Pensions Pieces: Scottish independence and what it might mean for pensions

On 18 September 2014, the Scottish independence referendum will take place. One of the key issues of a ‘yes’ vote will be the impact it has on the provision of pensions across the UK.

One key question from a pensions viewpoint is what form state pensions would take in an independent Scotland, given that state pension payments currently consume a large amount of government spending. In 2010–11, it amounted to £82bn, representing 40 per cent of social benefit payments and 13 per cent of all UK expenditure, so there is a question as to how state pensions will be paid for in such an event.

For its part, the Scottish government has stated that those persons who have already retired would see no change in their state pension entitlement as a result of independence. However, changes to the state pension have been proposed by the Scottish government in its white paper entitled ‘Scotland’s Future’. The changes include that from 6 April 2016 new pensioners will receive a Scottish single-tier pension, which the Scottish government states is similar to that proposed by the Westminster government, but with important improvements. Specifically, according to the white paper, within the first year of independence, this new Scottish single-tier pension will be set at a level of £160 per week (£8,320 per annum), which would be £1.10 a week higher than the rate received by pensioners in the rest of the UK. The Scottish government has also stated that in the ‘unlikely event’ of the UK rate for the single-tier pension being set at a higher level than in Scotland, the Scottish pension would be raised to match the higher figure. The pension would be paid in full to everyone who reaches state pension age after the introduction date and has 35 qualifying years of National Insurance contributions or National Insurance credits…

Click on the link below to read the rest of the Taylor Wessing briefing.

Sign in or Register to continue reading this article

Sign in


It's quick, easy and free!

It takes just 5 minutes to register. Answer a few simple questions and once completed you’ll have instant access.

Register now

Why register to The Lawyer


Industry insight

In-depth, expert analysis into the stories behind the headlines from our leading team of journalists.


Market intelligence

Identify the major players and business opportunities within a particular region through our series of free, special reports.


Email newsletters

Receive your pick of The Lawyer's daily and weekly email newsletters, tailored by practice area, region and job function.

More relevant to you

To continue providing the best analysis, insight and news across the legal market we are collecting some information about who you are, what you do and where you work to improve The Lawyer and make it more relevant to you.

Briefings from Taylor Wessing

View more briefings from Taylor Wessing

Analysis from The Lawyer

  • merger deal

    Corporate crunch time: who will triumph at The Lawyer Awards 2014?

    As the equity capital markets rocketed back into favour and global M&A saw at least a partial return to form, there have been some rich pickings for The Lawyer’s Corporate Team of the Year award shortlisted firms in 2014. 

  • singapore orchid

    Singapore: Cash course

    The city-state is working hard to become a global wealth management hub, and law firms are gearing up for a prosperous new world

View more analysis from The Lawyer


5 New Street Square

Turnover (£m): 241.20
No. of lawyers: 860 (UK 200)
Jurisdiction: UK
No. of offices: 6
No. of qualified lawyers: 73 (International 50)
No. of partners: 29