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politicalbetting.com » Blog Archive » Alastair Meeks gives his thoughts on university pensions

SystemSystem Posts: 5,841
edited February 25 in General

imagepoliticalbetting.com » Blog Archive » Alastair Meeks gives his thoughts on university pensions

My first boss was the source of many wise words, some of which I use to this day. “Alastair”, she would often say, “there is no problem in the world that cannot be made to go away with money”. It’s not strictly true, of course, but it is truer more often than is usually appreciated.

Read the full story here


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Comments

  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 2,645
    Glad I have my pension sorted. The next generation are being screwed.
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 18,149
    edited February 25
    Very good Alistair, and for PB to have people posting headers on subjects in their specific area of expertise.

    One thread where we can all keep away from the Brexit wars?
  • "The future service money purchase benefits are 17.25% or 21.25% of pay (of which employees would pay 4% or 8%)."

    There are hardly more generous schemes anywhere else if one stood back. So for new joiners it should be a non issue surely?

  • PulpstarPulpstar Posts: 44,329
    They need to get on DC like the rest of us. Except those in gilded public sector retirement. But there isn't the money for that.
  • TheWhiteRabbitTheWhiteRabbit Posts: 7,470
    edited February 25
    No major updates from across the pond, but one story stood out today for me:

    Democrats talk about the years since 2010 as the Lost Decade, a time when a generation of future leaders was wiped out by a pair of devastating midterm elections and the absence of a strategic plan to recoup from those losses. That’s one reason this year’s gubernatorial elections are the most important in years.

    Most of the current political focus, understandably, is on the upcoming congressional elections... But the Democrats need significant gains in the gubernatorial elections this November if they want to begin a broader rebuilding effort to restore the party to the kind of strength it once enjoyed. Without vitality in the states, the Democrats will remain what they became in recent years: a hollowed-out political institution.

    From the Washington Post
  • DecrepitJohnLDecrepitJohnL Posts: 8,252
    The deficit does seem to depend hugely (halving or doubling) on what assumptions are made. Is that where the real story lies?
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 2,645
    Surely the money purchase pensions only become good value again when interest rates return to higher levels?
  • PulpstarPulpstar Posts: 44,329

    "The future service money purchase benefits are 17.25% or 21.25% of pay (of which employees would pay 4% or 8%)."

    There are hardly more generous schemes anywhere else if one stood back. So for new joiners it should be a non issue surely?

    The best you'll find in the real world is probably 10 + 10. Personally I'm on 7.5/16.04 (Something to do with NI)
  • brendan16brendan16 Posts: 903
    edited February 25
    These university lecturers would have done better to have become tube drivers.

    Transport for London's scheme is still final salary, still uprates benefits by RPI, allows retirement at 60 without actuarial reduction and has a contribution rate of only 5 per cent of salary with an employer contribution topping it up of over 30 per cent. And it has a huge deficit as well.

    http://content.tfl.gov.uk/tfl-pension-fund-member-guide.pdf

    And it can't be changed unless pension scheme members approve it - because its legally a private not a public sector pension scheme even though TfL is a monopoly entirely funded by taxes and fares.

    Just shows the power of some unions over others.
  • DecrepitJohnLDecrepitJohnL Posts: 8,252
    The average academic is on a bit less than £50,000 a year sfaict so leaving the lurid headlines about VC fat cats to one side, this is not a vastly featherbedded sector. Even professors earn less than the Prime Minister.
  • PulpstarPulpstar Posts: 44,329
    brendan16 said:

    These university lecturers would have done better to have become tube drivers.

    Transport for London's scheme is still final salary, still uprates benefits by RPI, allows retirement at 60 without actuarial reduction and has a contribution rate of only 5 per cent of salary with an employer contribution topping it up of over 30 per cent. And it has a huge deficit as well.

    http://content.tfl.gov.uk/tfl-pension-fund-member-guide.pdf

    And it can't be changed unless pension scheme members approve it - because its legally a private not a public sector pension scheme even though TfL is a monopoly entirely funded by taxes and fares.

    Just shows the power of some unions over others.

    You have to think how the country would be if every working person was on such a scheme...
  • rkrkrkrkrkrk Posts: 4,154
    Interesting thread header.

    “Defined benefit schemes give cross–subsidies all over the place, with the bulk of the cost of future service provision going towards providing the benefits of those close to retirement.”

    To me - defined benefit has the large attraction that I know how much I will get more or less.
    Yet these schemes always seem to get branded unaffordable?
    But surely it depends at what the defined benefit level is.

    The money purchase scheme Alistair recommends means I don’t know how much I will get?
    And it makes it tricky to calculate how a promotion will affect my pension?

  • brendan16brendan16 Posts: 903
    Pulpstar said:

    They need to get on DC like the rest of us. Except those in gilded public sector retirement. But there isn't the money for that.

    They are cutting the benefits of existing retirees as in America rather than entirely gutting the pensions of young people joining. The former took far more out than they paid in - and it's the latter who have go pay for it like everything else.
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 2,645
    Pulpstar said:

    brendan16 said:

    These university lecturers would have done better to have become tube drivers.

    Transport for London's scheme is still final salary, still uprates benefits by RPI, allows retirement at 60 without actuarial reduction and has a contribution rate of only 5 per cent of salary with an employer contribution topping it up of over 30 per cent. And it has a huge deficit as well.

    http://content.tfl.gov.uk/tfl-pension-fund-member-guide.pdf

    And it can't be changed unless pension scheme members approve it - because its legally a private not a public sector pension scheme even though TfL is a monopoly entirely funded by taxes and fares.

    Just shows the power of some unions over others.

    You have to think how the country would be if every working person was on such a scheme...
    A lot happier?
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 18,149

    The average academic is on a bit less than £50,000 a year sfaict so leaving the lurid headlines about VC fat cats to one side, this is not a vastly featherbedded sector. Even professors earn less than the Prime Minister.

    Erm, the average academic is on almost double the average salary, and the old fashioned idea that someone can work for 30 years then retire on 2/3 of their final salary for another 30 years is completely bonkers for those who have to sign the cheques.
  • PulpstarPulpstar Posts: 44,329
    Foxy said:

    Pulpstar said:

    brendan16 said:

    These university lecturers would have done better to have become tube drivers.

    Transport for London's scheme is still final salary, still uprates benefits by RPI, allows retirement at 60 without actuarial reduction and has a contribution rate of only 5 per cent of salary with an employer contribution topping it up of over 30 per cent. And it has a huge deficit as well.

    http://content.tfl.gov.uk/tfl-pension-fund-member-guide.pdf

    And it can't be changed unless pension scheme members approve it - because its legally a private not a public sector pension scheme even though TfL is a monopoly entirely funded by taxes and fares.

    Just shows the power of some unions over others.

    You have to think how the country would be if every working person was on such a scheme...
    A lot happier?
    Who is going to pay for it all ?
    WHO ?
  • Pulpstar said:

    Foxy said:

    Pulpstar said:

    brendan16 said:

    These university lecturers would have done better to have become tube drivers.

    Transport for London's scheme is still final salary, still uprates benefits by RPI, allows retirement at 60 without actuarial reduction and has a contribution rate of only 5 per cent of salary with an employer contribution topping it up of over 30 per cent. And it has a huge deficit as well.

    http://content.tfl.gov.uk/tfl-pension-fund-member-guide.pdf

    And it can't be changed unless pension scheme members approve it - because its legally a private not a public sector pension scheme even though TfL is a monopoly entirely funded by taxes and fares.

    Just shows the power of some unions over others.

    You have to think how the country would be if every working person was on such a scheme...
    A lot happier?
    Who is going to pay for it all ?
    WHO ?
    John McDonnell.
  • DecrepitJohnLDecrepitJohnL Posts: 8,252
    Sandpit said:

    The average academic is on a bit less than £50,000 a year sfaict so leaving the lurid headlines about VC fat cats to one side, this is not a vastly featherbedded sector. Even professors earn less than the Prime Minister.

