Author Topic: Pension Age Could Rise Further  (Read 2843 times)

CerebralJam

  • Administrator
  • Almighty Blethering Dipstick!
  • ******
  • Posts: 3679
  • Everyone's a fluffy one!
Pension Age Could Rise Further
« on: August 08, 2009, 11:23:42 PM »
Pension Age Could Rise Further

Argggh - the link cuts the article out, so here it is if you want to read it...

"The state pension retirement age could be increased further, the UK's pensions regulator has told the BBC.

David Norgrove said rising life expectancy meant millions of people would "undoubtedly" have to wait longer in future to draw a state pension.

People will not save as much for retirement as in the past, with many people "frightened" to do so, he said.

The state pension age is due to rise to 68, and Pensions Minister Angela Eagle said there were no plans to raise that.

Government debt

Currently, the state pension age is 60 for women and 65 for men, but four years ago Lord Turner published a report calling for it to rise to 68 for everyone by 2044.

But Mr Norgrove said he thought it would end up higher.

Mr Norgrove said: "People are going to have to work longer, partly because we're not going, as a nation, to save as much for retirement as we did in the past."
   
STATE PENSIONS
-------------------------------------------------------------

OMG 68????

Do you guys have a State pension over there?  Or are you all private?  Geeez, it's nice to know life expectancy might be a little higher but it would be nice to enjoy life at a slower pace before popping our clogs, I'm not sure that when you live longer you are physically more able?

I'm not advocating sponging, it is more the obligation for the poorer to work to this age... they are the ones who have poorer diets, and  men still have to work longer than women and yet we tend to outlive our poor men?

Life Expectancy Gap Between Rich and Poor Widening
« Last Edit: August 08, 2009, 11:33:30 PM by CerebralJam »
Life is the art of drawing without an eraser. John W Gardner
 

Gman75

  • Grand High Exhalted Mystic Ruler
  • ****
  • Posts: 289
  • Gaaaaatahs!!! Chomp, Chomp!!
    • FaceBook
Re: Pension Age Could Rise Further
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2009, 01:13:13 PM »
Janet, we have Social Security as a gov't pension program. It also includes Medicare, a health care program. It's considered a tax we pay and is deducted from our paychecks. We pay about 6% of our salary for SS and about 1.5% for MC. This is matched by our employer. It is predicted that this system will be bankrupt by 2017 as the baby boomers like me will be retiring in huge numbers in the next several years. We get an annual statement around the time of our birthday. There are options for retiring at 62, 65 and 67. The earlier you retire, the less you receive. If I retire at 62, I would receive about $1200 a month in SS payments. Obviously no where near enought to support my current life style so generally Americans also have a private Individual Retirement Account (IRA) of some sort and there are tax breaks associated with these private accounts.
The big issue here right now is a health insurance reform bill and it is dividing this country at an alarming rate. Lots of spin on both sides and very difficult to understand at over 1200 pages. Health Insurance companies are making huge profits with premiums rising at a huge % rate over the last 10 years. Lobbyists for Health Insurance and Pharmacy companies are spending 1.5 million $ a DAY to defeat this bill.
I would be very interested in learning how you feel about your gov't sponsored health care and if you have an option for private insurance. Are people really dying while waiting to get an appointment for medical tests, etc. ?
Do you hear about folks coming to the US for better treatment? Feed back from Kia, Terry or other international friends would also be appreciated.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2009, 01:21:25 PM by Gman75 »
Gordie


"Music can change the world because it can change people"- Bono

BronxBruce

  • Administrator
  • Grand High Exhalted Mystic Ruler
  • ******
  • Posts: 445
Re: Pension Age Could Rise Further
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2009, 01:21:01 PM »
Janet, we have Social Security as a gov't pension program. It also includes Medicare, a health care program. It's considered a tax we pay and is deducted from our paychecks. We pay about 6% of our salary for SS and about 1.5% for MC. This is matched by our employer. It is predicted that this system will be bankrupt by 2017 as the baby boomers like me will be retiring in huge numbers in the next several years. We get an annual statement around the time of our birthday. There are options for retiring at 62, 65 and 67. The earlier you retire, the less you receive. If I retire at 62, I would receive about $1200 a month in SS payments. Obviously no where near enought to support my current life style so generally Americans also have a private Individual Retirement Account (IRA) of some sort and there are tax breaks associated with these private accounts.
The big issue here right now is a health insurance reform bill and it is dividing this country at an alarming rate. Lots of spin on both sides and very difficult to understand at over 1200 pages. Health Insurance companies are making huge profits with premiums rising at a huge % rate over the last 10 years. Lobbyists for Health Insurance and Pharmacy companies are spending 1.5 million $ a DAY to defeat this bill.
I would be very interested in learning how you feel about your gov't sponsored health care and if you have an option for private insurance. Are people really dying while waiting to get an appointment for medical tests, etc. ?
Do you hear about folks coming to the US for better treatment? Feed back from our Canadian friends would also be appreciated.

