Public sector pension changes

CHANGES to the public sector pension scheme are set to come into force on 1 January.

Pensions Generic
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CHANGES to the public sector pension scheme are set to come into force on 1 January.

A document sent to States employees this week explained the background to the decision to scrap the controversial final salary scheme and move to a Career Average Revalued Earnings (Care) system.

It answered questions raised by employees since the proposals were announced last month and confirmed the States would be asked to approve the move later this year.

Unions are expected to shortly issue a joint statement detailing their unwillingness to accept the changes – Unite has threatened industrial action if the new scheme is ‘forced’ on staff.

‘The new scheme will be a “career average” scheme rather than a “final salary” scheme,’ the employer representative said in the document.

Comments for: "Public sector pension changes"

Treacle

Oh yes! Which year??

wakeuptoreality

how about we ask the general public if they support maintaining over generous pensions for states employees when the private sector has virtually irradicated such schemes? I think we all know what the consensus will be

guernseygirl

Changes to the public sector pension scheme are set to come into force on 1 January. Really? Negotiations haven't even started yet, bad reporting by the Guernsey Press yet again.

islander

January 1st 2014

GM

Spartacus is very quiet this evening.....

Spartacus

GM

Missing me so soon?

I'm confused as to why the union representatives agreed to any of the proposals at all. Nevertheless proposals are just that - proposals not agreed changes.

Nothing has been decided or confirmed and I believe the states will not agree to force changes on the public sector as that would spell political disaster.

I can't imagine employees will agree to any changes at all unless their cash pay is raised to compensate so that the overall remuneration remains equal. Who in the world would ever volunteer for a pay cut?

As Bob Lanning is quoted as saying in the Press today "no justification has been made about why (the proposed changes) are necessary or what other alternatives have been considered."

GM

Spartacus

Not missing you at all, don't flatter yourself.

I was just very surprised that you weren't jumping up and down at the revelation that everything is moving towards implementation of the new scheme from 1st January 2014. Do you still think that it won't happen? The decision was clearly made ages ago that the current scheme was unaffordable and was not going to continue.

Still not a single contribution on the topic on this forum from a single current deputy. They have clearly all been gagged, reinforcing the fact that this is a "done deal".

Personally, I don't think that it goes anywhere far enough in shifting from defined benefits to defined contributions. The unions may well wish to consider that any resistance to the CARE scheme might well result in something far less beneficial to them.

I do accept Kevin's view though that this has been very poorly handled indeed by Ed Freestone and the unions. It may not have made any difference to the eventual outcome, but that's really not the issue.

Spartacus

GM

No I'm not jumping up and down. Nothing has been agreed. No one has made any decision that the scheme is unaffordable or that it's not going to continue. That was the whole point of the review. Look at the terms of reference below. The States will consider the findings of the review and the findings will not be published until it goes to the States. That's why no politician is commenting.

http://www.gov.gg/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=79885&p=0

Public Servant

GM you say that 'the decision was clearly made ages ago that the current scheme was unaffordable and was not going to continue' really! How long exactly?

GM

Public Servant

I don't know exactly when, but logic suggests it preceded the creation of the working party to review it.

Spartacus

I'm well aware of what the terms of reference state. It's obvious that the rationale for it was to effect change. It is pure naivety to suggest otherwise.

Public Servant

Spartacus don't be confused, the union representatives did not agree to any proposals at all.

TED

The States want the manual workers to have a pay freeze this year then have an additional 1.5% deducted from their wages next year for the new pension scheme if they pass it, this amounts to a pay cut of 4.7% over two years and that's not including the cost of living next year. This after the Deputies voted themselves a pay rise. Double standards I think. The workers will not except anything other than the actual cost of living which I believe is fair. I wonder what they will offer the civil servants?

islander

TED

Well put.The states manual workers and lower paid civil servants need a cost of living pay rise annually.Higher earners should recieve a pay rise of £10 per week which is about the same as the lower paid worker will get instead higher earners getting cost of living rise which will be well over £80 per week.

4.7% on £400.00 per week=ave manual worker

£4.7% on £1000.00 per week=ave senior cs officer.

Put a senior c s officer alongside a manual worker doing the same job.who will know the job better? pay by job evaluation.Its alright being qualified on paper but its the practical that counts. costing cuts starts from the top and should work down in practice

Laska

The various unions involved have agreed to nothing yet, the States of Guernsey have given them a proposal, that is all.

Public Servant

Laska

Exactly... 3 people representing the employees side, attended meetings which were called by the employer. These meetings would best be described as without prejudice discussions to see if any common ground could be found to satisfy the employers wish to reduce its contributions. They all agreed that they had exhausted talks and the employer tendered its final proposal. It is most unfortunate that this was published as an agreed proposal. The employees representatives made it clear that it never had a mandate to negotiate or make agreements. The employee reps agreed that they had exhausted talks and would report back to the ASEO. The employer and the press are not helping the situation by insisting that agreement was reached and the Unions are now changing their mind.

No Union group agree to these proposals.

Noel

Nothing has been agreed,

Pete

Nothing has been agree yet, they are just proposals. Well why the publicity about a January the first start date. Quite simply to put pressure on the Unions and make out that they are in the wrong before they've even put anything to their members.

Noel

Hi Pete

I believe this is called spin in the Trade. Some people just don't see this.

Dare I say perhaps there is an attempt to deceive deputies before the vote?

Spartacus

Deputies should not get hoodwinked into believing any media hype but they can unfortunately be swayed by public hysteria.

Treblebase

So what are the unions going to do, strike? Commercial decisions are made every day in the private sector to ensure the books balance, employees moan but they cannot strike, they either accept it and move on or change jobs. It is not rocket science, the present scheme is unsustainable, this decision is being made to ensure liquidity and longevity of the public books. This has to happen, striking wont change anything, it's no good burying you head in the sand. If you don't like it, quit! People have to start taking more responsibility for their own pensions and looking after themselves later in life!

kevin

Treblebase,

What the unions and States employee representatives should have done is explored the option of allowing the public sector employees to do exactly what you say in your last sentence i.e the scheme should be made non-compulsory.

I don't know that this option was ever looked at?

If this alternative was available then every person that opted out would reduce the strain on the pension fund and taxpayer.

GM

Kevin

An interesting idea, but impossible to calculate the cost to the States if levels of participation vary between employees.

guernseygirl

Unsustainable? According to whom?

GM

Guernseygirl

Unsustainable:

A £300m-plus deficit as at 2011 (the last actuarial valuation), current contributions only just covering current pension payments, and with the States having an annual structural budget deficit already, so nothing available to put towards building up the fund to meet future pensions in 15-20 years time. It will either run out of money or Guernsey will go bust making sure that the fund doesn't run dry.

kevin

GM,

I have it on very good authority (from someone that does know) that the proposed changes have very little to do with the future sustainability of the scheme but more to do with saving the States and therefore the taxpayers money.

I do have some facts and figures but I'm afraid I am not prepared to post them on a public forum.

GM

kevin

The two factors are inevitably linked.