    Erm, the average academic is on almost double the average salary, and the old fashioned idea that someone can work for 30 years then retire on 2/3 of their final salary for another 30 years is completely bonkers for those who have to sign the cheques.
    Yes that is true but what is the starting age for lecturers? BSc at 21, PhD at 24. couple of years as a post-doc ... I can't get very worked up about them being overpaid because it is not obvious that they are. Of course from the pension point of view, they will not start contributing till quite late either.
  • brendan16brendan16 Posts: 903
    edited February 25
    Pulpstar said:

    brendan16 said:

    These university lecturers would have done better to have become tube drivers.

    Transport for London's scheme is still final salary, still uprates benefits by RPI, allows retirement at 60 without actuarial reduction and has a contribution rate of only 5 per cent of salary with an employer contribution topping it up of over 30 per cent. And it has a huge deficit as well.

    http://content.tfl.gov.uk/tfl-pension-fund-member-guide.pdf

    And it can't be changed unless pension scheme members approve it - because its legally a private not a public sector pension scheme even though TfL is a monopoly entirely funded by taxes and fares.

    Just shows the power of some unions over others.

    You have to think how the country would be if every working person was on such a scheme...
    Just think How much lower tube fares might be in London if TfLs scheme was reformed? For every £1 they pay in salaries another 30p goes into the pension scheme.

    On your general point - we would soon go bankrupt!
  • FF43FF43 Posts: 6,773
    Sandpit said:

    Very good Alistair, and for PB to have people posting headers on subjects in their specific area of expertise.

    One thread where we can all keep away from the Brexit wars?

    Agreed. Very interesting header. Actually pensions are central to Brexit, not least because people with, they presume, copper bottomed pensions, and who don't think they need to pay for Brexit, were a big constituency for Leave, while those that worry where the.money is coming from largely voted Remain.

    Ummm.
  • rottenboroughrottenborough Posts: 14,804
    Alastair, how do you view these comments from Prof. Michael Otsuka concerning the valuation of USS? Perhaps things are not all they seem:


    "the frightening and volatile reports of the level of the deficit between valuations are based on a fundamentally different and less reliable “gilts plus” method for estimating investment returns on the assets in the scheme. Between valuations, changes in the market yield on gilts are solely responsible for any changes in the discount rate that USS employs.

    If USS’s portfolio were invested almost entirely in gilts and other assets that behave like gilts, it would make sense for their discount rate to track the gilt yield. But only 17% of USS’s portfolio consists of gilts, and a majority is invested in return-seeking assets such as equity and property whose performance do not track the gilt yield. Therefore, investment returns on such a diversified portfolio will not track the gilt yield, nor will they exhibit the volatility of changes in the gilt yield."


    https://medium.com/@mikeotsuka/alarming-deterioration-in-uss-funding-is-based-on-an-incoherent-valuation-methodology-3f0a0cc07229#.7wxpsyixd

    [my bolding]
  • rottenboroughrottenborough Posts: 14,804
    ...and this from Warwick:

    http://blogs.warwick.ac.uk/dennisleech/

    "First, the [USS] scheme is not in deficit in the ordinarily meaning of the term."
  • TomsToms Posts: 1,536
    edited February 25
    Here's an unworldly sort of query:
    If the USS pension changes do go through how would that affect those who've already retired?
    I guess traditionally you wouldn't expect any changes there, but the this is pensions we are talking about, a notorious topic from R. Maxwell to the present.
  • PongPong Posts: 4,693
    edited February 25
    Deleted
  • bigjohnowlsbigjohnowls Posts: 9,857
    Pulpstar said:

    They need to get on DC like the rest of us. Except those in gilded public sector retirement. But there isn't the money for that.

    Why dont you work for the Public Sector if the employment package is so attractive.
  • rottenboroughrottenborough Posts: 14,804
    Another USS issue is that we are not talking about all universities. Post-92 unis (i.e. the old polys) are in the local government pension system, which is a pay as it goes system iirc.

    i.e. those in work today are paying contributions which are paid out to today's retirees.
  • rottenboroughrottenborough Posts: 14,804
    Toms said:

    Here's an unworldly sort of query:
    If the USS pension changes do go through how would that affect those who've already retired?
    I guess traditionally you wouldn't expect any changes there, but the this is pensions we are talking about, a notorious topic from R. Maxwell to the present.

    The law says that existing accrued benefits have to be paid. Pensioners will continue to get their money.

    iirc if it all goes utterly wrong and is bankrupt then pensions rescue scheme will pay something like 90%.
  • rottenboroughrottenborough Posts: 14,804
    Before USS and UKU are allowed to do this, there should be more clarity as to whether the reasons are genuine.
  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 19,974
    Foxy said:

    Glad I have my pension sorted. The next generation are being screwed.

    Yeah. By *your* generation. ;)
  • Pulpstar said:

    They need to get on DC like the rest of us. Except those in gilded public sector retirement. But there isn't the money for that.

    Why dont you work for the Public Sector if the employment package is so attractive.
    BJO, if you were designing public sector employment from scratch, would you make it low pay/higher pension, or, to the same overall cost to the taxpayer, average pay/average pension?
  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 19,974
    Thanks for an interesting threader, Alastair. I hadn't been following the strikes or the reasons behind it, so it's good to get this sort of viewpoint.
  • chrisbchrisb Posts: 93

    Alastair, how do you view these comments from Prof. Michael Otsuka concerning the valuation of USS? Perhaps things are not all they seem:


    "the frightening and volatile reports of the level of the deficit between valuations are based on a fundamentally different and less reliable “gilts plus” method for estimating investment returns on the assets in the scheme. Between valuations, changes in the market yield on gilts are solely responsible for any changes in the discount rate that USS employs.

    If USS’s portfolio were invested almost entirely in gilts and other assets that behave like gilts, it would make sense for their discount rate to track the gilt yield. But only 17% of USS’s portfolio consists of gilts, and a majority is invested in return-seeking assets such as equity and property whose performance do not track the gilt yield. Therefore, investment returns on such a diversified portfolio will not track the gilt yield, nor will they exhibit the volatility of changes in the gilt yield."


    https://medium.com/@mikeotsuka/alarming-deterioration-in-uss-funding-is-based-on-an-incoherent-valuation-methodology-3f0a0cc07229#.7wxpsyixd

    [my bolding]


    Messrs Otsuka and Lech are right. The deficits are mostly phantom in nature, arising out of the dodgy accounting required by the actuaries and accounting standards setters. Quoting deficit figures of £6bn or £12bn and focusing on those to the exclusion of everything else is entirely unhelpful and will lead to poor outcomes for everyone.

    What matters is whether the USS scheme can continue to meet its pension liabilities into the future. In 2017, the scheme received £1.5bn in investment income (i.e. excluding capital gains), £1.9bn from the university employers, and £0.2bn from staff members, for a total cash income of £3.6bn.

    It paid out £1.8bn in benefits (in the form of pensions) and costs. So in cash terms, its pension payments were twice covered by its income, a very healthy state of affairs that is likely to last long into the future.

    In that context, closing the defined benefit scheme because of phantom deficits is completely misguided.
  • IanB2IanB2 Posts: 9,885
    Pension deficits are of course inflated by the liabilities being discounted at what are (*probably*) abnormally low interest rates. If rates return toward their long-run average, things might look very different.
  • TomsToms Posts: 1,536

    Toms said:

    Here's an unworldly sort of query:
    If the USS pension changes do go through how would that affect those who've already retired?
    I guess traditionally you wouldn't expect any changes there, but the this is pensions we are talking about, a notorious topic from R. Maxwell to the present.

