Saturday, 6 March 2010

Latest TPA report on the LGPS

There are some odd figures here (PDF). The deficit has gone up by £11bn, but the assets have fallen by £21bn. Doesn’t that imply that the liabilities have fallen by £10bn? (Yes, I know it's not that simple, but it does make you wonder if the TPA is comparing like with like).

Also the figures don’t justify the TPA’s argument. The fact that assets that local authorities hold have fallen in value (and correspondingly the deficit has risen) doesn’t mean that the LGPS is too generous. All the figures really tell us is that if something falls in value it is worth less. Great. So if you’re using A to balance B, and A falls in value, then the gap between A and B becomes bigger. Amazing stuff.

And finally at the risk of stating the blindingly obvious you could write an identical story about private sector pension schemes. Oh wait, some people without a dumb anti-pension agenda already did (PDF), and the numbers can be portrayed as being even more scary. From a £12bn surplus to a £200bn deficit in a year, clearly this must mean these schemes are far too generous or something....

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