Publication - FOI/EIR release

Scottish Ministerial pension related questions: FOI release

Published: 10 Jan 2020

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Published:
10 Jan 2020
Scottish Ministerial pension related questions: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/19/02654
Date received: 6 Dec 2019
Date responded: 9 Jan 2020
Information requested

Your request:

1. Has the First Minister been subject to an annual allowance pension charge in any of the following time periods (please specify): 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18, 2018/19?

2. If yes, please state how much that charge was/charges were?

3. Did the First Minister pay employee pension contributions at 6% or 11% in each of the following time periods: 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18, 2018/19?

4. Was any other cabinet secretary subject to an annual allowance pension charge in any of the following time periods (please specify): 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18, 2018/19?

5. If the answer to question 4 is yes, please provide details of how many ministers were affected.

 

Response

1. Has the First Minister been subject to an annual allowance pension charge in any of the following time periods (please specify): 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18, 2018/19?

See below ‘In response to questions 1, 2 and 3’.

2. If yes, please state how much that charge was/charges were?
See below ‘In response to questions 1, 2 and 3’.

3. Did the First Minister pay employee pension contributions at 6% or 11% in each of the following time periods: 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18, 2018/19?
See below ‘In response to questions 1, 2 and 3’.

In response to questions 1, 2 and 3:

An exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies to all the information requested because it is personal data of a third party, ie personal details of individuals, and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Article 5(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation and in section 34(1) of the Data Protection Act 2018. This exemption is not subject to the ‘public interest test’, so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption.

However, though we cannot provide the information you requested, a guide to the Scottish Parliamentary Pension Scheme can be found at the following website: https://pensions.gov.scot/other-schemes/scottish-parliamentary-pension-scheme/spps-scheme-guide

4. Was any other cabinet secretary subject to an annual allowance pension charge in any of the following time periods (please specify): 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18, 2018/19?
We cannot respond in relation to whether any individual Minister, including the FM, was subject to the charge.  The information below sets out whether there were any SG Ministers subject to the charge.

2015/16 – No
2016/17 – Yes
2017/18 – Yes
2018/19 – No

5. If the answer to question 4 is yes, please provide details of how many ministers were affected.
An exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies to all the information requested because it is personal data of a third party, ie due to the small number of ministers affected, it may be possible to identify the individual/s concerned, and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Article 5(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation and in section 34(1) of the Data Protection Act 2018 This exemption is not subject to the ‘public interest test’, so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption.

However, though we cannot provide a breakdown of the information you requested, I can confirm that the number was five or less.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG