County's pension pot plummets further

A TOTAL of £200million has now been wiped off the value of Suffolk's pension pot since last December, it emerged today.

A TOTAL of £200million has now been wiped off the value of Suffolk's pension pot since last December, it emerged today.

The losses, which total more than £100m in just the last three months, have come about as a result of falls in global markets where much of the pot is invested.

The pot now stands at £1,176m, down £106m on June 2008 and £206m down on December 2007 when the total was £1,382m.

Cash from the pension fund provides support for former county staff as well as former employees at Suffolk's district councils.

Jeremy Pembroke, leader of Suffolk County Council, said the pension fund is a long-term investment and stressed that pension payments will not be affected by the drop.

He said: “The message I want to get to people is that their pensions are safe.

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“I don't want people living through difficult times to get worried, because their pensions are safe.

Mr Pembroke added that the performance of the fund remains stronger than comparable funds and is likely to bounce back given time.

“If you compare it to other pension funds I think it is not too bad at all,” he said.

“You need to take a very long-term view.

“If you start selling when things are at their worst I can assure you that the performance will come out very much later on and you will regret it.

“It's uncomfortable, painful and worrying for people but you just have to wait it out.

“In the longer term you need to be in equities to benefit from growth.”

Are you concerned about the fallout of the financial crisis? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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