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Old 2nd September 2012, 07:26 PM   #91
AuroraB is offline AuroraB  Norway
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That is indeed quite different. We contribute a higher amount throughout our work lives to a mandatory "retirement" account and get back far less.
Ouch.. I forgot to say that the employers also have to contribute a not insignifican part.... that's part of the salary expenses when you have employees. This used to be either a volunterly arrangement, - mandatory though for all public service, but in a national revision a couple of years ago our parliament decided that all employees should have a pension arrangement, paid by the employer as part of the salary. Public employees still pay their extra 2% though....
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Old 2nd September 2012, 07:27 PM   #92
M Gregg is offline M Gregg  United Kingdom
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In the UK,

You pay all your working life into the state pension and get paid approx a fifth of final salary..Of corse it then depends if you have a company pension some people don't and that can be restricted (when you can take it) by retirement ages ie 66(if you make it)..so its down to investing for yourself.(If you can)

The above is based upon UK average earnings..

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Old 2nd September 2012, 07:50 PM   #93
M Gregg is offline M Gregg  United Kingdom
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The other problem,

Is that most people can't spend 20 or 25 years in a job redundancy etc or firm closures..

So many people are changing jobs on a regular basis (maybe every 5 years) and can't build up a decent pension..under these circumstances company pensions again fall short so private may be a way forward..

Alot of people if they lose their job at or just above age 50 they can't even get another one so pension is locked..and they have to live on what they have saved for the time until age 66.

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Old 2nd September 2012, 09:03 PM   #94
AuroraB is offline AuroraB  Norway
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You certainly have some points there...particularly for those over 50 whoe get redundant. We do have somewhat of the same problem here, even for people with a masters degree, but then our unemployment figures are extremely low in an international perspective, - around 3%.

In a historical perspective, pensions here in Norway have been either official pension funds for public employees, or through insurance pensions for the larger private companies. But still, for quite a number of years, insurance pensions have been either coordinated, or accumulated, meaning your funds were either transferred to one insurance company, or you got several payments from different policies. We also have a public system known as "peoples pension" ( direct translation), valid for all persons with a taxable income, where you earn "points" each year according to income, but then all taxable income is taxed with a flat rate premium of 7.8% of gross income. This supposedly pays for the public pension, free healtcare, hospitals and any seriously necesseary medication.

I was part of the civil service system for may years, as scientific officer in one of our research councils, but in the very late 80s, the co- I work for was reorganised as a government owned share holding co... and thus officially concidered a private company, even if the state holds 90% of the shares.
This means that my pension ( if I get there!) will have at least 3 sources - public pension, state pension and pension insurance.
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Old 3rd September 2012, 06:39 AM   #95
M Gregg is offline M Gregg  United Kingdom
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There have,

been quite a few instances of people being made redundant and they couldn't take their pension due to minimum retirement dates being moved further up the age bracket. After a few years of struggling to get a job there previous company whent bust (closes) and they lost their pension.

There is a pension protection system in place in the UK now however I don't know how effective it is..

I know they are having increasing claims which might crash the protection system due to funding problems. (Demand for cash and company closures).

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Old 3rd September 2012, 04:42 PM   #96
Bigun is offline Bigun  Canada
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Perhaps going from working flat out to not working makes the most sense for people working for the majority of their time in physically, dangerous or mentally stressful occupations, and in the past inferior health care and dodgy nutrition meant that retirement was a life saver and many people must have dreamed of 'getting out'. But as the developed world heads towards better working environments this doesn't make sense anymore.

I know people interested in taking reduced hours, moving to 'an easier' job or opting for longer periods of absence rather than going cold-turkey home-retirement. One of the challenges is that this isn't easy for employers to accommodate without change - paying a salary is only half the story - there are overhead expenses, facilities/office space costs, the need for people to be available to respond quickly to work problems (i.e. they need to be around) of for continuity of projects (i.e. no long breaks) etc. When there's somebody else who's willing to do your job for a little less money and no flexibility then the current situation tends to propagate onwards. But I'm hoping that over time this will change and more and more employers will recognize the benefits that experience (i.e. older people) can bring and make an effort to set up ways that allow people to stay engaged with the workforce to the mutual benefit of everyone. Perhaps there is scope for government legislation that helps employers with such flexibility, making it less onerous on employers without leaving vulnerable people exposed. Or enabling people to participate more at schools and colleges to pass on their knowledge without steep qualification requirements (i.e. acting to support fully trained full time teachers).

