MSP URGES PENSIONERS TO UNLOCK THE WEALTH OF OPPORTUNITY OF INDEPENDENCE’ FOR THEIR GRANDCHILDREN

1 Pensions will be paid on time and in full in an independent Scotland

2 Expenditure on pensions as a share of GDP and of tax revenues is lower than in the UK. So despite all the scaremongering pensions are affordable in Scotland

3 Pensions will keep up with the cost of living. Both the Basic State Pension and the Single Tier Pension for new pensioners will be increased by the Triple Lock – which means that pensions increase by average earnings, CPI inflation, or 2.5%, whichever of these is the highest.

4 Pension Credit – that is, support for poorer pensioners who do get the full basic state pension, mostly women, will also increase by the Triple Lock – something the Westminster parties are not committed to.

5 Savings Credit – which provides additional support for poorer pensioners who have made some financial provision for their retirement – is being abolished by the Westminster parties. We will maintain Savings Credit which is worth up to £18 per week for an individual and up to £24 for a couple.

6 We will set the Single Tier Pension for new pensioners at £160 per week in 2016. The unionist parties have refused to say what level the STP will be but on the basis of past indications we estimate that it will be £5 per week or £260 per annum less than the Scottish Government commitment.

7 Pension age has risen rapidly for women and is set to rise to 67 for men and women from 2026. The Scottish Government does not accept the necessity of the rapid rise in the pension age to 67 and will establish a commission to examine the appropriate pension age according to Scottish circumstances.

8 Public sector pension rights and entitlements will be fully protected and public sector pensions will be paid in full.

9 The payment of private pensions will continue as at present and will not be affected by Scotland becoming independent.

10 We will continue with the Winter Fuel Allowance for all pensioners in Scotland. We will not means test it as has been suggested by the unionists and for the first time we will increase winter fuel allowance in line with inflation.

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