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Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General on the Civil Superannuation accounts 2010-11

Amyas Morse, the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG), has qualified his audit opinion on the 2010-11 Civil Superannuation accounts which report the financial results of the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme (PCSPS) and a number of other small public sector pension schemes.

The C&AG has qualified his audit opinion in two respects:

  • A qualification relating to the regularity of benefit payments. The audit sought assurance that benefit payments made by the PCSPS were in accordance with the Scheme rules, but the Cabinet Office has not retained or been able to provide the NAO with sufficient records ahead of the statutory deadline to enable confirmation that all pensioners or other beneficiaries have received the correct payments.
  • A limitation of scope relating to the truth and fairness of the valuation of the pension liability. Given the concern over the records held, the C&AG sought assurance that the estimated pension liability of £136 billion, based on the Scheme’s membership records, was reasonable. The evidence presented to him within the statutory timetable was insufficient to support, in all material respects, the estimate of the liability.

Most pensions awarded under the PCSPS are linked to a member’s length of qualifying service and salary. In a quarter of the cases (by value) tested by the NAO, insufficient evidence was provided to confirm that the correct payment had been made.

In future, ensuring the systematic retention and maintenance of members’ records which need to be held over several decades should be a priority for the Scheme.

Notes for Editors

  1. Press notices and reports are available from the date of publication on the NAO website, which is at Hard copies can be obtained from The Stationery Office on 0845 702 3474.
  2. The Comptroller and Auditor General, Amyas Morse, is the head of the National Audit Office which employs some 880 staff. He and the NAO are totally independent of Government. He certifies the accounts of all Government departments and a wide range of other public sector bodies; and he has statutory authority to report to Parliament on the economy, efficiency and effectiveness with which departments and other bodies have used their resources.

All enquiries to Phil Groves, NAO Press Office:

Tel: 020 7798 5339 Mobile: 07770 678477

Full report - Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General on the Civil Superannuation accounts 2010-11