have a guarantor in the taxpayer.
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Old 13-04-2012, 11:14
ThePhotographer
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Because taxpayers said they'd pay it when they employed those people.

It's a fair contract.
I don't know any taxpayer who entered into a contract with those people.

A government agreed the contract with the people it involves, not the taxpayer. The thing is only funded by taxpayer.

It's like saying customers engaged into a contract with ASDA over how to pay its staff. It's the company not customers who enter into contract with employees.

Lovely, lovely snide wording you used though.
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Old 13-04-2012, 11:41
Phil 2804
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I can only laugh that private sector pensions are being touted as the real problem while ignoring the issues with public sector ones which the thread is about.

.

Laugh away but who do you think is going to pick up the tab when this timebomb hits?

A responsible Government would be on this like a rash unless your happy for out children facing massive public debt and tax rises as the cost of looking after private sector workers with no pension provision starts to hit home.

I have a pension, I'm in the private sector, but I have a pension, as do the vast majority of public sector workers. Explain to me why its fair that they should see their provision cut, and I should pay higher taxes to cover people and companies who made no effort to provide for the future?

Classic Tory obessesion with greedy public sector workers while totally ignorant of the much more serious problems looming in the saintly private sector.

Its pathetic that Tory supporters are so blind to reality.
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Old 13-04-2012, 11:48
David Tee
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Excellently put.

All workers must stick together on this - a decent pension should be a fundamental right, irrespective of sector worked in.

Private as well as public sector workers must be prepared to fight for what is - or should be - theirs.


It's not a question of being prepared to fight for it. Everyone would like a bullet-proof, well-minted pension.

It's a question of being prepared to PAY for it. Even when the pension isn't actually yours.
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Old 13-04-2012, 11:57
jmclaugh
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Laugh away but who do you think is going to pick up the tab when this timebomb hits?

A responsible Government would be on this like a rash unless your happy for out children facing massive public debt and tax rises as the cost of looking after private sector workers with no pension provision starts to hit home.

I have a pension, I'm in the private sector, but I have a pension, as do the vast majority of public sector workers. Explain to me why its fair that they should see their provision cut, and I should pay higher taxes to cover people and companies who made no effort to provide for the future?

Classic Tory obessesion with greedy public sector workers while totally ignorant of the much more serious problems looming in the saintly private sector.

Its pathetic that Tory supporters are so blind to reality.
Well that's a bit of a rant and quite an uninformed one at that. I am well aware of the issues with private sector final salary pension schemes and it appears local government schemes are in a very similar position except they haven't been closed and have it seems the ultimate backstop, the taxpayer.

Taxpayers in the private sector have been paying taxes to cover public sector pensions for years and your rather bizarre view that it is all due to the private sector that public sector pensions are under such scrutiny regarding their affordability is to say the least bizarre.

Nobody seems to have a solution to the basic problem with pensions which is the lack of money to pay them, be it in the private or public sectors.
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Old 13-04-2012, 12:11
Davser
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So £37bn was wiped from the liabilty in teh last year and the current liabilty is £57bn?

Coupe of years and its sorted.

There are numerous LGPS out there and it is up to each one to sort theirs out. MY LGPS is in rude health thanks very much, in no small part due to us ghaving tiered rates where the better paid pay a higher percentage than the lower paid. Seems to be working.
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Old 13-04-2012, 12:17
soulboy77
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I was reading that many councils don't actually have a 'pension fund' as such for former employees. Pensions are being funded directly from income received from rates and the government.
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Old 13-04-2012, 12:18
Puterkid
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I have been buying extra years of pension for 15 years. I will have paid over £100,000 into my pension by the time I retire, currently won't be at least until I'm 68. My estimated annual pension is around £15,000. I will have to live a long time to get my investment back. Meanwhile, the council I work for has had my money to invest and has done really well and has a surplus.

When I retire, I will no doubt have to pay extortionate tax on my pension in order to support the millions of older people who have not saved for their own pension, either because of irresponsible employers, or because they didn't want to, or couldn't afford it.

I wonder if the taxpayers alliance will complain when this happens.
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Old 13-04-2012, 12:27
Tel69
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So £37bn was wiped from the liabilty in teh last year and the current liabilty is £57bn?

Coupe of years and its sorted.
So assuming the stock market/global economies slowly pick up the deficit will reduce further? Everyone should be entitiled to a decent pension wether they work in the private or public sector. It's funding them in a sustainable way that few seem to have cracked.
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Old 13-04-2012, 12:55
andykn
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Depending on the contract, elements of the pension scheme can be amended and many things have changed since some of the people were employed. Fairness cuts both ways.
The pension scheme is part of the contract of employment and it would be unfair to change it afterwards.
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