Thursday, March 22, 2012

Nice to see a date

Savers born in Sixties warned of 2027 apocalypse Read more: http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/pensions/article-2117755/If-youre-50-planning-retirement-beware-2027-pension-apocalypse.html#ixzz1po3hkgEL

Usually when we are informed that a pension fund is in deficit, the actual day that payments won't be fulfilled is never mentioned. I doubt this year is very accurate but its easier to understand, in deficit sounds like some abstract state, but they won't be paid past 2027 is pretty easy to understand. Pro-housing I think, or at least pro-something other than pensions.

Posted by stillthinking @ 01:55 AM (1793 views)
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11 thoughts on “Nice to see a date

  • I think the pensions – both in UK and US – have been pretty much ruined.

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  • mark wadsworth says:

    The whole thing is a complete load of nonsense.

    The simplest and best kind of pension system ( to the extent that the government should get involved at all) is a pay-as-you-go system. At present, approx. 25 million productive workers are supporting 5 million unproductive workers*, twelve million pensioners, ten million children, two million non-working spouses and a few million unemployed. So less than half the country is actually working and the rest are being supported directly or living off taxes.

    So whatever happens to the population pyramid will happen gradually, with increasing lifespans, the retirement age will have to go up, I’m resigned to that, but it is a proven fact that as long as forty per cent of the population are working and supporting others directly or through their taxes, that we can all have a reasonable standard of living.

    So if we got rid of five million paid leeches and they and the few million unemployed got productive employment, we could easily support a population of eighty million with no fall in living standards.

    The fact that private pensions are a huge great scam does not detract from any of this.

    * Only about two million public sector workers are identifiable useful categories like nurses, coppers, teachers, cleaners, bin men, social workers, firemen and so on, i defy anybody to prove otherwise.

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  • What about HMRC staff mw? And which identifably unuseful categories are you defying everyone to prove otherwise.

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  • MW – “The fact that private pensions are a huge great scam does not detract from any of this”

    What would you suggest as an alternative? (I know you mentioned equities before but for regular contributions and small lump sums this isnt cost effective or indeed in most cases possible)

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  • mark wadsworth says:

    LTF, HMRC are included in the two million, under our current crazy system we need those 80,000 civil servants. With a full-on LVT system we’d only need a tenth as many. And how can you expect me to defined all the categories of “unuseful”, that’s quite simply everybody who’s not “useful”.

    As I’ve said before, I don’t just pluck figures out of the air, i spent the whole afternoon tracking down the total number of “usefuls” and two million is the answer. Not because I want it to be, not because I’m deliberately over- or under-stating but because that is the actual number. if it were four million, I’d say four million. If it were 800,000, I’d say 800,000.

    In the alternative, I welcome you to try and mention “useful” which I might have missed off my list, and indicate the number of people in each category.

    JackC, I’ve absolutely nothing whatsoever against private pension savings if that works out lower cost than investing directly, it’s a free world and all, people have to make their own decisions. Neither do I have anything against people spending money on golf clubs, booze or stamp collections. That’s not the point. What I object to is taxpayer subsidies to private pensions, in the same way I would object to taxpayer subsidies to golf clubs etc. If there was such a subsidy, i would oppose it. That does not make me anti-golf, it makes me anti-subsidy.

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  • MW – thanks for the clarification on “anti-subsidy” stance.

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  • letthemfall says:

    MW
    Umm, doctors, scientists, highway people, administrators (need them too), and so on. I think if you are going to claim that certain categories of public sector employees are useless the onus is on you to say who are they are and why they are employed to be useless all day.

    While your on, you might also like the similarly divide the private sector into useful and useless. To start you off on the useless, how about middlemen, advertisers, all those financial bods who screw up, manufacturers of stuff that falls apart after a week, PFI companies, and so on.

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  • mark wadsworth says:

    LTF, doctors were on the list, can you please tell me how many “scientists” and “highway people” there are and I will add them to the list if they weren’t on. We can add on administrators later, how many administrators would you like to see per front line worker? Shall we add on 50% to my two million? Do you want me to double the two million and have as many administrators as workers?

