Category Archives: Pensions

SNP Conference Passes Motion on State Pensions

By coincidence, in the same week as we have been promoting our new leaflet on Pensions, a motion was passed at the SNP Conference calling for an increase of State Pension in an Independent Scotland to the same level as the OECD average and supporting the commissioning of a Scottish State Pension Plan. The data referred to in the motion echoes much of the information on our leaflet.

You can download a PDF file with all our data on State Pensions and how ours compares to other developed countries: Pension Data

Or for a quick idea of how another small country much the same size as Scotland is doing with their State Pension, this will give you the general idea:

There are two UK State Pension: Men born after 6Apr 1951 and women born after 6Apr 1953. are eligible for the new state pension, now £168 / week. Anyone born before that date receives the basic pension rate, now £129/week.. Ref: at Gov.Uk Pensions

Now I bet most of us would be pleased if our State Pension was the same as Ireland’s. But Ireland’s State pension itself is still below the average for EU countries. Here’s how UK, Ireland compares with average State Pensions:

OECD Figures Source for EU28 Countries. The graph shows the percentage of state pensions to pre-retirement earnings for each country..

The UK pension is 29% of average pre-retirement earnings. We’ve used the data for men only as the current changes to women’s retirement age makes their data more complex. Ireland’s pensions is 42% of pre-retirement earnings. But the average EU Pensions is 71%. In other words EU average pension is almost two and a half times ours, in terms of pre-retirement earnings. If you use £145 as UK Pension, ie somewhere between £125 and £163, then we’d be receiving £355 a week.

Is this going to be possible in a newly independent Scotland? Well, certainly not immediately, but at least we’d have a Parliament at Holyrood who’d likely be trying to get us up to that level. SNP would be trying to do that and it’s not a stretch to surmise that the Scottish Greens, Labour and maybe LibDems would also support it. And that would be much better than what we have at the moment : State Pensions are not devolved to Holyrood but are instead in the hands of Westminster and whoever the English electorate votes into power. A Scottish State Pension Plan is the first step. Oh, wait, the first step is an independent Scotland.

State Pensions in the News ….

Reproduced with permission from @WeegieFifer

1. State Pension: International Comparisons

There have been several news items about UK State Pension this week. The House of Commons library produced a briefing about country-by-country comparisons of state pensions back in May. Don’t remember it being much in the news in May but the National have reported on it this week.

Different countries have different systems for their state pension both in terms of how they collect pension contributions and how people are eligible for them. The Commons Briefing reckons that the two countries most similar to UK’s system and therefore the best comparisons are Eire and the Netherlands. Here’s what the weekly pensions on UK, Eire and Netherlands look like, using today’s £/€ exchange rate of 0.91. There are two UK levels of state pensions depending on when you reached pension age before or after 6 April 2016.

2. Raising Pensions Age to 75?

The UK State Pension Age (SPA) is due to rise to 66 next year. But reports appeared in the press this week about a proposal to raise the SPA to 75. (Guardian, Daily Mail ) 75? Can this really be true? It is true that the conservative think-tank Centre for Social Justice, which first proposed Universal Credit and is chaired by Ian Duncan Smith MP, have published a report in which they propose raising the SPA to 70 by 2028 and to 75 by 2038. Here’s their recommendation:

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Our Pensions Leaflet

Here it is. It’s A4 size, in our print run we have it folded to A5.

One of our Glasgow group has spent a great deal of time coming up with the basic concept, researching the information, and beginning to put it together in a general layout. Then our graphic designer took our initial ideas and produce the finished leaflet.

The leaflet makes two main points:

  • The UK State Pension is the worst in the EU, despite UK having the second biggest economy in the EU.
  • Scotland is a land of massive natural resources. We have a diverse economy. We have a highly educated workforce. What we don’t have is the power to direct these assets in the way that aligns with Scottish social values.

All the images on the leaflet are backed up with data from ScotGov, UKGov, EU, OECD. If you want to look into those more closely follow then you can download this eight page document with all the background information and links to sources.

You are welcome to use these images on a website. Or to print the images. Click here for high resolution version of Front/Back (4MB) and Inside (3MB) of the leaflet.

Or, if you would like to order some of these leaflets, please contact us via the top menu “Contact Us” page. We can provide the leaflets at cost, plus any postage.

Changes in the State Pension Age for Women

There are around 350,000 Scotswomen affected by the transition to equality in men and women’s State Pension Age. The initial Westminster Pension Age Act was in 1995 and it set out a gradual pathway to equalise the pension age for men and women. But in 2011 a second Pension Age Act increased the rate of change for women and increased the overall pension age to above 66. This has created a group of women who are partially badly affected.  Women born in the mid-50s are losing six years of their State Pension.

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