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Protecting Our Pensions



News and Campaign Material

UNISON Scotland Pensions website



The new pension scheme arrangements from April 2015 have resulted in a big increase in information about our pensions schemes in Scotland. We have therefore established a dedicated site - Pensions Scotland at www.pensionsscotland.org where all future UNISON Scotland pensions info will be posted.

Pensions campaign info to June 2015

June 2015

4 June 2015: SLGP Scheme Advisory Board Bulletin 01 - June 2015 PDF

  • The Scottish Local Government Pensions Scheme Advisory Board (SLGPSAB) is responsible for advising Scottish Ministers on the desirability of changes to the design of the scheme and the implication of other policy issues. Also the Board is responsible for the provision of advice to the Scheme managers or the Scheme’s pension boards in relation to the effective and efficient administration and management of the scheme.
    The minutes of meetings will be published on the SPPA website http://www.sppa.gov.uk/ and there will be a short bulletin like this after each meeting.

April 2015

14 April 2015: Scottish Pensions Bulletin No 46 - Apr 2015 PDF

  • New Scottish Local Government Pension Scheme started on 1 April 2015.
    The main changes and much more are explained at the website http://scotlgps2015.org/
  • Pensions ‘Choice’: From 6 April new rules came into effect that give increased flexibility in the options available to members over 55 years of age when taking their pension benefits in Direct Contribution schemes (DC). Public sector and the better private sector schemes are Direct Benefit (DB) schemes and are not directly covered by these changes.
  • LGPS Governance: The Scottish Local Government Pension Scheme has a new Scheme Advisory Board (SAB) that will hold its inaugural meeting on 30 April. This Board replaces SLOGPAG and is responsible for advising Scottish Ministers on the scheme.
  • plus more in Scottish Pensions Bulletin No 46 - April 2015

March 2015

31 March 2015: New Scotland NHS Pension Scheme from 1 April 2015

The new NHS Pension Scheme 2015 comes into effect from 1 April 2015.

* UNISON Scotland powerpoint presentation on the new NHS Pension Scheme 2015

* Scottish Public Pensions Agency and the NHS Pension Scheme 2015
The Scottish Public Pensions Agency (SPPA) is an agency of the Scottish Government. It administers public sector pensions, premature retirement and injury benefits schemes including those for employees of the NHS in Scotland. http://www.sppa.gov.uk/

The SPPA's NHS 2015 website has full information about the new NHS pension scheme.

The SPPA NHS 2015 website also includes a short video which can be used at members’ meetings.

The SPPA pensions 2015 site also covers other new schemes including local government, fire and police.

* Letters to members
Members will have started to receive letters from SPPA advising of the changes. There are three letters in all, one for members with full protection; one for members with tapered protection and one for staff moving to the new scheme on 1 April 2015.

Please note: There will be a Choice Exercise on the new NHS Pension Scheme 2015 commencing in the summer.

February 2015

4 February 2015: LGPS Pension 2015 website

LGPS 2015 site

January 2015

22 January 2015: LGPS Pension Board Model Constitution January 2015 (revised version)

LGPS_RevisedPensionBoardModelConstitution_v3_Jan2015.docx Word version

19 January 2015: Scottish Pensions Bulletin No 45 - Jan 2015 PDF

  • New Scottish Local Government Pension Scheme starts on 1 April 2015.
    The main changes and much more are explained at a new website http://scotlgps2015.org/
  • Pension Boards - and training: The new pension boards will play an
    important role in improving the governance of LGPS pension funds in Scotland - with at
    least one UNISON representative (and one substitute) on every pension board in Scotland. A two day training course for UNISON pension board members and substitutes takes place on 5th-6th March 2015 at UNISON House in Glasgow. If you want to attend please advise Fiona Martin (f.martin@unison.co.uk) by 16 February 2015.