    The law says that existing accrued benefits have to be paid. Pensioners will continue to get their money.

    iirc if it all goes utterly wrong and is bankrupt then pensions rescue scheme will pay something like 90%.
    Thank you. Like Dr Foxy says, it's the next generation "what (gets) takes the (blame) rap".
  • chrisb said:

    Alastair, how do you view these comments from Prof. Michael Otsuka concerning the valuation of USS? Perhaps things are not all they seem:


    "the frightening and volatile reports of the level of the deficit between valuations are based on a fundamentally different and less reliable “gilts plus” method for estimating investment returns on the assets in the scheme. Between valuations, changes in the market yield on gilts are solely responsible for any changes in the discount rate that USS employs.

    If USS’s portfolio were invested almost entirely in gilts and other assets that behave like gilts, it would make sense for their discount rate to track the gilt yield. But only 17% of USS’s portfolio consists of gilts, and a majority is invested in return-seeking assets such as equity and property whose performance do not track the gilt yield. Therefore, investment returns on such a diversified portfolio will not track the gilt yield, nor will they exhibit the volatility of changes in the gilt yield."


    https://medium.com/@mikeotsuka/alarming-deterioration-in-uss-funding-is-based-on-an-incoherent-valuation-methodology-3f0a0cc07229#.7wxpsyixd

    [my bolding]


    Messrs Otsuka and Lech are right. The deficits are mostly phantom in nature, arising out of the dodgy accounting required by the actuaries and accounting standards setters. Quoting deficit figures of £6bn or £12bn and focusing on those to the exclusion of everything else is entirely unhelpful and will lead to poor outcomes for everyone.

    What matters is whether the USS scheme can continue to meet its pension liabilities into the future. In 2017, the scheme received £1.5bn in investment income (i.e. excluding capital gains), £1.9bn from the university employers, and £0.2bn from staff members, for a total cash income of £3.6bn.

    It paid out £1.8bn in benefits (in the form of pensions) and costs. So in cash terms, its pension payments were twice covered by its income, a very healthy state of affairs that is likely to last long into the future.

    In that context, closing the defined benefit scheme because of phantom deficits is completely misguided.
    Current cash in v current cash out is the basis for a Ponzi scheme.

    Pension deficits are valued the way they are because schemes move into gilts to account for retiring members. Therefore the fund is £6bn off where it would need to be to fund existing members. It must out-perform the gilt market, year on year, to close the £6bn gap.







  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 19,974

    Pulpstar said:

    They need to get on DC like the rest of us. Except those in gilded public sector retirement. But there isn't the money for that.

    Why dont you work for the Public Sector if the employment package is so attractive.
    Because some of us have real work to do.

    Ahem. Well, not me, obviously ... ;)
  • FrancisUrquhartFrancisUrquhart Posts: 28,325
    edited February 25

    Sandpit said:

    The average academic is on a bit less than £50,000 a year sfaict so leaving the lurid headlines about VC fat cats to one side, this is not a vastly featherbedded sector. Even professors earn less than the Prime Minister.

    Erm, the average academic is on almost double the average salary, and the old fashioned idea that someone can work for 30 years then retire on 2/3 of their final salary for another 30 years is completely bonkers for those who have to sign the cheques.
    Yes that is true but what is the starting age for lecturers? BSc at 21, PhD at 24. couple of years as a post-doc ... I can't get very worked up about them being overpaid because it is not obvious that they are. Of course from the pension point of view, they will not start contributing till quite late either.
    Older than that now. 3 year degree, 1 year masters, 4-5 year PhD, 2-3 post-doc, 2-3 year casual contract.

    The problem is actually that for some subjects, £50k a year for somebody of that level of expertise is very low, for others it is a significantly more than what they would get elsewhere.

    For example, somebody from a top UK university with BSc, MSc, PhD, and 2-3 years of post-doc say in machine learning could easily end up working with a big tech firm or a bank on £150k+ a year pretty much straight away. Somebody with that in history of art on the other hand.
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 18,149
    IanB2 said:

    Pension deficits are of course inflated by the liabilities being discounted at what are (*probably*) abnormally low interest rates. If rates return toward their long-run average, things might look very different.

    Yes. Perhaps the best thing that can possibly happen for the economy in general, for pensions and concerns about housing, is for interest rates to get off the floor. The transition might be painful, but a return to something approaching long term normal interest rates of 3-4% is desperately needed.
  • Nice to see the AntiFrank of old escape the attic for once. Really interesting thread header.
  • YorkcityYorkcity Posts: 3,245

    Pulpstar said:

    They need to get on DC like the rest of us. Except those in gilded public sector retirement. But there isn't the money for that.

    Why dont you work for the Public Sector if the employment package is so attractive.
    Because he might have to meet the general UK public.
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 18,149

    chrisb said:

    Alastair, how do you view these comments from Prof. Michael Otsuka concerning the valuation of USS? Perhaps things are not all they seem:

    If USS’s portfolio were invested almost entirely in gilts and other assets that behave like gilts, it would make sense for their discount rate to track the gilt yield. But only 17% of USS’s portfolio consists of gilts, and a majority is invested in return-seeking assets such as equity and property whose performance do not track the gilt yield. Therefore, investment returns on such a diversified portfolio will not track the gilt yield, nor will they exhibit the volatility of changes in the gilt yield."


    https://medium.com/@mikeotsuka/alarming-deterioration-in-uss-funding-is-based-on-an-incoherent-valuation-methodology-3f0a0cc07229#.7wxpsyixd

    [my bolding]


    Messrs Otsuka and Lech are right. The deficits are mostly phantom in nature, arising out of the dodgy accounting required by the actuaries and accounting standards setters. Quoting deficit figures of £6bn or £12bn and focusing on those to the exclusion of everything else is entirely unhelpful and will lead to poor outcomes for everyone.

    What matters is whether the USS scheme can continue to meet its pension liabilities into the future. In 2017, the scheme received £1.5bn in investment income (i.e. excluding capital gains), £1.9bn from the university employers, and £0.2bn from staff members, for a total cash income of £3.6bn.

    It paid out £1.8bn in benefits (in the form of pensions) and costs. So in cash terms, its pension payments were twice covered by its income, a very healthy state of affairs that is likely to last long into the future.

    In that context, closing the defined benefit scheme because of phantom deficits is completely misguided.
    Current cash in v current cash out is the basis for a Ponzi scheme.

    Pension deficits are valued the way they are because schemes move into gilts to account for retiring members. Therefore the fund is £6bn off where it would need to be to fund existing members. It must out-perform the gilt market, year on year, to close the £6bn gap.
    But current cash in v current cash out is how the civil service and a lot of public pension schemes have always operated. To change it now means taking huge payments from the current workers to fund the retirees.

    British Airways are about to have more retired pilots than current pilots. The vast majority of the retired pilots will be higher rate taxpayers for life.
  • Well that was a very expensive uhhhhmmm drip session,

    Samir Nasri set for six-month ban following drip treatment in 2016 - lawyer says

    http://www.bbc.com/sport/football/43189672
  • Sandpit said:

    chrisb said:

    Alastair, how do you view these comments from Prof. Michael Otsuka concerning the valuation of USS? Perhaps things are not all they seem:

    If USS’s portfolio were invested almost entirely in gilts and other assets that behave like gilts, it would make sense for their discount rate to track the gilt yield. But only 17% of USS’s portfolio consists of gilts, and a majority is invested in return-seeking assets such as equity and property whose performance do not track the gilt yield. Therefore, investment returns on such a diversified portfolio will not track the gilt yield, nor will they exhibit the volatility of changes in the gilt yield."


    https://medium.com/@mikeotsuka/alarming-deterioration-in-uss-funding-is-based-on-an-incoherent-valuation-methodology-3f0a0cc07229#.7wxpsyixd

    [my bolding]


    Messrs Otsuka and Lech are right. The deficits are mostly phantom in nature, arising out of the dodgy accounting required by the actuaries and accounting standards setters. Quoting deficit figures of £6bn or £12bn and focusing on those to the exclusion of everything else is entirely unhelpful and will lead to poor outcomes for everyone.