We know that the scheme is only affordable if the States are able to pump in whatever sums are required to fund it, or if the taxpayer is prepared to see taxes increased to pay for it. The annual States contribution were already increased considerably in 2011 (as were member contributions).

We also know that the States have to cut costs left right and centre, and are certainly not in a position to increase funding considerably to fund the massive deficit which will have to met in the future to prevent the scheme running out of money before current members in their mid-40s start to draw their pensions.

Dani

Problems like this make me wonder if its worth setting up an independent blog?

The type of place you send information when you don't want to deal with the press but want the truth to get out. Set up a dummy email account to remain anonymous?

It could of helped when the nurses were recently upset to voice their concerns. Anyone think there is any kind of need for this?

kevin

GM,

As you know I won't argue that the scheme needs to change in the future but as things stand if everyone in the public sector retired tomorrow there is currently enough money in the pot to fund their pensions for forty years.

That tells me it is more of a cost cutting exercise than a total necessity to change contributions,retirement age and final pension payments.

Spartacus

Kevin

Exactly, that's been my point all along. That's been the basis of my argument against the rabble rousers.

The States have to justify why they feel any changes are necessary. That is what the review was supposed to report back on.

There is no evidence in the public domain that the scheme is unsustainable but of course tax payers would like to cut costs if they think they can get away with it.

Claiming the scheme is unsustainable when clearly it is not in order to justify cost cutting is disingenuous.

Spartacus

GM

The fact that the States have a deficit created by the zero ten tax strategy does not prove the pension is unsustainable it means they have to make savings in expenditure and find other sources of revenue. The plan has been to solve that problem with FTP and by a review of the tax and benefits system.

The pension contribution is an existing obligation of the States as employer and one which it is able to meet from general revenue.

GM

Dani

An excellent idea. It could well be abused but then so can any forum.

Kevin

Given that average life expectancy in Guernsey is now between 85 and 89, if the current pension pot would run out after 40 years then that is a very serious problem indeed for all public sector workers under the age of 45 as they are statistically likely to be unable to get their full pension. A 30 year old with 10 years service to date will only be 70 when the fund runs dry, so how is his future pension after age 70 going to be paid?

This is exactly what I've been saying right from the outset. It's the direct consequence of having a £300m-plus current deficit. It's INEVITABLE that the fund would run out if the deficit is not covered, and there is no way of funding it without massive extra taxpayer funding.

Surely the penny is finally dropping amongst those who don't want to accept this inevitability?

Spartacus

GM

The current funding target and funding level takes into account the life expectancy figures and growth of the fund. It is therefore deemed able to meet all current projected liabilities. There is no indication whatsoever that the fund would run dry resulting in existing members not receiving their dues. This is what the actuaries do, you are contradicting their expert opinion.

GM

Spartacus

Yes - the money has to be found from somewhere for ALL States expenditure. But to fund this scheme properly and to recover the existing £300m deficit, the taxpayers' contributions would have to rise massively above their current levels.

That means that something else has to go - like a rebuild of La Mare de Carteret School for example. Or taxes have to rise. Or GST has to come in - all just so that the type of defined benefits scheme which has crippled governments and companies everywhere can continue. I don't see Guernsey politicians or taxpayers buying any of those options for one moment, do you?

The harsh reality is that improved longevity due to medical advancements and long-term global financial and economic trends have combined together to make defined benefits schemes unaffordable, when previously that was not the case. Its nobody's fault. The only fault now will be if such a scheme is retained when all the alarms are ringing that its simply unaffordable.

kevin

GM,

The pension pot would last 40 years if all 4700 employees retired tomorrow and started claiming - that is an example and in reality could never happen as most of them are well under retirement age.

As you say current contributions are just covering current pensions so in my opinion the contributions and retirement age should remain the same, the scheme should be closed to new members and the final salary part altered to a CARE scheme.

These measures would save some money and more importantly gradually remove the future liability as people retire and/or leave the public sector.

GM

kevin

Yes - the projections are of course hypothetical, which is all they can ever be, but they form globally-recognised methods of calculating how much of a fund is required to pay what is already known, recognised and anticipated. So while not eveyrone is going to retire today and start drawing their pension, the fund needs to always be able to meet the liabilities when they eventially fall due - which means of course that it has to be funded - by somebody!

A new actuarial valuation is the only way to predict what the revised projected cost would be of closing the existing scheme to new members, and then comparing it with keeping the scheme going. If such a valuation has been done then I am sure that it has not yet been published.

Spartacus

GM

re your post @ 3.04pm

There is no intention to recover the £300M "deficit". The fund is deemed by the experts and the States to be at its optimal funding level.

The funding for La Mare has already been agreed therefore deemed affordable and the intention has been that FTP will negate the need for GST or new taxes. Nevertheless the tax and benefit system is under review and I expect some radical changes and significant savings will result from this review.

Increased longevity means that people need more money to sustain them in old age. It makes no sense to give them less because of this.

The States have not said they cannot afford the current pension obligation.

Global economies have always been cyclical, growth is predicted.

Spartacus

GM

The next actuarial valuation is due to be undertaken as at 31/12/2013. Whether the States decide to make changes to the scheme or not will therefore be taken into account in the calculations at the next actuarial valuation date.

However the current position of the fund will be published when the 2012 accounts are presented in the Spring. I assume the States will use the updated information in their deliberations.

Do you think an interim actuarial valuation was undertaken as part of the review process? I assumed they used the 2010 valuation as their reference point.

GM

Spartacus

2.56pm

No, the current contributions will NOT cover the future liabilities. Impossible. There is a £300m-plus shortfall. Current contributions are only just covering current pensions, so how much is being out towards covering that deficit? Zilch. The fund will run out of money before current members receive their full pensions. Basic maths. The current funding targets will not meet the deficit. And the current funding targets are not even being met! The fund is nearly £200m short of even its 90% funding target.

8.35pm

There HAS to be an intention to cover the £300m current deficit. The fund will run out of moeny otherwise. Otherwise you are banking on future current year contributions paying future current year pensions, which can only be achieve with MASSIVE additional annual contributions from the taxpayer. Guernsey clearly cannot afford that, unless GST and big rises in income tax rates happen. Or by sacrificing capital expenditure on items like new schools.

Every capital project is at risk if big spending cuts are not achieved, including La Mare. If we can't afford it then we can't afford it. Any decision can be reversed. That's why our elected members MUST get to grips with major spending cuts. There is no alternative other than increased taxes.

Yes - people are living longer. THEY need to save more for their old age. It is NOT the job of the taxpayer to take responsibility for something that the public sector workers are responsible for. This is not a nanny state. Guernsey cannot a nanny state. Time for people to stop spending for today and saving for tomorrow if they are worried about funding their old age. Just like the rest of us have to do.

The States don't NEED to say that they can't afford the current obligation. Anybody with an ounce of common sense can see it.

