The Scottish Firefighters Pensions Forum met Tuesday 26th in Edinburgh. The first business was unfortunately to confirm that the UK Government have put in place the year 2 members contribution increase. This was particularly disappointing after the work that was gone into regarding the potential level of opt-outs. The Scottish Government confirmed that in line with the correspondence (available in Resources) between Cabinet Secretary for Finance, John Swinney and Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, they will be be making an identical increase.
The proposals for the 2015 scheme were also discussed with Scottish Government civil servants, the Scottish Public Pensions Agency (SPPA) and the Government Acturial Department (GAD) in attendance. There was a wide ranging discussion with a number of ideas ideas considered. Unfortunately the terms of the Public Sector Pensions Bill prevented exploratory discussions in a number of areas, although the meeting did show a willingness to examine all options that are available in Scotland and was helpful.
There remains a number of areas that might warrant further detailed consideration. This involves some cost to Scot Govt in obtaining accurate data and they have shown their commitment in proceeding with that. Work will continue off-table and the next scheduled Forum is 30 April.
In the meantime members are encouraged to show their concern by attending the FBU rally at the Scottish Parliament. Assemble at 11.00 am on 28 March.