Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Retirement age 'should reach 85'

It's interesting to see this idea getting more air-time, and also that people are starting to make more radical suggestions (the UK Govt's position is in comparison some rather feeble kite-flying which talked of about a 3 year increase in retirement age, starting some time after 2030).

As a foreign researcher in Japan, I'm compulsorily enrolled into the pensions system, which means that money is automatically removed from my salary with no realistic possibility of my ever getting a payout (I'd have to contribute for 20 years continuously, which considering it will take another 5 years of annually-renewed contracts before it would be worth even bothering to apply for permanent residency rights let alone citizenship, and there is virtually no chance of tenure here, is hardly a serious possibility at this stage). This state-sponsored theft of my salary is just one of those minor niggles that no-one is ever going to fix because (a) it would cost money and (b) there are no votes in it. Since I'm not a taxpayer in the UK, there is no incentive to contribute to a pension fund there either, although I should be able to make some of the shortfall up if and when I return - unless I'm kicked out at age 60 or sooner, which is currently the way things work in the UK research labs. If retirement age is up to 85 by 2050 then I've got plenty of time! (No, I'm not really stupid enough to think this is likely to be the case.)


EliRabett said...

I do not know if this is the case for Japan, but my experience in Europe was that when I worked there for less than the time needed to vest, and left, I got my contribution back (they kept the contribution from the employer). There are also treaties which govern this sort of thing. You may find that you get some credit in your home country. Of course, since this stuff is governed by treaties and laws, it is arbitrary and YMMV. Still you need to look into it very carefully

James Annan said...

I'll get something back, but it is capped at something like 2 years' worth of contributions (and in fact the refund is itself taxed, which adds insult to injury). Of course this is no problem for the vast majority of visitors who don't stay any longer than that, but anyone who does gets screwed with what amounts to a 100% confiscation. There is no reciprocal arrangement or chance of a foreign credit.

William M. Connolley said...

Surely the bets are your pension :-)