Economic cycles are indeed cyclical, and this one is a long and deep one. It will be just like the Great Depression of the 1930s, if not worse, because everything was so over-inflated. Governments of the world are simply not biting the necessary bullet - the US and UK economies are in appalling states. Look at the percentage of national debt to GDP. Look at the annual structural deficits. We have 10 years of pain ahead of us, by which time the growing liabilities of the Guernsey scheme will have completely mushroomed at an alarming rate, while the asset value growth is "most unlikely" to have kept pace. We are ALREADY in £300-plus deficit and now trying to make up existing lost ground, and the deficit is just going to get bigger and bigger.

8.54pm

I don't know. We have not been told as nothing has been published. I strongly suspect that one will have been done though.

Spartacus

GM

The £300M deficit (under FRS17) is within the approved funding level. The current intention is to retain this level rather than pay it off. Saying the fund will run out of money is contradicting the experts, they have done the maths and advised on the contribution level required to sustain the funding.

All taxes and benefits are under review. All services and capital projects are under review. This is happening regardless of the pensions. What we are debating is whether cuts to public sector pensions are justifiable at this point in time. It's a question of priorities and the States need to justify why other expenditure is more essential than their pension obligations. We are basically in good shape although I agree we should cut back on luxuries previously enjoyed by the island.

Regrading pension provisions for individuals you can't just cross your fingers and hope that people will make adequate provisions for retirement themselves, if that strategy fails the States will have an even bigger time bomb in relation to supplementary benefit claims, a problem which is being swept under the carpet in this debate.

Regarding your commentary on the economic climate, while this is interesting to hear your views I regard it as speculative and I would generally get my information from official sources and published data.

Regarding the pension liabilities, Forest collated the news articles from yesterdays UK pensions news and it was interesting to read about the background of how QE affected gilt values which had a detrimental knock on effect on pension liabilities. I note the government is now considering "smoothing" to ease the problem. This could change your concerns. I would be interested to hear.

GM

Spartacus

Sorry - absolutely not. How on earth is the £300m-plus deficit accounted for within the 90% target? It most certainly is not.

"The current intention is to retain this level rather than pay it off". Nonsense. Says who? When was that decision made? The deficit has to be recouped at some point to prevent the fund running out of money. Elementary maths.

No way can we afford a nanny state.

I'm not an investment expert. I am not qualified to provide investment advice. However my clients, via me as a trustee, have access to the very best investment advice on a daily basis. I see a clear convergence of views and it ain't rosy.

QE is a factor, unquestionably. It's also a new concept and nobody knows the impact long-term. However it could make the situation re the projected liabilities even worse, just as easily as it could improve them. Unfortunately we can't afford to sit back and wait and see.

Spartacus

GM

Sorry I don't understand your question. Obviously the funding target is being met. The FRS17 liabilities are taken into account and the deficit is deemed appropriate because of the expected returns within the fund and taking all other factors into account.

These details are what the actuaries calculate in accordance with their expertise. They do this in return for a high fee. Not elementary maths, slightly more specialised nevertheless they are paid to ensure the fund is not going to run out of money.

I take it you did not read about the planned steps which could take place later this year to offset the negative effects of QE and ease the pressure on pensions.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21172712

GM

Spartacus

I don't understand what your question is about my question!

It is nonsense for you to say that the funding target is being met.

The scheme's liabilities were £1.216 billion as at end of 2011. The States decision on funding was that the target should be 90% of pre-2007 liabilities and 100% of post-2007 liabilities. I don't have the split of pre-2007 and post-2007 liabilities, but clearly it means a target of slightly more than 90% overall.

90% of £1.216 billion is around £1.094 billion. The fund at end if 2011 was £896.5 million. That's a shortfall of a fraction under £200m based on the States' confirmed funding target.

The funding target is therefore not only not being met, it is a massive shortfall.

Spartacus

GM

The figures you have quoted are not the ones which are used to determine the funding target and the method you have used is not the way the funding position is calculated.

I'm not sure where you got those figures from but they appear to be based on the calculation using the assumptions under FRS17. You may well believe these are the figures which should be used to determine the funding target but the fact is they are not.

The funding position is stated here

http://www.gov.gg/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=3953&p=0

page 2511 shows a funding surplus.

On pages 2485/2486 Charles Parkinson explains the difference between the actuarial calculations and the assumptions under FRS17.

The contribution rate is slightly higher than recommended and the reason stated for this is to be prudent and "mindful of the long-term desirability of returning to a position of fully funding accrued benefits (ie improving the current position of 91.6% funding)." as clearly stated on page 2482 of the attached.

Therefore clearly the scheme is meeting its funding target of 90% of accrued benefits to 2007 and 100% thereafter as shown on page 2511. There is a surplus in relation to this target. The contribution rate is also at a level which shows an intention of improving this towards a 100% future funding position.

I would welcome your views on the planned steps which could take place later this year to offset the negative effects of QE and ease the pressure on pensions. This will alleviate your concerns surely.

GM

Spartacus

The fact that the FRS17 figure is not the one used is the crux of the problem. It is the more realistic liability figure and is tge one which SHOULD be used. One can only speculate as to why the FRS17 figure is not being used. Not using it merely masks the true liability exposure, which of course makes the scheme look "less bad", and falsely makes it look more affordable. It had certainly fooled you, but it hasn't fooled me, and it looks like Gilthead (and no, its not my pseudonym) "gets it" as well.

Using the FRS17 figure fully exposes the true extent of the deficit. I don't care what Charles Parkinson did or did not say, it's still a deliberate masking of the more realistic liabilities figure.

I don't know enough about the embryonic and "uncharted territory" of QE to be able to comment on its possible effects. Im not an economist. Unlike you, when I don't know what I am talking about I won't pretend that I do and try to bluff my way through.

Spartacus

GM

The FRS17 figure is noted so what makes you think it is not taken into account? No one is fooled and there is no masking whatsoever.

The article explains that your concerns are being addressed and suddenly you are claiming you don't know anything. All of a sudden the most opinionated contributer on TIG has no opinion!

The government intervention could change the FRS17 figures dramatically and all of a sudden as if by magic the entire basis of your argument that the scheme is unaffordable would disappear.

GM

Spartacus

The FRS17 figure is there but its being ignored when measuring against the 90% benchmark figure. Why? Because it doesn't suit the agenda if those who are desparate to keep the scheme.

No Spartacus, as I very clearly stated, unlike you I don't try to opine on subjects that I know little about. I don't profess to be a know-it-all. I know what I know and I know what I don't know. Maybe there's a lesson there for you.

The effect of QE could even make the deficit larger. What would you say to that?

Spartacus

GM

We will have to agree to disagree because the funding target is clearly defined in the actuarial valuation and it is clearly stated that there is a surplus against it. The FRS17 comparison is calculated and therefore taken into account to determine that the scheme IS sustainable.

Who are you saying is desperate to keep the scheme? The funding target is set by the States of Guernsey.

I suggest you read the article because you seem to have misunderstood what is planned. QE is the underlying cause of the increase of FRS17 liabilities due to the effect on bond values/returns. The intention is to counteract that negative effect so no these measures would certainly not make the deficit larger they would decrease it.

Dani

GM/Spartacus

It may interest you to know that I heard Bethan Haines the States Treasurer (top financial role) state she felt FRS 17 was too prudent on Tuesday.

