Pension fund - Clearing up WLDC figures

As a member of the Pensions Committee at our County Council, it is my duty to clarify some information from Coun Darcel published in the Rasen Mail.

Although West Lindsey has debts now totalling £26 million, up £4 million from a year ago, most of this is not due to pension funding, but takes the form of long-term borrowing from the Public Works Loan Board (PWLB) and commercial banks. They are famous for high rates and fees.

The Lincolnshire Pension Fund has around 65,000 scheme members and nearly 200 contributing employers, including local authorities, academies, private contractors and small charities. The Fund had assets at the end of March 2014 of £1.6bn. Therefore, in spite of the economic downturn, we are doing an astonishingly good job for all our members.

And here is some more good news: The £9.9bn West Yorkshire Pension Fund – the largest LGPS(Local Government Pension Scheme) fund by asset size – will now provide a shared service pension administration and payroll service for members of the Lincolnshire local government scheme, with the County Council as its first local authority partner.

According to 2011-12 figures compiled by the Department for Communities and Local Government, the average annual administration cost per scheme member for LGPS funds in England and Wales was £112.11.

Lincolnshire’s administration cost per head over the period was below average at £85.16, but West Yorkshire’s costs were the lowest of all English and Welsh funds, at just £28.33 per head.

We are convinced we have made a sound business decision in forging an initial five year contract that will allow us to more effectively concentrate on even better returns.

Coun Burt Keimach

Market Rasen County and 
District Council