There are actually very few people who come from developed nations to the US for treatment. Even if they wanted to, most couldn't afford our exorbitant prices. And, people in other countries may wait for elective surgeries but not for an emergency.

Also, social security will not go broke in 2017. The current prediction is it will go bankrupt in 2041. But that doesn't mean it will have no money left. It will still be able to pay out at least 75% of what it owes. I'm betting it won't go bankrupt anyhow.

CerebralJam

  • Administrator
  • Almighty Blethering Dipstick!
  • ******
  • Posts: 3679
  • Everyone's a fluffy one!
Re: Pension Age Could Rise Further
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2009, 02:28:57 PM »
Hi, anything I say right now would be a generalisation. 

As to doctors ... where I am, we phone the doctor on the day you are ill prior to 8.30am and you can get an appointment same day.  Crazy though cos if you get ill during the day - obviously it's too late for an 8.30am phonecall.  And if you are ill that day you still have to wait to the following day to phone prior to 8.30am to get an appointment. You can call in at the surgery and see if anyone is available however, during surgery hours.   A&E in hospitals are always open.  But again generally appointments take between 6 weeks and three months for general examination and consultancies unless in an emergency.  Private care obviously can speed this process up.

It's easy enough though. 

Hospital care I've never had so do not know about the waiting lists for ops etc.  There are Bupa schemes etc people can join and you can pay to go private, don't know how much.

Obviously I've read of families saving for a trip to the States - ie sponsorship in cases of specialist care for Cancer etc in children.  Really out of the loop to say otherwise.  And as Bruce says hugely expensive, for you've not only the medical bills, you've the cost of living over there as family etc and long term would really be prohibitive.

To be honest our healthcare system is one of the best around, I think the only things you will ever read in the press are when things go wrong.

Pensions, you can as the article says opt in to private schemes via your employers but over the last few years a lot of them have gone down - some people losing everything.

Out of the work loop too being self-employed so again not sure other than what I might dig up on the net to answer your question.

We have social security - NHS contributions docked from salary alongside tax at different rates... NI contributions can be *protected for women earning under a certain level who have very young children at home. 

This is the best website for anyone interested in taxation in the UK - it is the HMS official site where you fill in your claims online as well as get information and support on any employment/self employment issues:  Tons of downloads.

HM Revenue & Customs

I am interested in hearing your debate on issues your way though as I do understand it is very different, and extremely topical.

*What I mean by protected is, you do not have to pay, you can claim exception from payments if on a certain income.

Just found this, don't know if it is altogether the best site on the net but informs about Private Health Care in the UK, what's available etc.  Private Healthcare UK - has an opening video you might want to close, loads of links to resources but advertising funded website.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2009, 02:44:38 PM by CerebralJam »
Life is the art of drawing without an eraser. John W Gardner
 

Gman75

  • Grand High Exhalted Mystic Ruler
  • ****
  • Posts: 289
  • Gaaaaatahs!!! Chomp, Chomp!!
    • FaceBook
Re: Pension Age Could Rise Further
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2009, 03:28:29 PM »
Thanks Janet and Bruce, good information for sure. We recently lost our health insurance when my wife lost her job. She basically worked for our benefits, health and IRA, and has neither at her new job and none available at mine. Fortunately as a VN veteran, I have been able to enrole in the Veterans Administration health care program. And better yet, we have an excellant VA hospital here in Tuscaloosa and I am very satisfied. Of course VA, Medicare and Medicaid are already gov't sponsored health care providers. I just don't understand the hystaria going on here opposed to creating some competition for these greedy insurance and pharmacy companies! The only explanation is that big bucks rule! Surely we can get this done cost effectively with options for private providers.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2009, 03:32:13 PM by Gman75 »
Gordie


"Music can change the world because it can change people"- Bono

tomac

  • Baby Grand Rhythm Stick Ruler
  • ***
  • Posts: 116
  • Most people die with all their music still inside
Re: Pension Age Could Rise Further
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2009, 03:04:17 AM »
I am very glad this thread started and am very interested in weighing in on this when I get some time in the next several days. Already have some good posts here based on people's own experiences or those of others they know, instead of all the usual political talking points and/or pure political ideology. Reasons I don't miss the Snap Poli board so much these days.