    What matters is whether the USS scheme can continue to meet its pension liabilities into the future. In 2017, the scheme received £1.5bn in investment income (i.e. excluding capital gains), £1.9bn from the university employers, and £0.2bn from staff members, for a total cash income of £3.6bn.

    It paid out £1.8bn in benefits (in the form of pensions) and costs. So in cash terms, its pension payments were twice covered by its income, a very healthy state of affairs that is likely to last long into the future.

    In that context, closing the defined benefit scheme because of phantom deficits is completely misguided.
    Current cash in v current cash out is the basis for a Ponzi scheme.

    Pension deficits are valued the way they are because schemes move into gilts to account for retiring members. Therefore the fund is £6bn off where it would need to be to fund existing members. It must out-perform the gilt market, year on year, to close the £6bn gap.
    But current cash in v current cash out is how the civil service and a lot of public pension schemes have always operated. To change it now means taking huge payments from the current workers to fund the retirees.

    British Airways are about to have more retired pilots than current pilots. The vast majority of the retired pilots will be higher rate taxpayers for life.
    That's just another way of saying that public sector pensions are running at substantial deficits.

    The civil service is adjusting its rules for new members to help close that gap, and rightly so.


  • The Telegraph is an absolute mess these days.
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 41,640
    Ironic that the students opposing this change will almost certainly be on defined contribution, money purchase schemes especially if they go to work in the private sector and not the final salary, defined benefit pension schemes their lecturers currently benefit from


  • The Telegraph is an absolute mess these days.

    The headline is a mess.

    The actual article is about two steps short of that, i.e. slightly more sane. The writer effectively prefers carrots to sticks, voluntary action over compulsion
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 18,149

    Well that was a very expensive uhhhhmmm drip session,

    Samir Nasri set for six-month ban following drip treatment in 2016 - lawyer says

    http://www.bbc.com/sport/football/43189672

    Lol, first sportsman to be banned after posting about his drug taking on Twitter?
  • Sandpit said:

    Well that was a very expensive uhhhhmmm drip session,

    Samir Nasri set for six-month ban following drip treatment in 2016 - lawyer says

    http://www.bbc.com/sport/football/43189672

    Lol, first sportsman to be banned after posting about his drug taking on Twitter?
    Who says footballers aren't the sharpest tools in the box.
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 18,149
    edited February 25

    ttps://twitter.com/forgetcape/status/967682934441377793

    The Telegraph is an absolute mess these days.

    The Telegraph is a mess these days, but to be fair to them that’s an opinion piece rather than an editorial.
  • YorkcityYorkcity Posts: 3,245
    Sandpit said:

    chrisb said:

    Alastair, how do you view these comments from Prof. Michael Otsuka concerning the valuation of USS? Perhaps things are not all they seem:

    If USS’s portfolio were invested almost entirely in gilts and other assets that behave like gilts, it would make sense for their discount rate to track the gilt yield. But only 17% of USS’s portfolio consists of gilts, and a majority is invested in return-seeking assets such as equity and property whose performance do not track the gilt yield. Therefore, investment returns on such a diversified portfolio will not track the gilt yield, nor will they exhibit the volatility of changes in the gilt yield."


    https://medium.com/@mikeotsuka/alarming-deterioration-in-uss-funding-is-based-on-an-incoherent-valuation-methodology-3f0a0cc07229#.7wxpsyixd

    [my bolding]


    Messrs Otsuka and Lech are right. The deficits are mostly phantom in nature, arising out of the dodgy accounting required by the actuaries and accounting standards setters. Quoting deficit figures of £6bn or £12bn and focusing on those to the exclusion of everything else is entirely unhelpful and will lead to poor outcomes for everyone.

    What matters is whether the USS scheme can continue to meet its pension liabilities into the future. In 2017, the scheme received £1.5bn in investment income (i.e. excluding capital gains), £1.9bn from the university employers, and £0.2bn from staff members, for a total cash income of £3.6bn.

    It paid out £1.8bn in benefits (in the form of pensions) and costs. So in cash terms, its pension payments were twice covered by its income, a very healthy state of affairs that is likely to last long into the future.

    In that context, closing the defined benefit scheme because of phantom deficits is completely misguided.
    Current cash in v current cash out is the basis for a Ponzi scheme.

    Pension deficits are valued the way they are because schemes move into gilts to account for retiring members. Therefore the fund is £6bn off where it would need to be to fund existing members. It must out-perform the gilt market, year on year, to close the £6bn gap.
    But current cash in v current cash out is how the civil service and a lot of public pension schemes have always operated. To change it now means taking huge payments from the current workers to fund the retirees.

    British Airways are about to have more retired pilots than current pilots. The vast majority of the retired pilots will be higher rate taxpayers for life.
    True current cash in v current cash out for pensions like the Police is problematic.Especially when they could retire after 30 years, so at the age of 48, if joined at 18.
  • bigjohnowlsbigjohnowls Posts: 9,857

    Pulpstar said:

    They need to get on DC like the rest of us. Except those in gilded public sector retirement. But there isn't the money for that.

    Why dont you work for the Public Sector if the employment package is so attractive.
    BJO, if you were designing public sector employment from scratch, would you make it low pay/higher pension, or, to the same overall cost to the taxpayer, average pay/average pension?
    The former was the model i chose after Uni. I only wanted to work for 30 years knew many public sector employers were paying a bit less but knew if i paid 15% of salary (the pension then minimum of 6% plus a voluntary top up of 9%) I would be able to retire in my mid 50s (with a big Actuarial reduction compared to MPA of 60}

    As it turns out it was a good plan. I didnt expect the private sector pension schemes to get worse and worse so quickly .

    I retired at 54 on about 2/3rds of what i would have got at 60 if i had stayed which was a good job as we had 3yrs of good holidays before Mrs BJ became permanently paralysed.

    The other thing i hadn't totally realised is that my state pension will be over £30 a week less on current numbers compared to someone on a private scheme forever.

    Although actually now i am a carer that £30 a week gap is erroding. I understand someone who has been unemployed all their life get NI Contributions paid so they get the £30 more full state pension.

    Overall my age group is relatively lucky compared to the young. Public Sector schemes are based on average salary now and my minimum contribution would be treble in % terms compared to what it was 40 years ago.

    In fairness none of us know what the future holds and my plans for life after work have been shattered because of Mrs BJs health and thoroughly shit life she now has.
  • chrisbchrisb Posts: 93

    chrisb said:

    Messrs Otsuka and Lech are right. The deficits are mostly phantom in nature, arising out of the dodgy accounting required by the actuaries and accounting standards setters. Quoting deficit figures of £6bn or £12bn and focusing on those to the exclusion of everything else is entirely unhelpful and will lead to poor outcomes for everyone.

    What matters is whether the USS scheme can continue to meet its pension liabilities into the future. In 2017, the scheme received £1.5bn in investment income (i.e. excluding capital gains), £1.9bn from the university employers, and £0.2bn from staff members, for a total cash income of £3.6bn.

    It paid out £1.8bn in benefits (in the form of pensions) and costs. So in cash terms, its pension payments were twice covered by its income, a very healthy state of affairs that is likely to last long into the future.

    In that context, closing the defined benefit scheme because of phantom deficits is completely misguided.
    Current cash in v current cash out is the basis for a Ponzi scheme.

    Pension deficits are valued the way they are because schemes move into gilts to account for retiring members. Therefore the fund is £6bn off where it would need to be to fund existing members. It must out-perform the gilt market, year on year, to close the £6bn gap.

    By definition, pension schemes operate over demographic (i.e. very long) timescales. Conjuring up a figure for the present value of pension liabilities, which in reality will be paid out over a period of many decades into the future, is pointless. All the more so given the dodgy accounting assumptions that are used to come up with the present value.

    The fund is £6bn off where it would need to be only if all future pension liabilities were crystallised and suddenly became payable today. That is so far from the reality of the situation that it makes no sense to think in such terms.

