The cost of public sector pensions in Scotland Prepared for the Auditor General for Scotland and the Accounts Commission

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About this report

9. This report sets out information on the costs of the six main public sector pension schemes in Scotland. It is intended to supplement the Independent Public Services Pensions Commission’s review and provide clarity, transparency and understanding on the costs and key features of the main schemes that operate in Scotland. It sets out how the schemes operate within the UK framework, how costs are controlled and the governance arrangements for the schemes. Our report is in four parts:

• Part 1 highlights the key features of the six main pension schemes in Scotland, including how they are paid for and the benefits they provide to members.

• Part 2 looks at what has been happening in recent years in the pension schemes, including the reasons for and the impact of reforms between 2006 and 2009, current developments, the role of the Scottish Government and the further challenges ahead.

• Part 3 examines the costs and governance of the five main unfunded schemes.

• Part 4 examines the costs and governance of the funded LGPS in Scotland.

10. In examining these schemes we drew on a wide range of information and reports provided by each of the six schemes, including the latest accounts for each scheme as at 31 March 2010, supplemented with a data request to all the schemes. We also interviewed relevant people in the pensions sector and established a project advisory group to provide independent advice and feedback at key stages of the project (Appendix 2).

11. Our report does not look at smaller schemes such as judicial pensions, the Scottish Parliament pension scheme or the independent schemes for the Scottish Legal Aid Board and the enterprise agencies. Nor does it cover private sector pensions or independent bodies that receive public funds such as universities or wider matters reserved to the UK government (including the state pension scheme, the tax consequences of public sector pensions or their impact on the benefit system).

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