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Uncertainties Cloud Scottish Financial Services, Actuaries Say

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Oct. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Uncertainty about an independent Scotland’s status in the European Union and what currency it would use mean the prospects for Scottish financial services lack clarity, according to a report published today.

Both developments would have a “significant” impact on the provision of financial services, particularly on the funding of cross-border occupational pensions, the London-based Institute and Faculty of Actuaries said.

The paper outlined arguments for and against proposals put forward by the Scottish government in relation to state pensions as well as the advantages and disadvantages of adopting common rules in terms of regulation, pension protection, insurance product customer protection and pension auto-enrolment.

Independence is the flagship policy of Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond and his Scottish National Party, which runs the semi-autonomous government in Edinburgh. A referendum will be held next year on Sept. 18. Polls show the pro-independence campaign lagging about 20 percentage points behind those in favor of remaining part of the U.K.

The Scottish government said last month that it wanted to re-examine plans to accelerate raising the state pension age to 67 because of Scotland’s lower life expectancy than the U.K. average.

To contact the reporter on this story: Peter Woodifield in Edinburgh at pwoodifield@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Douglas Lytle at dlytle@bloomberg.net

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