The News In Shorts

How the news would look if everyone stopped waffling and told the truth.

Monday, 4 February 2013

The Great Pension Rip-Off.

In order to receive a state pension on which you can survive, the government tells us, you will need to work longer and pay more. The reason, they say, is because there are just too many old people in the country and they are living longer. It's all the fault of that pesky "baby boom" generation that came along after World War II. Of course 50 years ago we were told that was why we needed immigration into the country and it has continued at an ever-accelerating pace ever since. Yet, despite this, we seem to be in exactly the same position that we were before. The truth is that the wealthy simply don't want to pay taxes just to benefit the peasants. Having manufactured this "crisis" in state pensions they now tell us that we need private pensions that will augment and, eventually they hope, replace state provision completely. These pensions will be created, sold and managed by the banks - those paragons of probity and trustworthiness that we've all come to love so much. The money that we pay in will give them the wherewithal to continue to do what they love best - gambling with someone else's money and extracting lucrative "management fees" for doing as little as possible. In return for controlling your money for an entire lifetime they will then sell you an annuity with a pitiful rate of return that, they hope, will mean you will never live long enough to get your money back. Up until recently you at least had the choice to keep control of your own money if you chose and to make whatever investments you thought fit. The banks would always insist that "best advice" was to save into a pension, but that advice was never true. Now the government, having consulted closely with the banks, has taken that choice out of your hands. Now you have to give the banks your money whether you want to or not and then accept whatever terrible rate of return their annuities yield. This is nothing more than a pact between the greedy who don't want to pay taxes and the even greedier who want to perpetuate a failed financial system that works only to their benefit.

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