Better Pensions

The UK has the worst state pension in the developed world (defined as full OECD membership).

In 2018, it was only worth 28.4% of average income at retirement (based on the net replacement rate).

The EU average percentage is more than double that of the UK pension.

The only country who’s data was compared by the OECD to pay a lower net replacement rate percentage is South Africa. A country which is not yet considered a developed nation and has the highest rates of inequality in the world, with more than half the population living in poverty.

Our priorities will be different, we can end pensioner poverty in an independent Scotland. We have asked the leadership of both the Scottish Greens and the SNP to commit to an initial rise from £137.60 per week for the basic state pension to £200 per week, then raising the state pension further to match the EU average as our economy grows with the powers of independence.

Lorna Slater the Co-Leader of the Scottish Green party told us “of course we will, why wouldn’t we”.


The 2019 SNP Conference voted in favour of a motion that in an independent Scotland, the Scottish Government should create a plan to increase the Scottish state pension (following independence) to the EU average, effectively doubling it. The 2020 SNP Conference backed a plan to raise the basic state pension to £175.00 per week for everyone but we say that’s still not enough.

Pensions are in danger in the UK as the UK Government is cutting pensions protections and this will make Scottish pensioners about £500.00 a year worse off.

Progress towards matching the European average will have to be achieved through a staged process. We are calling on the Scottish Government to commit to an instant increase in the state pension (in an independent Scotland) to £200.00 a week and then to implement a staged plan of rises till pensioner poverty is eradicated. We have calculated the basic amount a pensioner requires to live with dignity, to afford the right food and to be able to heat their homes is £200 a week – its not enough but it is a start.

Independence will lift the weight of the UK Governments generational economic mismanagement from Scotland and as our economy grows we will be able to continuously improve the state pension over time until reaches an acceptable level.

Independence is the only realistic option if you want to protect pensions and end pensioner poverty. Only through independence can we afford to end pensioner poverty, as its the cost of being part of the UK that is holding our economy back.

Believe in Scotland is the community for people who live in Scotland and who believe that Scotland’s future should be decided by the people of Scotland. We are also Scotland’s most active, most effective, and most successful independence campaigning group.

We support independence, not for politics but for the people, as a means to an end of building a better Scotland.

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NOTE 1: Developed world as defined by membership of The OECD.  Collins English Dictionary. Copyright © HarperCollins Publishers: Noun : the industrialized and economically advanced countries of the world collectively – Also called: First World, global north.

Note 2: The net replacement rate is defined as the individual net pension entitlement divided by net pre-retirement earnings, taking into account personal income taxes and social security contributions paid by workers and pensioners. It measures how effectively a pension system provides a retirement income to replace earnings, the main source of income before retirement. The aforementioned definition is from the OECD website.

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