GM

Spartacus

Wrong - the 90% target figure is not being measures against the FRS17 figure. It should be. It's a more prudent figure to be using. You will not persuade me otherwise. Being prudent is being sensible, rather than being reckless.

There is not a chance of me taking an economics lesson from you on QE. Nobody KNOWS what the effect will be. If it was possible to KNOW, then do you think we would all be sitting around in dark and wet and cold Guernsey on January?!

GM

Dani

That's very interesting. Let's consider those comments.

Firstly, Beth Haines is one of our top civil servants and will be one of the biggest single beneficiaries of the current final salary scheme. Sorry, but turkeys dont vote for Xmas.

Secondly, the "not very prudent" investment management strategy adopted by the States re the scheme, which even the actuaries described as "optimistic", has resulted in volatile and poor overall investment performance over the past 5 years. Being more prudent would not have been a bad strategy at all.

Thirdly, T&R has an appalling record of managing capital projects. The vast majority have exceeded budget, which suggests that costs should have been projected more prudently!

With taxpayers' money and pensions, being prudent is highly appropriate. It is almost impossible to be too prudent.

For the States Treasurer to say that FRS17 is "too prudent" suggests that she knows far better than the international accounting standards boards who adopted FRS17 for very good reason - to encourage companies and employers to more prudently recognise pension fund liabilities!

Spartacus

GM

You have really shot yourself in the foot in your response to Dani.

Beth Haines has a vested interest in the scheme which means it is in her interest that the fund should be managed as prudently as possible. Therefore it would be in her interest for the funding target to be calculated under FRS17 and the funding level to be higher. She is clearly therefore just being honest.

FRS17 is used for companies who have in the past failed to make adequate provision in their schemes. It also enables investors to compare the balance sheets of companies on a level platform.

As you know there has been continual controversy about FRS17 and following the financial crisis of 2008 the identified problems worsened and the knock on effect of this is now being claimed to be detrimental to the economy as a whole due to inadequate pension investing. This is now being addressed.

FRS17 is set to change as it is deemed too prudent for the economy!

GM

Spartacus

Not at all. She may well be relying on the States not defaulting on the current scheme.

Until and unless FRS17 does change or be scrapped, it is there and cannot be ignored.

FRS17 doew NOT just apply to companies.

If there had been more prudency around in the world over the past 15 years or so then the world would not be in the grotesque mess that its in day today. There is nothing wrong with prudency!

Spartacus

GM

Of course the States of Guernsey won't default! That's not even a remote possibility at the current time. Guernsey is not in a mess. Globally, some countries are struggling other countries are doing well.

No one is ignoring FRS17 . It is shown as a comparison in the accounts although there is absolutely no obligation to include this.

Who other than companies are obliged to use FRS17?

Dani

If I should get the chance I will ask if she will be changing the accounts to FRS 17 eventually. I believe the States accounts are being improved slowly. She will be speaking again towards the end of next month on the FTP.

For example some other changes will be made to the accounts - such as bringing in depreciation in the years to come. Currently we don't include many assets (including cultural ones like Castle Cornet) or account for infrastructure.

I will say in fairness to her that she did mention States Capital projects usually over run on time and budet. :-)

Quantative Easing was mentioned in a Guernsey context too - but only that we couldn't do it ourselves as we do not have a central bank.

GM

Spartacus

I wasn't referring to Guernsey defaulting yet - I meant by the time that many current members come to draw their pensions in 20-25 years time.

Right from the outset I have said, and I absolutely maintain, that if left as it is then the current final salary scheme will cause Guernsey to go bankrupt as the liabilities will be unable to be met. And no, that is not scaremongering. Guernsey within a decade could well have utilised all of its existing capital reserves, will not have been generating any annual surpluses to build up replacement reserves, will be struggling to fund new capital projects, and as a result of having no annual revenue surpluses will not be in any position to service external "sovereign" debt. So where will the funds come from to meet the pension obligations in say 25 years time if the existing £900m pension fund has run dry?

It is the failure to recognise the FRS17-calculated liabilities and to benchmark the 90% funding target against THAT figure which I have repeatedly referred to.

Governments and quasi-governmental bodies generally are either obliged depending on where they are based) or "advised" to apply FRS17.

GM

Dani

Thank you.

So, Guernsey's current policy of not depreciating its assets, and especially its infrastructure, means that our annual revenue account is going to take an even bigger hit to further worsen the current position. In other words, the current accounting policy is not prudent.

And the States' Chief Accountant recognises that most capital projects run over budget. Which means that the capital budgets in question were not prudent.

She also acknowledges that Guernsey is not in a position to benefit from QE.

So, all in all, our financial controls are not prudent at all, at a time when financial climatic conditions demand prudency. No wonder the States' revenues very rarely present "good news".

If we aren't being prudent generally with our financial controls, it can be no surprise that the pension scheme accounting is also ignoring prudency.

Which is precisely why I have been saying from the outset, ad nauseum, that the States of Guernsey has been storing up a massive ticking timebomb with the public sector pension scheme and that its lack of prudency in ignoring FRS17 is really now being exoposed.

Truly frightening. No doubt Spartacus will still believe that we should continue to stop being prudent.

Time for everybody to wake up and smell the coffee.

Spartacus

GM

"Truly frightening"? hahaha. Are you truly frightened?

If you believed all your own BS about the disastrous running of States of Guernsey and all your scaremongering about potential bankruptcy you would have packed up and left Guernsey by now. If its that bad why are you still here?

I wish you would leave for a safer place, there are flights and sailings daily. Just go.

GM

Spartacus

I won't lower myself to your pathetic level by saying what I really think about your last post. In any event, I am sure it would be blocked by the moderators.

Yes, it is indeed "truly frightening", even just as a mere taxpayer. There is no "BS" at all, just a realisation of the facts. The fact that you can't or won't see the facts is not my problem.

I'm going nowhere. I was born here. I've lived here all my life. I care about Guernsey's future. I see and hear a ticking timebomb that needs to be defused and I'm not going to keep quiet merely because a childish, petulant, stubborn, ignorant individual like you is so determined to pretend that all is rosy when it very clearly isn't.

With the maximum amount of disrespect possible, I once again suggest that you grow up.

Neil Forman

GM / Dani

Sorry, missed most of this. Had some family issues to deal with. Not a great start to the year.

I find the comment made by Bethan Haines a bit of an about face. Remember this?

http://www.thisisguernsey.com/news/2011/11/26/states-leaves-a-73m-deficit-off-balance-sheet/

The full article can be found in the press edition of 26/11/2011.

GM

Neil

Thank you for unearthing that priceless article. I had referred to that article a few weeks back but had been unable to find it in order to provide the link.

Dani - what do you think?

Spartacus - is the penny finally dropping with you?

Spartacus

GM

I don't see what the problem is. They can include the £73M deficit on the fiduciary balance sheet if they want. At least it would stop people like you and Neil Forman getting confused.

There is no need to include it but if they did, would it put anyone off investing in Guernsey? I doubt it.