September 2014

15 September 2014: Scottish Pensions Bulletin No 44 - Sep 2014 PDF

  • LGPS Governance – Agreement reached at SLOGPAG over model constitution for new Pension Boards - Next Steps and timetable
  • Pension Champions meeting on 30 September in Douglas House, Belford Road, Edinburgh starting at 10:30am

4 September 2014: LGPS Pension Board Model Constitution September 2014

PDF version

Word version

July 2014

7 July 2014: Scottish Pensions Bulletin No 43 - July 2014 PDF

  • Main LGPS 2015 scheme Regulations published
  • Draft LGPS Transitional Regulations out for consultation
  • LGPS Governance - new heads of agreement, model constitution for new boards, new UNISON structure to elect representatives
  • State Pension Scheme - changes due in April 2016

May 2014

20 May 2014: Scottish Pensions Bulletin No 42 - May 2014 PDF

  • Heads of Agreement - LGPS Governance
    LGPS 2015 - draft Heads of Agreement on pensions governance PDF
    Initial agreement has been reached on a new approach to the governance of local authority pension funds in Scotland. An approach that puts the governance of the scheme and funds on a statutory basis and gives scheme members a real say in how their pensions are managed.
  • Pension Champions Meeting
    discussing draft Heads of Agreement on pensions governance
    Thursday 5 June 2014 - 11:30am to 1:30pm
    UNISON Glasgow City Branch Office, 84 Bell Street, Glasgow
  • LGPS Regulations
  • Budget pension changes
  • Pension Appeals

19 May 2014: Scottish Local Government pensions scheme
Draft Heads of Agreement on pensions governance in the LGPS
LGPS 2015 - draft Heads of Agreement on pensions governance PDF

January 2014

27 Jan 2014: Scottish NHS Superannuation Scheme: response to draft regulations for proposed contribution increases in April 2014 pdf Jan 2014

From conclusion:

"UNISON Scotland does not agree to the draft regulations. They are a tax on hard pressed NHS workers who in many cases cannot afford to contribute more to their pension and are being penalised through the reckless risk taking of the banking and financial sector. Ultimately these proposals risk mass opt-outs which will only serve to increase dependency on the State.

"We do not accept that the Scottish Government has no option other than to follow the UK Government’s proposals. There is a separate scheme in Scotland and there are other options to fund the cost. These should be pursued in partnership through the Scottish Terms and Conditions Committee and the Scottish Pensions Group."

Full response in pdf

9 January 2014: Scottish Pensions Bulletin No 41 - January 2014 PDF

  • Public consultation on LGPS governance
    The Scottish Public Pensions Agency has published a public discussion paper on new governance arrangement for the Scottish Local Government Pension Scheme
    Check the bulletin for more info
    See also SPPA Local government consultations page
  • Branch and Pension Champion meeting to consider issues of governance on Friday 7 February at the Thistle Hotel, Cambridge Street, Glasgow, starting at 11am
  • LGPS Regulations
    Following the ballot on the Heads of Agreement for the LGPS, the draft regulations have now been published for public consultation and can be viewed on the SPPA website here to download or view


November 2013

7 November 2013
Scottish Local Government Pension Scheme ballot

The ballot for the Scottish LGPS 2015 closed today.

The result was 94% accept and 6% reject.

We will therefore be signing the Heads of Agreement this month and move onto the detailed work on the regulations and the outstanding issues. Further details in the next Scottish Pensions Bulletin

Many thanks to everyone, staff and activists who worked on this ballot.

1 November 2013


1 November 2013: Scottish Pensions Bulletin No 40 - November 2013 PDF
LGPS Ballot FAQs - to help you complete your ballot and get it in by 7 November

The closing date for the Scottish Local Government Pension Scheme ballot is 10am on 7
November 2013. Please encourage any member who hasn’t voted to do so immediately.
In this bulletin we deal with some of the most frequently asked questions. eg: What is a ‘CARE’ scheme?

October 2013


7 October 2013: Scottish Pensions Bulletin No 39 - October 2013 PDF
LGPS Ballot opens 16 october; Recruit a friend (see leaflet below).

