I’m going to live forever. Or as good as.
There has been a lot of gloom over the announcement yesterday by Social & Family Affairs Minister Mary Hanafin that the pension age is being increased, in stages, from the current age of 65 to 68. I took a lot of encouragement, though, from the reasons that she gave for doing it. Mary says:
“It is simply not sustainable that we can afford a pension system based on the current model which allows people to spend almost as long in retirement as they do in the workforce.”
I started work in 1975 and will be reach the current retirement age of 65 in 2022. By then I’ll have been working for 47 years, so Mary believes that I’m going to live on, a drain on the state’s resources (like a human Anglo-Irish Bank), until 2069.
By which time I’ll be 112. I’m in the age group described as middle-aged, but it turns out I’m not even half-way there yet. I’ve so much time ahead of me – I may yet learn to play the piano, may yet finish watching the box-set of Lost (or indeed, may yet start watching it), may yet finish decorating the second toilet (don’t bet on it, it’s been 24 years so far).
I may even manage to post just one post which doesn’t include a spelling mistake that I don’t notice until I look at the published version.
And I certainly will be a drain on the state. Taking it that my pacemaker battery lasts eight years it will be need to be changed seven times. That’s seven hospital visits. And I’ll have to do this as I’ll need to keep as healthy as possible to keep in pursuit of my pension, which will keep being pulled away just as I get there, like a steak on a piece of string used to tease a dog.
You can’t find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow because you never quite reach the end of the rainbow. The same will now apply to my pension.
But at least I’m going to live a long time. Mary said so, and she’s a Government Minister, a former teacher, and has a picture of herself with Bono on her website, so she’s probably quite clever.
Or perhaps she’s just a brainless bat talking Pollyanna-type rubbish to hide the fact (not very well) that once again the Government have found a way to take our money.
As a TD, of course, Mary started qualifying for a TD’s pension after just two year’s service. She’ll get a full Ministerial Pension after she’s been a minister for 10 years. And she’ll get these pensions for many, many more years than that, which is hard to square with her statement above.
Still, I bear her no ill will. In fact, I wish her a long and happy retirement.
I just hope it starts soon.