Frequently Asked Questions - What will independence mean for how pensions will be managed?
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For scheme members and existing pensioners of Scotland’s schemes, there will be no change in pension arrangements following independence. If, for example, a former NHS Scotland employee has retired, begun to draw her pension, and moves to live in England, the Scottish NHS pension scheme will continue to pay that pension, as it does at present.
For pension schemes that are currently reserved, such as civil service, armed forces and judicial pensions, the Scottish Government will work with Westminster to ensure an orderly transition of pension responsibilities to an independent Scotland.
The Scottish Public Pensions Agency will form the basis for delivering the additional responsibilities for public sector pensions that will be required in an independent Scotland. During the transitional period, pensions will continue to be paid in full and on time and pensioners will continue to benefit from safeguards, including the governance provisions of the Public Service Pensions Act 2013 and the provisions of Article 1 of Protocol 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which means that pension rights are property rights under the Convention which governments must respect.
For current UK-wide public service pension schemes, the Scottish Government will take its fair share of liabilities based on meeting the pensions responsibilities of pensioners who live in Scotland.
On independence, these pension schemes will continue to operate as at present. Just as today, however, it would be open to future governments to suggest changes. Independence simply means that these future decisions will be taken in Scotland rather than by Westminster.
Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.