Independence and pensions (Andrina Tulloch, Jean Marwick and George Jacobson)

In a recent critical report ICAS, the body representing Scotland’s accountancy professionals, have said that the White Paper [Scotland’s Future] does not answer key questions about pensions after independence.

They note that:

• Basic questions such as who would pay state pensions have not been answered;

• “There remains no clear plan” for dealing with the problem of cross-border pension schemes first identified by ICAS last year;

• The transition period for cross-border schemes suggested by the SNP is “wholly insufficient”;

• The plans for shared pension regulation after independence are “questionable”.

Shadow pensions minister Gregg McClaymont said: “When Scotland’s accountants warn that pensions are at risk from Scottish independence, we need to listen to them. This report exposes the white paper for what it is: an uncosted wish list without a shred of credibility.

“The security of workplace pensions, which are guaranteed in the UK, become a matter for negotiation with 28 EU member states.

“ICAS are clear; there are no answers on who is responsible for your state pension, funding the multi billion pound deficits, or the future of the UK guarantee which protects Scottish savers.”

The system in the UK works well. Why do we want to put the pensions of hard-working Scots at risk?

Regardless of reassurances, the SNP promises do not stack up. So believe them or the experts the choice is yours.

Take heed and vote “no” at the referendum.

Andrina Tulloch
Quarff.

Jean Marwick
Gilbertson Road,
Lerwick.

George Jacobson
Exnaboe,
Virkie.

24 comments

  1. Charlie Banham Cullivoe

    Absolute balderdash! Anyone (actually EVERYONE) who has ever worked, paid tax an National Insurance Contributions is entitled to a the UK State Pension, their entitlement being based on the number of years worked) – no matter where they now live on this planet!
    For goodness sake, even ex pats living in Spain get the Winter Heating Allowance – paid into their now local bank account!
    The above, of course relates to those of us who are, (or will be, up to the date of Independence – March 2016?) of the age of State Pension entitlement- so no problem there is there? Unless of course the rUK chose to break it’s own laws. (Surely not, the UK self professed to being so moralistic, and caring?

    The situation for those who contributed for years to the UK NI Scheme and subsequently reach Pension age after independence, in deciding which country pays the pension to the individual concerned is really elementary – it is merely a matter of negotiation between the two respective Governments – the UK government, having collected NI contributions before 2016 would be legally obligated to pay a pension based on ALL of those contributions. Whether the UK chooses to directly pay to the individual, in Scotland (as I think it should – in £Sterling of course!) – or whether it is given to the Scottish Government, which in turn, would pay the individual pensioner – can be, and will be sorted out by negotiation in due course.
    I am a pensioner, 73 yeas old, and I am NOT afraid of change, neither am I in any way scared of the future of my adopted country after independence,so wake up you seniors – don’t believe all of the scaremongering stories the debate for against independence has raised – it is much more important to everyone of us, than what the Main Stream Media and the ‘Usual Suspects’ tell us – like the numerous ‘Scottish’ Westminster MP’s who seem much more interested in self preservation (they would all lose their jobs after independence) and maintaining the status quo gravy train that they have enjoyed at our expense for far too many years.

    And then there are the Accountants from whom the info for the above article originated. I take their perceived ‘concern’ over our pensions with a pinch of salt

    The irony being successive UK Governments who actually passed laws to allow these tax dodges, while at the same time portraying feigned indignation about the ‘immorality’ that they, themselves allowed to happen in the first place. Truly Sickening

    Common sense would dictate that iron-clad laws should be passed, then strictly enforced to stop all tax avoidance schemes – if you, anyone, any company regardless of where in the world it’s head office is. if it wants to do business and make in this country, it must pay taxes in this country – if they chose not to do that that we ‘invite’ them to leave and not come back. No Exceptions!
    Sadly, with the UK politicians, collectively and as individuals common sense is abjectly absent from their persona

    What an opportunity we have ahead of us – to make dramatic changes – peacefully with just a vote we can control our own destiny and that of our future generations

    Reply
    • Ali Inkster

      “Your benefits could be affected if there are gaps in your National Insurance record. National Insurance credits help protect them.” this is from the HMRC website.
      If there are gaps for example after a yes vote you stop paying in to the system you will get hee haw (Scotish for sweet FA), same as if there are gaps for any other reason. folk that live in the UK will get income support to cover this but it would be means tested, folk outside the UK for example in an independent Scotland will get hee haw (It sounds funny but its no really).
      Now in an Independent Shetland your pension will be paid from a fraction of the interest from our oil fund.
      BETTER AFF CLEAR O DA LOT O DEM

      Reply
      • Ian Leask

        you have just described what happens now Ali not after independence

      • Ali Inkster

        Ok Ian tell me why the rUK tax payers would fund the pensions of a foreign country after a yes vote. Remember there is no pension pot the Englishman sorry I meant Scotsman Gordon Brown spent it around the same time he sold the gold reserves of the entire UK. BETTER AFF CLEAR O DA LOT O DEM.

