Relief over dwindling county pension pot

SUFFOLK pension fund chiefs are breathing a sigh of relief today after it was confirmed they have not lost money as a result of an alleged $50billion fraud.

SUFFOLK pension fund chiefs are breathing a sigh of relief today after it was confirmed they have not lost money as a result of an alleged $50billion fraud.

A new report has revealed a large chunk of cash from the county council's pension pot is managed by a finance firm called Millennium which in turn uses Man Group PLC to look after some of the investment.

Man Group announced last month it has around $360million invested in funds linked to Bernard Madoff, the man accused of running a fraudulent $50bn scheme which saw heavy losses for many investors around the world.

A report prepared for Suffolk County Council reveals that an investment arm of Man Group, called RMF, was responsible for the Madoff investment meaning the authority's cash is safe.

As of September 30 last year the county council had �36million invested with Millennium.

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council said: “Millennium is an organisation that manages funds for Suffolk County Council and they use the Mann Group to undertake equitisation.

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“The link between Man Group PLC and Madoff doesn't mean to say the county council has lost out.

“The term is 'no contagion risk'. In other words no Suffolk County County Council money is at risk.”

Suffolk's pension pot has endured a tough time over the past few months.

In November The Evening Star revealed a total of �200million had been wiped off the value of the pension pot since December 2007.

The losses have come about as a result of falls in global markets where much of the pot is invested.

In November the pot stood 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.

Ipswich Borough Council has also fallen victim to the global economic downturn with question marks still hanging over a �5million investment the authority made with a troubled Icelandic Bank.

Have your investments taken a nose dive? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Madoff was arrested by the FBI on charges of fraud on December 11 for allegedly running a $50billion “ponzi” scheme.

A ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to investors out of the money paid by subsequent investors rather than from profit. It is also known as a pyramid scheme.

Madoff was freed on a $10 million bond and cannot travel far outside the New York area.

Currently all his financial assets have been frozen.

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