Pensions raid threat as Partnerships for Schools searches for extra cash

Public sector pension funds could be used to help finance shortfalls in the government’s school building projects as private finance dries up.

Partnerships for Schools (PfS), the government body responsible for the £55bn building programme, is considering numerous options to help make up for a shortfall in private financing, including borrowing cash from local authority pension funds.

The funds comprise some £100bn of final salary pension schemes for around two million council workers, according to the Times.

PfS has confirmed it was having initial discussions with local government to explore whether pension funds could provide additional financing for building projects.

Councillor Ian Greenwood, chairman of the Local Authority Pension Fund Forum, confirmed that local authorities had been approached, but said there could be a conflict of interests if local schools were being funded by council staff’s retirement funds.

PfS is also attempting to significantly increase funding from the European Investment Bank, which it already owes £300m.

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