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Pensions strikes [Nov. 30th, 2011|10:51 am]
Fran
So I wanted to understand more about the pensions situation that is the result of today's strikes and I needed somewhere to put it all down.

What I understand is...

The Chancellor has discovered that the civil pensions are going to cost £11bn more than originally forecast. This is due to people living longer and I believe more people people in the public sector.

To combat this he has capped employer contributions and is enforcing a 3% increase on employee contributions - figures I've seen are 6.4% employee contributions and employers contribution 14%. Figures quoted are an additional 2.8bn by 2014.

The eligible age to take the pension is being increased

The pensions are now going to be 'mapped' against CPI rather than RPI - now I'm not dead clear on this but I'm pretty sure this is the interest rate that they will get on their pensions. CPI is lower than RPI and current predictions are that what the employee will get from their pension is 15% less - this sounds to me like it is going to be 'back dated' too for all those affected.

Another change is that rather than being on the final salary pension - which is something like the max salary you've had in the years leading up to you taking the pension - it is going on average salary over the course of the career. So general principle is that your average salary that includes early career will be lower than the max salary at the end of your career - this will result in the employee being entitled to less pension (no idea on % or numbers)

Average civil service pensions range from 4k-15k per year depending on which sector you are in.

You can opt out of the whole scheme but you are not allowed to change your contributions from the set % I've given about

Right so I wish I knew my pension scheme better but obviously at the same time I don't really want to let you know all my intimate details but I think there should be some comparrisons. Below are my feelings on the above situation in same order as above.

If the forecast is wrong for the money required for pensions then obviously this is a problem and it needs sorting. However if I complete an incorrect forecast at work it is my problem and I need to make savings in other areas to compensate for the over spend - I do not get the choice of taking more money from somewhere else (and I'd probably get fired if it was as large as the above). We have deomgraphic figures showing that life expectancy is increasing, that over 25% of the population will be over 65 by 2025 and we've had these predictions for probably the last 40 or 50 years - I'm not too sure how the forecast can be so bad.

I understand that by capping the employer contributions you are protecting the tax payer but I don't really know how I feel about this - it is a mix of well if someone told me I needed to pay more and that my employer didn't I'd be pretty pissed off. Strange thing is in this situation is that civil servant are also tax payers so in some ways they are contributing twice to their own pensions so this may also benefit them. But I suspect in the grand scheme of things this last part is negligable and essentially it is the workers who are being asked to accept less by paying more to dig the Government out of a hole with the Goevernment providing no incentive for them to do so.

So the increased age to take a pension I think is fair enough - this is just a fact of our current life expectancy and is across the board on state pensions. However as someone with a private pension I can draw this down at 55 (at the moment) so maybe I can afford to be fairly relaxed about this as I expect my state pension will be nominal compared to my private scheme whereas anyone in the public sector will have to work until the retirement age or have additional savings or pension if they wish to retire early. Actually thinking about it, if we consider my private pension from work the same as the civil pensions this would mean I could not take this until I was 65 - so in addition to my work pesion I would have to have a seperate scehme over and above the one I get from work which would entirely piss me off - I do not want to HAVE to work until I am 65 or pay twice as much to be able to retire early.

The interest point is harder to compare to my pension as I really have no idea what this equates to but if someone told me I was going to get 15% less on something that I am effectively paying for I'd be hacked off

The change in salary comparrisons I think is fair enough - private sector pensions moved away from final salary a few years ago - there are something that need to be accepted to combat a money finance, and for me personally this is just one of those things. This might be because I've never pinned my financial security on a final salary pension and because I am a few years off - I can see how if you are closer to retiring this could cause issues but I find it hard to fully relate.

No idea what I'm expecting out of my pension (I probably should check) but I would expect my work pension to give me something within that bracket of average pensions for the civil service. The main difference for me is that the % I pay is half of what is being enforced on public sector workers. I can also change this if I choose to - either to create more money per month or to increase my pension pay out. My employee to employer contributions is equivalent to the one outlined above so I think I fall into the lucky/good employer category.

In summary I would be exceptionally unhappy if someone told me that I was going to lose an extra 3% of my monthly pay because the Government had decided I was one of the target areas to help them out of a hole. In addition to this I am going to lose around 15% on what I was predicted to receive as my pension. That I cannot retire until I am 66 unless I take more money out of my monthly pay packet to set up another scheme and that my only option to take control over my pension scheme is to opt out of a good pension scheme and forego all my employer contributions.

I don't know about you guys but with all my monthly outgoings I would be hard pushed to find the extra 3% without compromising an area of my lifestyle and I would be loathed to do this just becuase someone in the Government told me I had to because they cocked up.

