Gadaffi is busy overseeing the murder of his own people, politicians across the world are busy scratching their heads and wondering what to do without seeming about to create another Iraq. Meanwhile we find that petrol is now £6 per gallon (remember that measurement?) food prices rise by the week. Soon enough we will all need banker style bonuses to make ends meet.
Fat chance. This is 2011 in the UK. This is the year (or perhaps decade) to bash the public sector worker. We are apparently all lazy people on massive salaries who push a pen (or certainly sit at a desk) all day inventing rules for rules sake. Not only to we turn up late, leave early, have too much holiday, perhaps get paid overtime and some other unnecessary benefits but at the end of it all we can live it up on a grand gold plated pension for 40 years or something.
I joined the NHS pension scheme when I was 18. Every month since then I have paid 6% of my salary into this pension. I have no idea what 30 years of paying into the scheme equates to. What I do know is that for some time I have known that we are all on borrowed time. The final salary must go, the early retirement must go and we must all work longer.
Strangely enough even in 1980 we were being taught about a demographic time bomb. We were told that as the baby boom generation aged then the population of the country would age. As time went on and diseases were cured, or better managed with an ever ending stream of new and ever more expensive drugs we were told that that time bomb was ticking so loudly you could hear it a mile away.
Even as the private sector abandoned their final salary pensions (many of them ones that the employees didn’t even have to pay into) we failed to recognise that one day that would be us.
I was never going to be able to retire at 55, but 60 seemed reasonable. Now who knows? No one in my family lives to a particularly old age, though both my parents are alive (aged 73). My lifestyle is reasonably healthy so perhaps I will live long. I pay £250 per month in pension, this is more than my hubby can afford to pay into his private scheme so I am in effect paying for 2 of us. He does a manual job and at 52 is already weary.
On retirement we won’t have a mortgage but could still be financially supporting our son since it gets harder and harder for young people to afford to buy property etc. We would however like to be able to go on holiday and enjoy ourselves while we can.
You have to fear that in the next 20 years the norm will be for no retirement and a philosophy of work till you drop!