Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Ticking timebomb of pension shortfall for Northern Ireland council workers

Ratepayers in two Co Antrim towns face having to fund a £8.2m deficit in a pension scheme for Newtownabbey Council workers, prompting warnings that ratepayers faced a “ticking timebomb”.

The figure was revealed in research published by the TaxPayers' Alliance this week when it was learned that residents in Ballyclare and Newtownabbey will be forced to make up the shortfall worth £99 per person to cover the £8m deficit resulting from the difference in Newtownabbey Borough Council assets of £41,417,000 and liabilities worth £49,701,00.

Neighbouring councils of Carrickfergus and Larne tallied deficits of £4,144,403 and £3,591,604 with a deficit share per head of £103 and £113 respectively.?Matthew Sinclair, director of the TaxPayers' Alliance, told the Ballyclare Gazette the issue needed to be addressed urgently: “The deficit in the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) remains a ticking time-bomb that's being left for future generations of taxpayers to deal with.”

“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,” he said.

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