  2. Johan Adamson

    I am a member of ICAS. I am sure this point on pensions will need to be worked out after the referendum, but it is not a reason to not vote yes if you believe Scotland should be independent. Pensions pre and post a yes vote will still be invested by the Scottish and London fund managers in world wide investments. Like also to clarify the tax framework, there will be a lot of work to be done by the new independent country, and plenty of negotiations to be had post a yes vote.

    Reply
  3. Douglas Young

    The DWP have clearly stated that pensions will continue to be paid in the normal way.

    Five minutes research on the internet and you can find numerous copies of their letter to people with concerns.

    This kind of nonsense puts the No campaign in a very bad light for the undecideds.

    If there is a positive case for the union time is running out to make it.

    Perhaps this is why Facebook pages for Yes Shetland and Better Together Shetland have 1,963 and 264 followers respectively?

    Reply
    • Gregory Martin

      “Perhaps this is why Facebook pages for Yes Shetland and Better Together Shetland have 1,963 and 264 followers respectively?”

      That’s interesting, but probably not. To understand this statistic and make it useful, you would first need to filter out followers not in Shetland itself and followers trolling each side of the argument, then examine Facebook’s own demographic for age, sex and usage in Shetland.

      I’ve no doubt in the future, when politicians work out how to read and use this information, it will be a very powerful tool for controlling and influencing the populous.

      Reply
    • Robert Duncan

      Douglas, the payment of pensions for those who have already paid in is not in question. What is less certain is the security an independent Scotland will offer to those still working who have not yet paid in enough to retire on a UK pension.

      Reply
  4. Brian Smith

    The rainbow coalition doesn’t read the news, Douglas.

    Reply
    • John Tulloch

      Isn’t the DWP a function of the (“vile Tory”) Westminster government?

      They surely aren’t that bad, after all?

      Reply
  5. Gordon Harmer

    Charlie Banham, Brian Smith and Douglas Young should read and understand the letter above before commenting and looking foolish.

    The above triumvirate’s statement was ” Basic questions such as who would pay state pensions have not been answered;”

    An extremely valid question, WHO will pay our state pension, in his statement DWP Minister Steve Webb told a government committee those who had “accumulated rights” would be entitled to the money.
    However, he said there were still questions over which government would pay the money.

    What they are asking is do we vote no and receive our pensions, worry and stress free as we always have. Or do we vote yes and wait and get stressed out while waiting to see how the negotiations go to see who will pay us and see which currency we will be paid in and how much will it actually be worth in real terms.

    Douglas, Yes Shetland and Better Together Shetland may have 1,963 and 265 followers respectively. Should you click on the 1,963 and the 265 you will see that the majority of Yes Shetland followers come from Glasgow and Edinburgh and the majority of Better Together Shetland followers come from Shetland.
    They have both have the name Shetland on the end of their title for a reason and BT Shetlanders seem to be well ahead.

    By digging deeper you will find that well over 200 of the Better Together Shetland followers actually do come from Shetland and just over 100 of Yes Shetland followers come from Shetland. You will also find that the majority of Yes Shetland followers, follow Yes Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Orkney, etc, etc etc, a good way of artificially projecting a large local following.

    You want eighty, No luck matey.

    Reply
    • Johan Adamson

      Gordon Harmer these arguments do not help your campaign. The pensions or tax regime and how they will work for Scotland are valid questions post a yes vote, but they are not showstoppers. We would just have to make it all work, get what we are entitled to, like any other breakaway nation or divorcee.

      Reply
      • Gordon Harmer

        Johan, it is a show stopper if you are or are approaching pension age; something of a selfish statement from yourself. How on earth can you get what you are entitled to in a new country when no one has contributed to anything and it all depends on what Salmond manages to claw back for us in the negotiations.

        In a divorce you get a solicitor to stake your claims and you know what you are getting before the divorce is finalised. With independence the divorce comes first and the settlement afterwards, not a great scenario for pensioners or anyone else for that matter.

        As for just make it all work; that is the weirdest way of spelling a secure safe and prosperous future I have ever heard.

        If that is what a yes vote means, we must all definitely vote NO.