    I’ve told you who the useless ones are, it’s everybody who’s not on the useful list. There are infinite different job titles for the useless ones, like Council CEO on £250,000 (that counts as equivalent to ten useless people in terms of cost), five a day advisors, local council economic policy advisors (I personally know two of such), the yuman rights and equality advisers in the fire brigade, the quangoes, Will Hutton in particular (huge salary, count him as cost-equivalent to eight wasted jobs). There may only be a few hundred in each category, but there are thousands and thousands of categories.

    Why should i worry about the private sector, if I’m not being forced to pay for them? It’s not really my concern is it? if a company wants to spend money on middlemen and advertisers, that’s no more of my business than whether you spend your spare cash on a pension fund or golf clubs. I would agree that there is a large class of rent-seekers in privately owned companies as well, but it is the shareholders being ripped off, and it is up to them to complain.

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  • letthemfall says:

    MW What’s the difference between an administrator and a front-line worker? Who are the front-liners in running govt for instance? (Not including the politicians, whom I might concede to your list, especially after the budget.)

    You are saying that the useless ones are those who are not useful – not a useful definition. Why must councils not have bosses when companies do? Hutton seems to have several jobs, some of which are part of the private sector. Why are human rights advisers useless? Are PR people in companies useful?

    Your list is inevitably arbitrary. And you cannot avoid paying for the useless in the private sector, unless you never buy anything. And you have to at least buy energy, a roof over your head and food. Can you avoid all products that do not incorporate the cost of advertising, those taking a cut without adding much if any value, first class travel for the bosses, unnecessary administration? No of course not; they almost certainly don’t exist, and even if they did it would be pretty much impossible to distinguish them.

    It makes no sense to claim the public sector is full of waste which you are obliged to pay for, while any private sector inefficiency is okay because you don’t have to pay for it (even though you can’t avoid it). Ripoffs effect us all. Any human activity will contain inefficiencies. Claiming one sector is worse than the other diverts attention away from the real problems.

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  • stillthinking says:

    Come on, if you go and work at any council from the private sector the lack of effort is staggering. Go into any pub in the UK and there is probably somebody on paid absence from the council for back pain. Councils have morning breaks, lunch breaks and afternoon breaks. They regularly break their own records for sickness absence.

    If every single person who works predominantly in the private sector, every one, says upon contact with that the state sector is rife with waste, and they say this year in year out, it is reasonable to accept what is plain to all. Go to any government office and see their response times.

    You could easily dismiss half the state workers without noticing any difference. They are an obscene political presence in the UK which as we now, despite paying over half of GDP, go further and further into continuing lack of provision of state services, need to tear down and face up to. I don’t think the wild eyed fantasy of the hard working state employee is even slightly credible.

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  • stillthinking
    I assume therefore that you have worked in a council and observed a staggering lack of effort. I have not myself, though I have worked in the public sector and see employees work hard, and go without lunch breaks too; but why do you think working without breaks is efficient?

    Have you surveyed every single person? Have you checked the claims? Or are you simply repeating the old received wisdom that goes unchallenged over the years?

    It’s all anecdotal. In general I find I receive better service from public bodies than I do private companies. But I could cite bad and good examples from both. Incidentally, I find my local council pretty efficient in general; I recently reported a problem to them and it was sorted out quickly.

    I think you and mw are just repeating the same old prejudices; I note there is never any hard evidence offered. In fact it would be quite hard to evaluate anyway, given the fundamental differences between the function of the two sectors.

    None of this would matter too much were it not so pervasive. The country is replete with dishonest and self-serving bluster. Our chancellor claims we have record borrowing (clearly false) and too much is spent on public services; so the country has austerity imposed (unless you are wealthy) even though the reasons offered are no more than a political stance. We all know the culpability of the banks, but nothing has been done to punish them. Attacks on the public sector are nothing more than a diversion, unfortunately a pretty successful diversion.

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