This September marks 21 years since the Scottish Public Pensions Agency (SPPA) moved to its Tweedbank base.
The Agency administers pensions for over 600,000 public sector workers and is one of the largest employers in the Borders, with more than 300 staff, many of whom have been with the organisation since its move to Tweedbank.
This includes Jason Grainger, who joined the Agency as a Pension Administrator in 2002.
He said: “Starting as a Pension Administrator, I would have never believed that 21 years later I would still be at SPPA, now as a Senior Project Manager.
“The Agency has provided me with many opportunities to progress my career and undertake professional qualifications, and living near Tweedbank reduces long commute time if I was working elsewhere.
“There are not many places in the Borders where you can have such a varied career path, and offer such flexible ways of working, as here at the SPPA.”
David Robb, Chief Executive Officer, said:
"I’m proud to lead the SPPA; an organisation dedicated to supporting key workers across Scotland.
“Over the years we have grown as we have taken on more responsibility, administering more pensions to more members. At SPPA our people are our most important asset and I’m delighted we have such a strong local colleague base.
“A key focus in our 21st year is supporting many of our pension scheme members with the 2015 McCloud Remedy. This legislation comes into force in October which will mean members who were moved into a ‘reformed’ pension scheme in 2015 will be able to choose to remain in that scheme or move back to their previous scheme for what is called the Remedy period (between 2015 and 2022). It’s a big decision for our members but we’ll make sure they have the information they need to make an informed choice.
“We are fortunate to work in such a beautiful setting here in the Scottish Borders. The pandemic meant we all worked at home for some time, but since last year our approach to hybrid working has seen many colleagues return to what is now a busy office. We are also now sharing our premises with a small contingent of colleagues from the NHS and Scottish Enterprise.”
Minister for Community Wealth and Public Finance Tom Arthur said:
“I was delighted to have the opportunity to meet some of the agency’s staff and find out more about how the organisation has changed over the years. It has clearly been a stalwart of the Scottish Borders, supporting the local economy and giving young people an opportunity to begin a career in the Civil Service.
“The SPPA has a critical role in supporting our country’s key workers, making sure they get their pension, and for those still working, helping ensure they understand the importance of that pension for their long-term financial security.”
The Agency’s office has won awards over the years for its eco-friendly credentials, including its sedum grass roof and use of renewable materials. This commitment to reducing carbon emissions has only grown; later this year the office will be refitted with new LED lighting which will to save energy and further reduce the organisation’s carbon footprint.