Dani

Neil

I'm sorry to hear that but its good to have you back. A bad start hopefully means things can only improve. :-)

GM

I've succesfully stayed out of dodge so far and for the time being I wish for it to stay that way! I'm glad to see you and Spartacus bring focus to such an important issue.

What I would say is that I want defined benefit schemes closed to new entrants and that it is important that the accounts produced show the truest representation of the States financial position and performance so the public can have faith in them. It also leads to better decision making.

I have sympathy for the civil servants - especially in the way this has been handled. Perhaps if they had more individual say in how things should change the process would go more smoothly! They have definitely raised some good points on the thread that I hope they have been noticed by those orchestrating the change.

GM

Spartacus

What are you talking about? That is a liability of the States of Guernsey superannuation scheme, which is funded by the States of Guernsey as employer. It is an obligation of the States of Guernsey which the States of Guernsey will have to fund.

As I said on another thread, the liabilities of the States of Guernsey are understated in the annual audited accounts. You completely ridiculed my comment yet it has been 100% vindicated. It came "straight from the horse's mouth", Beth Haines, States Chief Accountant. Are you going to now retract your comments of ridicule to me and finally accept that I have been right all along about FRS17? Or are you now going to state that Beth Haines was wrong to say that?

Your arguments have been completely destroyed by that admission from Beth Haines. It vindicates exactly what I have been saying about the scheme for months.

The deficit is a real one, not a figment of my imagination, and it is one which the States of Guernsey SHOULD be prudently accounting for as a proper liability - one which will have to be funded at some stage in the future.

No doubt you will keep denying it. No doubt you will now try to discredit Beth Haines as well. Your whole argument has been completely destroyed.

Hopefully all readers can now see why I have been so committed to exposing your claims as utter fiction, and that you have been completely out of your depth, trying to argue something which you knew nothing about. Numerous readers have been bored stiff by the "debate", but hopefully even they will appreciate why I would not let go.

Now, once and for all, please accept that the public sector scheme WILL destroy Guernsey's finances and is absolutely unaffordable in its current form.

Hopefully it will also ensure that the penny drops with those unions who are not convinced of the necessity to end the final salary scheme.

Spartacus

GM

Sorry I simply do not see it that way at all.

You are getting over excited and claiming victory over an argument you cannot win.

You have previously said that liabilities of £380M should be included in the accounts. The article in Neil Forman's link clearly states the liabilities which have been left out are £73M!

Beth Haines said it was something treasury and resources wanted to rectify. If they do decide to do that (and note they didn't change this policy in the 2011 accounts) it's fine but it will make no difference whatsoever.

I recall pointing out to you that the pension liabilities are not included on the balance sheet as a matter of FACT. A fact which you were disputing but which you are now admitting. Of course I am not going to retract this point of fact.

Whether they SHOULD be included is entirely subjective and I don't see a problem because the accounting is completely transparent. All the FRS17 information is included in the notes. In any case the FRS17 assumptions will change if the UK government implements its smoothing strategy later this year.

The fund is still in surplus against its funding target and that is the target set by the employer as recommended by the actuaries to ensure the scheme is sustainable.

Unless there is some new information concealed in the outcome of the review, details of which have not yet been published, there is no justification whatsoever for changing the scheme.

GM

Spartacus

You have completely lost the plot.

Beth Haines' comment destroys all of your arguments about FRS17. Totally and utterly destroyed. Look back through all of your posts and look how stupid you now look.

You are now wasting everybody's time, just because you will never admit to being wrong.

How many more ladders do you need to be given to climb down from?

Spartacus

GM

I have no idea what you mean.

You seem to be having an argument with the facts.

Which of the facts I have mentioned are you suggesting is wrong? If I am wrong I would admit it.

I would appreciate your comment on the fact that the article in Neil Forman's link refers to liabilities of £73M whereas you have been claiming liabilities of £380M should be included.

GM

Spartacus

I don't know about the £73m figure because I cannot see the whole article from Neil's link. But those are the 2010 figures and my £300m-plus deficit figure is based on the 2011 figures, which are £1.216 billion liabilities versus £896.5m of assets, so a £320m deficit.

Now that there is clear evidence that Beth Haines believes that FRS17 SHOULD have been applied, and that the liabilities of the States of Guernsey have been understated as a result, it blows all of your arguments out of the water.

Let us re-examine your arguments, shall we:

SPARTACUS MYTHS

1. That FRS17 is too prudent and there is no need to apply it to the pension scheme. NOT ACCORDING TO THE STATES CHIEF ACCOUNTANT

2. That the States would have applied FRS17 if they thought it was appropriate. After all, they are the experts. WELL, ACCORDING TO THE ADMISSION BY THE STATES CHIEF ACCOUNTANT, THEY GOT THAT WRONG.

3. That there is no deficit, on the basis that the FRS17-stated liabilities can be ignored. ON THE BASIS THAT THE STATES CHIEF ACCOUNTANT CONFIRMS THAT FRS17 SHOULD BE USED, THERE IS A HUGE DEFICIT, WHICH WAS £320M AT DECEMBER 2011.

4. That the liabilities of the States of Guernsey have not been understated, and that I was being ridiculous for suggesting that they were. I HAVE BEEN PROVED 100% CORRECT.

5. That my concerns about the state of Guernsey's finances were scaremongering and were unfounded. AGAIN, I HAVE BEEN VINDICATED 100%. THE LIABILITIES OF THE STATES ARE MATERIALLY WORSE THAN HAS BEEN STATED IN THE AUDITED ACCOUNTS.

Now that my claims have been proven to be entirely correct, and that your claims have been proven to be completely false, perhaps you will finally accept that the current pension scheme is indeed unaffordable, and that it is indeed creating a massive deficit that will eventually bankrupt the island if it is not stopped immediately.

It may have taken me nearly 2 months to finally get this message through to you, but hopefully all readers of this forum will understand why I was not going to let go.

It is vital that all stakeholders in this pension scheme, whether members, unions, the States of Guernsey as employer, our politicians and every taxpayer, are made fully aware of the true position of this pension scheme.

I am very keen to know what the market value of the fund stood at on 31st December 2012, so that we can see how the "optimistic" portfolio performed during the year, bearing in mind that they closed 2011 valued at £896.5million. I am also very keen to know what the projected total scheme liabilities were at 31st December 2012, having stood at £1.216 billion at that date. Has that £320m gap widened? We really need to know before the States debate gets into full swing.

No wonder not a single States member has contributed to these pension threads since they started. It's obvious that they have been "gagged", and its obvious why.

Disgraceful.

Spartacus

GM

You can see the headline without opening the link in Neil's post it says "States leaves £73M deficit off balance sheet". Not £380M deficit as you suggest or anything even close to that sum.

Beth Haines said no such thing! Now that you have explained that you haven't read the article I can see that you are just making this up as you go along.

I suggest you read the article before you embarrass yourself any further although that is clearly belated advice.

1. Wrong. Beth Haines has commented publicly that she believes FRS17 IS too prudent as Dani has said.

2. Wrong. Beth Haines has not admitted the States got their decision wrong. How ridiculous! In fact they continued with the policy to leave the deficit off the balance sheet after that article was published.

