Thursday, 2 October 2008

The Banking Crisis and Us

So far as we pensioners are concerned not many of us have much in the way of funds to make us apprehensive of what will happen to them.

However, what has been shown is that Private, Occupational and Pensions other than the State Pension, are very vulnerable to fluctuations in the market economy and the economies worldwide.

We have seen Pensioners not only robbed of their expections but those expectations diminish as private pension funds are raided, reduced or abandoned altogether, as is happening with many final salary schemes.

So these tragedies for many pensioners underline how important it is for us to campaign for a strong guaranteed and satisfactory STATE pension, one underwritten by all Governments of whatever colour. Many feel that to pursue private pensions undermines the call for a decent state pension. However, many people, particularly widows and single women find themselves almost seduced by the offer of a private pension to supplement that offered by the State. If the State Pension was a sensible amount (payable equally to both sexes) and not, as is the case today, a derisory one, nobody would feel the need for a private or occupational pension. Whilst seeming to offer some form of security, they are in fact unpredictable and unreliable when markets crash. So let us all call and agitate for a decent income in our old age, one we deserve, have worked for and in all honour should have. The ghurkas had to fight for their pensions and the right to stay here. Like us, they should never have had to.

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