Scottish LGPS - Pension ballot letter Oct 2013 (pdf) PDF
Scottish LGPS - Recruit a Friend leaflet Oct 2013 (pdf) PDF
Scottish LGPS 2015 - FINAL Summary of Heads of Agreement PDF

September 2013

6 September 2013: Local government pensions delegate meeting in Glasgow
Scottish Local Government Pension Scheme (SLOGPAG) talks and Heads of Agreement
Conference documents:
LGPS 2015 - draft Summary of Heads of Agreement PDF
LGPS 2015 - delegate meeting powerpoint slides on Heads of Agreement (pdf) PDF

August 2013

8 August 2013: Scottish Pensions Bulletin No 38 - August 2013 PDF
Update on Scottish Local Government Pension Scheme (SLOGPAG) talks: Core benefit of new scheme - accrual rate; other benefits; member contributions; scheme governance; next steps.

7 August 2013: Local government pensions delegate meeting in Glasgow
To consider Scottish Local Government Pension Scheme (SLOGPAG) talks
Conference documents:
LGPS 2015 - briefing on scheme proposals PDF
LGPS 2015 - proposals for governance PDF
LGPS 2015 - delegate meeting slides (powerpoint)

June 2013: Scottish Pensions Bulletin No 37 - June 2013 PDF
LGPS Negotiations Update 2
Progress in second stage of Scottish Local Government Pension Scheme (SLOGPAG) talks.

March 2013: Scottish Pensions Bulletin No 36 - March 2013 PDF
LGPS Negotiations Update
The main change is that the new scheme must be a defined benefit ‘career average’ (CARE) scheme as final salary schemes will be unlawful.

7 Feb 2013: Scottish pensions Bulletin No 35 - Feb 2013 PDF
Framework for LGPS Negotiations
Should the UK Public Service Pensions Bill be passed as currently drafted, the current Scottish Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) will close in April 2015 and a new scheme negotiated. This will be heavily prescribed by the provisions of the Public Service Pensions Bill. This bulletin covers:

  • Career Average (CARE) scheme
  • Retirement age
  • Cost sharing
  • Other issues of scheme
  • Next steps
  • Governance

30 November 2012: Scottish pensions Bulletin No 34 - Nov 2012 PDF

  • Pensions Bill statement in Scottish Parliament
  • Scottish Local Government Pensions schemes

November 2012: Public Service Pensions Bill - email campaign
Contact your MP and MSPs direct by email now - click here -
to lobby for amendments to the Bill which will will leave Scottish public service pension schemes free to design a scheme that meets Scottish requirements.

6 November 2012: Scottish pensions Bulletin No 33 - Nov 2012 PDF

  • Public Service Pensions Bill
  • Pensions Bill Lobby
  • Model letters to MPs and MSPs

8 October 2012: Scottish pensions Bulletin No 32 - Oct 2012 PDF

  • UK Public Service Pensions Bill
  • Pensions Champions Meeting Glasgow 31 October
  • Scottish Local Government Pensions Advisory Group (SLOGPAG)
  • Data Protection

12 July 2012: Scottish pensions Bulletin No 31 - July 2012 PDF

  • Scottish Government challenges Treasury on pension reform
  • NHS - Scottish negotiations continuing
  • Local Government
    - LGPS scheme in Scotland
    - New English LGPS
    - Contribution bands
    - Police and Fire staff
  • Pensions Auto-Enrolment

PLUS Comparison chart - Scottish LGPS / England & Wales LGPS PDF

4 June 2012 LGPS 2014 England and Wales only Negotiations completed: http://www.unison.org.uk/pensions/lgps.asp Please note that this applies to England and Wales only. The LGPS scheme in Scotland has an agreed cost sharing process to address future costs and there will be no contribution increases in the coming financial year. This means discussions in Scotland will continue under the terms of the 2008 agreement. No dates have been set for discussions on long term reform in the LGPS Scotland. See the latest Scotland bulletin here

More UK pensions updates

18 May 2012: Negotiations start on NHS Scotland pensions

17 April 2012: UNISON supports annulment call on changes to NHS pension scheme MSPs urged to stop pensions 'tax' on health workers 17 April

31 March: Scottish ministers agreed to talks starting on 28 March over medium and long-term changes to the NHS Pension Scheme. But they have made it clear that they are not prepared to negotiate over the first year contribution increases, and regulations to implement them has been tabled in the Scottish Parliament.