      • Johan Adamson

        Yes, Gordon, but you make the decision to get divorced first, and then sort out the details of the settlement eftir. No one is going to be able to close down your bank account or anything just cos its a separate country, it is still in your name. I may be closer to pension age than you think, and there is a pot there for me of pension, of not very much with my name on it, even though I may choose to work into my dotage.

      • Gordon Harmer

        You make a decision to divorce first then you agree on the settlement, then you sign on the dotted line.

        Independence means you make a decision to go independent then you irreversibly sign on the dotted line then you negotiate the settlement.

        Funnily enough those negotiations on the settlement will be with the very government that just about every yes voter does not trust or want to be governed by. That very government will be the ones who decide an independent Scotland’s future; seems to me that we will be batting on a losing wicket.

  6. Joe Johnson

    Well said Gordon, also shetland have a population of well over 20,000. Not everyone is on Facebook so you can’t really say that more folk in Shetland are for independence.

    Reply
  7. Ali Inkster

    Oh and just a little something else to consider. There is no national pension pot so to think that rUK will pay National insurance to pay for pensions of folk that have stuck two fingers up to them and taken “their oil” with them is naive in the extreme. so whether it is an Independent Scotland you wish for or an Independent Shetland we will have to fund our own pensions from our own resources. I know for a fact that an independent Shetland can afford it I also know without a shadow of doubt that an independent Scotland can not, and the jury is still out on whether the UK can afford it with or without our oil.

    BETTER AFF CLEAR O DA LOT O DEM

    Reply
    • Derick Tulloch

      Ali
      You’re missing the point that Scotland pays more into the UK tax pot than we take out.

      If the rUK were to take a unique huff and treat pensioners in Scotland differently than pensioners in Spain is irrelevant. We have the income to pay pensions, and indeed to pay a better pension.

      Reply
      • Ali Inkster

        Derick you are completely of the wall with that. Scotland is currently running an £8billion+ deficit, paying less in tax than it is spending.

      • Gordon Harmer

        You are so wrong as you use percentages of GDP instead of actual cash figures Scotlands GDP £56 billion, government spending £64 billion yet you and the yeSNP use the figures Scotland 9.8% of UK GDP but 9.3% of government spending and then use the 5% point difference to claim that Scotland puts more in than it gets out when the truth is even with the oil there is an £8 billion deficit

      • Derick Tulloch

        Gordon,

        Dear oh dear. Scotland’s GDP is not £56bn, it is £151bn ($257bn USD). Of course it’s relevant to use per capita GDP – how else could international comparisons be made? The USA has a total GDP of $16,800,000bn, but it isn’t sixteen thousand times richer per head than a nation with a GDP of $100bn.

        But just for fun, Scotland’s GDP of $257bn is about the same as Finland and larger than New Zealand ($183bn), Kuwait ($183bn), Ireland ($218bn), Bahrain ($33bn). Source World Bank 2013

        Scotland runs a deficit of £7.6bn or 5.0% of GDP. The UK runs a deficit of £121.0bn or 7.9% of GDP. Therefore Scotland is has a net fiscal balance with the UK of £4.4bn . That is we subsidize the UK by that amount every year as we are paying for rUK’s deficit over our share.

        Business for Scotland has calculated that being in the UK has cost Scotland £64bn in interest payments on a debt we didn’t need at all. http://www.businessforscotland.co.uk/you-paid-64-billion-of-interest-on-deb-that-scotland-didnt-need/

        There are, I am sure, and albeit I have never heard any, positive reasons for the UK staying together. Finance is not one of them and there is no doubt whatsoever that Scotland would be better off financially independent. Hence pensions are more affordable with Independence, not less.

  8. David Spence

    Isn’t it wonderful to know and look forward (presuming people of Scotland vote No and vile Tories win the 2015 Election) to be spending all your life paying into your pension, only for a capitalist greedy b******* working in the private health care home (once the vile Tories privatise the NHS completely) and (private sector care homes averaging around 50-60% or more in profits) once you have no choice but to depend on them (regrettably) because there is no other choice (private sector is not a choice when it comes to being blatantly robbed, conned etc) but as long as the care is deplorable, neglectful, minimum of care (because proper care eats into profits) terrible hygiene, deteriorating health and eventual death (which will happen quicker due to the assembly line of richer clients queuing up) then we will truly be thankful for society looking after the elderly and infirmed.

    Reply
  9. ian tinkler

    “No one is going to be able to close down your bank account or anything just cos its a separate country, it is still in your name.” Now that is just an absolute myth, Johan. Without the backing of a large central bank (B of E) any provincial bank can go bankrupt so very easily. Taking their country with them Eire, Iceland. Without the UK (United) what ever would have happened to Salmond’s former employer, the Bank of Scotland?

    Reply

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