Men and women who
have the same state pension entitlement will get less in Scotland than in the
rest of the UK, if we stay tied to the Westminster pension and welfare system,
due to lower life expectancy, research published yesterday reveals.
The research shows
- A 65 year
old woman entitled to a total pension of £160 per week could expect to
get around £11,000 less in Scotland than counterparts in the rest of the
UK as a whole (£10,000 for a man).
- For a
woman who lives in Glasgow, this £11,000 pension gap increases to
£22,000 less than in the UK.
- For a man
who lives in Glasgow, this £10,000 pension gap increases to £29,000
less than in the UK.
comparing Glasgow with Harrow, which has the highest life expectancy for men in
the UK, the pension gap is £50,000.
comparing Glasgow with Camden, which has the highest life expectancy for women
in the UK, the pension gap is £46,000.
The latest figures
published by the Office of National Statistics show that life expectancy at
birth and at 65 in Scotland is higher than it has ever been. However, life
expectancy at 65 in Scotland is still the lowest within the UK. In Scotland, 65
year old males and females can expect to live shorter lives - 1.2 years and 1.3
years less respectively - than in the UK as a whole.
currently reserved to Westminster, which plans to raise the retirement age to
67 from 2026. In the first year of an independent Scotland, the current
Scottish Government would establish an independent commission to consider the
appropriate pace of any further change to the retirement age beyond
Cabinet Secretary for Pensioner’s Rights Shona Robison said:
research makes clear that Scots are already short changed when it comes to
pensions. If we stay tied to the Westminster pension and welfare system, and
the state pension age rises at the same pace in Scotland as in the rest of the
UK, the risk is that this problem will be compounded.
life expectancy in Scotland means it would be fairer for people in Scotland if
the increase in the pension age was postponed.
“That is why
it is right for Scotland to consider a state pension age relatively lower than
the rest of the UK.
concerned about Westminster’s accelerated timetable for increasing the
state pension age to 67 as it so unfairly disadvantages Scots.
living in disadvantaged areas miss out even more – with men in Glasgow
seeing £50,000 less over their lifetime than someone of the same age
living in Harrow.
“We want to make sure that the pension age suits Scottish circumstances
– and, on average, people in Scotland have fewer years in retirement
receiving the state pension because life expectancy is lower.
taken measures, such as the smoking ban, taking steps to reduce alcohol
consumption and introducing free prescriptions, that will contribute to
reducing these inequalities in health.
expectancy is improving but progress will take time, and we don’t want
Scots to be disadvantaged in the meantime.”
Minister Nicola Sturgeon added:
research clearly sets out why examining a delay to the increase in retirement
age beyond 66 would be the fairest option for people in Scotland.
already confirmed that we will establish a commission to consider the
appropriate pace of further change to the retirement age beyond 66.
commission would report to the Scottish Parliament within the first two years
of independence, allowing us to make decisions which take into account Scottish
Protection spending, which includes pensions and welfare, is more affordable in
Scotland than in the rest of the UK – and has been lower for the last
five years. The National Institute of Economic Social Research (NIESR) also
suggest that individual pensions in Scotland are between six to eight per cent
cheaper compared to the rest of the UK.
has also noted that, as part of the UK, Scotland would implicitly be part of a
pension contract that would be actuarially unfair.”
Notes To Editors
would report to the Scottish Parliament within the first two years of
independence, allowing decisions to be taken which best suit the needs of
people in Scotland nearing pensionable age.
through “Equally Well” its strategy to tackle health inequalities,
has shifted the emphasis of approach from dealing with the consequences of
health inequalities to tackling the underlying causes such as poverty.
Read the report here: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/People/welfarereform/analysis/life-expe