    For a long term, stable scheme, where retiring/dying members are continually being replaced
    (possibly into perpetuity) by new members coming in, looking at the scheme's cashflow makes perfect sense and comparisons to a ponzi scheme are not appropriate.
  • bigjohnowlsbigjohnowls Posts: 9,857

    Pulpstar said:

    They need to get on DC like the rest of us. Except those in gilded public sector retirement. But there isn't the money for that.

    Why dont you work for the Public Sector if the employment package is so attractive.
    BJO, if you were designing public sector employment from scratch, would you make it low pay/higher pension, or, to the same overall cost to the taxpayer, average pay/average pension?
    Probably the latter going forward but see my other more personal response.
  • The_ApocalypseThe_Apocalypse Posts: 7,080
    edited February 25
    Sandpit said:

    ttps://twitter.com/forgetcape/status/967682934441377793

    The Telegraph is an absolute mess these days.

    The Telegraph is a mess these days, but to be fair to them that’s an opinion piece rather than an editorial.
    WhiteRabbit was saying the article isn’t as bad as the headline (a point I fully accept) but tbh years ago even the Telegraph’s opinion pieces were better than this.
  • bigjohnowlsbigjohnowls Posts: 9,857

    Pulpstar said:

    They need to get on DC like the rest of us. Except those in gilded public sector retirement. But there isn't the money for that.

    Why dont you work for the Public Sector if the employment package is so attractive.
    Because some of us have real work to do.

    Ahem. Well, not me, obviously ... ;)
    If only those Doctors and Nurses had some real work to do ... ;)
  • chrisb said:

    chrisb said:

    Messrs Otsuka and Lech are right. The deficits are mostly phantom in nature, arising out of the dodgy accounting required by the actuaries and accounting standards setters. Quoting deficit figures of £6bn or £12bn and focusing on those to the exclusion of everything else is entirely unhelpful and will lead to poor outcomes for everyone.

    What matters is whether the USS scheme can continue to meet its pension liabilities into the future. In 2017, the scheme received £1.5bn in investment income (i.e. excluding capital gains), £1.9bn from the university employers, and £0.2bn from staff members, for a total cash income of £3.6bn.

    In that context, closing the defined benefit scheme because of phantom deficits is completely misguided.
    Current cash in v current cash out is the basis for a Ponzi scheme.

    Pension deficits are valued the way they are because schemes move into gilts to account for retiring members. Therefore the fund is £6bn off where it would need to be to fund existing members. It must out-perform the gilt market, year on year, to close the £6bn gap.

    By definition, pension schemes operate over demographic (i.e. very long) timescales. Conjuring up a figure for the present value of pension liabilities, which in reality will be paid out over a period of many decades into the future, is pointless. All the more so given the dodgy accounting assumptions that are used to come up with the present value.

    The fund is £6bn off where it would need to be only if all future pension liabilities were crystallised and suddenly became payable today. That is so far from the reality of the situation that it makes no sense to think in such terms.

    For a long term, stable scheme, where retiring/dying members are continually being replaced
    (possibly into perpetuity) by new members coming in, looking at the scheme's cashflow makes perfect sense and comparisons to a ponzi scheme are not appropriate.
    It's not nonsense at all.

    The present value of investments already reflects their future earning potential.

    If you are confident for example that gilt yields will be higher in ten years, then the pension fund should not be in equities let alone bonds. It should be in gilt options and futures.

    Except the fund isn't and therefore they aren't. A fund cannot know which horses to back today. It has a degree of time on its side, which is helpful, and it can expect to outperform gilts by a margin

    But that does not make a pension deficit "nonsense". A fund has to be closely monitored and well managed.
  • John_MJohn_M Posts: 6,466

    Sandpit said:

    ttps://twitter.com/forgetcape/status/967682934441377793

    The Telegraph is an absolute mess these days.

    The Telegraph is a mess these days, but to be fair to them that’s an opinion piece rather than an editorial.
    WhiteRabbit was saying the article isn’t as bad as the headline (a point I fully accept) but tbh years ago even the Telegraph’s opinion pieces were better than this.
    The Telegraph is a shadow of its former self. Its digital editor has freely admitted that it writes little more than clickbait and listicles.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 20,367
    Final Salary Pensions by their nature are inordinately complicated. You are trying to work out how much money you need to invest now, how much it will grow by and whether that will be sufficient to buy the entitlements that the members have. Oh, and you also need to have a guess as to when they will on average retire and how long they will live.

    The result of these complications (plus of course the urgent need for actuaries to be very well paid indeed) mean that there are a large number of different ways that a fund can be valued with very different results. I am one of the trustees for a pension scheme. It is a closed scheme in that the staff were switched to DC some years ago now but there are still accrued rights. According to our actuary we are in the very happy position of having a fund that is 103% funded. According to FRS102 we have a deficit of something like £3m, approximately 10%. This sum now requires to be on the balance sheet of the service company that employs or employed the members of the scheme and it makes that company absolutely insolvent.

    So which is right? 103% or £3m deficit? Who know? They are both just mathematical guesses of how things might end up, one more obviously cautious than the other. What is clear to me is that this is not just a problem for the USS. These deficits, which may or may not exist, are so large that they put enormous pressure on companies that have or more likely had DB schemes. They are having macroeconomic effects reducing investment and dividend payouts and also growth.

    Having different valuations for different purposes really makes no sense at all. Most of these deficits were created by the collapse of gilt rates after 2008. If gilts returned to more "normal" levels of 3-4% the deficits would largely disappear but I have been hearing expectations of that for as long as I have been a trustee and you begin to wonder if this is the new normal that we have to adjust to. The surpluses of 20 years ago were based upon assumptions of growth of the underlying assets that look wildly optimistic now but the crisis in pensions has been caused by many governments, including ours, rigging their gilt markets so that they can borrow absurdly cheaply, whether by QE or otherwise. There is no such thing as a free lunch.
  • YorkcityYorkcity Posts: 3,245

    Pulpstar said:

    They need to get on DC like the rest of us. Except those in gilded public sector retirement. But there isn't the money for that.

    Why dont you work for the Public Sector if the employment package is so attractive.
    BJO, if you were designing public sector employment from scratch, would you make it low pay/higher pension, or, to the same overall cost to the taxpayer, average pay/average pension?
    The former was the model i chose after Uni. I only wanted to work for 30 years knew many public sector employers were paying a bit less but knew if i paid 15% of salary (the pension then minimum of 6% plus a voluntary top up of 9%) I would be able to retire in my mid 50s (with a big Actuarial reduction compared to MPA of 60}

    As it turns out it was a good plan. I didnt expect the private sector pension schemes to get worse and worse so quickly .

    I retired at 54 on about 2/3rds of what i would have got at 60 if i had stayed which was a good job as we had 3yrs of good holidays before Mrs BJ became permanently paralysed.

    The other thing i hadn't totally realised is that my state pension will be over £30 a week less on current numbers compared to someone on a private scheme forever.

    Although actually now i am a carer that £30 a week gap is erroding. I understand someone who has been unemployed all their life get NI Contributions paid so they get the £30 more full state pension.

    Overall my age group is relatively lucky compared to the young. Public Sector schemes are based on average salary now and my minimum contribution would be treble in % terms compared to what it was 40 years ago.

    In fairness none of us know what the future holds and my plans for life after work have been shattered because of Mrs BJs health and thoroughly shit life she now has.
    Very true BJo , none of know what the future holds .My daughter had to give up work to look after her severely disabled daughter.She gets carers allowance of £62 a week plus her nat ins credit.So will get a state pension.All the best to you and your family.
  • John_M said:

    Sandpit said:

    ttps://twitter.com/forgetcape/status/967682934441377793

    The Telegraph is an absolute mess these days.

