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Independence

Protect our pensions

This week I have helped Labour party members to distribute ‘Better Together’ leaflets to students at the Eskbank Campus of Edinburgh College. Now that I have been retired I enjoy life with a pension pot from my contributions while I was in business and a monthly pension from my eleven years as a lecturer. Other employers such as Ferranti were funded insufficiently to provide a lifelong pension. Do these young students entering college or catching buses to another campus realise how important a good pension is? I remember my student days and knew nothing about, nor wished to find out about pensions, much too many more exciting thoughts, hopes and fears filled me.

These students will vote soon about whether to break up the Union so it was good to see how almost all were eager to accept the information on offer. Being part of the UK protects the pensions of hard-working people in Midlothian. In a devastating blow to the nationalist case for separation, it is now clea r that breaking up the UK means the pension schemes of people in Midlothian could close. Or may be just poor like my Ferranti one.

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 Midlothian would have to close.

Better Together says “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 pensions of people in Midlothian who have worked all their lives to enjoy retirement. The EU has confirmed that Scottish company pension schemes must overnight, if we leave the UK, fill a huge funding black hole. The implications for people in Midlothian who are members of these pension schemes and for the companies themselves are huge.”

People in Midlothian have a choice – believe the experts or believe Alex Salmond on pensions.

Tony Galloway

Better Together

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