Local council worker pensions among minority not hammered by Brexit vote

Londonderry's Guildhall in the Foyle constituency
Londonderry's Guildhall in the Foyle constituency

The pensions administrator for thousands of local council workers, ex-Ilex staff, WELB, NIHE, Magee, City of Derry Airport, NWRC, Ulsterbus and some schools, says there’s no need to panic about the affect Brexit will have on their retirement plans.

The Northern Ireland Local Government Officers’ Superannuation Committee (NILGOSC) has insisted their pensions haven’t taken a hit, in the aftermath of the ‘Leave’ vote in the same way that ‘defined contribution’ pension schemes, which are directly linked to the value of stocks and shares, have been hammered in the wake of the referendum.

In a bulletin designed to reassure local people concerned about the impact Brexit will have on their day-to-day livelihood, NILGOSC, stated: “As seen in the aftermath of the vote announcement the financial markets fell badly.

“More volatility is expected in the short term. The calculation of your NILGOSC pension is based on your pensionable pay and is not dependent on the financial markets.

“You may see some commentators declare that market falls will affect pensions but they will be referring to the more common ‘Defined Contribution’ pension schemes, which are based on investment values and not the ‘Defined Benefit’ schemes such as NILGOSC.

“Therefore if you are currently paying into the Scheme and are yet to take your NILGOSC pension benefits you should not be concerned that the turmoil in the financial markets will affect the calculation of your pension.

“If you already are receiving your pension then the value is not affected by the financial turmoil. For most years your pension has increased in line with inflation and there is a protection to ensure that when inflation is negative your pension is not reduced. If you are receiving your pension and you live outside of the UK (whether in the EU or not) there will be no change to the existing process.”

NILGOSC acknowledged the financial markets’ “very quick” and “very negative” reaction to the decision by the UK electorate to leave the European Union.