Being part of the UK protects the pensions of hard-working people in Aberdeen, a new European Union report confirmed.
In a devastating blow to the nationalist case for separation, it is now clear that breaking up the UK means the defined benefit pension schemes of people in Aberdeen could close.
European Commission Memo/14/239 confirms that cross-border pension schemes must be fully funded. Today this law does not apply to pension schemes based elsewhere in the UK but operating in Scotland, since we are one state in the EU.
If Scotland leaves the UK we would become foreign countries, meaning pension schemes operating across Scotland and the continuing UK would need to be fully funded. A number of impartial and independent experts have said that separating from the UK could mean pension schemes in Aberdeen would have to close.
Earlier this month senior SNP Ministers claimed that the matter would be resolved and that it would be alright on the night, however the publication of this memo makes clear that leaving the UK would put the pensions of hard working people in Aberdeen at risk.
Aberdeen South MP and Chair of the Work and Pensions Select Committee, Dame Anne Begg said:
“The pensions system in the UK works well through the pooling of resources, where the rewards are shared via sensible and efficient risk sharing. This protects the occupational pensions of people in Aberdeen who have worked all their lives to enjoy retirement.
“The EU has confirmed that Scottish company defined benefit pension schemes must overnight, if we leave the UK, fill a huge funding black hole. The implications for people in Aberdeen who are members of these pension schemes and for the companies themselves are huge.
“It’s now clear beyond doubt that independence puts the pensions of hard working Scots at risk.
“Filling the pensions black hole would come at huge cost to the companies and their employees, or would mean the break-up of these pension schemes. People in Aberdeen have a choice – believe the experts or believe Alex Salmond on pensions.”