    The Telegraph is a mess these days, but to be fair to them that’s an opinion piece rather than an editorial.
    WhiteRabbit was saying the article isn’t as bad as the headline (a point I fully accept) but tbh years ago even the Telegraph’s opinion pieces were better than this.
    The Telegraph is a shadow of its former self. Its digital editor has freely admitted that it writes little more than clickbait and listicles.
    It is very sad how far it has fallen. Other papers might be worse but they didn't fall from such heights.

    As far as proper newspapers are concerned the only ones worth reading these days are the Times and the Guardian.
  • O/T - now PP have redesigned their site, is there a way of getting their "rules"?

    They have a market "WILL TRUMP BE IMPEACHED IN HIS FIRST TERM?" which used to have the subtitle (House of Representatives to successfully vote to impeach" or words to that effect, but they are gone. Are they hiding somewhere?
  • viewcodeviewcode Posts: 5,162

    For example, somebody from a top UK university with BSc, MSc, PhD, and 2-3 years of post-doc say in machine learning could easily end up working with a big tech firm or a bank on £150k+ a year pretty much straight away. Somebody with that in history of art on the other hand.

    Right, hold my beer... :)

    Somebody with a BSc, MSc, PhD and 2-3 years of post-doc in machine learning would be in their late 20s/early 30s, will have learned C++/Java in school, and will have recently transitioned to R and probably won't have Python.

    Whereas somebody with just a BSc and MSc will be in their early 20's, will have been coding in R and Python for most of their career and will accept jobs around the 30-40K outside London and 40-50K in London.

    You get old fast in this business and can get outbid very quickly.

    Over the past 18-24 months both the UK Government and Scottish Government have been throwing money into Data Mining/Machine Learning and there's going to be quite a few bright young Tillys emerging blinking into the employment worlds and will walk into 40-50K jobs. Which is great (and at that age is damn good) but it's not the hookers-and-coke level salaries you describe.

  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 20,367
    chrisb said:

    Alastair, how do you view these comments from Prof. Michael Otsuka concerning the valuation of USS? Perhaps things are not all they seem:


    "the frightening and volatile reports of the level of the deficit between valuations are based on a fundamentally different and less reliable “gilts plus” method for estimating investment returns on the assets in the scheme. Between valuations, changes in the market yield on gilts are solely responsible for any changes in the discount rate that USS employs.

    If USS’s portfolio were invested almost entirely in gilts and other assets that behave like gilts, it would make sense for their discount rate to track the gilt yield. But only 17% of USS’s portfolio consists of gilts, and a majority is invested in return-seeking assets such as equity and property whose performance do not track the gilt yield. Therefore, investment returns on such a diversified portfolio will not track the gilt yield, nor will they exhibit the volatility of changes in the gilt yield."


    https://medium.com/@mikeotsuka/alarming-deterioration-in-uss-funding-is-based-on-an-incoherent-valuation-methodology-3f0a0cc07229#.7wxpsyixd

    [my bolding]


    Messrs Otsuka and Lech are right. The deficits are mostly phantom in nature, arising out of the dodgy accounting required by the actuaries and accounting standards setters. Quoting deficit figures of £6bn or £12bn and focusing on those to the exclusion of everything else is entirely unhelpful and will lead to poor outcomes for everyone.

    What matters is whether the USS scheme can continue to meet its pension liabilities into the future. In 2017, the scheme received £1.5bn in investment income (i.e. excluding capital gains), £1.9bn from the university employers, and £0.2bn from staff members, for a total cash income of £3.6bn.

    It paid out £1.8bn in benefits (in the form of pensions) and costs. So in cash terms, its pension payments were twice covered by its income, a very healthy state of affairs that is likely to last long into the future.

    In that context, closing the defined benefit scheme because of phantom deficits is completely misguided.
    I'm afraid that is nonsense. Using current contributions to pay past obligations is the very definition of a Ponzi Scheme. The point is that those making those contributions are acquiring rights and the question is whether the contributions plus those from the employer plus the expected returns on those sums match those rights.

    You can challenge the assumptions about investment returns, you can challenge the assumption about how long beneficiaries are going to live, you can trim at the edges in respect of widows rights, lump sum entitlements, death in service benefits etc but ultimately like must be matched with like.
  • bigjohnowlsbigjohnowls Posts: 9,857
    Yorkcity said:

    Pulpstar said:

    They need to get on DC like the rest of us. Except those in gilded public sector retirement. But there isn't the money for that.

    Why dont you work for the Public Sector if the employment package is so attractive.
    BJO, if you were designing public sector employment from scratch, would you make it low pay/higher pension, or, to the same overall cost to the taxpayer, average pay/average pension?
    The former was the model i chose after Uni. I only wanted to work for 30 years knew many public sector employers were paying a bit less but knew if i paid 15% of salary (the pension then minimum of 6% plus a voluntary top up of 9%) I would be able to retire in my mid 50s (with a big Actuarial reduction compared to MPA of 60}

    As it turns out it was a good plan. I didnt expect the private sector pension schemes to get worse and worse so quickly .

    I retired at 54 on about 2/3rds of what i would have got at 60 if i had stayed which was a good job as we had 3yrs of good holidays before Mrs BJ became permanently paralysed.

    The other thing i hadn't totally realised is that my state pension will be over £30 a week less on current numbers compared to someone on a private scheme forever.

    Although actually now i am a carer that £30 a week gap is erroding. I understand someone who has been unemployed all their life get NI Contributions paid so they get the £30 more full state pension.

    Overall my age group is relatively lucky compared to the young. Public Sector schemes are based on average salary now and my minimum contribution would be treble in % terms compared to what it was 40 years ago.

    In fairness none of us know what the future holds and my plans for life after work have been shattered because of Mrs BJs health and thoroughly shit life she now has.
    Very true BJo , none of know what the future holds .My daughter had to give up work to look after her severely disabled daughter.She gets carers allowance of £62 a week plus her nat ins credit.So will get a state pension.All the best to you and your family.
    Thanks.

    Same to your daughter and Grand daughter I feel so much for them at least my life only came to a grinding halt in my late fifties.

    Sounds like your daughters situation is even more tragic than ours.
  • rcs1000rcs1000 Posts: 22,412
    DavidL said:

    chrisb said:

    Alastair, how do you view these comments from Prof. Michael Otsuka concerning the valuation of USS? Perhaps things are not all they seem:


    "the frightening and volatile reports of the level of the deficit between valuations are based on a fundamentally different and less reliable “gilts plus” method for estimating investment returns on the assets in the scheme. Between valuations, changes in the market yield on gilts are solely responsible for any changes in the discount rate that USS employs.

    If USS’s portfolio were invested almost entirely in gilts and other assets that behave like gilts, it would make sense for their discount rate to track the gilt yield. But only 17% of USS’s portfolio consists of gilts, and a majority is invested in return-seeking assets such as equity and property whose performance do not track the gilt yield. Therefore, investment returns on such a diversified portfolio will not track the gilt yield, nor will they exhibit the volatility of changes in the gilt yield."


    https://medium.com/@mikeotsuka/alarming-deterioration-in-uss-funding-is-based-on-an-incoherent-valuation-methodology-3f0a0cc07229#.7wxpsyixd

    [my bolding]


    Messrs Otsuka and Lech are right. The deficits are mostly phantom in nature, arising out of the dodgy accounting required by the actuaries and accounting standards setters. Quoting deficit figures of £6bn or £12bn and focusing on those to the exclusion of everything else is entirely unhelpful and will lead to poor outcomes for everyone.

    What matters is whether the USS scheme can continue to meet its pension liabilities into the future. In 2017, the scheme received £1.5bn in investment income (i.e. excluding capital gains), £1.9bn from the university employers, and £0.2bn from staff members, for a total cash income of £3.6bn.

    It paid out £1.8bn in benefits (in the form of pensions) and costs. So in cash terms, its pension payments were twice covered by its income, a very healthy state of affairs that is likely to last long into the future.

    In that context, closing the defined benefit scheme because of phantom deficits is completely misguided.
    I'm afraid that is nonsense. Using current contributions to pay past obligations is the very definition of a Ponzi Scheme. The point is that those making those contributions are acquiring rights and the question is whether the contributions plus those from the employer plus the expected returns on those sums match those rights.

