Scottish independence would lead to the creation of cross-border pension schemes, triggering complex issues for current UK administrators, an independent pensions body has warned.
The Pensions Administration Standards Association said breaking up the UK would create cross-borders schemes, resulting in significant tax, regulatory and legislative complexities for administrators to tackle.
PASA chair Margaret Snowdon said this would potentially require different scheme registration, administration and scheme funding requirements.
She said this was necessary to distinguish between a Scottish and 'rest of the UK' status for scheme members and there are already suggestions that HMRC would need to determine who fitted into which category.
Snowdon added that: 'If members change their status during their working lifetime, this could add further complexity to administering their benefits.
'For TPAs (third party administrators), splitting into two countries will mean they will almost definitely have to register under any new Scottish regulatory regime for pension administration, data processing and investments of contributions - thereby increasing management and regulatory overhead.'
She said it was also possible that the State Pension Age for Scotland would be different from the rest of the UK, which might impact on processes for calculating member benefits. This could have implications linked to automatic enrolment entry requirements, or could mean a different overall tax regime.
A Yes vote would also see a Scottish version of the Pensions Regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority, and the Pension Protection Fund, which could potentially add to further complexities in administration.
The PASA suggested that schemes might need to be split for data completion of UK and Scottish regulator returns and could also possibly need to pay separate PPF levies.
It also noted that a different currency would add significant complexity for pensioner payrolls, potentially impacting on member contributions where rates have been set in one currency and are being paid by another. Fluctuating currency exchange rates would also need to be considered, the PASA said.
Even a No referendum vote would create increased differences in the pension rules and regulations from the rest of the UK, the independent pensions body warned. It noted that further devolution would likely extend to Wales and Northern Ireland, creating complex regional differences for pension administrators over time.