Amyas Morse, the Comptroller and Auditor General, has refused to sign off fully the 2011-12 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.
Although the C&AG has found significant improvement in records kept for the pension schemes, as in the 2010-11 accounts the C&AG has qualified his audit opinion in two respects.
First, the Cabinet Office has not retained, or been able to provide the NAO with, sufficient records to enable the spending watchdog to confirm all pensioners or other beneficiaries have received the correct payments, in accordance with the rules of the Scheme.
Secondly, given his concern over the records held, the C&AG sought assurance that the estimated pension liability of £144 billion, based on the Scheme’s membership records, was reasonable. The evidence presented to him was insufficient to give him that assurance.
Pensions awarded under the PCSPS are linked to a member’s length of qualifying service and salary. In some six per cent of the cases (by value) tested by the NAO, insufficient evidence was provided that the correct payment had been made.
PCSPS is to undergo a period of significant change which may increase the risks identified by this audit.