Pensions law in Scotland and the rest of the UK—key differences
Produced in partnership with Cameron McCulloch of Pinsent Masons
Pensions law in Scotland and the rest of the UK—key differences

The following Pensions practice note produced in partnership with Cameron McCulloch of Pinsent Masons provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Pensions law in Scotland and the rest of the UK—key differences
  • The statutory framework
  • Application of legislation, guidance and other policy in Scotland
  • Public sector pensions and outsourcing
  • The Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS)
  • Fair Deal
  • Best Value—Scottish equivalent
  • Other Scottish legislation
  • Pensions on divorce—the Scottish position
  • The Pension Protection Fund and section 75 debts—meaning of insolvency event
  • More...

Pensions law in Scotland and the rest of the UK—key differences

The statutory framework

Generally, the legislative framework which applies to private sector occupational pension schemes governed by Scots law is the same as the regime which applies to the rest of the UK. In particular, the following legislation applies north as well as south of the border:

  1. the Pension Schemes Act 1993 (PSA 1993)

  2. the Pensions Act 1995 (PA 1995)

  3. the Pensions Act 2004 (PeA 2004)

The core trust law on which most private sector pension schemes are based is different, with Scotland having its own separate trust legislation and case law.

The Scottish judicial system is completely separate to the English system and while English decisions on pension issues provide assistance in dealing with certain issues, they are not binding on Scottish courts.

Differences in a number of other areas of law can also impact on pensions law and practice.

Application of legislation, guidance and other policy in Scotland

When giving advice in respect of pension schemes governed by Scots Law, care must be taken to check that any legislation actually applies in Scotland. A similar position applies in relation to guidance and policy, and there will be times where it is unclear, or at least questionable, whether certain pieces of guidance, policy or even legislation apply in Scotland.

Public sector pensions and outsourcing

In respect of work involving the public

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