We have identified over 650 questions and answers concerning many of the topics featured on this site. The information is categorised and can be reached by navigating via the entries below.

Information can also be retrieved using the Search box. This will search through the entire list of FAQ entries (in the Title and the Body) and will return results based on a match based on the words you input. If you wish, you may enter complete questions, e.g. "What currency would we use in an independent Scotland".

Will my private pension benefits be protected?

Yes. Your occupational or personal pension sets out your retirement benefits. The payment of the benefits you have built up in your existing pension will not be affected by the move to independence.

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

What will the Scottish Government do to help people save for retirement?

We propose following independence to:

  • continue with the roll-out of automatic enrolment into a workplace pension

  • establish a Scottish Employment Savings Trust for people with low to middle earnings

  • launch a Financial Capability Strategy to help build people’s skills, knowledge and understanding about personal finance

  • work with the pensions industry in Scotland on the design of new pension products that will provide greater certainty to savers about the final value of their pensions

  • improve pension information, giving people personalised feedback on saving for their retirement

  • consider whether adjustments to tax relief arrangements would further incentivise saving

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

Will the Scottish Government improve information and advice on private pensions?

Yes. At present, information and advice on financial services and pensions is provided by a range of organisations, with the result that people are often confused about where they should look for advice. This Scottish Government is proposing a new model to improve the standard of advice for consumers by providing information and advice you can access in your local area.

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

Will automatic enrolment of employees into a workplace pension continue?

Yes. Automatic enrolment into workplace pension schemes helps people to save for their retirement and the Scottish Government intends that this will continue.

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

Will employees and employers continue to have access to the National Employment Savings Trust?

The Scottish Government will work with the Westminster Government to ensure that the benefits people have built up in the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) are accessible. This Government proposes that a Scottish equivalent of NEST should be established to help firms in Scotland enrol their employees.

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

Will tax relief on private pensions and salary sacrifice continue in an independent Scotland?

Yes. The current arrangements will continue at the point of independence. Scotland will inherit the tax system and the prevailing UK rates and thresholds for all taxes including tax reliefs. Decisions on specific taxes – including tax rates, allowances and credits – will be made by the Parliament and Government of an independent Scotland.

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

Will people with pensions in the rest of the UK be affected by exchange rate fluctuations if Scotland had a different currency?

No. With the pound Sterling as currency of an independent Scotland, pensions will be paid in pounds Sterling, as they are today.

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

Will there be a Scottish Pensions Regulator?

Yes. This Scottish Government proposes to establish a dedicated Scottish Pensions Regulator, to ensure the same level of protection for people’s pension savings as is currently provided, and to promote an effective pensions market.

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

Will private pensions be protected in an independent Scotland?

Yes. We believe it is in the best interests of all parties for the current arrangements to continue – although we are also prepared to make specific arrangements for Scotland – to ensure that people will have the same level of protection as is currently provided by the UK Pension Protection Fund, the Financial Assistance Scheme and the Fraud Compensation Fund.

We will also ensure that arrangements for an effective compensation scheme are established, mirroring the level of protection provided in the UK Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

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

Will consumers in Scotland have access to a pensions ombudsman?

Yes. Two delivery models are being considered by the current Scottish Government. Either, a single Scottish Ombudsman Service – a one stop shop for consumers (including in relation to pensions) – will be established, or a specific Scottish Financial Services Ombudsman, with responsibility for handling complaints about pensions and financial services, will be established.

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

How will deficits in defined benefit private pension schemes be addressed in an independent Scotland?

Current deficits in defined benefit pension schemes have been caused by the financial management of these schemes within the UK. Many schemes are working to become fully funded and have recovery plans in place. These will continue after independence.

Our proposals for independence will deliver strong protection for people’s private pension savings and establish an effective regulator system which will set the parameters for such schemes to achieve a stable funding position.

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

What will happen to existing UK-wide pension schemes?

Specific requirements apply under EU law to pension schemes that operate across different member states. However, the cross-border rules allow member states a degree of flexibility. Transitional arrangements were put in place by the Westminster Government and Ireland when these rules were introduced and we consider that it will be possible to agree transitional arrangements for existing UK-wide schemes. The Scottish Government is keen to start discussions with the Westminster Government and the European Commission as soon as possible, with a view to reaching agreement in the interests of employers and pension schemes across the UK.

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