Email sent 12 October 2013 18:56

The precarious state of NPS Stockport

(please see posting

Dear Councillor Roberts

I refer to your letter of 13th September concerning the question I had put to the Executive Meeting of 12th September 2013. Thank you for the quick response.

I am surprised by your explanations and especially those concerning pension liability and its disclosure. In the NPS Balance Sheet of 31/1/12 you see the position is as follows and have no comment as far as it goes:-

Total assests £1,110,000

Liabilities 666,000

Net assets £444,000

But then it stops, whereas the legal accounts rightly continue by stating the pension liability as calculated at 31/1/12. This is not an option – to exclude it would be misleading to the shareholders, potential investors , partners in ventures and others. The exclusion and reasons for it have to be decared in the financial statements and it would not be sufficient to waive the issue aside, as you have done.

The liability represents pensions “earned” up to 31/1/12 but payable after that. Therefore, it is a mixture of short, long and “in between” – so it is not wholly long term (as you state). To say that the liability is covered by each year’s contributions is confusing, and overlooks the fact that the current contributions bring with them further new liabilities for the future.

The reference to cash (out of context) is irrelevant if the net assets £444,000 (or the pension liability) include the cash.

I will be interested to see the 31/1/13 financial statements when they are available and this is a FOI request to ask to see those please.

Your reference to the continuation “until a new provider is put in place” situation is not clear but, whatever emerges, the pensions liability will have to be considered and dealt with.

Kind regards