I wonder how much moeny would be made by 2014 if they got the banks to pay over their bonus schemes rather than putting pressure on key workers who support our kids, health, and safety?
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(no subject) [May. 29th, 2010|10:33 am]
Fran
interesting - I don't remember uploading the new pic....
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(no subject) [May. 29th, 2010|01:04 am]
Fran
So I'm happy at the moment - hence no posting on rant journal

apart from this one

obviously

:)
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(no subject) [May. 12th, 2010|09:50 am]
Fran
cried all over my boss and mentor at work yesterday for the first time ever. Not a proud moment.

ABout 2 hours later I started to feel like death - well at least that explains the inability to hold myself together in 2 meetings.

Meant to be working from home so I can get paid but I can't concentrate

I have until Friday to submit next year's objectives but right now I can't see past frinishing this cup of tea.

I'm going back to bed

Why didn't this happen last week when I didn't have any weekend plans?
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Kath and Arthur [May. 2nd, 2010|04:47 pm]
Fran
After reading the posts about using street view to look up previous houses I thought that just out of interest I'd take a look at mine. I decided not to do the posty thing mostly because I can't remember the first house so that doesn't start well.

However I looked at the Chester house, this is the one I remember most from my early days and the house next door where Kath and Arthur lived is up for rent.

They used to look after me when I was not at school. We used to do some things that now I look back on a realise were pretty boring like counting buttons, or lining up buttons of the same colour to indicate the cars that have been past...

I've continued to write to them over the years and back in 2000 I took Steve to Chester and met up with Kath and Arthur.

Last Christmas, I wasn't sure about sending a card like I normally do. I had missed 2 years and the letter I got previously was the first one written by Arthur because Kath's eyesight and arthritis was too bad to do it herself. In the end I did and I got nothing back. I assume the worst about Kath, I think that she was close to 70 when we still lived next door. I guess that they / Arthur has moved out

It is quite sad that I have confirmed that I can no longer get in touch with them and that I'll never know what exactly happened.

They've been a small part of my life for so long now and I never want to forget them
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plan of action [Feb. 3rd, 2010|01:18 pm]
Fran
So I've attempted as much yoga as I can do (which is really not very much, turns out walking is not a good indication of strength)

I've watched 'murder, she wrote' and got not only the dead guy but the murderer and why as well

Now for pancakes and Murdoch Mysteries

Then bath and dress to make sure that I can start baking at 3 ish

Want to do a cake and some meat pies ready for guests at 6.30pm tonight

I might also try to vacuum but I may leave this for James.

Then tomorrow can be a morning of working with a visit from Nino in the afternoon.

Friday I can go into work for a bit

that sounds ok doesn't it....
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(no subject) [Jan. 20th, 2010|10:58 pm]
Fran
after deciding that my old list of celebs I found attractive is no longer relevant I have, inadvertently, found 2 new ones.

As my memory is pants at the moment I need to put them here

Nick Baker - despite an unhealthy animal collection

Sam Worthington

recorded here so when I need to pick myself up with eye candy I remember who I think is worth it.
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(no subject) [Jan. 12th, 2010|11:27 am]
Fran
so I am home, back from the last chemo (ever I hope)

I am going to celebrate this with tea, bed and anti-sickness pills :)

I have a strange craving for eggs benedict
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(no subject) [Jan. 10th, 2010|10:56 pm]
Fran
[mood |sickill but happy]

ah man, we went out yesterday for lunch and spent all day in the pub drinking.

I got wasted. I'm really not meant to but it just kind of happened.

I'd completely forgotten about hangovers and I never want to drink this amount ever ever again....
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(no subject) [Dec. 2nd, 2009|09:37 pm]
Fran
think that there were a few things I needed to do today but instead I sat round an empty flat. I was hoping to baby sit or help unpack but neither of those things needed doing

However I did need to talk to my boss and I probably needed to rest and be warm and I could do with going to town

Good thing is my friend is now mostly in to her flat. Might take a bit more tlc to get there but we'll go round again tomorrow.

Will go into town tomorrow buy buttons and navy thread

Must speak to Glenn tomorrow. I got told off about working too much in the clinic on Monday not really going to pay attention but I will point it out as a I'm going to be getting worse and I think the knackered apathy thing might have been doing 2 4 day weeks back to back.

I really shouldn't eat Chinese - it does not fully agree with me

I have shaving rash so the exercise didn't achieve all goals but it is easier and my headscarves arrived on Tuesday - so just in time.

Must buy aloe vera in the shops tomorrow.

Got some pills on Monday to combat the side effects of the antisickness pills I'm taking. Think this is getting silly now.

The new injection today to boost my white blood count is starting to kick in. I am so achy and apparently this is just going to get worse.

Must try to figure out if I can give myself the injection. Seems simple enough but I still have my reservations. Especially as I could just get a nurse to do it. James is also volunteering but I'm not sure, think if any non-nurse is going to give me an injection it probably should be me....

think that covers it - actually must get latest blood results tomorrow too
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