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Protecting Our Pensions

Protecting our pensions



Contact your MP and MSPs to lobby for action on Public Services Pensions


Take action now. Send emails your MP and MSPs direct!

Member of Parliament (Westminster) Click here to email your MP
Let your MP know you want him or her to support amendments to this Bill which will leave Scottish public service pension schemes free to design a scheme that meets Scottish requirements.

Members of Scottish Parliament (Holyrood) Click here to email your MSPs
Let your MSPs know you want them to use the Scottish Parliament’s powers over a Legislative Consent Motion (Sewell motion) to demand amendments to this Westminster Bill. These amendments should retain the powers of the Scottish Parliament to design Scottish pension schemes without interference from the UK Treasury.

Why UNISON Scotland is campaigning to amend the Public Service Pensions Bill

(From our Pensions Bulletin No 32 - Oct 2012 pdf)

The UK Government's Public Service Pensions Bill sets out how new public service schemes are created and prescribes the key elements of all schemes including governance and benefits.

There are very significant implications for Scotland because primary pension legislation is a reserved issue. At present our schemes are covered by the UK Superannuation Act 1972. This is largely enabling legislation that allows the Scottish Parliament to design schemes that meet our requirements. In practice the NHS scheme closely follows England because changes to the scheme require Treasury approval. No such approval is required for the LGPS and that remains unchanged in this Bill. However, the Bill, for the first time, prescribes key elements of all schemes and that will apply to the LGPS. It is therefore LGPS members who will be most significantly impacted by the Bill.

The main prescriptions include:

  • A career average, not a final salary scheme. Revaluation percentages as specified by the Treasury.
  • Retirement age linked to the state pension retirement age.
  • A cost cap as defined by Treasury.
  • Rules for governance and fund valuation.

All of these matters are currently decided in Scotland and therefore the Bill significantly undermines the current LGPS agreement. If the Bill goes through unamended the Scottish Parliament will be required to bring the LGPS into line on these points by April 2015. This will require an intensive period of negotiation on these points. None of these issues impacts directly on employee contributions, other than indirectly through the cost capping provisions.

Scottish Government officials have advised ministers that they must implement the UK legislation. However, UNISON has taken legal advice that this legislation requires the approval of the Scottish Parliament through a Legislative Consent Motion (Sewell convention).

We have written to John Swinney MSP, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance urging him to take this course of action. We have argued that Parliament should not agree to this legislation unless it is amended to retain the independence of the Scottish LGPS.

John Swinney has previously attacked interference by Westminster on this issue, so now is the time to put the rhetoric into action.

Take action now. Send emails your MP and MSPs direct!

Member of Parliament (Westminster) Click here to email your MP
Members of Scottish Parliament (Holyrood) Click here to email your MSPs


Please see also our Pensions Bulletin No 32 - Oct 2012 (pdf)
and Pensions Bulletin No 33 - Nov 2012 (pdf)

And there is a UK UNISON briefing that describes the main elements of the Bill at http://www.unison.org.uk/acrobat/6065.pdf



  Page updated: 8 November 2012