Labour’s Shadow Pensions Minister has written to President of the EU Commission, Dr Barroso, asking him whether any EU state can opt-out from the law on cross-border funding arrangements which currently governs company pension arrangements across all 27 member states.
Until last week’s report by the Institute of Chartered Accountants Scotland (ICAS), SNP Ministers insisted that nothing would change with regard to the funding and payment of private pensions in a separate Scotland. But on the BBC’s Sunday Politics, Mr Swinney admitted that under EU law, Scotland faced a company pensions funding black hole which would have to be filled overnight in the event of leaving the UK.
Yesterday, Mr Swinney claimed Scotland would negotiate a special opt-out from the EU insolvency rules which govern company pension arrangements across EU states.
Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East MP Gregg McClymont, said:
“Scotland’s chartered accountants set out a series of complex challenges on pensions for a separate Scotland; the SNP appear dumbfounded.
“They have gone from insisting that nothing will change on pensions to now admitting they would need to ask for an exemption from EU law on company schemes.
“This is fantasy politics. All 27 EU member states follow the law on pensions funding and the idea that Scotland could get away with not doing so is wishful thinking.
“The time for denying reality and hoping difficult questions can be ignored is over for the SNP.
“Alex Salmond needs to be honest about what EU law means for the future of company pensions in a separate Scotland if he is to meet the challenge laid down by Scotland’s Chartered Accountants”.
Follow Gregg on Twitter: @greggmcclymont