Lord Bichard - Retired people could work for pensions

24/10/2012

I see the BBC are airing the thoughts of Lord Bichard about older people being a "burden on the state". The peer is a member of a committee investigating demographic changes and their impact on public services.

He has suggested the government should use the pensions system to "incentivise" retired people. "We are now prepared to say to people who are not looking for work, if you don't look for work you don't get benefits, so if you are old and you are not contributing in some way or another maybe there is some penalty attached to that."

He asked, "Are we using all of the incentives at our disposal to encourage older people not just to be a negative burden on the state but actually be a positive part of society?"

Prof James Sefton, of Imperial College, London, a former adviser to the Treasury, told the committee young people were effectively subsidising the older generation and he could not understand why they were not protesting about it.

Lord Bichard, who was a former head of the Benefits Agency and later the top civil servant at the Education Department, will no doubt be enjoying his gold plated civil service pension at the taxpayers expense, receiving benefits far in excess of any contributions he has made. As a cross bench peer he will no doubt be making sure he receives his daily allowances and take advantage of the subsidised canteens.

I see the Daily Telegraph has picked up to the story. One commentator states that he retired, at 54, on a inflation-proof civil service pension of 120,000 a year. Another states that over the last 9 months alone, his attendance allowances's for the House of Lords run from 1200 to 4200 per month at 300 a day. There are also some travel expenses.

What part of retirement does he not understand. Retirement is about doing the things one wants to do rather than what other people want you to do. Does he really believe that people want to be controlled from cradle to grave.

Why do mean spirited people like him always want to change the rules. Pensioners like myself have suffered from unrealistic low transfer values, reductions in SERPS guarantees and benefits, and low annuity returns. The government constantly tells me how much my contracted out SERPs should paying me each week, but they are the ones who let the pension companies off the hook. As a result I only receiving about half of what they say.

The latest rounds of quantitative easing and artificially low interest rates are devastating pensioners savings. Pensioners who have paid the stamp all their working lives are entitled to receive their state pension without question. That also includes pensioners who have moved to other commonwealth countries, another national disgrace.

His plan of course is typical of an ex government bureaucrat, the cost of the "Pensioners Job Seekers Agency" would be enormous, considering there are many more pensioners than those unemployed. The whole scheme would be unworkable.

The biggest burden on the state are the troughers like his lordship.