3. Wrong. There is no deficit included on the balance sheet. FACT. Beth Haines has NOT confirmed that FRS17 should be used and indeed since the article was published it has continued to NOT be used.

4. I do not believe the liabilities of States of Guernsey have been understated. You are entitled to have an alternative view but just because you disagree with the approved audited accounts does not make you right.

5. You have said the States finances are in a mess and that the pension scheme will bankrupt Guernsey. This is conjecture on your part and no politician, civil servant or official source is ever going to agree with that scaremongering tactic.

GM/Javert, you are wrong and always have been wrong.

GM

Spartacus

Not sure what language you are reading, but here's the printed text.

THE States has overstated its reserves in the 2010 accounts by failing to comply with an accounting principle to demonstrate its pension deficit.

And chief accountant Bethan Haines admitted it was something that Treasury and Resources wanted to rectify.

Accounting principle FRS17 requires organisations to include their pension deficit/surplus on the balance sheet. Guernsey Electricity and Guernsey Post do this but the States does not.

But, while admitting in the States 2010 accounts that FRS17 was best practice, Treasury also acknowledged that it had not been adopted in full on its balance sheet.

Clear enough for you?

So...

Beth Haines admitted in 2010 that the States had overstated its reserves in the 2010 audited accounts by not applying FRS17, and thereby not following best practice. She regrets this and wanted it rectified. (Yet you had the nerve to ridicule me for suggesting that the audited accounts couldn't be relied upon).

Why was it not adopted in 2011? It's pretty clear isn't it? The deficit had spiralled further during 2011 and she will have been overruled by T&R from applying it in order to avoid reporting the bad news.

I cannot reconcile a £73m deficit. Unlike you, I don't rely on newspaper headlines. I prefer rather more detail.

This whole thing absolutely stinks. Lets hope that the Guernsey Press Editor continues to expose yet another cover-up.

Who is Javert by the way?

Spartacus

GM

Beth Haines clearly did not admit anything of the sort.

She certainly did not say "She regrets this and wanted it rectified."

There is no suggestion whatsoever that "She will have been overruled by T&R from applying it in order to avoid reporting the bad news."

Of course the audited accounts can be relied upon. You are the one who is disputing them.

Javert thought he was doing his duty. He realised his mistake eventually.

GM

Spartacus

Are you for real?

Beth Haines admitted that the States had failed to state the pension deficit and T&R wanted to rectify it. How could it be any clearer?

Why should any of us rely on the States of Guernsey audited accounts when THEY admitted that the accounts overstated the reserves by £73m? It isn't me saying that that they did so - they themselves admitted it!

What else do the audited accounts not properly reveal?

Spartacus

GM

There are no quotes from T&R or Beth Haines in that Press article at all.

You seem to be getting confused with what the Press has said and what T&R and Beth Haines have actually said.

The Press has been a bit ambiguous with the wording which is typical.

The proof of the pudding is in the 2011 accounts. Nothing changed, so clearly Beth Haines, T&R and the States decided the accounting treatment was still appropriate.

GM

Spartacus

So let me get this straight. The Guernsey Press made it up? Really? Was there any rebuttal of the alleged comments? Surely there would have been a fierce rebuttal if Beth Haines or T&R took offence at what they are reported to have said.

I cannot reconcile the admission by T&R that they knew they had overstated the reserves in the 2010 audited accounts with your apparent belief that they never get anything wrong. How much more evidence do you need?

Why did they not correct the accounting position in 2011 to show the full extent of the scheme deficits? That's a question that needs answering by T&R. It does not stack up at all.

Spartacus

GM

There were no allegations made up by the Press, all the article actually said was that the pension liabilities are not included on the balance sheet which is the fact I have been pointing out to you for months.

Why would the States of Guernsey rebut that? It is true! As you can see Bethan Haines has "admitted" it. Why would anyone take offence?

All that is ambiguous is the wording by the Press which implies there is something wrong and that the reserves have been overstated, this is typical tactic by newspapers and is a matter of conjecture not a reporting of fact. They are entitled to put their spin on things and always do.

No reason to correct anything at all.

GM

Spartacus

Strewth - do you still argue that the earth is flat because nobody has proved to you that it's round?

Do you disregard absolutely all evidence which contradicts your views, no matter how firmly it is staring you in the face?

Spartacus

GM

Ha ha! I'm content with the evidence that the world is round however I remain skeptical about the rumour that the moon is made of cheese. I'm not even convinced that you think it's made of cheese.

Noel

Dani

This is part of the problem Civil Servants are not allowed a say in any open forum. How quaint. Best bet get a non states employee to post for you and watch what you say, ur um they say.

Dani

I'm well aware of that. That's how anonymity helps. You don't even have to be seen/have anyone else post for you and could upload whole docs if you wanted to. As long as they can't point the finger at you directly it would be fine.

Island Wide Voting

Dani

... but not on your office PC

Dani

Ha Ha!

That wouldn't be very subtle!

Thinking about it there might be an argument for submitting under the name of Jeff.

Spartacus

Noel

I understand why confidentiality and conduct clauses are necessary in employment contracts and I would never encourage anyone to breach these conditions which are mutually agreed.

However, I believe civil servants and states workers should be allowed to publicly say what they feel about the published pension proposals and maybe the States should give the green light for them to do so. After all why not?

busarider

Geez,

The harbinger of doom never gives up with the same old rant.

Gather enough people GM and start world war three. You can have a go at me too if you wish, in fact the next time you see the states employee cleaning the streets or the nurses at A&E or have to call the fire service etc, why not kick them and empty their wallets / purses too.

I think a better way is to have a 'I can live on minimum wage week'. Lets see what happens to all the do gooders and doom sayers then. I am not looking forward to old age, just haope I am not sharing a room with someone who has a little black cloud over their head all the time. Just thought, why don't we go to OAP dormitories with bunk beds and horse blankets, GM would have me believe that is how it will be once we rent Guernsey out and become tenants.x

GM

Busarider

Very good.

So what will you say when the current members don't get their pensions in 40 years time because the scheme has run out of money? What will you say when your kids or grandchildren have to put up with derelict schools because the States are having to instead pump tens of millions extra each year into the pension scheme to avoid it defaulting?

I would take no comfort from being told in my dotage: "You know, that GM bloke was right way back in 2013".

Just because others haven't been prepared to tell it as it is, doesn't mean that other taxpayers who haven't been "gagged" shouldn't. Its there in black and white for you - assets as at 2011 circa £900m, liabilities as at 2011 circa £1.216 billion. Deficit around £320m and that HAS to be funded at some point. Sure - you can sweep it under the carpet, but eventually the fund will run out, leaving current workers left high and dry. Its doing them no favours either to have a pension scheme which will run out of money - no point in kidding them is there?

In Control

lots of little bits I keep picking up on from certain posts in here so somebody please help,

previously the pot was sustained at 90% which was deemed sufficient due to the states not being able to use it as a saving scheme?

