Scottish Labour’s pensions spokesperson, Gregg McClymont MP, today commented on further warnings from the Institute of Faculty of Actuaries as to the risks that Independence will bring to the pensions of people in Scotland. Mr McClymont highlighted some of the arguments which Gordon Brown MP also made to an audience at Glasgow university on Tuesday night where he outlined pensions as one of the five key positive reasons to stay in a strong United Kingdom. Mr McClymont stated;
“Scots know that pooling and sharing pensions across the UK makes sense. Now Scotland’s actuaries have joined Scotland’s accountants in warning that pensions are at risk from breaking up the UK”.
“The nationalists tell us that everything will be fine on pensions, but can’t even tell us how they would be paid for.
“The Faculty of Actuaries are clear; there are no answers on who is responsible for your state pension or how it would be paid for.”
“The SNP’s promises just don’t stack up. Scots are being offered a choice on pensions – believe the experts or believe Alex Salmond.
“The pensions system in the UK works well through the pooling of resources, where the risks are spread and the rewards shared across 60 million people. Why would we want to put the pensions of hard working Scots at risk?”
Further evidence of the dangers independence poses to the pensions of the people of Scotland can be found in the following links:
1. The NAPF intervention November 2013 http://www.napf.co.uk/PressCentre/NAPFbuzz/~/media/Policy/Documents/0353-Scottish-independence-the-implications-for-pensions.pdf
– Page 4 “There remains a lack of clarity about how the regulatory structure for pension schemes in an independent Scotland would work, and how any transition would be managed. Unpicking the current compensation regime would be extremely difficult and require careful management (over a long period of time). It is also likely to lead to substantial costs.”
2. The ICAS intervention February 2014 http://icas.org.uk/Technical-Knowledge/Pensions/Thought-leadership/Scotlands_Pensions_Future_2013_Have_Our_Questions_Been_Answered/
– “We anticipate additional complexity than is currently acknowledged in relation to whether an individual’s entitlement to a state pension at the date of independence would sit with an independent Scotland or with the UK”
3. The IFoA intervention April 2014 http://www.actuaries.org.uk/news/press-releases/articles/ifoa-comments-hm-government%E2%80%99s-scotland-analysis-report-work-and-pension
– The cost of supporting pensioners needs to be met from taxes or National Insurance contributions, the majority of which is paid by those of working age. However, in Scotland the number of working-age people is projected to increase more slowly than the rest of the UK. This means it is likely that pensions for the growing pensioner population will require a greater proportion of government expenditure in Scotland in decades to come.