Geeks on pensions (6 Mar, 2017)

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Geeks on pensions (6 Mar, 2017)

Postby aardvark_admin » Mon Mar 06, 2017 6:47 am

This column is archived at: http://aardvark.co.nz/daily/2017/0306.shtml

What do you think is a reasonable retirement age?

Should National Superannuation be means-tested?

How will a 66-year-old geek find a job when competing against smart young things fresh out of university?

Am I crazy for planning not to uplift my Super next year?
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Re: Geeks on pensions (6 Mar, 2017)

Postby GSVNoFixedAbode » Mon Mar 06, 2017 7:45 am

I look at it slightly differently: there's been a 'contract' between me and the government throughout my working life to say that part of my taxes will be provided back to me after 65 as a pension. This frees up a position in the workforce for someone else to fill my position while I still have enough to survive.

Let's face it, the pension is not enough to live The Good Life on (especially with wireworm in this year's spud crop!) but does assist and is better than nothing. If you start means-testing it, the rich will take little notice, but the Middle Class who have made the sacrifices to save for retirement will be overly impacted, while others who chose to spend rather than save during their worklife will appear to be rewarded for not saving.

Meanwhile I'm looking forward (still a decade away) to hanging up my working-for-the-man kit and enjoying life. For me that'll be receiving a pension, and spending my time volunteering in different activities while I can. I believe there's still a social contract in place to provide some form of service while still mentally & physically able when receiving the pension.
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Re: Geeks on pensions (6 Mar, 2017)

Postby Perry » Mon Mar 06, 2017 7:57 am

Bruce wrote:Seems incredibly unfair to me that we may well see blue-collar workers being forced to keep toiling away, often in jobs that are hard on the body, whilst even the richest millionaire will get his weekly stipend without question once he hits the entitlement age.

What many don't appreciate is that the well-to-do end up paying almost all their Nat Super 'back,' in tax.

Bruce wrote:I qualify for Super in under a year's time but unless there's a huge change in my own personal circumstances, I won't be taking it. How could I (or anyone) feel good about accepting a weekly stipend from taxpayers when we still have unacceptable levels of child poverty and a health system that fails to meet the needs of many who rely on it?

If you - for one moment - believed that any of your personally-contributed Nat Super savings would go towards those things, you're either a cock-eyed optimist or delusional.

Blenglish is still borrowing the country into hock at a fearful rate (he's trebled NZ's overseas debt from $18 billion in 2008 to $55 billion in 2016), so that things around us look sort-of OK, all to try and make the gNat gummint look good, in the hopes of re-election.

It's a shame, but your Nat Super savings wont even be noticed, no matter how altruistic you're feeling.
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Re: Geeks on pensions (6 Mar, 2017)

Postby aardvark_admin » Mon Mar 06, 2017 7:59 am

Good points Perry. Perhaps I should just have my Super direct-credited to a suitable charity. That raises another question: which charities actually deliver the highest percentage of your donations to the target group, instead of pocketing a huge percentage in overheads, costs and fees?
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Re: Geeks on pensions (6 Mar, 2017)

Postby Stevesub » Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:39 am

I am now getting paid to do nothing by the government after a lifetime of paying taxes in NZ, yes even when I was living in Australia, I still paid taxes in NZ. I am more than happy to accept the pension. However if you want more than a subsistence living, you do need an extra income, we have investments.

My expectation since I started working many decades ago was that I would get the pension and my retirement was planned around that assumption like may of my generation. That expectation has to be changed in peoples minds and it will take a long time if there are changes made to the pension before people are happy with the changes. I think that this is happening. My parents got the pension at 60, I had to wait until I was 65, etc.

I am still fit enough to hold down my old job but the travelling is getting harder and a lot of my work involves travelling. I have been part time for a number of years and I have reduced my hours again this year. How many years to ge before I pull the pin and say work is done, depends on 2 bosses, the one I work for and the one I am married to!!!!!! Mind you the extra money is useful for major expense items where we do not have to rely on our reserves of money.
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Re: Geeks on pensions (6 Mar, 2017)

Postby Perry » Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:57 am

There's nothing to stop anyone doing there own charity thing, or helping someone else, rather than a big-name, big-overhead organisation. Here's one: https://www.facebook.com/phmicrosolar/

Not in NZ, but I suspect that the $25 shares have an almost exponential benefit for the recipient families.

But then we could get into the so-called aid-fuelled Africa population problem debate.

<sigh>
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Re: Geeks on pensions (6 Mar, 2017)

Postby hagfish » Mon Mar 06, 2017 9:00 am

The pension has always been cast as a rock-solid 'social contract' I think we can expect to see the government and the media start to re-frame it as an 'entitlement', and then as a 'benefit'. Fingers crossed it will still be there when you become eligible, Bruce. There's just no way it will still be there for me :/
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Re: Geeks on pensions (6 Mar, 2017)

Postby hagfish » Mon Mar 06, 2017 9:02 am

And as for greying geeks, everyone in IT needs to keep their eye on the ball. Web development in particular moves along at a breakneck speed. Skills can go out of date in a matter of six months. There will be a need for those with 'older' skills (old banking systems, ColdFusion etc) for a good while yet.
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Re: Geeks on pensions (6 Mar, 2017)

Postby aardvark_admin » Mon Mar 06, 2017 9:06 am

Perry wrote:There's nothing to stop anyone doing there own charity thing, or helping someone else, rather than a big-name, big-overhead organisation. Here's one: https://www.facebook.com/phmicrosolar/

Not in NZ, but I suspect that the $25 shares have an almost exponential benefit for the recipient families.

But then we could get into the so-called aid-fuelled Africa population problem debate.

<sigh>

My wife and I already commit a modest amount of time to charity work. She's involved in the local Lions club and I am involved on the committee and operation of the Cheese Rolling event here in Tokoroa this year (proceeds to the Westpac Rescue Helicopter this time, St Johns last time).

Choosing a worthy cause will always be difficult -- do you act on a local or global scale?

Child poverty in NZ maybe a real issue but it's peanuts compared to famine and poverty in many 3rd world countries and is the "comfort" of Kiwi kids' lives more important than the actual survival of kids in Africa or other countries?

I watched an interesting doco the other night. It showed that Bill Gates has given away 58% of his wealth to charities but the family that owns Walmart have given away less than 1% of theirs to charity. When you are worth tens of billions of dollars, this seems very mean-spirited by the Walmart family. A few billion can change many millions of lives for the better and save as many again from starvation and disease.
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Re: Geeks on pensions (6 Mar, 2017)

Postby latewings » Mon Mar 06, 2017 9:06 am

The country's workforce should, with considered governance from the roundhouse, create wealth and infrastructure for the following generation. If the governance has faultered or the workforce inefficient, the ability to provide pensions decreases.

It should not be gratis for everyone to recieve a pension, and that should extend to those who's elected efforts brought the country to an impoverished position if the country is not positioned to afford it.

We have our largest city begging for money from it's dweller's due to fiscal mismanagement from previous elect. We have Government borrowing to keep an economy afloat, which in all fairness has been required due to the gfc.

Large global corporates improve their bottom line by shedding cost in the form of staff. You cannot do that with pensioners, so the next most logical is to extract more value from them. The parable of the man who knows where to tap the engine to start it, and invoicing $2 for the hammer and $9998 for the knowledge springs to mind. All the youthful energy in the world is mute without practical knowledge.

I'm in agreement with raising the eligibility age. While tech in some sectors does advance considerably, there are many areas (financial) where very old (cobol) tech is still used. Dinosaurs still roam some halls.
Last edited by latewings on Mon Mar 06, 2017 9:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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