PENSIONERS in and around Chester have escaped heavy losses despite the fact their fund manager lost £250 million in one day.
Cheshire Pension Fund cares for pensions belonging to more than 80 groups across the county from youth groups through to council workers – although teachers, firefighters and police officers have separate arrangements.
The pension fund took a “significant” hit when Northern Rock bank ran into hard times.
This is because the pension fund has bonds and “long term global equities” managed by Baillie Gifford which was Northern Rock’s largest shareholder.
International money newspaper PIOnline reported the Edinburgh fund manager along with Legal & General Investment Management managed £65 million in Cheshire funds between them in 2006 and ran more than £650 million active global balanced portfolio for the fund.
But this is only a small part of the total pension pot which runs to £2 billion.
County Council spokesman Ian Callister said that losses were commonplace but so were big gains.
He said: “The fund did lose money because of the involvement with Northern Rock but it wasn’t sufficient to have any effect on the fund overall because of gains elsewhere.”
Meanwhile Northern Rock has borrowed an estimated £25 billion from the taxpayer in a bid to keep afloat. This week’s Government announcement that it would extend its guarantee and cover more of the stricken lender’s liabilities is thought to pose a greater risk for taxpayers.