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Green Party aims to double pension and alter age rule


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davidcochrane
The Green Party would like to double the state pension to ease poverty among the over-65s and to give people an option to work past retirement age to help avoid a pensions crisis.

According to a policy paper published by the Green Party yesterday, the state pension would climb to two thirds of national average earnings from a current one third of earnings. - Irish Times
 

Bullmccabe

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Its only a matter of time before the government has to make pensions mandatory.

The poor uptake in PRSA's has shown that people are not willing to worry about their future fiscal conditions until its too late.
 

jady88

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The Green Party would like to double the state pension to ease poverty among the over-65s and to give people an option to work past retirement age to help avoid a pensions crisis.
Of course id agree with giving people the option to work I mean its outrageous that we think we can tell people that they are to old and must simply waste away!

However I wonder about the ability of the coming government, whatever its make-up, to deliever a doubling? That would create an enormous financial burden, not that it isn't worth it, especially considering that the population is aging so quickly.

I'd also reason that this is a weak attempt by the greens to capture the grey vote after Fianna Fail's transport coupon stunt yesterday.
 

FakeViking

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Bullmccabe said:
Its only a matter of time before the government has to make pensions mandatory.

The poor uptake in PRSA's has shown that people are not willing to worry about their future fiscal conditions until its too late.
Yes, and mandatory monthly golf vactions in the Algarve for all pension fund 'managers'
 

ON THE ONE ROAD

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what if you don't want to work after 65, would people still have the option to retire. 47 years working, with the exception of people who work for themselves, that seems unfair. prefer if people were trying to lower the retirement age instead of raiseing it.
 

ishmael_whale

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David Cochrane said:
According to a policy paper published by the Green Party yesterday, the state pension would climb to two thirds of national average earnings from a current one third of earnings. - Irish Times
This is just an attempt to vote ourselves rich. There is no prospect of the country being able to afford this when we hit the pensions bubble. This is simply unsustainable.
 

commentator

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ishmael_whale said:
[quote="David Cochrane":1frpywfw]According to a policy paper published by the Green Party yesterday, the state pension would climb to two thirds of national average earnings from a current one third of earnings. - Irish Times
This is just an attempt to vote ourselves rich. There is no prospect of the country being able to afford this when we hit the pensions bubble. This is simply unsustainable.[/quote:1frpywfw]

Correct. Why should middle aged and young people struggling with unheard of mortgage payments subsidise a huge pension for a class of people many of whom are sitting mortgage free on properties worth half a million in todays terms?

Genuine need among the elderly should be seen to but across the board enrichment of a largely propertied generation is absurd and simply a populist vote grab from a nonsense of a party. Even FF would be shamed by such clear vote buying.
 

david

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Any discussion on how to improve the lot of the less well-off is welcome; in the case of pensions, a regulated mandatory system should be in place - should have been in place years ago - which ensures that everyone of retirement age and over has the chance to avoid poverty.

The current system is weak, disjointed, not easy to understand and has no real incentives, particularly for lower-paid workers.

Instead of just slagging off thinking people and forward looking ideas, the problem of pension provision and poverty avoidance need to be dealt with. Pension legislation spans decades and all classes and persuasions; to call it vote grabbing is simply political Pavlovism.

A sliding scale of government top-ups - the more you earn, the less the government contributes - to a mandatory pension contributed to by both employee and employer and true 'portable' pension funds is essential.
 

ishmael_whale

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david said:
Pension legislation spans decades and all classes and persuations; to call it vote grabbing is simply political Pavlovism.
I don't think you've quite got your head around the issue. Retirement as we understand it is simply not feasible for future generations. What the greens propose is the equivalent of retaining the tax exempt status of airline fuel in the face of climate change. What they propose simply doubles the impact of the pensions bubble. It has no effect on the fundementals of the issue at all.
 

david

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ishmael_whale said:
david said:
Pension legislation spans decades and all classes and persuations; to call it vote grabbing is simply political Pavlovism.
I don't think you've quite got your head around the issue. Retirement as we understand it is simply not feasible for future generations. What the greens propose is the equivalent of retaining the tax exempt status of airline fuel in the face of climate change. What they propose simply doubles the impact of the pensions bubble. It has no effect on the fundementals of the issue at all.
OK, so tell me how retirement will be; I'm happy to accept that it won't be feasible 'as we understand it'; tell me what you think it will be and tell me how will it be so different that the greens' proposals can't be looked at?
 

ishmael_whale

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Absolutely. It all comes down to one very simply thing. Our current idea that you can stop working in your sixties depends on there being loads of other people working to pay your pension. In principle, this is necessary whether you have a state pension funded by tax, or a private pension funded by return on investments.

