Friday, June 10, 2011

Of pensions and pensioners

The Government has barely had time to withdraw the pensions bill when a pensioner has stepped into the limelight, threatening to ignite the controversy all over again.

Sanath Jayasuriya had been put out to pasture a long time ago. Following his entry to a geriatric day care centre (otherwise known as parliament) he was expected to spend long hours ruminating and peacefully chewing the cud, but no, he has vaulted over the parliament walls and is back playing cricket.

The life force obviously flows freely in the swamps and lakes that surround the parliament and sustains the life forms within that august building. Perhaps its denizens are all imbibing the Vivificus Iunvenesco Potion. Either way, the ordinary forces of time do not seem to operate within that building.

Under the controversial pension bill, a worker was paid a pension after the age of 60 and was expected to retire at the age of 55. In contrast, the Prime Minister, now 80, is by the standard of wine, of an old and rare vintage that is only available through specialist shops. Hale and hearty, he shows no inclination to retire. A founding member of the SLFP he has spent half a century in parliament.

Ranil Wickremesinghe, current leader of the opposition is 62. He has already shown keen intent on holding this position for the rest of his life, which should be long, given his considerable skills in hanging on by the skin of his teeth. Le Roi, already 65 will be 73 by the time his second term expires.

Perhaps what we need is a pension bill for parliamentarians? Perhaps someone should also drain the swamp? There is life emerging from it all right (and crawling inside the parliament), but in the words of Scotty "not as we know it".

It may even be of an everlasting type, last seen in the Doctor Who series. Who wants MP's who last forever? The whole building may be a giant TARDIS for all we know, defying the laws of time and space and lasting forever. There are certainly enough Doctors in it.


WK said...

Parliamentarians already get a pension after 5 years

Jack Point said...

True, Wk and one that they need not contribute to either.

Maybe they need to impose the retirement age?

Patta Pal said...

If they impose a retirement age this geriatric at 80 will need to be paid a pension, while now he is drawing a salary.

Anyway in future (Parliamentarians apart as they get super benefits lesser mortals can only dream of) We will realistically have to work till 70 and pensions will only be paid from that time. Otherwise the exchequer will not be able to fund the pension unless they decide to deficit finance that too.

Jack Point said...

Patta Pal

Quite true. In an ageing society raising the retirement age is logical, especially for those enjoying unfunded state pensions.

Contributory pension schemes should be purely voluntary.