Opposition blast Barnet AND Capita after contractor fails to pay £2m into pension pot

Hendon Town Hall, Barnet Council's HQ

Hendon Town Hall, Barnet Council's HQ - Credit: Archant

Barnet Council’s pension scheme has a £2.387m hole in it thanks to beleaguered contractors Capita – who have failed to make contributions required on behalf of the council’s Capita Re and Capita CSG contracts despite actually managing the pension scheme for the council itself.

In a report to the council’s pension’s committee last week, it was revealed that payment had yet to be made, although Capita had promised council officers it would take place before the meeting – which was last Tuesday.

Opposition councillor Alison Moore, who represents Labour in East Finchley ward, said : “Capita are the biggest admitted body and they are also the administrator of the pension scheme so not only do they not deal well with other admitted bodies but they can’t even get their internal processes right – the left hand really doesn’t know what the right hand is doing!

“It’s scandalous that the scheme is currently short by this much and who knows how long it would have gone on without the current tightening up of policy and procedures.”

A Barnet Council spokesperson said: “We are currently assessing the circumstances concerning the unpaid contributions. The council is strenuously chasing these outstanding payments and will update the pension fund committee once these have been made.”

A spokesperson for Capita said; “We are working with the council to secure these outstanding payments.”

The contractor did not provide a timescale for this.

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Cllr Moore laid some of the blame for the issue at the door of the ruling Barnet Conservative party.

She added: “The Conservatives running the Council are so complacent and want to sweep everything under the carpet.

“Employees who rely or will rely on their pensions have every right to expect the scheme to be run rigorously.”

The Capita CSG contract is the same joint venture between the contractor and Barnet Council which saw over £2m stolen by former Capita employee Trishul Shah, who has since been convicted of fraud.

Last month independent consultants Grant Thornton produced a report into how the fraud had not been spotted sooner, and found that a lack of council oversight played a role in allowing the crime to go undetected.