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Wage Slave News


The Golden Years

6 June 2012

All of us are, naturally enough, urged to invest in pension funds for retirement. It makes perfect sense, of course, when one is old and no longer as productive as when young and no employer wants you around. In a youth-oriented working world one does not need to be working in manufacturing to be let go when old. Teachers and accountants in their fifties have been told they are too old.

It would be nice to have that nest egg there waiting but, as we all know, with the world economy taking a nose dive, many a worker's investments have been wiped out. Nor can one take comfort from having contributed to one of the larger pension funds. Even the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (O.M.E.R.S.) now has problems, which, though not acute at present, could become so. Low interest rates, longer life spans, and early retirements can lead to not enough in the kitty for the payouts. The fact that O.M.E.R.S. has a whole army of experienced money managers who research investments for a living doesn't inspire any confidence in plan members considering how many such people were caught flat footed by the present crisis.

With today's low interest rates more money has to be set aside to make the amount needed for future pensions. Also, with many municipal employees being laid off there is less money coming in which will be a serious factor in future calculations. The choice may well become little or no income at retirement or delay retirement if you are lucky enough to remain in employment. This is just one more backward step for the working class as the benefits we enjoyed after WWII disappear or diminish, proving that reforms are not the way to security. For everyone, there is no security under capitalism at any age.

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