1. ITV Report

Merthyr council 'has highest pension debt'

Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council offices Photo: ITV News Wales

A pressure group has called for 'urgent reform' of the Local Government Pension Scheme after a £54 billion black hole in 2010 to 2011.

Merthyr Tydfil County Brough Council was found to have a pension deficit of over £2,000 per head of the local population - the highest in the UK.

The Taxpayers' Alliance said the combined pension deficit for all UK local authorities was £54 billion in 2010-2011, and claimed that current arrangements are "inflexible and too expensive".

Robert Oxley, Taxpayers' Alliance

The Welsh Local Government Association has issued a strong response to the claims, saying the report does not reflect changes already made to the scheme

The picture painted in the report is based on a spurious way of gauging the viability of a pension scheme, and does not reflect the changes that have already been made to the Local Government Pensions Scheme (LGPS) to help secure its long term viability

The nominal deficit fell last year, thus demonstrating the efficacy of the action already taken. Further work is currently in train, with a restructured LGPS expected to be introduced in April 2014

– Steve Thomas, WLGA