UK - The Local Government Pension Scheme's deficit could swell to £60bn (US$97.8bn) this year if current trends continue, research from the Liberal Democrats revealed.
The revelation came following a freedom of information request sent by the party to 87 local government funds.
Of the 84 that responded "substantively" to the request, 83 reported a 2007 funding shortfall. Since then, 10% of funds have revealed deficit increases of more than 280% on average following internal scheme valuations.
Liberal Democrat work and pensions spokesman Steve Webb said if this trend is replicated across all schemes the next LGPS valuation - due to take place on March 31 this year - stands to uncover a deficit of more than £60bn.
Webb accused government of "failing to grasp the nettle" of local government pensions funding.
He added: "A failure to set aside enough money and run the scheme responsibly means millions of people could be faced with cuts to vital services and council tax hikes, hitting pensioners especially hard.
"It's totally unfair to burden people with these unexpected demands. Thanks to ministers sticking their heads in the sand many vulnerable people will suffer."
He also dismissed government proposals to remove the obligation on local government schemes to be 100% funded.
"This would simply defer the cost and mean future generations would pick up the bill", he said.
Trade union Unite said claims the LGPS was running a £60bn deficit were "far removed from financial reality".
Assistant general secretary for the public sector Gail Cartmail said: "The Liberal Democrats are playing into the hands of the right-wing myth-makers and commentators peddling the line that hard-working public servants are living in the lap of luxury once they have retired."
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