Apr 7, 2010


 . . . that we ain't facing up to!

Yesterday the postman brought the Annual Report from my professional pension provider - the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS).

The Payments Manager's Report pointed out that when he took up his post in 1989 (one year after I took early retirement and started drawing a pension from the scheme) he was sending payments to about 15,000 retirees and their dependents.  Now, 21 years later, that figure is over 55,000!  An increase of MORE THAN THREE TIMES in 20 years.  Not quite as unsustainable as it sounds, by reason of a big jump in the number of pensioners in the late 80's when the Universities offered very attractive packages to older staff so they could replace them with younger, cheaper staff. (Good academic economics or what?)

I suspect but cannot prove that the same sort of thing is happening at all levels of the Education Industry.  We hear of Heads and Assistant Heads retiring from schoolteaching at 50.  Ditto police, military, many levels of the public sector.

From time to time I take a trip to the Senior Common Room.  I sometimes run into former colleagues, whose company is never less than stimulating.  
"What are you doing here, Richard?" they sometimes ask.
"Gloating!" is my merry reply.  
"I'm thinking of Early Retirement myself," they sigh, "the endless form filling is driving us all crazy.  No time for teaching the little b*gg*rs, or doing a bit of research."  
"You can't retire!" I cry. "You must keep at it, laddie.  Your contributions to USS from your salary are needed to pay my pension!"
They fix me with a hard stare. "I would buy you another coffee and croissant, but . .  "
"I know!  I know!  I remember . .  you must dash for an 11 o'clock lecture!  HaHa!"


  1. I plan to work professionally as a writer until I'm an old lady. Well, I haven't really started the working life yet, so I guess I might change my mind. I'm kind of lazy... Anyway, the teaching life seems pretty sweet to me, but they do work pretty hard. I imagine after dealing with kids for so many years, you're bound to want out!

    I hope you're enjoying retirement!

  2. Early retirement, you can't beat it!When you get to 'real retirement' you've had lots of practise and have become an expert.

  3. early retirement at 50? On a full (?) pension?

    I thought that kind of cushy number was reserved for bankers. I knew I should have gone into teaching.

  4. I guess I am really blessed to be fully retired and at a young enough age to enjoy it. The very best thing about being retired is watching out my window others scraping the ice and clearing the snow from their vehicles while I stoke the wood in my fireplace....love having the health and time to enjoy this so called old age.......:-) Hugs

  5. (Oops...I thought I had left a comment here already.) So, let's see, what can I say to a guy who appears to have been able to walk away from the tedium of work in the same year that my home town had the Winter Olympics?

    Someone must have made a mistake with your birthdate.

  6. Now I'm confused, Deborah. I think I know when I was born, but I could be wrong. I must have a think about this . . . .

  7. If you were born 200 years ago, that means you reached the age of 50 one hundred and fifty years ago, so you can't complain about having a pension ongoing still after that length of time, Doc...


Thank you for stopping by. To make life easier for you I have turned off the new indecipherable and time-wasting verification words. Would you care to "feedback" to Blogger and complain about them, like I did?