For many people, state or private pensions are something that exists in the background without ever being the center of attention – until it is too late. The truth is that pensions are extremely complicated, often mismanaged, and a crucial social resource. We have an aging population, poverty amongst the aged, and an unusual apathy towards saving amongst the young.
We should be thinking (and talking very loudly) about pensions as we negotiate our work and our lives. This article is not intended as a full list of the reasons we should pay more attention to the humble pension, but rather it was writing to provide a few talking points that provoke your own investigation.
An Aging Population
According to the United Nations, “virtually every country in the world is experiencing growth in the number and proportion of older persons in their population.” This is one of the biggest demographic and social changes that the world is going to see in hundreds of years. It has vast implications for all sectors of society. By 2050, it is estimated that one in every four people living in Western Europe and North America will be over the age of 65.
You should be thinking about pensions because they are an increasingly important socioeconomic payment type. Pensions strategy should influence the way you think about business and political futures. How will our governments and businesses provide for the ever-expanding number of people needing pensions? What social change needs to take place in order to enable this to happen? How can we redistribute wealth more fairly? These are big questions, but you’ll be more prepared to answer them if you keep pensions at the forefront of your mind.
Talk To Your Employees
Employees with pensions need to be engaged proactively if you are an employer. Pension apathy is a big problem amongst people who have been with the same employer for a long time, and it is the job of senior business figures to make the pension raising process as transparent as possible. If you let your employees know how their nest eggs are being saved, they will have a far better understanding of how you are looking after them.
Employees that know they are being looked after stay with companies longer, work more proactively, and collaborate more smoothly.
Not All Pensions Are The Same
Pension inequality is everywhere. One factor that means that you are far less likely to get a good deal on a pension: apathy. Because young people find it hard to imagine their lives in the seemingly distant future, they often enter into unfair pension agreements with their place of employment’s pension provider.
Just learning more about the options available to you at a younger age will help you prepare more fully for the future and fight pension inequality on a personal level. Pension education is absolutely vital in the workplace. There is mounting pressure for HR divisions to deliver pension education to staff, letting them know what their rights are, and giving sound financial advice about pension options.
You Deserve A Pension
No matter whether you have worked all your life or never worked a day, it is the duty of the state to provide you with an adequate pension as you grow older. Of course, private work-based pensions are usually better, but all citizens should have access to enabling resources. The state operates in part because it is in a two-way relationship – a social contract between the citizen and the state. If you are a subject beholden to a state, you deserve welfare, and that includes pensions. It is likely that you have paid tax during your lifetime, and it is equally as likely that you have given your service to the state in some other way or form, however small.
Pension justice is really important all around the globe. You should make yourself aware of your pension and get to know the legislation that governs its size. Talk with colleagues, representatives, and bosses about your pension openly.
Play The Field
Thinking and talking more about pensions allows people to play the field. State and work-based schemes are not the only options. Private companies operate opt-in pension schemes that occasionally offer better interest rates and saving structures than state and work bound equivalents. Believe it or not, pension provision is somewhat of a buyer’s market these days, and playing the field can get you some benefits you might not have been aware of during your more apathetic moments.