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Calls for new commission

SNP says pension review is ‘missed opportunity’

pension pot 2The Scottish National Party today calls for an immediate rethink on pensions to resolve a growing list of concerns.

Former CBI director general John Cridland will lead a review that will focus solely on the state pension age but and will not consider any changes to pension legislation before 2028.

This is despite issues over auto-enrolment, gender inequality and a widening gap between healthy life expectancy and life expectancy, says the SNP.

The party’s Westminster Group has called for a “full and independent” Pensions and Savings Commission to be established so that all issues around pension saving can be considered to allow better planning for future generations.

SNP Pensions spokesperson Ian Blackford said the review was a “missed opportunity”.

He said: “It is vital that an independent Pensions and Savings Commission is established to ensure that employee’s savings are protected and that a more progressive approach is taken to pensions.

“We need greater research and consideration into the different experiences of people all across the country based on regional and socio-economic factors and how this needs to inform the debate on pensions – so that wider education, health and social care policies can reflect this too.”

He noted outstanding concerns over gender equality and the particular issue of extending women’s state pension age. 

“The SNP wholeheartedly supports pension age equalisation for men and women, but we do not support the speed of the increase in women’s pensionable age, especially when some women were given very little notice an increase in their pensionable age,” he said.  

“The Tories must correct the wrong delivered to millions of 1950s-born women who are still being denied their state pension and must act now to ensure that this gross injustice does not happen to future generations. 

The SNP propose the “gold standard” for communicating changes to pension entitlement to future pensioners should be fifteen years – as recommended by the Turner Commission – and urge the UK Government to introduce annual statements for all future pensioners of their expected retirement date and expected income.

“The Tories cannot continue to bury their heads in the sand over pensions – we need action now over this shocking list of potential pension problems as highlighted in the SNP’s submission to the Cridland review.”

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