Saturday, 18 December 2010

BMA Idiots

From the GP magazine 'Pulse':

"Dr Andrew Dearden, chair of the BMA’s pensions committee, said...the NHS Pension Scheme was running a surplus of around £1bn a year...How do you justify increasing contribution rates?’"
Ah, 'the most selfish generation' in demonstration yet again.Why should they pay enough money to provide their gold plated pensions, retiring at 60, when they can get the next generation to pay for their nice long life expectancies and take massive cuts in what they can expect when they're allowed to retire at 70+, if they even live that long.


GrumpyRN said...

Not sure I understand your point. I have paid into the state since age 15, I have paid into my NHS pension since age 26, why should I not gain the benefits I have PAID for? I will be unable to claim state benefits when I retire as I will be above the threshold, whereas people who have pissed their wages (or unemployment benefit) against a wall will have full entitlement to every benefit going. Apart from anything else, I did not see anyone complaining about NHS pensions when I started working for them, it is only now that people realise that we might be a bit better off (after spending 6% [now6.5%] of my salary every month) that the complaints are starting. Politics of envy methinks.

pj said...

My point about the idiocy of he BMA rep is that scheme surplus is irrelevant. The purpose of the scheme is not to match incomings and outgoings but to have sufficient finds to cover the actuarial risk. Thinking otherwise is holding future generations to ransom.

So you have not, in fact, paid for those benefits but rather paid a certain sum into the scheme in return for the promise of certain generous benefits. There is definitely an argument that you are morally owed those benefits promised but you certainly haven't paid in enough money to cover them.

The problem with the baby boomer generation is that there were lots of them. This means that they found it easy to pay for the benefits of the generation before them (who numbered many fewer) but in order to pay for their own benefits on retirement they are having to cut the expected benefits of the next generation (people like me) drastically because their contributions haven't fully funded these benefits and there are going to be a much smaller number of people working and contributing to fund these benefits to baby boomers who are going to live longer and more demanding lives than was ever anticipated. At least part of this was foreseeable but taxpayers and governments were happier putting their heads in the sand and refusing to properly fund these promissory notes while benefiting from low taxes and fuelling housing booms.

So its the opposite of politics of envy - your generation expects my generation to pay a generous subsidy on top of your contributions to your pension pot. Your pension and retirement terms will be substantially better than those our generation can expect. So we're not unreasonably interested in sharing the pain.