Pensions are a major worry. I know that when I started working the idea of a pension was far removed from my day-to-day life and having enough money to live on. But this government is intent on breaking contractual agreements and changing terms and conditions with no consideration. So the unions are taking them to court. I hope they win.
When I entered teaching the pension was part of the attraction. I’m not great at saving money and making shrewd investments (my late sister was and always had a go about how bad I was!). But the idea that I would have a final salary pension, index linked was for me a small compensation for a lower salary. I’ve lost count of the number of times that I was told – you can’t moan about your salary as you will great a great pension!
Well it seems that promises can be broken. The terms and conditions changed with no negotiation and we will all have to work longer, pay more and get back less.
We are told not to complain as our pensions are still very good, we are told that many will have no pension.
OK, I will have to work longer (each time I see a retirement on the horizon the age goes up).
OK I have to pay a bit more (yes we all (except bankers and MPs) have to sacrifice for the mistakes of others.
But in the end I will have less to live on (to be honest part of my pension is protected, but from now on it will change). I guess I can cope with that idea and make some plans (there must be a successful book in me somewhere that can supplement my pension).
But what annoys me most and makes me want to rebel is that having raided the pensions – don’t forget that the previous government stole a wad of cash from the pension scheme when it was in a very healthy surplus and has not paid it back – the present government now says that the schemes cannot cover the costs. Well, yes, partly because a previous government stole some of the pot! And to cap it all if I ever need help in old age the government will say – gosh you have money so why not give what you have to us to pay for your help – sell your home pay through the nose from your pension to home help etc.
Now contrast that with someone who just rents a home, has no fortune, no payout, no pension. Then the gov has to step in and pay. They will pay rent and pay for care. So where is the incentive for me to save and be careful? Surely I should blow the lot on fast living. Perhaps that’s it – spend everything waste the lot sell the house blow the cash and sit back and let the state pay – that way I retrieve the money stolen and taken from my pension pot.
Of course that’s not the answer, but it does make you wonder. I would like to change the terms and conditions of the national insurance and tax that I pay – do you think if I show my credit card bills and my overall debt I can pay less tax as my prime concern now is to reduce my deficit? Sorry Inland Revenue – can’t pay the full tax, so I’m paying tax on a different scale that’s lower so that I can reduce my budgetary deficit over the next five years.