27 March: UNISON NHS action photos

26 March: UNISON protesters lobby Scottish Parliament as industrial action
over NHS pensions continues:

19 March 2012: MSP Briefing on NHS Pensions Regulations - March 2011 PDF
UNISON Scotland urges MSPs to reject regulations laid before Scottish Parliament which impose increased contributions on health workers, and calls on the Scottish Government to enter into meaningful negotiations to stop the pensions tax.

15 March 2012: Scottish pensions Bulletin No 30 - March 2012 PDF

  • NHS Pensions dispute
  • Local government pensions
  • Contracting out rebates fall from April
  • Watch out for dodgy deals on pensions
  • Retirement age

13 March 2012:
Reports and pictures from new round of action by NHS Scotland workers

March 2012

12 March 2012: UNISON increases pressure on Scottish government with new industrial action on NHS pensions
UNISON Scotland will on Tuesday 13 March kick off a new round of industrial action on NHS pensions. A number of selective strikes are planned to increase pressure on the government for a Scottish solution to all aspects of pensions changes. This includes the year 1 increases to employee contributions of up to 2.4% - which are effectively a pensions tax on health workers.

UNISON health members in the Central De-Contamination Unit at Ayrshire Central Hospital Irvine will be taking industrial action on the issue of pensions on Tuesday 13 and Wednesday 14 March 2012. A picket line will be in force each day from 9am until 12 noon.

2 March 2012: UNISON protesters lobby Health Minister as Scotland launches further industrial action on pensions: UNISON Scotland will on Monday 5 March launch a further round of industrial action on changed proposed to NHS pensions.

February 2012

3 February 2012: NHS Superannuation Scheme Scotland Consultation | Employee Contribution Rate Increases |Draft Amendment Regulations Feb 2012

January 2012

11 January 2012: Scottish pensions Bulletin No 29 - January 2012 PDF

  • Pensions - next stage in Scotland
  • Local government
  • Health
  • STUC Pensions Justice campaign
  • Industrial action

  • 10 January 2012: Pensions negotiations - update from UK summit

    UNISON members give green light to pensions negotiations
    - see UK news release
    UNISON activists have voted to give the union’s negotiators the green light to continue discussions with government ministers on changes to public sector pensions.

    Dave Prentis, UNISON General Secretary said: “We will continue to campaign to secure the best possible deal, which our members will then be consulted on. Should negotiations fail, our industrial action ballot, which remains live, gives us the option to take more strike action.”

    Convener calls for 'distinct Scottish solution' - see UNISON Scotland press release
    UNISON Scottish Convener Lillian Macer said: "As the Scottish Government has the responsibility to address these issues in Scotland we call upon Scottish Ministers to explore a distinct Scottish solution for the public service workforce."

    December 2011

    19 Dec: Health pensions - UNISON response (UK press release)

    19 Dec: Local Govt briefing (England and Wales) No change before 2014 PDF

    Dec 2011: Scottish pensions Bulletin No 28 - December 2011 PDF

  • November 30: You were magnificent!
  • Scottish pension schemes in surplus
  • NHS Employee contributions increase
  • Local Government Pension Scheme - Scotland update

    November 2011

    £300 million more being paid into Scottish Local Government pensions than going out “Cutting pensions to pay for bankers is neither fair nor justifiable - says largest public services union 27 November

    November 30 Strike Day Rally Details (STUC website)

    Pensions Dispute: Click here for Frequently Asked Questions
    Pensions FAQs

    Strike for Pensions Justice on Nov 30 - Latest pensions bulletin (pdf)

    Scottish pensions Bulletin No 27 - November 2011 PDF
    Strike for Pensions Justice on Nov 30

    17 Nov 2011: NHS Scotland Pension Contribution Increases: A UNISON Scotland response to the Scottish Government consultation paper: National Health Service Superannuation Scheme (Scotland) – Employee contribution increases Nov 2011 PDF

    Ballot turnout: What's good for the Lib Dem goose...
    (5/11/11 on the unofficial UNISONActive blog)

    UNISON members voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action to protect their pensions.

