MSP in line for pension pot

GALLOWAY MSP Alex Fergusson, currently the Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliamentt is in line for a pension worth over £21,000 - in addition to his MSP’s salary - if the Conservative candidate is voted back into Parliament in May, when he plans to stand down as Presiding Officer.

The pension scheme that gave Presiding Officers 50 per cent of their salary when they retire was abandoned by the Scottish Government because it was thought to be too generous. However, the pension plan is still in place for Mr Fergusson even though he has indicated he is not retiring from politics, but will fight for a seat representing Galloway at the forthcoming elections.

Me Fergusson, 61, currently earns £100,748 for his dual role as MSP and Presiding Officer. This is made up of his MSP’s salary of £57,521 and £43.227 for his Presiding Officer role.

As Presiding Officer he has to remain impartial during his term of office and he resigned for the Conservative Party when he accepted the post. But there is an opinion amount politicians that former Presiding Officers should still remain neutral after they leave the post, like the Speaker at Westminster.

A spokesman for the Scottish Parliament said: “Mr Fergusson has indicated he will make a decision on that if and when he is returned to Parliament.”