Those of us reaching that strange age of going from net contributors to the state to modest beneficiaries would not have expected to be the object of naked hostility from those who follow.
but we are.
According to millennials — a generation not without its challenges, credit has to be given — we ate all the butter and jam greedily and left them with stale bread.
I have heard these noises many times. We were the lucky ones, the generations who surfed through the good decades bought cheap and sold dear. Along the way we hoarded whatever we couldn’t spend and dragged the drawbridge behind us.
It didn’t look like it at the time. It was all a bit of a grind actually, and pennies were counted in the vague hope that they would turn into pounds. Sometimes they did. At other times not.
Last week, however, those casual wails shaped into something more solid and declamatory.
Retirees and elected retirees appear to be parasites, leaving their jobs at a ridiculously youthful 66 when they should shoulder the burden for a few more harsh winters.
There’s no point in arguing with the actuarial evidence. We have known for a long time that this pension time bomb, which has been ticking ominously for decades, has an ever-shortening fuse.
The prohibitive cost of our current retirement age at a time when we are living longer (how dare we damn it) has been laid out with the solemnity of a mortician by the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council.
It has been claimed that people in their 20s and 40s are already footing the bill for the growing number of retirees, which – according to their educated estimate – will increase by 50 percent by 2040.
It’s not an analysis I have a problem with. Empirical evidence doesn’t take sides any more than prisoners do.
But the unmistakable antagonism in how the story was portrayed in the media – and the subsequent narrative – was bewilderingly offensive.
We are seemingly selfish, elitist and parasitic. Or words in that sense. When the language was finely worded at times, the sentiment was never less than crystal clear.
I can only speak for myself, but my experience would be common enough for anyone who entered the workforce from school in the mid-1970s. It adds up to well over forty years in a suit or jumpsuit, no matter how you cut it.
That’s more than enough.
I paid heaps of income taxes on the side, much of it at rates millennials wouldn’t recognise, got stung by 16 percent mortgage rates, and made well over the 500 PRSI contributions required for a contributory pension.
I also had a decent private pension, but that was a flop. This greedy parasite has no yacht parked in Nice.
So I paid my dues without plucking any violin strings. My whole generation has. Radical thinking is certainly required to crack this pension crisis.
Dumping dog abuse on those of us who have played by the rules can’t be part of it.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/so-my-generation-were-the-lucky-ones-as-we-counted-our-pennies-and-paid-buckets-of-tax-it-didnt-seem-like-that-at-the-time-41963867.html So my generation was the lucky one? When we counted our pennies and paid tons of taxes, it didn’t seem like it back then