With the change to FRS17 this value has changed I believe to a bigger margin??

lastly GM your wording on several occasions now "potential liability" by definition potential means may or may not reach that level

discuss

Gilthead

In Control

Think of FRS17 as a more realistic projection of what, say, a personal pension pot would be worth when you retire.

15 years ago projections of 12% PA growth over the life of a policy were not uncommon. These have been proven in many cases to be wildly optimistic - and that was in the good times.

We're now in very bad times.

Pension projections, by law, are now much more realistic (although I would argue any "projection" by its very nature is misleading).

The SOG pension fund is in defecit. Gilts are yielding historically low returns, equities are inflated by QE and corporate bonds are likely to go off a cliff.

This is a very bad place to be for Guernsey.

Unless something is done to remediate the situation we will simply be bankrupted.

Short changed

15 years ago I was sold a £200 a month savings plan and was advised by an IFA that it would be worth "a minimum of £60k when it matures, could be as much as £80k".

Guess how much is was worth when it matured 3 months ago? A grand total of £41k, which just goes to show how wildly optimistic these projected returns are.

Anyone predicting rises over 5% per annum over the next 10 years must be potty, I'd be tempted to go with half of that at best, we should certainly be erring on the side of caution.

GM

Short-changed

Check the exact wording of what you were told and consult lawyer. The IFA may well have missold the product to you. They have to carry PI insurance to cover negligent advice.

Short changed

GM

Unfortunately it wasn't in writing, but as it came from a friend I took it as being fairly reliable. Needless to say he is not my IFA any longer......

SaintsBay

GM for First Minister ?

I'd vote for him/her if I could

Might make the buses run on time.

Great to see some sense being posted - we may indeed have a ravaged infrastructure, many hundreds unemployed with no benefits and at the same time CS's both im employment and retired living a relatively cosy life but suffering and complaining about a ravaged infrastructure.

Tell that to the kids (and Spartys and Noels)of today and they won't believe you.

boomska

At the rate technology is improving and the rate at which technology that seemed unattainable 10 years ago is coming along it seems to me that life expectancy will only keep going up(by its nature we can't see the incredible technology coming). If this is the case (it may not be) then the scheme may be seriously under funded. This is all based on ifs but

1) The only way to stop an issue is to move to defined contribution. No one can argue that it is not a fair or sustainable system.

2) As a tax payer why am I having to pay for an outdated over generous system

3) Times have changed and we need to adapt.

4)Out of curiousity i look at the states job board and my god are the salaries generous!! People make out that to loose this scheme would kill them. I'm sorry but come work in the private sector with 5 years of wage freezes and or cuts

Quizzed

@boomska

I don't disagree that times are hard and that we should be looking at the pensions. Indeed we maybe we should.

Tell me though, what would your reaction be if you were told that you would have to work 7 to 12 years more than you expected in order to achieve a smaller pension.

would that not constitute more than a 5 year pay freeze on your contract?

GM still hasn't told me how he would deal with his workforce if he asked them to do the same.

If (having looked at the board) the new contribution scheme and the wages are better than the private sector, why don't you take one of the generous Public Sector jobs?

boomska

1) you make me chuckle.....I may not have been told i'll have to work longer but its quite the possibility at the moment and if i don't worker 7 years longer than i planned it'll be because I have saved extra hard to. Times have changed people live longer.

2) What makes you think i've not just started looking and considering the option! Also I may not be just after money, but my point is they are not market rate pay! Guarantee there is 50 applicants per job at least at the moment

It really baffles me the CS posters on here and their poor me attitude. Seriously you've got it very very very good! Q comments about how private sector workers are all millionaires!

kevin

boomska,

In answer to your questions:

1/ There are several ways of stopping the issue including closing the scheme to both current and future employees - many individuals in the private sector have to make their own arrangements so why should public sector employees be any different?

2/ As a taxpayer I have to pay for a lot of things I don't agree with including my share of the public sector pension scheme.

3/ No argument with you there - other than the public sector employees should not have to pay more of their wages into the scheme only to end up receiving less and working longer.

4/ What you and many other people either don't realise or choose to ignore is that wages for some of these people start at below £20k ( hardly generous!), yes there is well paid (civil service) posts but for every one of these there is probably fifty people earning a more modest wage than the equivalent person in the private sector.

I didn't hear too many in the private sector moaning 10-15 years ago when the finance industry was paying its staff ludicrous bonuses etc.

boomska

Kevin, why does earning a low wage entitle you to a disproportionately high wage (if you take into account this beenfit ist actually a very high wage) and actually its the supposedly low paid that will be least effected by the changes to the scheme give the average wage method!!!! How is the final wage method currently fair or just? It encourages gamesmanship and doesn't reflect what an employee really puts in

No people weren't complaining in the private sector (not that i was working then!) but at the same time they aren't kicking up a fuss with real wage decreases. As for working longer and paying more, everyone else has to so why is the CS different?

kevin

boomska,

Paying more of my wages into a pension scheme that will pay less back is not fair or just is it?

The reason I say it will affect the lower paid more is simply because an extra 1.5% of a person's £18k a year income will be noticed far more in their budget than in somebody who earns £80k a year.

I've never said that the pension should remain as a final salary scheme - in fact if you read my posts you will notice that I'm more in favour of closing the public sector pension completely!

Michael R

Kevin, apparently the States as employers refused to consider closing the pension scheme to new entrants. Madness or what?

Especially as according to friends, the unions were prepared to concede this point.

GM

Quizzed

Apologies - I don't recall being asked that question by you. When did you ask me that?

Clearly if that's the case then the CARE scheme proposals aren't quite right. But then again I don't think they are appropriate anyway. I'd far rather see them replaced by a defined contributions scheme.

How would I deal with my staff? Well, if the company was going to go under if the current scheme continued then I would have to spell that out. If there is no job then it's irrelevant what pension scheme the company operates. In other words, if you don't agree to accept the pension scheme then redundancies would have to be made in order to keep the company going.

No point in me taking a job in the public sector. Not much call for tax planning and trust expertise at Frossard House!

Quizzed

Ah it was a while ago mind you. My point at the time was that it is easy for people to see the figures and make their minds up. Easy for people to think we are all selfish for protecting what we were required to signed up to. Perhaps this is not you, but you clearly accept the reports as final, without looking at alternatives or the effects. Well anyway you have answered now cheers.

The proposed scheme on paper is clean and tidy but effects so many people in different ways.

Yes part of my reason for wanting the chance to negotiate this subject is financial reasons, sure. However, there is a whole lot more to it for which I feel I can't write about. At the moment!!

@boomska

What makes you think I'm a CS? Never said I was. Like people assume, every Public Sector worker has a mortgage or a potential Gold Plated Pension. Look, you know that no employer is going to change any contract to make you work an extra 7 years. And here we go again! Just save!!! yeah cause every one in the Public sector is on soooo much money they can just do that! And yes there are a great deal of Private Sector workers on low money. I'm aware of that! Never said otherwise!

Times are tough and I don't disagree that a review is necessary. However, it is my contract, based on my future and we should have the chance to discuss it with the relevant people. Transparency if you please!

