Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Research Paper on Pensions

Research Paper on Pension

Recently, many issues, problems and faults have cropped up with pension. Governments worldwide are having further difficulties supporting the old, who are living increasingly longer. This is having a serious effect on the economy, and putting serious strain on the younger generation, who will have to fund these pensions via high taxation. Yet, our generation (due to the crisis) will not receive a pension. By the time we reach retirement age, the pension will have been abolished long before. I will investigate this crisis to assess the situation to its fullest extent.

Many years ago, when the Liberal's set up the pension in 1909, many perceived it to be an excellent idea. It meant contributing a very small amount from your salary to the government. In years to come, you would be guaranteed a pension fund. Working class people no longer had to worry about reaching old age; they could retire in comfort, with the government providing just the minimum income to get them by on. Most were very content with these payments. However, there was scepticism, some thought people were "sponging" off the state, taking advantage of the system. Nevertheless, it proved to be a great success. A mixture of taxation and working life contributions would fund the pension, for many years to come.


The pension worked extremely well, simply because our population was having many more children. This was due to a variety of reasons. Some being early marriage, some places still weren't accustom to birth control amongst other reasons. All these factors contributed to the pension working well. Essentially, there were few old people and many young people. Fundamentally, the young could afford to fund the pension because of the big gap between the young and old. In 1974, the life expectancy for a male was 69.2 and female 75.5.

However, problems started to crop up in the early nineties. Birth rates were dropping for a number of reasons. Less people were getting married, because there wasn't such a pressure. Traditional values such as marriage were being dropped in for the way of equal opportunities. Women were going on to study, like men and get jobs too, postponing childbirth. The attitude of women having to stay home to look after the children was eventually being dropped. Women, naturally, had the desire to achieve something. This was their perfect opportunity to take education further. As they come out of education, and into jobs, other commitments may not let them have children, and as females age, the chance of conceiving decreases. Marriage does not also play such a big part in our society In addition to all of the above, the expense of marriage is a big concern to many and homosexuality is fully accepted nowadays, giving women and men a better option.

While birth rates were dropping, death rates were as well. Health care was improving dramatically, with medicine breakthroughs, postponing the lives of the "older" nation. In 1997 it was estimated the average life expectancy in England was 79.7 for a female and 74.0 for a male. Compare these figures with those of 1979, 69.2 for male and 75.5. It is also expensive to maintain old people's health. An elderly person uses three times more health services of a person between 15 and 60 years. More elderly people will be dependent on fewer working people.

Talking of medical breakthroughs, a new pill administered once-a-day supposedly cuts the chance of having a heart attack by 80%. Most people think of men, not women, as having heart attacks. But heart disease is the biggest single cause of death for women in the UK. In 1997, 64,000 women died of heart attacks in the UK, compared with 76,000 men. About 1 in every 5 women in the UK dies from heart problems. Although most of the deaths are women over the age of 65, over 4,000 women die each year before the age of 65. Imagine if this pill's claims are true; this would mean a larger number of women (and men) would live longer, putting a heavier strain on the economy.

The Tories claim having more children is the key to the pensions crisis and economic growth over the next 50 years. The shadow work and pensions secretary, David Willetts, launched a pamphlet on "birth dearth". He also urged the British people to have more children, or "disastrous implications" could be the outcome. In the pamphlet, called "Old Europe?" Demographic Change and Pensions Reform and written for the Centre for European Reform, Mr Willetts claims we are having less babies than we want.

In a speech in London, he claimed it was good news that life expectancy is improving. These are not extra years of miserable incapacity; if anything we die fitter than before. This speech is a desperate cry to encourage people to continue having more children.

One option some people have considered is to offer free IVF treatment for all that need it. However, there are many negative points that would outcome of this free offering. One of the most forthcoming is the huge financial strain it would have on the NHS and the Government alike. We can all safely agree that the NHS isn't an excellent service, and in some parts of the country it is very poor. Perhaps the money that would be spent on IVF should be spent on basic improvement to infrastructure of the NHS. The cost of IVF cycles are between $6,000 and $10,000, plus $2000 or more for required medicines. Adding procedures such as ICSI to help the sperm penetrate the egg can add another $1000 or more. If you multiply these figures by all those that can't conceive, it quite possibly would be the most expensive treatment ever.

Conclusively, I don't think introducing free IVF treatment is the solution. The expense is to much of an issue and comes back to the original problem of relying on tax payers to pay for the service. The only possible way to solve all the problems arising is to abolish the pension. Unfortunate as it is, you can't force people to have children they don't want. Maybe at a later date re-introduce the pension when birth rates rise again. Private pensions are the only way that everyone can benefit. Up to now, people have lost large amounts of money due to private pensions. Factors as such would need to be sorted out completely until the system is fully implemented. Expenses we endure such as health care and housing for elderly people is costly as it is, let alone any more expense.

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