    3 November 2011: A joint meeting of six service group executives on the outcome of UNISON's public sector pension ballots today in London. Strike action on 30 November was unanimously endorsed.


    Yes: 245,358
    No: 70,253

    Local Government (including Scotland)
    Yes 171,428
    No 54,500
    76% in favour  Turnout 30%

    NHS (including Scotland)
    Yes 73,930
    No 15,753 82% in favour  Turnout 25%

    Separate figures
    Scotland Local Government
    Yes 21,799
    No 7881

    NHS Scotland
    Yes 13,236
    No 1,880


    Dave Prentis, General Secretary of UNISON said: "The decisive yes vote in the ballot, reflects the deep concern that our members have over Government ministers proposals for their pensions.

    "Yesterday's statement in Parliament was a marked improvement on earlier proposals.

    "But, it is important to understand that the statement has to be translated into offers in the scheme specific talks. We still have had no offer in those negotiations, where such an offer can legitimately be made.

    "We support the TUC day of action on 30 November, but will be negotiating right up to then and beyond to get a fair deal for our members."

    Senior lay officials of the union are meeting throughout the afternoon to discuss the latest Government statement on pensions and to decide what action to take as a result of the strike ballot.

    Vote YES to Protect your Pension  

    October 2011
    Latest pensions presentations 3 October

    Pensions Briefing for LGPS Branches
    Oct 2011
    Powerpoint presentation 1.75MB

    Pensions Briefing for Health Branches
    Oct 2011
    Powerpoint presentation 1.83MB

    September 2011
    Scottish pensions Bulletin No 26 - September 2011 PDF
    Vote YES to protect your pension.
    Bulletin includes Pensions Ballot information and campaign materials 28 September

    • Look out for your ballot paper asking you to vote for industrial action to protect your pension - your retirement is at stake.
    • We are asking you to vote YES because proposed changes to your pension scheme simply aren’t fair.

    Pensions Leaflets and Poster in PDF format:

    Vote YES
    - Scottish LGPS branch leaflet

    Vote YES
    - NHS branch leaflet

    Vote YES
    - poster

    Update - 23 September 2011
    UNISON has today lodged a dispute with Scottish Ministers, CoSLA and the Secretary of State for Work & Pensions over changes to the Local Government Pensions Scheme (Scotland).

    Scottish pensions Bulletin No 25 - September 2011 PDF
    Scottish Government start talks on pensions 5 September

    August 2011

    Pensions PowerPointNew short powerpoint for briefing members on main pensions issues: From the Communications and Campaigns Committee August 2011 plus Speakers Notes Word Doc

    July 2011

    North East Pensions Rally
    Mike Kirby says pension scheme members face a "double, double whammy". 15 July

    July 2011: NEW - Protect our Pensions leaflet PDF

    Protect our Pensions leaflet  

    The UK government strategy is clear.They want us to PAY MORE, WORK LONGER AND GET LESS when we retire.

    However, pension regulation is devolved to the Scottish Parliament - so MSPs have a choice to make. UNISON is calling on the Scottish Government to reject the UK plans and protect quality pensions in Scotland.

    Our pensions are affordable. Get the facts. Download our new pensions leaflet.


    June 2011:
    Scottish pensions Bulletin No 24 - June 2011 PDF

    22 June 2011:
    Public service pensions contributions - UNISON briefing to MSPs
    UNISON Scotland's briefing for MSPS in advance of the Cabinet Secretary's statement to the Scottish Parliament on 22 June (pdf)

    June 2011:
    Branch Pensions Champions and Pensions Contacts - get registered online at www.unison.org.uk/pensions/pop_involved.asp if you haven't already. Or email Loraine Bartlett l.bartlett@unison.co.uk

    Pensions Champions training day in July 2011:
    If you have signed up as a Champion and couldn't manage to attend the courses in May and June, there's another chance to get trained up
    13th July : Glasgow office