Not using a system that appoints a man to be our communicator who suddenly becomes negotiator and who all of a sudden has disappeared off the face of the earth.

boomska

Quizzed yet again your statements suggest you are in the CS like refering to ''my contract''

The sense of entitlement is ridiculous. I shouldn't have to give up things, I shouldn't have to save. Its like children in the playground saying i want i want i want. Life is tough and tough decisions need to be made. Economic times are tough. If you want to save for the future and your on a low wage given up Sky, fags booze etc. Its just liek when they wanted to close some schools a few selfish people kick off and detract from the greater good.

Well as many people point out that people should just join teh CS if they don't like teh pension....if you don't liek the offer go and work in the private sector :o)

Yet to hear a strong arguement for keeping teh current scheme other than ''poor me''

Spartacus

boomska

Have you ever heard of a contract of employment? It contains contractual benefits which are enforceable under law and it is covered by employment legislation.

This is not a case of the States handing out sweets to it's children, the pension is a scheme which is compulsory and the employees have paid in to the scheme in good faith. What they signed up to is a plan to provide them with security in old age. The proposed changes would effectively pull the rug from under them.

Pala

Ever thought of having a day off Spartacus?

Quizzed

@ boomska or are you GM?

Yes I have a contract agreement with the States of Guernsey which outlines my current pension entitlement. (That's the sense of entitlement right there by the way)! This I HAD to sign, to gain employment with the States. Security instead of inflated wages if you will.

I am NOT a CS. I DO work for the Public Sector.

I do SAVE! Into my pension! I have signed an agreement to it, Remember? It is that contract/entitlement I want to protect!

I don't smoke and don't really drink and certainly don't run around with a cape on, saving schools. I don't waste my money, I use it as sensibly as I can month for month.

I can't air my real arguments on this forum to satisfy your last sentence. Well, not until a decision is signed and sealed anyway.

Anyway GM....er boomska.... I'm out of here for now. See you when a decision has been publicised :D

Unless I get bored one night :P

SF

Spartacus

Contracts may be terminated. Compensation may be due but what use will 6 months salary be if there are no jobs to go to? The cost of termination would be far lower than the deficit.

The pension scheme fund is typically invested in "conservative" investments, typically fixed interest securities such as gilts. Returns on these investments are at historic lows and look like staying that way. Without risking capital, the investment managers cannot generate sufficient income to pay increasing calls upon the scheme. We'll be in a situation where capital will need to be used to pay current liabilities at a time when we need that capital base to be growing.

There is nothing pretty about the situation we find ourselves in, but ignoring it sure ain't gonna fix things!

Spartacus

SF

Are you seriously suggesting that 4,700 employees contracts would be terminated? There is no possibility that would happen.

Page 31 of the accounts shows the various asset classes of the fund investments and the expected returns.

Returns on bonds are currently low due to the negative effects of QE however the UK government is addressing this later this year which would also effect the assumptions used to calculate the liabilities.

GM

Quizzed

Sorry to disappoint you. I have no idea who Boomska is.

SF

You have it absolutely correct.

SF

Spartacus

No, I'm not suggesting there would be 4,700 redundancies. For a start off, I believe many of that number would rather have a job and would accept the fact that the new proposal still represents a better deal than many private sector employees get, where all the investment risk is theirs.

However, there is a precedent from the US when President Ronald Reagan fired ALL air traffic controllers. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

As I said last time, there are no easy answers but the alternative to this and the FTP in general is wholesale redundancies, cuts in services and no money to pay the unemployment benefit without going to the market to borrow money. And we all know what lies at the bottom of that slippery slope - Greece!

Boomska

The contracts still hold up if people are made redundant or the states rund out of money..............

Spartacus you clearly have your views on every topic and will not sway from them. Are you saying teh new offer isn't generous?

Spartacus

Boomska

No it is not generous because it is an obligation. Suggesting it is generous implies the pension is some kind of optional bonus or gift but that is not the case here at all as it is a contractual arrangement in more ways than one.

I sometimes change my opinions but I lack the sheep mentality which makes most people agreeable to popular viewpoints.

The States has not warned of redundancies or running out of money.

lorre

Not sure whether FTP stands for Fleece The People or F*** The Poor but def sense the Guernsey Spring coming soon.

'You can fleece the people some of the time but you can't F*** the people all of the time.'

kevin

Boomska,

If you went to your bank and said you wanted to borrow £1000, they say yes, no problem, that will be £50 a month for two years, total payable £1200.

You sign a fixed loan agreement for that amount then after nine months the bank says the payments are increasing to £75 a month for the remainder of the two years would you not get upset?

The pension scheme is no different - everyone has been paying into it with expectations of receiving a pre-determined amount at a certain date so how would they consider a lower offer and longer payment period whilst being asked to pay more money into it period 'generous'???

I cannot believe you are stupid enough to even ask that question!

Brandy

Kevin.....it's like buying a car.....if its broke you ve got to pay more to fix it. Look at it another way the cost increases to £75 a month and its got to be paid so say your sister pays it and as a result can't get healthcare or schooling for her kids. At least you can have a smug grin on your face as the rest of the island burns.

Look at the end of the day taxes don't raise enough so deal with it! In the old days it was legal to have slaves.....I suppose it was wrong to get rid of that too!

Spartacus taking the opposite opinion to everyone does not make you right or on an higher level!! Rather a sheep than an ass! Please take a day off

Look this isn't just a guernsey problem it's global.

kevin

Brandy,

Whilst I accept the pension scheme has to change I fail to see how paying more money, working years longer and receiving less money when I do finally retire can be called 'generous'!

I think it would be 'generous' to let the taxpayer pay an extra 1.5% to allow the public sector pension to remain the same.

Does my second paragraph illustrate how ridiculous it is to call what the public sector have been offered 'generous'?

In Control

Boomska tbh nobody has really said that it isnt, I think a lot of people feel its a breach of contract, and that is generally what is causing the upset more so than anything else, tbh certain jobs in the CSB/Public sector will be only marginally effected by the extra 2 years, others though will carry huge implications Police, Fire Service are the 2 that spring to mind readily, are we going to accept 67year old bobbies on the beat chasing wrong doers 40 years younger than them, or equivalent aged Firefighters will they be safe to carry casualties down ladders, this isnt as simple as a lot of people seem to think and needs careful planning.

personally prior to the changes I was due to work till 60 with the option of contiuing if deemed fit to 65, I wasnt looking forward to possibly being kicked out at 60 as I would probably need to work for 5 years which would put me in a bad place re finding a job at that age, so Know I can stay till 67 and have no worry of looking for work in my twilight years, the question is will i be up to the task at 67!!

Brandy

How many 60 year old bobbies or firemen do u see walking around??? Do your research

half a cup

@Brandy

I think that is 'In Control's' Point:)

Soon will be 60 mind you! They'll have to go out in pairs as a minimum. To pop each others hips back into place after running etc Ha ha.

To all.

What is the expected amount of retirements due in the next few years in the Public Sector? just thinking that if they continued the contracts but closed to new employees. Would that generate enough funds to reduce the deficit people are talking about? A longer period of time I guess......Answers?