Hence, for the Green Party proposal to effectively double the number of pensioners to hold water, we would have to be looking forward a world where the ever increasing number of pensioners, living increasing long lives, was back by ever increasing numbers in the labour force. That simply won’t happen, because people are having smaller families so the folk just won’t be around to do the paying.

To make the Green Party proposal feasible, you would either have to encourage people to have larger families or encourage immigration. But they, more than most, should be alert to the sheer unfeasibility of this as it means ever increasing numbers of people seeking to have resource-consuming Western lifestyles.

Bottom line? This proposal just isn’t at the races. Its relationship to the aging issue is one of denial. Tbh I’d expect this kind of gobshitery from FF or FG. I’d have thought Greens would be more realistic.
 

david

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Hang on... what you're saying is that what I am currently contributing to my pension is supporting other pensioners. You're also totally ignoring the fact that those retirees have contributed to the wealth of the country throughout their lives through prsi, tax and other revenues.

This is not true. A PRSA is merely a savings scheme by another name. I benefit by what I put into it.

My argument - and the greens' - is that the current system lines managers' pockets at the expense of pensioners and that not enough pension provision is being made by current workers for their pension.

I've never subscribed to the idea that 'you can retire and be supported by other people paying your pension'. I have always subscribed to the idea of democratic upward levelling of pensions from the government, funded through taxation on higher earnings.

It should be mandatory for you to provide for the time you choose to stop working, contributions based upon how much you earn; insurance companies are good at calculating what you need, how long you can reasonably expect to live.

Read the greens' policy paper - it's easy to understand.
 

ishmael_whale

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david said:
Hang on... what you're saying is that what I am currently contributing to my pension is supporting other pensioners.
That’s not what I’m saying, although that may be the case. But the more germaine point I’m making is that, for there to be

1) a tax funded pension or
2) a privately funded pension or
3) a return on private savings or, indeed,
4) for savings to retain their value,

someone else has to be work. An economy of pensioners with accumulated savings in whatever form won’t fly.
david said:
You're also totally ignoring the fact that those retirees have contributed to the wealth of the country throughout their lives through prsi, tax and other revenues.
I’m not ignoring it. Its just irrelevant. If I stop work today and go into a shop, take a load of stuff and said to the nice person at the cash register ‘Obviously I don’t need to pay because I’ve been absolutely worked off my feet for the past while’, it won’t fly either. Misty eyed nonsense doesn't wish the problem away.
david said:
It should be mandatory for you to provide for the time you choose to stop working, contributions based upon how much you earn; insurance companies are good at calculating what you need, how long you can reasonably expect to live.
The problem is with the model you describe and if this is what the Green’s policy is based on, it is as superficial an approach as the press coverage would suggest. The disappearance of defined benefit pensions should be telling you something about insurance companies expectations for the future.
 

david

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ishmael_whale said:
That’s not what I’m saying, although that may be the case.
That is excellent. I'm impressed. A true politician's statement.

That aside, of course I agree someone else has to work. That's never been in dispute. The balance is wrong. Not enough people are contributing enough to the general pension area and nearly half of the working population are not making any provision for retirement over and above state pension, which is too low to live on - the nub of the problem.

A mix of measures is proposed and needed, shifting towards personal responsibility combined with better and more transparent person-centred regulation. The pensions provision industry is currently creaming it in and offer very little in the way of accountability. Look at the car insurance industry - what a difference to a few years ago.

Something the greens don't mention are second and third homes, an increasing occurence. It seems immoral somehow to own more than one home and still get state benefits but there you go. I suppose it's irrelevant to a small extent when talking about those that policy changes are aimed at but it bugs me.

That said, more importantly, 'enrichment of a largely propertied generation', is a bit silly. Doubling the state pension would pull a lot of people out of poverty and make very little difference to people of property. So long as it is taxed properly, it should be done.

There also seems to be a misguided attitude towards pensioners by not a few who will, one day if they're lucky, be pensioners themselves: that older people are somehow sponging or they don't deserve being kept above the poverty line. Begrudgers indeed.
 