Jubi

  • Host
  • Prolific Cerebrationist Zentimetre Ruler
  • ****
  • Posts: 506
Re: Pension Age Could Rise Further
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2009, 06:16:54 AM »
Hope ya'll don't mind a different point a view.  Leave it up to me to be the odd ball, lol.  I am only sharing this because I know I won't get my head chewed off in this thread. Otherwise, I would just keep my mouth shut.

Let's just say that universal health care is approved and implimented.  And the waiting time to see the doctor does lengthen due to the increased number of patients coming in for "free" health care.  Logic tells me that this is very likely to happen.  Just keep that as a possibility as you read the rest of my post.

I work in a hospital ER.  I have seen the number of LWBS (left w/o being seen) charts grow.  Many of these are due to the fact that the patient got tired of waiting and left before they coud be called back to see the doctor and sometimes even before triage.  So if this number is increasing right now, could it possibly increase even more with universal health care?  And how satisfied would the American public be with this change?

This is not hysteria on my part.   My information is not from sites, statistics, or political articles.  I am speaking from experience and my observations at work.  American people are impatient sorts.  They seem to want everything now.  So perhaps an extended waiting period may not sit well with the American people.

Just a thought.  Not a profound one, but one just the same. :))


« Last Edit: August 23, 2009, 04:57:17 PM by Jubi »
To accept yourself is to love yourself :)

tomac

  • Baby Grand Rhythm Stick Ruler
  • ***
  • Posts: 116
  • Most people die with all their music still inside
Re: Pension Age Could Rise Further
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2009, 11:30:24 PM »
I agree that maybe there will be a problem unless the new members of the insured class are added gradually, but then again, how do you turn around and justify to those who are presently unable to access health care in the US? Do you tell them, "just be patient while we train some more Family Practice and GPs (General Practice) docs in a few years"?

We should have already been doing this in preparation for the baby boomers getting old, but instead our system continued to produce more specialists than we needed because it allows those docs to make higher incomes than GPs and Fam. Practice docs, plus in the 80s under the Reagan admin. the med schools deliberately cut back the number of docs trained in the US which is part of why now so many of the new docs starting practice in the US are foreign- born and trained, in order to try and meet the increased need for docs we've had the last ten years as many of the docs born and trained here began retiring.

I don't think it's acceptable to ask the working poor and the lower-middle class who have uninsured family members to keep using what limited free clinics (instead of allowing them regular health care like other working, tax-paying citizens) are available in the US, which btw, is where most of them go for care rather than ERs, where they know that getting care from them is playing the lottery on whether the hospital will write off most or any of their bill.

I am not bashing you Jubi, but pointing out how most people who are part of the mainstream insured classes of society, as well as our members of congress, have no idea what the working poor and other uninsured or underinsured have to live with.

tomac

  • Baby Grand Rhythm Stick Ruler
  • ***
  • Posts: 116
  • Most people die with all their music still inside
Re: Pension Age Could Rise Further
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2009, 12:46:15 AM »
I want to go back, as I said I would a few weeks ago, to Janet's original issue in this thread. I totally agree that while it may be needed for budget and demographic reasons in the UK, it's very unfair to raise the govt. pension age to 68. First, not only does it hurt the working poor the most, another issue is the fact that many or most of the working poor, at least in the US if not also the UK, spend most of their working lives at jobs that are more physically demanding, like cleaning or food service, for example, that require them to be on their feet all day as well as bending, stooping, etc. After plenty of years of that their back, legs, neck, hands, etc., are pretty shot and they also don't have the energy to keep doing physically demanding work anyway after about age 60.

Especially not in a crowded labor market where there are plenty of younger people begging for jobs who are capable of working faster and will probably work cheaper. In the US there isn't a formal system as it sounds like there is in the UK for companies to legally force out workers at age 65, but in the US they have plenty of ways to do it illegally and informally, even tho there is a federal law that prohibits age discrimination against those age 40 and over. It's useless for almost anyone but an executive or a skilled white collar worker because they're the only ones with the money to hire a lawyer to sue the employer. For a blue collar worker the employer can just claim, often rightly, that the worker can't keep up good enough physically anymore.

