SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE: State pensions would still paid after independence a UK minister has told MPs despite concerns raised by the Better Together campaign.
Giving evidence to the Scottish Affairs Select Committee Lib Dem pensions minister Steve Webb said that anybody who had paid UK national insurance would be entitled to their state pension whatever the outcome of the referendum.
He said: “Citizenship is irrelevant. It is what you have put into the UK National Insurance system prior to separation, answer 35 years, that builds up to a continued UK pension under continuing UK rules, the question is who is paying for it, but they are entitled to that money.”
The intervention contradicts concerns raised by former Labour Chancellor Alistair Darling, the leader of the Better Together campaign.
In an article last month he wrote: “On the subject of pensions, we know the whole of the UK stands behind the State pension, but what happens with separation? Nobody knows - certainly not the Scottish Government.”
The Scottish Government said Mr Webb’s admission supported assurances they had received about the state pension.
A spokesman for SNP Finance Secretary John Swinney: “This is confirmation from a UK minister that people’s pensions will be entirely secure following a Yes vote in the referendum. Steve Webb’s comments merely back up what the DWP has already confirmed in writing – and they are a welcome change from the scaremongering of many of his Westminster colleagues.
“Pensions will be paid on time and in full in an independent Scotland, while independence will also mean all decisions on pensions and welfare will be taken here, giving us the chance to review Westminster’s plans to increase the state retirement age.”