UK - A burgeoning £3.8bn deficit in local authority pension schemes will prompt a raft of council tax hikes, lawyers warn.
They say workers could be forced to “pay twice” for their pensions following new research which shows that eight out of 10 public sector schemes in England are seriously underfunded.
Corporate law firm Lawrence Graham said the total deficit was likely to have exceeded £4bn due to stock market falls in 2002, forcing local authorities to cut local services to raise revenue.
Of 37 authorities surveyed, 29 were underfunded to that level during their last actuarial valuations in 2001.
All schemes will be re-valued next month.
Partner Simon Randall warned the cost hikes for residents may not be transparent. He said: “Many of [the bills] will reflect increased pensions contributions being made to address the shortfall by local authority employers.
He added: “However, councils do not have to specify pension costs and council tax payers cannot easily identify whether they are fuelling increased demands.”
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