That's the cruel irony of the economic meltdown here in the US. The working poor and lower middle-class were the ones hurt the most by the recession and are left with the least to retire on later, so they'll have to work to an older age while at the same time they're the ones who most often lost their jobs this time around and will be the ones easiest to get rid of while they try to hang on as long as possible, maybe even age 68, to try earning enough to retire on. It's no accident that in the US the working poor joke that living to age 62, the minimum age to begin collecting our govt. pension (even tho not working to a later age cuts the person's potential benefit amount later on) is called "Winning the poor man's lottery" because many workers can't keep doing their same work after that age.

Now before someone lectures me about all the options those workers i.e. move into a desk job, a supervisory position, or learn some trade that isn't physically demanding, just consider a few things. I've worked several blue collar jobs in the last 15 years and at every one of them there is maybe one managerial job for each 5-7 positions that are physically demanding, so even waiting your turn isn't a realistic option anymore. Plus, going to another workplace in the same business will just leave you up against the same numbers. Secondly, maybe not all entry level workers are cut out for management or promotions to something easier on their bodies. Thirdly, some people actually like working those types of jobs, even tho it may wreck their health in middle age or older, but they don't realize it until it's getting too late. And lastly maybe they don't have the money, drive, and/or aptitude to learn something like, say, the advanced computer skills it would take these days to actually compete with all the young people who are going for those jobs these days and would be much more attractive to employers anyway.

I witnessed this first-hand many years ago when I trained for a few weeks for a phone Cust. Serv. job. Almost everyone in the class was in their mid 30s or younger and it was clear the younger you were, the easier it was learning the company's computer system for CSR jobs. There were a couple people there who were pushing 50 and they really struggled. One dropped out and the other was flunked from the class. Nowadays, I bet companies are rarely willing to even bother offering training on basic computer tasks of the job to entry level workers they hire. They don't need to with all the available workers out there. So, those blue collar and service workers whose bodies get too old or worn out really are fairly redundant, to use the UK term, as far as the current economic system. Not to mention that in the US, under the Reagan regime, the Voc. Rehab. programs for workers were pretty much gutted and haven't really been restored much. If your company closes the govt. will offer some outplacement assistance and some basic computer training, but beyond that, you're pretty much out of luck.

Jubi

  • Host
  • Prolific Cerebrationist Zentimetre Ruler
  • ****
  • Posts: 506
Re: Pension Age Could Rise Further
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2009, 11:52:13 PM »
Thanks Tomac for that kind reply.  It is such a nice break from what I see in SS. 

I actually would know what it is like to be poor and have no health insurance.  Been there and done that for many years.  And I pretty much felt the same then as I do now. 

And I am ironically seeing more and more people come to the ER For treatment or they try.  We have a screening process that they go through to determine if they are emergent.  I used to have an average of 100  to 120 patients a day before the screening process (depending on the time of year).  Where as now, it has dropped to about 70 to 75.  But then again, I am just sharing what I know via my observations.

I will definitely agree that something has to be done about our health care system.  I am just not so certain socialism is the answer.  Torte reform and lowering the cost of drugs should have been done a long time ago.  My doubts stem from the words "free" and "government control".  Sometimes free does not equate quality.  And many times the government does not do what is best for the people but rather for themselves. 


 You did not bash me at all.  I was recently told I labeled people and assumed things in a SS thread.  Most people that know me well, know better than that.  I know it isn't true and that is all that matters to me.

Here is to hoping for a brighter and healthier futrue for everyone whatever it may be.  Thanks for the cool political chat.

Jubi :)))
« Last Edit: August 30, 2009, 02:15:45 AM by Jubi »
To accept yourself is to love yourself :)

tomac

  • Baby Grand Rhythm Stick Ruler
  • ***
  • Posts: 116
  • Most people die with all their music still inside
Re: Pension Age Could Rise Further
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2009, 12:39:56 AM »
You're welcome Jubi. As far as free, everyone pays either currently or eventually for the care of everyone else in our society, esp. for those who are legal citizens. So, I would rather we went to a single-payer system for all as the basic funding of health care (which is what we already have in Medicare and most people who have it like that system a lot!), where the costs and funding would be transparent and clear to everyone concerned. The upper-middle class and the rich would still be able to buy private insurance on top of the govt. provided quality coverage, as they do in every other industrialized society, and then we could continue to debate and change the funding and control costs as needed openly thru the political system rather than thru the present chaos of cost-shifting and a stranglehold on the system by the drug and health corporations, because they are totally unresponsive to the concerns of average people, while the government at least has to stand for re-election and show some responsiveness to keep their jobs. CEO of the fore-mentioned companies only need to rake in the money, shovel some to their bribed politicians, spend some of the rest (a lot right now) on advertising to promote their products and bash any real reform, and then return the rest to their shareholders.

