Local council pensions have a total deficit of £54bn, equating to about £2,000 for every family in the country, according to research from the Taxpayers' Alliance.
The tax lobby group said its analysis of the 101 funds which make up the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) said the combined deficit had increase £51bn from 2008-2009.
It said the LGPS was "more generous that most private sector pensions" and was in urgent need of reform.
Matthew Sinclair, director of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "The deficit in the Local Government Pension Scheme remains a ticking time bomb that's being left for future generations of taxpayers to deal with. With an ageing population and a crisis in the public finances, generous final salary schemes like the LGPS are inflexible and too expensive, and need urgent reform.
"Councils should not take false comfort in the improvement in the stock market. Their pension liabilities continue to far outweigh their assets and the situation remains worse than two years ago."
The LGPS is has been in negotiations with the government on cost saving measures as part of the public sector pension reform package currently underway.
Headline findings included:
- Birmingham City Council had a deficit of £1.3bn, the biggest deficit in 2010-11 and the only council with a deficit of more than £1bn. This is £1,292 per head of Birmingham's population.
- 14 local authorities had a deficit more than £500m in 2010-11, and 165 local authorities had deficits in excess of £100m.
- The local authority in Scotland with the largest deficit in 2010-11 was Glasgow City Council with £625m. This is £1,054 per head of Glasgow's population.
- The highest deficit per head of the local population in Scotland is Dundee City Council at £1,565 each.
- The local authority in Wales with the largest deficit in 2010-11 was Cardiff City Council with £494m. This is £1,450 per head of Cardiff's population.
- The highest deficit per head of the local population in Wales - and the entire UK - is Merthyr Tydfil Council, with a pension deficit of £2,268 per head.
- Across London's 32 Borough Councils plus the City of London and the Greater London Authority the total combined deficit was more than £9bn. This is one sixth of the overall deficit across all UK schemes.
- The highest deficit per head of population in England is in Brent Council, with £2,267 per head, followed by Gateshead Council with £2,040.
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