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Kent County Council facing £120m shortfall in its pension fund

Kent County Council has confirmed its pension fund has recouped nearly £140 million invested in an equity fund that collapsed - still leaving it out of pocket to the tune of £120m.

Some £260m was invested in the Woodford Equity Fund, which went into administration last year.

Kent County Council has confirmed its pension fund is out of pocket to the tune of £120 million
Kent County Council has confirmed its pension fund is out of pocket to the tune of £120 million

The money had been invested in the Kent pension fund, which has 135,000 members, including frontline staff such as police officers and firefighters.

But the investment fund ran into trouble last year and was frozen when KCC sought to withdraw its money.

That in turn resulted in the fund going into administration and creditors had been waiting to learn whether their stake was to be recouped.

A spokesman for the KCC Superannuation Fund said: "We can confirm that we have received a letter from the administrators of the Woodford fund stating that we will be receiving an initial sum of £138.9million tomorrow.

"We have also been advised that further sums will be forthcoming dependent on the sale of the assets of the fund."

Investment manager Neil Woodford
Investment manager Neil Woodford

KCC had previously been warned to expect losses of about a quarter of its money - about £60m.

It has emphasised on several occasions the investment represents only a fraction of the total value of the pension fund.

However, there has been some criticism of the lack of transparency around the investment.

Fund boss Neil Woodford was summoned last year by the Kent Superannuation Fund Committee to answer questions around the potential losses but did so behind closed doors.

And there could be a further sting in the tail for Kent after it emerged that some £10m of administration fees could be passed on to investors.

KCC earlier said it was not about the decision to close the Woodford Equity Fund.

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