    You can challenge the assumptions about investment returns, you can challenge the assumption about how long beneficiaries are going to live, you can trim at the edges in respect of widows rights, lump sum entitlements, death in service benefits etc but ultimately like must be matched with like.
    +1
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 2,645
    edited February 25

    Foxy said:

    Glad I have my pension sorted. The next generation are being screwed.

    Yeah. By *your* generation. ;)
    Its a fair cop. A job for life, with good pension, no University debt and house prices affordable to a twenty-something look very good to Fox jr.

    NHS Superannuation has been very good, though now on career average earnings. The NHS has been a pretty crappy employer otherwise.
  • FrancisUrquhartFrancisUrquhart Posts: 28,325
    edited February 25
    viewcode said:

    For example, somebody from a top UK university with BSc, MSc, PhD, and 2-3 years of post-doc say in machine learning could easily end up working with a big tech firm or a bank on £150k+ a year pretty much straight away. Somebody with that in history of art on the other hand.

    Right, hold my beer... :)

    Somebody with a BSc, MSc, PhD and 2-3 years of post-doc in machine learning would be in their late 20s/early 30s, will have learned C++/Java in school, and will have recently transitioned to R and probably won't have Python.

    Whereas somebody with just a BSc and MSc will be in their early 20's, will have been coding in R and Python for most of their career and will accept jobs around the 30-40K outside London and 40-50K in London.

    You get old fast in this business and can get outbid very quickly.

    Over the past 18-24 months both the UK Government and Scottish Government have been throwing money into Data Mining/Machine Learning and there's going to be quite a few bright young Tillys emerging blinking into the employment worlds and will walk into 40-50K jobs. Which is great (and at that age is damn good) but it's not the hookers-and-coke level salaries you describe.

    a) If somebody who has just completed a post-doc in ML isn't able to code in Python, I would wonder what the hell they have been doing the past few years. Python + Tensorflow is the defacto standard now as a starting point for investigating the vast majority of ML tasks in academia.

    b) I wasn't saying they will get £150k as soon as they leave. Although, I personally know of a number of people who have gone to work for the big boys on that kind of money.

    c) Those will the kind of background I describe aren't simply looking for work in the UK

    d) Evidence...

    "typical AI specialists, including both Ph.D.s fresh out of school and people with less education and just a few years of experience, can be paid from $300,000 to $500,000 a year or more in salary and company stock."

    https://news.slashdot.org/story/17/10/24/0644254/tech-giants-are-paying-huge-salaries-for-scarce-ai-talent

    [S]killed cloud and backend developers, as well as those who work in emerging technologies including Internet of Things, machine learning and augmented/virtual reality can make more money than frontend web and mobile developers whose skills have become more commoditized... The top 10 percent of salary earners in AR who live in North America earn a median salary of $219,000

    https://it.slashdot.org/story/17/04/03/0416223/salary-comparing-survey-identifies-top-paid-developers-discovers-north-america-pays-better
  • bigjohnowlsbigjohnowls Posts: 9,857
    Using current contributions to pay past obligations is the very definition of a Ponzi Scheme

    True yet that is also the basis of the State Pension.

    I really think the Triple Lock has to go but without cross party support will it??
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 20,367
    This wanting Arsenal to win something is a really weird feeling. And its not got any better with that goal.
  • Using current contributions to pay past obligations is the very definition of a Ponzi Scheme

    True yet that is also the basis of the State Pension.

    I really think the Triple Lock has to go but without cross party support will it??

    It is a Ponzi scheme with the advantage that by law everyone must take part in it. Plus, if they really had to, we could cut the accrued rights of members.
  • not_on_firenot_on_fire Posts: 2,255
    viewcode said:

    For example, somebody from a top UK university with BSc, MSc, PhD, and 2-3 years of post-doc say in machine learning could easily end up working with a big tech firm or a bank on £150k+ a year pretty much straight away. Somebody with that in history of art on the other hand.

    Right, hold my beer... :)

    Somebody with a BSc, MSc, PhD and 2-3 years of post-doc in machine learning would be in their late 20s/early 30s, will have learned C++/Java in school, and will have recently transitioned to R and probably won't have Python.

    Whereas somebody with just a BSc and MSc will be in their early 20's, will have been coding in R and Python for most of their career and will accept jobs around the 30-40K outside London and 40-50K in London.

    You get old fast in this business and can get outbid very quickly.

    Over the past 18-24 months both the UK Government and Scottish Government have been throwing money into Data Mining/Machine Learning and there's going to be quite a few bright young Tillys emerging blinking into the employment worlds and will walk into 40-50K jobs. Which is great (and at that age is damn good) but it's not the hookers-and-coke level salaries you describe.

    I find it very hard to believe that someone with multiple academic machine learning qualifications won’t know Python. It’s almost become the standard ML language (R is better for stats stuff)
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 20,367

    Using current contributions to pay past obligations is the very definition of a Ponzi Scheme

    True yet that is also the basis of the State Pension.

    I really think the Triple Lock has to go but without cross party support will it??

    It can perhaps be afforded if the age of retirement goes up at least as fast as life expectancy. My actuary recently gave us the cheerful news that life expectancy is going up more slowly than previously thought. He also told us that we had had some unexpected claims benefits, which we eventually worked out meant some poor sods had died earlier than expected. Actuaries are weird.

    Really sorry to hear about your troubles. I very much hope things improve for Mrs BJO.
  • Pulpstar said:

    They need to get on DC like the rest of us. Except those in gilded public sector retirement. But there isn't the money for that.

    Why dont you work for the Public Sector if the employment package is so attractive.
    BJO, if you were designing public sector employment from scratch, would you make it low pay/higher pension, or, to the same overall cost to the taxpayer, average pay/average pension?
    The former was the model i chose after Uni. I only wanted to work for 30 years knew many public sector employers were paying a bit less but knew if i paid 15% of salary (the pension then minimum of 6% plus a voluntary top up of 9%) I would be able to retire in my mid 50s (with a big Actuarial reduction compared to MPA of 60}

    As it turns out it was a good plan. I didnt expect the private sector pension schemes to get worse and worse so quickly .

    I retired at 54 on about 2/3rds of what i would have got at 60 if i had stayed which was a good job as we had 3yrs of good holidays before Mrs BJ became permanently paralysed.

    The other thing i hadn't totally realised is that my state pension will be over £30 a week less on current numbers compared to someone on a private scheme forever.

    Although actually now i am a carer that £30 a week gap is erroding. I understand someone who has been unemployed all their life get NI Contributions paid so they get the £30 more full state pension.

    Overall my age group is relatively lucky compared to the young. Public Sector schemes are based on average salary now and my minimum contribution would be treble in % terms compared to what it was 40 years ago.

    In fairness none of us know what the future holds and my plans for life after work have been shattered because of Mrs BJs health and thoroughly shit life she now has.
    I am so sorry that you and your wife have suffered such a traumatic event so soon after you retired. I just wish you both great happiness in the years to come. (And I think you agree that a few early nights help as we get older)
  • bigjohnowlsbigjohnowls Posts: 9,857

    Pulpstar said:

    They need to get on DC like the rest of us. Except those in gilded public sector retirement. But there isn't the money for that.

    Why dont you work for the Public Sector if the employment package is so attractive.
    BJO, if you were designing public sector employment from scratch, would you make it low pay/higher pension, or, to the same overall cost to the taxpayer, average pay/average pension?
    The former was the model i chose after Uni. I only wanted to work for 30 years knew many public sector employers were paying a bit less but knew if i paid 15% of salary (the pension then minimum of 6% plus a voluntary top up of 9%) I would be able to retire in my mid 50s (with a big Actuarial reduction compared to MPA of 60}

    As it turns out it was a good plan. I didnt expect the private sector pension schemes to get worse and worse so quickly .