    Sign up for Scottish pensions training courses by emailing Loraine Bartlett l.bartlett@unison.co.uk

    Pensions Champions training materials:
    Powerpoint presentation for Champions and Contacts training course
    Click here (2MB download)

    May 2011: Scottish pensions Bulletin No 23 - May 2011 PDF

    Pensions Champions training days in May/June 2011:
    23rd May : Glasgow
    27th May : Edinburgh
    1st June : Aberdeen

    Indexing Pension Increases – RPI to CPI
    The UK Government is changing the indexing of public sector pension increases each
    year from the Retail Price Index (RPI) to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The effect of the change is likely to cut pension benefits by at least 15%.

    ...more in bulletin

    April 2011: Scottish pensions Bulletin No 22 - April 2011 PDF
    Pensions Campaign: Getting Organised

    PENSIONS ATTACK 10 March 2011

    Mar 2011: Scottish pensions Bulletin No 21 - March 2011 PDF
    Hutton report: summary analysis and organising in reponse

    Mar 2011: Hutton Report - recommendations and Scottish commentary PDF
    UNISON's Dave Watson looks at Hutton's 27 recommendations

    Hutton Report news and reaction

    10 March 2011: The Today Programme - Dave Prentis on the Hutton Report
    10 March 2011: Government will use Hutton Report to raid public sector pensions (UNISON UK release)
    10 March 2011: Hutton pensions report brings industrial action closer
    (UNISON UK release)

    See also UNISON Scotland blog for further updates

    Feb 2011:
    Scottish pensions Bulletin No 20 - February 2011 PDF

    Jan 2011: Scottish pensions Bulletin No 19 - January 2011 PDF

    Dec 2010: Scottish pensions Bulletin No 18 - December 2010 PDF

    2 Dec 2010:
    Lobby your MP to fight the pensions CPI switch

    Nov 2010: Scottish pensions Bulletin No 17 - November 2010 PDF

    Oct 2010: Scottish pensions Bulletin No 16 - October 2010 PDF

    Aug 2010: Scottish pensions Bulletin No 15 - August 2010 PDF

    3/8/10 Pension-cutting private companies rob workers of a decent future

    7/7/10: UNISON rejects fat cat attack on public sector pensions

    15/6/10: Government double speak and myths about public sector pensions

    19/4/10: Pensions – private sector cutbacks threaten burden on the state

    6/4/10: CBI pensions black hole myth - UNISON response

    4/3/10: Taxpayers' Alliance gets its sums wrong on local government pensions again

    March 2010: Fight back for public sector pensions

    New campaigning material based on Briefing No 228 Public Sector Pensions (pdf) PDFMarch 2010

    Scottish Pensions Bulletin No 14 - Mar 2010 PDF
    Jan 2010: Time for a reality check on public sector pension myths
    Mike Kirby, Convenor of public service union UNISON's Scottish Council, takes issue with 'The Pension Apartheid' an article by Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce chief executive Ron Hewitt in Sunday Herald, 10 January 2010

    Scottish Pensions Bulletin No 13 - Oct 2009

    Scottish Pensions Bulletin No 12 - Aug 2009 PDF

    23/7/09: Executive pension report - exposes pensions apartheid between fat cats and low paid workers (UK press release)

    March 2009: Pensions divide between rich and poor UNISON Scottish Secretary Matt Smith argues that the real pensions divide is not between the public and private sector, but between rich directors and poor workers - Scotland on Sunday article, 29 March 2009

    Other pensions responses Link to UNISON Scotland responses page with pensions consultation responses from 2003 to 2009

    February 2009

    Briefing 198: Pensions Research Update February 2009 Recent research highlighting the real pension divide that exists between company directors and their workers

    Real pension divide is between bosses and staff - UNISON
    News release 27/2/09

    December 2008: Pensions, it’s down to us As the politicians and the press gang up on the attack, who will defend our public service pensions? We will! says JANE CAROLAN (from Scotland in UNISON Issue 76 - December 2008)

    Click here for pensions archive 2004-2008