I see it starting already - people become 'consultants' and my employer has kept a couple of experienced people on part time.


p.s. I opted out of the UK pension scheme when I was in my 20's but I don't know if it was the best decision.
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Old 3rd September 2012, 05:34 PM   #97
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I was an Electronic Engineering Tech for most of 20 years. I was effectively forced into retirement at age 46, due to so much of our industry moving offshore. I went back to school after the 3rd layoff and tried to build another career (as a Paralegal), but that didn't work. I then got busy with my hobby of audio electronics and researched, designed and built several guitar amps and some very high end open baffle triamp'd hi-fi speakers. It gave me purpose and physical exercise and a way to collaborate with other laid off old electronic friends. It has acted as a therapy too. Better than a shrink. I had way too much knowledge to just throw it all away and call the career done. I had to sell my house to have money to live on and do projects with. I thought it might lead to a business of my own. Now I'm 57 and doubt if any conventional job would hire me, because statistics say that I'll be slow, miss more time at work due to health problems, and expect more pay. I also may not fit in socially with the younger crowd (which apparently likes sh*t music - rap- hip-hop - etc.). But also because I'm now "old school". I'm real good at what electronics was like back in the 1980's... and I don't know any software engineering so I can't design microcomputer controlled anything, and now leaded parts are drying up (smd's are the new standard), so it's getting harder to produce anything with consistency over time. I keep noticing that China is producing stuff way cheaper than the cost of parts alone... I may end up playing guitar on a street corner with an inverted hat in front of me... When you've put everything you've got into a career that changes or moves offshore to where labor rates are much lower, it's much harder to rebuild at my age than I ever would have thought. I may be living on the street in a few years.
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Old 3rd September 2012, 06:05 PM   #98
Bigun is offline Bigun  Canada
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Bob, I never had an expectation that I'd still be doing today what I did early in my career - in fact I hoped to do different things during my life. Leave the SMD boards to the Chinese, the Mexicans, whoever, it's become a commodity and now these things can be stamped out quickly and reliably. Surely your skills go much deeper. You can design, evaluate/test your designs and with modern quick-turn fabrication along with much better design tools you can create better things today than you could before.

Whilst the young guys are flexible in learning new stuff, like you were back then, they lack things you now have. You know how to assess project risks, how to communicate with others, how to present your ideas and your work, how to interact with others and gain respect and how to collaborate. You have the emotional maturity they won't have for a decade or two. And so what if you need to learn some new skills, you are plenty young enough to do so. The CEO of the Company I work for is in his 70's and sharp as a knife.

When you were a kid, did your parents think your music was sh*t ? - probably :-)

Wasn't it Henry Ford who said "If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right."
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Old 4th September 2012, 03:31 PM   #99
TheGimp is offline TheGimp  United States
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It seems that most US companies now days are moving from pension to 401K retirement.

They contribute an amount to the 401K each year, and the employee has the option of contributing in addition.

One advantage of this system is when one changes jobs, it is possible to transfer one's 401K to the new job 401K.

The problem in this system is when the hiring company requires the 401K to be in company stock.

Stock tanks, retirement gone.

Better companies offer multiple investment options within their 401K.
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Old 4th September 2012, 04:32 PM   #100
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That is indeed quite different. We contribute a higher amount throughout our work lives to a mandatory "retirement" account and get back far less.
I think you're referring to Social Security, is that right? If so, I agree.

Since I'm on the old civil service retirement system, I do not receive SS when I retire, but I do have a defined benefits package similar to what they get in Europe.

One advantage of the European system (or at least the Swedish one) is that it is not tied to your job. You do not loose your retirement if you change jobs. Imagine how many people would be free to move to a job they liked here in America if their retirement system was completely portable. I suppose that was part of the idea behind the 401(k) system. Also, in Europe, your spouse cannot claim your retirement as a marital asset in a divorce. They can and do here in America, making for a lot of unhappy people here.
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