As both types of companies have captive markets with their customers in the US, I don't see where the average patient/citizen shows up on their radar or list of people they're accountable to in their pursuit of maximum profits, which is all and what they owe their shareholders, except when they get sued, and there, my dear is why we still need tort lawyers and the right to sue as we have under the present system. Because right now those companies own the govt. until we take them out of controlling most of the health care system. That can either happen thru single-payer or thru full public financing of federal election campaigns. Nothing short of either one will bring us any real reform of the system as far as cost control or bringing down the numbers of uninsured and making health care more affordable for average people or the working poor.

I'm guessing you're ideologically opposed to either method of achieving change that I just mentioned, as are almost all Repubs in Washington, so for all practical purposes I think the Dems should quit "negotiating with themselves" as many progressive Dems in congress are saying, and make an honest decision about whether they are willing to go it alone and try for real reform this time or whether they want to keep wasting their time trying to negotiate with a party that wants nothing real in the way of reform that would actually control costs more for the total system, insure more people, and make health care more affordable for most. By continuing the present charade the Dems are only making it easier for the Repubs to kill reform while they also lose the respect of not only lefties like me but also more mainstream Dems and the working class who voted for them last time thinking they would really try to help the uninsured and the insured middle class who were worried about losing their health insurance and/or being to able to continue to afford it.

As for govt. control vs. what we have now, which is Wall Street control and faceless un-elected corporate bureaucrats deciding how mush care people get and what will be payed for someone's care, well I'd much rather take my chances with govt. control and the vast majority who have Medicare feel the same way. The real "death panels", if people like Chuck Grassley, the embarrassing US Senator from my state, or Sarah Palin, want decide to start telling the truth, is some insurance company exec who decides who deserves treatment for a potentially fatal illness or when to pull the plug on grandma.
Former insurance exec Wendell Potter has made this very clear in his recent truth campaigns around the US during this debate. He's said the only time insurance companies care about someone dying or suffering from a horrible condition who can't pay or is costing them too much is when they are afraid they'll lost more in a lawsuit from the patient and/or a negative publicity campaign from it.

Edited to add:

After watching a one-hour film on TV today that I taped on Fri., called Money-Driven Medicine and based on a book by a business news reporter who used to cover the business of health care for Barron's Magazine, I guess it all comes down to simple question for America that this country has never really had an honest conversation about it my lifetime, if ever, mainly "Is health care a social good and a human right for all of its citizens, or is it just a commodity and a profit-making service available only to those who can afford it?" There really is no middle ground and every other industrialized nation has already had this conversation and decided the most moral and most effective choice for their system has been the former. Hence, they've all adopted some form of single-payer system, regardless of whether the private insurance companies remained and in most cases the providers (doctors, clinics, hospitals, etc. remained private and for profit).
« Last Edit: August 30, 2009, 04:18:26 AM by tomac »

Jubi

  • Host
  • Prolific Cerebrationist Zentimetre Ruler
  • ****
  • Posts: 506
Re: Pension Age Could Rise Further
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2009, 07:50:34 PM »
Tomac, I enjoyed our conversation.  Looking forward to more with you in the future :)
To accept yourself is to love yourself :)

tomac

  • Baby Grand Rhythm Stick Ruler
  • ***
  • Posts: 116
  • Most people die with all their music still inside
Re: Pension Age Could Rise Further
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2009, 01:02:45 AM »
Tomac, I enjoyed our conversation.  Looking forward to more with you in the future :)

Well, you'll probably get more, lol. I'll do my best to be not to be disagreeable, but this is now more than an abstraction to me, at least for a while. I got a letter today from Wellmark Blue- Cross Blue Shield of Iowa saying I have too many health conditions from recent years to get underwriting even for a high deductible, bare bones coverage plan. So, at least for the next six months, I'll have to go without health insurance unless I get it thru a new job.

But of course, we all know there's no need for any serious change in American health care.......

Jubi

  • Host
  • Prolific Cerebrationist Zentimetre Ruler
  • ****
  • Posts: 506
Re: Pension Age Could Rise Further
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2009, 05:37:51 PM »
Sorry to hear that.  We all agree ,regardless of the party, that serious change needs to be made.  We just don't agree what that change needs to be.  Wishing you be the best with your situation.

Many blessings your way......Jubi   :)
« Last Edit: September 06, 2009, 05:51:26 PM by Jubi »
To accept yourself is to love yourself :)