The Government has lost £100bn in British pension funds in what the Conservatives are calling the largest statistical error ever.
In the second quarter of 2001 official figures indicated assets of occupational pensions in both the public and private sector totalled £784bn but the following quarter the number had plummeted to £679bn.
Conservative shadow secretary of state for work and pensions David Willetts is demanding the Government provide an explanation for how this was allowed to happen.
Willetts also points out the actual number has gone down to £658bn in 2000 from £706bn in 1998, a decline which began before the stockmarkets fell.
He says while some of this is due to market turbulence, ministers must accept responsibility for the drop because it is their excessive regulations which are to blame.
The Office for National Statistics has apologised and instigated an inquiry into the matter.