HUNDREDS of public sector workers across Cambridgeshire will be charged to find out about their pension funds after besieging administrators with requests. So many employees, who are concerned about their jobs, are asking – sometimes twice or three times

HUNDREDS of public sector workers across Cambridgeshire will be charged to find out about their pension funds after besieging administrators with requests.

So many employees, who are concerned about their jobs, are asking - sometimes twice or three times a year - that individuals will now be charged if they ask more than once in 12 months.

Cambridgeshire County Council's pensions committee, which looks after 136 individual employing organisations across the county, will charge £50 or £100 to update the figures more than once a year.

A report to next week's pensions committee points out that many workers across the county, mainly in Peterborough, will lose their jobs and more will follow in the months ahead.

Allison Kew, head of pensions, said since last November the council had handled 243 pension entitlement requests from staff and of these 150 had been received since January 1.

"Most of the requests for estimates are for people facing redundancy," said Ms Kew.

She is also concerned because of possible job losses in the summer as "there has already been an indication that the level of school related redundancies may be higher than normal".

The council says anyone aged over 50 being made redundant can claim their local government pension but many people worried about their jobs were regularly asking for a statement detailing their entitlements.

To prevent employees asking for this information more than once a year, the council is proposing to introduce a charge.

Stephen Moir, director of people and policy for the county council, said the pensions service acts as the "host authority" for in excess of 136 employing organisations including five district councils, the police, fire service and Peterborough City Council.

Only a handful of the requests for pension estimates related to county council workers, he said.