An independent Scotland would raise the level of the single-tier state pension to £160 a week and retain the triple-lock guarantee.
The Scottish government has today published a white paper setting out the implications of a “yes” vote in September 2014.
The UK Government has proposed scrapping means-testing in favour of a new, flat-rate state pension worth £144 a week for future retirees from April 2016. The independence paper says Scotland would also introduce these reforms, with the payment set at £160 a week, under the same time frame.
In addition, the triple-lock – which guarantees the state pension increases by the highest of earnings, prices or 2.5 per cent – would be retained for at least the first parliament of an independent Scotland.
The UK Government has only committed to increasing the single-tier state pension in line with earnings.
“Within the first year of independence, the single-tier pension will be set at a level of £160 per week,” the paper says.
“In the unlikely event that the rest of the UK rate for the single-tier pensions is set at a higher level, the Scottish single-tier pension will match the higher figure.
“The rate of the single-tier pension will be increased on an annual basis in line with the triple-lock. This commitment will initially be in place for the period of the first parliament of an independent Scotland.”
The white paper says the personal allowance and tax credits in an independent Scotland would increase in line with inflation in the short-term. In the longer term, it says Scotland would introduce a “clear and simple” tax system.
It also says Scotland would look to improve access to annuity advice at retirement, although the measures that would be put in place remain unclear.
In addition a Scottish equivalent of Nest, called the Scottish Employment Savings Trust or ‘Sest’, would be established with an obligation to accept any employer wishing to use it.
The paper also says an independent Scotland would also look to set up a Scottish Pensions Regulator and suggests Scotland could either play its part in the Pension Protection Fund, or set its own scheme.