Sunday, 17 June 2012

Why Scotland can’t vote on English pensions

#undc12 The pensions debate at Local Govt Conference today is a bargaining issue affecting only members in England and Wales. No dates have been set for discussions on long term reform in the Scottish local government pension scheme and the 2008 provisions remain in place. That means there are no current changes and no negotiations.

Negotiations in England and Wales have resulted in proposals for a new England and Wales pension scheme from 2014. That is the issue in this afternoon’s debate and it will not change the Scottish pension scheme.

There are two common issues however. The move from RPI to CPI in terms of uprating and the issue of retirement age. The RPI/CPI is a political issue rather than a bargaining issue and the unions lost the case in court.

On the retirement age, the Scottish scheme retirement age remains at 65. The new proposals for the England and Wales scheme link the scheme’s retirement age to the state retirement age but there is no such proposal (as yet) in Scotland.

So, in short, Scotland can’t vote because the vote is on a bargaining issue relating to a scheme that only applies to members in England and Wales.

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