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The traditional argument is that generally state employees have a lower income over the extent of their lifetime, so that an earlier retirement is one of the few perks that gets people to sign up for the jobs in the first place, and so helps keep the cost to the state at relatively low levels.

Do you think That system is fair to state employees? And why can't you be a state employee with normal salary and late retirement, if you like?

And again, unless the extra money the state pays for those pensions match up to the lower income, that means the state employees don't get what they should have. Is that fair?

Well you may prefer to negotiate yourself, but why should your employer negotiate with you?

Because if I negotiate with them, they have no choice than to negotiate with me.

Unless your job is absolutely individual this will create nothing but problems for them.

That's funny, usually it is claimed that it is the unions who are demanding collective negotiations, while private companies want individual ones. And most jobs today are absolutely inividual. Of course, if you would rather your union negotiate for you, then that's fine. That's what the union is there for. But hey, one of the main argument in the original post was one of choice. Couldn't we let state employees have a choice in this issue?

Firstly, if  each member of staff negotiates their own deal, then the company has to run each contract past their lawyers

Only if they demand contractual changes. Which is very unusual.

and how much money would that add up to that could be going on staff wages.

They have to do that anyway.

The vast left wing conspiracy to keep staff wages low is a bit of a reach too.

That's not a conspiracy. A conspiracy demands a secret agenda. This is not a secret agenda, it's just an effect. It's just something that happens when friends sit at both ends of a negotiating table. It's nothing stranger than that the state and big private companies are very chummy here in France, when the people in the top of the state and in the top of the companies went to school together. It's not a conspiracy, it just something that naturally happens in that situation.

And you agree that state salaries are lower. Yet you haven't asked yourself why, or if that's a good thing. You just claim that because state salaries are lower that have to have better pension schemes. Personally I think a more natural reaction would be to demand higher salaries.

So you want to take advantage of all of the work of previous generations of union activists who have campaigned and struck and gone without wages to bargain to actually get  the pension in the first place, and now its accepted you wish to run out and  to get the best deal and fuck everyone else?

Exactly how do I take "advantage" of this? And exactly how would I "fuck" everybody else in this scenario?

you can argue that it dosn't only effect you, without  a large group of employees banding together whats to stop the employer gradually getting rid of its pension payments, as the government will take up the slack with the state pension?

These pensions are state pensions. The system works by the employers paying money to the state, money which are then distributed to the retirees. If they were private pensions, we wouldn't have this discussion.
by freedomfighter on Wed Oct 24th, 2007 at 04:32:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The problems with private pensions:

  • some people make bad decisions (unlucky, incompetence, circumstances such as divorce, illness, etc...) - or get screwed over by the employer/pension company (cf Enron, Maxwell et al) Should they end up destitute as a result of their decisions, or do we need a backup solution - which can only provided by the State? (if yes, why leave the State with only the burden of the bad cases, it might as well have access to the whole pool of people);

  • some jobs have different degrees of unpleasantness and harship. some people have different health backgrounds. How do you prevent private companies from picking and choosing their clients? Who will take care of the tough cases? Again, if you regulate obligations on the insurance companies, why not do the job directly and more simply, without having to worry about enforcement which, as we know, is heavily subject to lobbying and lapses...

Ultimately, unless you ARE willing to let people die in the streets from the consequences of their inability to get a good deal, their being screwed over, or their being a "bad profile", you will end up with the State - taxpayers - carrying the burden and you will not be better off.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Oct 24th, 2007 at 06:29:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, some people make bad decisions. And this happens also when those people work for the state or are politicians. In fact, the further away from the person that they decide over, the more likely it is that the decision they make is bad.

That's why big centralist totalitarian states usually are bad for people. The decision makers are removed from the people they decide over.

The "getting screwed" parts are when companies are running the type of pension schemes that the states typically run here in Europe, ie, systems where the current workers pay for the current pensions. When companies do that, and they go bankrupt, people get screwed. It's a bad idea.

When states does this, and states run into bad finances, whaddayouknow, people tend to get screwed too. It's still a bad idea. Most of the people working today will have to pay both for those who are pensioneers now, and they will have to save up for their own pensions, becuase todays pension systems isn't working. And we're getting the squeeze. Postponing it is just gonna make it worse.

How do you prevent private companies from picking and choosing their clients? Who will take care of the tough cases?

Well, if you want to do that, you can do it by saying that companies aren't allowed to pick and choose. Done! It can however be argued that they should be able to. As noted above, it's probably a good idea to retire engine drivers and pilots early. Now, are you really suggesting that everybody else should pay for their early retirement? That kinda goes against the arguments in this thread so far...

Again, if you regulate obligations on the insurance companies, why not do the job directly and more simply, without having to worry about enforcement which, as we know, is heavily subject to lobbying and lapses...

Because doing the job directly is even more heavily subject to lobbying and lapses, as this whole discussion shows. What is the unions standpoint on this issue of not lobbying and lapses?

by freedomfighter on Wed Oct 24th, 2007 at 12:11:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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