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What will happen to the State Pension Age in an independent Scotland?

Under current Westminster Government plans, the State Pension Age is increasing to 67 for people aged between 44 and 53, over a two year period between 2026 and 2028. The Scottish Government is not persuaded that this increase is right for Scotland.

On average, Scots currently enjoy fewer years in retirement – and in receipt of State Pensions – than the UK average due to lower life expectancy. Life expectancy for both men and women in Scotland has consistently remained below the UK level, despite significant improvements over many years. In 2013, life expectancy at age 65 was 1.2 years higher in the UK than in Scotland for women; and 1.3 years higher for men.

This Scottish Government therefore reserves judgment on the Westminster Government’s timetable for the State Pension Age increase to 67. Independence is the only way to ensure that the future State Pension Age in Scotland is determined according to specific Scottish circumstances.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

How will the decision on the State Pension Age for Scotland be taken?

We intend if in government, to appoint an Independent Commission on the State Pension Age within the first year of independence. The Commission will have a remit to investigate and make recommendations on the appropriate rate of increase of the State Pension Age, beyond 66, that would suit Scottish circumstances. The Commission will take into account life expectancy, fairness and affordability, including implications for increased public sector pension costs.

We envisage the Commission reporting to Parliament within the first two years of independence with a view to decisions being taken promptly thereafter. Prompt implementation will allow sufficient time for longer term financial planning.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.