ishmael_whale

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david said:
That aside, of course I agree someone else has to work. That's never been in dispute
That’s encouraging, however you need to acknowledge the implications of this. You also need to acknowledge the reasons for the retreat from defined benefits pensions.
david said:
The balance is wrong. Not enough people are contributing enough to the general pension area and nearly half of the working population are not making any provision for retirement over and above state pension, which is too low to live on - the nub of the problem. .
The nub of the problem is the unsustainability of generous pension entitlements where a greatly increasing portion of the population cease working. The Green policy does not face this reality.
david said:
That said, more importantly, 'enrichment of a largely propertied generation', is a bit silly.
You seem to trying to address the arguments you wish were made rather than the point I’ve actually made.
david said:
Doubling the state pension would pull a lot of people out of poverty and make very little difference to people of property. So long as it is taxed properly, it should be done.
The higher a proportion of the population in retirement, the less there will be to go around. Phrases like ‘so long as it is taxed properly’ belong back in FF circa 1977 with their ‘borrow more for productive investment’ mantra that bankrupted the country.
david said:
There also seems to be a misguided attitude towards pensioners by not a few who will, one day if they're lucky, be pensioners themselves: that older people are somehow sponging or they don't deserve being kept above the poverty line. Begrudgers indeed.
This is what I mean by trying to vote ourselves rich. All of this misty-eyed stuff masquerading as concern for the current generation of pensioners is actually driven by people hoping that they, in turn, will get similar treatment. They won’t. Its simply not feasible or sustainable and the Greens of all people should know that.
 

Eddiepops

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ishmael_whale, ur quit right that there is a pension crisis on the way, although Ireland is in a significantly better situation on this than our European neighbours as our baby boom was about 20 years later and is mostly coming to fruition now (ie the baby boomers are now in their 30s and 40s and are the ones contributing to taxation, and their are quite a few 20 somethings following them). What the greens are proposing at the moment is to solve the current pension situation - ie we've never been in a better economic position to increase current public pensions to help pensioners now.

The pensions crisis of the future is another issue entirely, although still a major concern. After studying this extensively this year in college, I was at a loss to see an answer to the issue - constant population growth and immigration are not in any way sustainable and would literally turn future generations into baby making slaves, as well as lead to never ending and ever increasing environmental and social degradation. The only idea I could come up with, and its not a particularly delectable one, is a major tightening of all our belts when the crisis hits. We're just going to have to get used to the idea that we're not going to live the proposterously wasteful and extravagant lives that we live nowadays. That policy is never going to win an election but as I see it its the only real long term answer.
 

jady88

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Eddiepops said:
ishmael_whale, ur quit right that there is a pension crisis on the way, although Ireland is in a significantly better situation on this than our European neighbours as our baby boom was about 20 years later and is mostly coming to fruition now (ie the baby boomers are now in their 30s and 40s and are the ones contributing to taxation, and their are quite a few 20 somethings following them). What the greens are proposing at the moment is to solve the current pension situation - ie we've never been in a better economic position to increase current public pensions to help pensioners now.

The pensions crisis of the future is another issue entirely, although still a major concern. After studying this extensively this year in college, I was at a loss to see an answer to the issue - constant population growth and immigration are not in any way sustainable and would literally turn future generations into baby making slaves, as well as lead to never ending and ever increasing environmental and social degradation. The only idea I could come up with, and its not a particularly delectable one, is a major tightening of all our belts when the crisis hits. We're just going to have to get used to the idea that we're not going to live the proposterously wasteful and extravagant lives that we live nowadays. That policy is never going to win an election but as I see it its the only real long term answer.
Not only will it fail to win an election but it will also fail to achieve anything. People will never accept reforms and changes if it means that they will have to reduce their lifestyle, we see in America that green home power generaters are only taking off becasue they can offer more independence and savings. So it is reasonable therefor to assume that the only viable solution to the pension crisis is one which offers people something matrialistic and immediate. Ie. the new ssia pension scheme.
 

Gombeen

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Eddiepops said:
ishmael_whale, ur quit right that there is a pension crisis on the way, although Ireland is in a significantly better situation on this than our European neighbours as our baby boom was about 20 years later and is mostly coming to fruition now (ie the baby boomers are now in their 30s and 40s and are the ones contributing to taxation, and their are quite a few 20 somethings following them)
Actually apparently 1981 was the peak of the babyboom in Ireland, which was also the year the Green Party was set up. Coincidence? Alright, I'm grasping at straws here! :wink:
 

ishmael_whale

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Eddiepops said:
What the greens are proposing at the moment is to solve the current pension situation - ie we've never been in a better economic position to increase current public pensions to help pensioners now.
You have clearly given the long-term issue thought, and your description is spot on in my view. However, a policy based on forgetting all that when we approach the short-term issue is inexcuseable, and only serves to make the long-term adjustment harder.

I would say it is particularly disappointing in the case of the Greens, as this shows a lack of commitment to the agenda that they pioneered. Its like ignoring the enviromental impact of airline traffic because the incremental damage from one more year of unfettered growth will never be crucial.
 
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