    I retired at 54 on about 2/3rds of what i would have got at 60 if i had stayed which was a good job as we had 3yrs of good holidays before Mrs BJ became permanently paralysed.

    The other thing i hadn't totally realised is that my state pension will be over £30 a week less on current numbers compared to someone on a private scheme forever.

    Although actually now i am a carer that £30 a week gap is erroding. I understand someone who has been unemployed all their life get NI Contributions paid so they get the £30 more full state pension.

    Overall my age group is relatively lucky compared to the young. Public Sector schemes are based on average salary now and my minimum contribution would be treble in % terms compared to what it was 40 years ago.

    In fairness none of us know what the future holds and my plans for life after work have been shattered because of Mrs BJs health and thoroughly shit life she now has.
    I am so sorry that you and your wife have suffered such a traumatic event so soon after you retired. I just wish you both great happiness in the years to come. (And I think you agree that a few early nights help as we get older)
    xx

    Mrs BJ gets put to bed at 8

    So I can be over after that!!!
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 2,645

    Using current contributions to pay past obligations is the very definition of a Ponzi Scheme

    True yet that is also the basis of the State Pension.

    I really think the Triple Lock has to go but without cross party support will it??

    It is a Ponzi scheme with the advantage that by law everyone must take part in it. Plus, if they really had to, we could cut the accrued rights of members.
    Surely the distinguishing feature of a Ponzi scheme is that it requires an ever expanding participation in order to survive. A pension scheme without a fund can remain viable as long as income meets expenditure, it doesn't need to be expansile.
  • rcs1000rcs1000 Posts: 22,412
    viewcode said:

    For example, somebody from a top UK university with BSc, MSc, PhD, and 2-3 years of post-doc say in machine learning could easily end up working with a big tech firm or a bank on £150k+ a year pretty much straight away. Somebody with that in history of art on the other hand.

    Right, hold my beer... :)

    Somebody with a BSc, MSc, PhD and 2-3 years of post-doc in machine learning would be in their late 20s/early 30s, will have learned C++/Java in school, and will have recently transitioned to R and probably won't have Python.

    Whereas somebody with just a BSc and MSc will be in their early 20's, will have been coding in R and Python for most of their career and will accept jobs around the 30-40K outside London and 40-50K in London.

    You get old fast in this business and can get outbid very quickly.

    Over the past 18-24 months both the UK Government and Scottish Government have been throwing money into Data Mining/Machine Learning and there's going to be quite a few bright young Tillys emerging blinking into the employment worlds and will walk into 40-50K jobs. Which is great (and at that age is damn good) but it's not the hookers-and-coke level salaries you describe.

    I would be extremely surprised if said person had managed to avoid Python in the last decade.

    And even if they had, then - given their existing skillset - they could pick up Python in a couple of hours.

  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 18,149
    viewcode said:

    For example, somebody from a top UK university with BSc, MSc, PhD, and 2-3 years of post-doc say in machine learning could easily end up working with a big tech firm or a bank on £150k+ a year pretty much straight away. Somebody with that in history of art on the other hand.

    Right, hold my beer... :)

    Somebody with a BSc, MSc, PhD and 2-3 years of post-doc in machine learning would be in their late 20s/early 30s, will have learned C++/Java in school, and will have recently transitioned to R and probably won't have Python.

    Whereas somebody with just a BSc and MSc will be in their early 20's, will have been coding in R and Python for most of their career and will accept jobs around the 30-40K outside London and 40-50K in London.

    You get old fast in this business and can get outbid very quickly.

    Over the past 18-24 months both the UK Government and Scottish Government have been throwing money into Data Mining/Machine Learning and there's going to be quite a few bright young Tillys emerging blinking into the employment worlds and will walk into 40-50K jobs. Which is great (and at that age is damn good) but it's not the hookers-and-coke level salaries you describe.
    Silicon Valley are paying the coke-and-hookers salaries to PhDs though. Especially to those who have researched AI
  • Big_G_NorthWalesBig_G_NorthWales Posts: 13,675
    edited February 25

    Pulpstar said:

    They need to get on DC like the rest of us. Except those in gilded public sector retirement. But there isn't the money for that.

    Why dont you work for the Public Sector if the employment package is so attractive.
    BJO, if you were designing public sector employment from scratch, would you make it low pay/higher pension, or, to the same overall cost to the taxpayer, average pay/average pension?
    The former was the model i chose after Uni. I only wanted to work for 30 years knew many public sector employers were paying a bit less but knew if i paid 15% of salary (the pension then minimum of 6% plus a voluntary top up of 9%) I would be able to retire in my mid 50s (with a big Actuarial reduction compared to MPA of 60}

    As it turns out it was a good plan. I didnt expect the private sector pension schemes to get worse and worse so quickly .

    I retired at 54 on about 2/3rds of what i would have got at 60 if i had stayed which was a good job as we had 3yrs of good holidays before Mrs BJ became permanently paralysed.

    The other thing i hadn't totally realised is that my state pension will be over £30 a week less on current numbers compared to someone on a private scheme forever.

    Although actually now i am a carer that £30 a week gap is erroding. I understand someone who has been unemployed all their life get NI Contributions paid so they get the £30 more full state pension.

    Overall my age group is relatively lucky compared to the young. Public Sector schemes are based on average salary now and my minimum contribution would be treble in % terms compared to what it was 40 years ago.

    In fairness none of us know what the future holds and my plans for life after work have been shattered because of Mrs BJs health and thoroughly shit life she now has.
    I am so sorry that you and your wife have suffered such a traumatic event so soon after you retired. I just wish you both great happiness in the years to come. (And I think you agree that a few early nights help as we get older)
    xx

    Mrs BJ gets put to bed at 8

    So I can be over after that!!!
    Good to have a sense of humour
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 20,367
    Foxy said:

    Using current contributions to pay past obligations is the very definition of a Ponzi Scheme

    True yet that is also the basis of the State Pension.

    I really think the Triple Lock has to go but without cross party support will it??

    It is a Ponzi scheme with the advantage that by law everyone must take part in it. Plus, if they really had to, we could cut the accrued rights of members.
    Surely the distinguishing feature of a Ponzi scheme is that it requires an ever expanding participation in order to survive. A pension scheme without a fund can remain viable as long as income meets expenditure, it doesn't need to be expansile.
    It still depends on ratios. And they have been moving in the wrong direction with more pensioners being supported by fewer workers. We have better demographics than most western European countries but it is still a problem. So you have to fix the numbers by reducing the entitlements by putting up the age at which people qualify. Steven Webb did some sterling work in this area.
  • Sandpit said:

    viewcode said:

    For example, somebody from a top UK university with BSc, MSc, PhD, and 2-3 years of post-doc say in machine learning could easily end up working with a big tech firm or a bank on £150k+ a year pretty much straight away. Somebody with that in history of art on the other hand.

    Right, hold my beer... :)

    Somebody with a BSc, MSc, PhD and 2-3 years of post-doc in machine learning would be in their late 20s/early 30s, will have learned C++/Java in school, and will have recently transitioned to R and probably won't have Python.

    Whereas somebody with just a BSc and MSc will be in their early 20's, will have been coding in R and Python for most of their career and will accept jobs around the 30-40K outside London and 40-50K in London.

    You get old fast in this business and can get outbid very quickly.

    Over the past 18-24 months both the UK Government and Scottish Government have been throwing money into Data Mining/Machine Learning and there's going to be quite a few bright young Tillys emerging blinking into the employment worlds and will walk into 40-50K jobs. Which is great (and at that age is damn good) but it's not the hookers-and-coke level salaries you describe.
    Silicon Valley are paying the coke-and-hookers salaries to PhDs though. Especially to those who have researched AI
    The only problem is that the house prices and cost of living are so high, they can't afford the hookers...
  • bigjohnowlsbigjohnowls Posts: 9,857
    DavidL said:

    Using current contributions to pay past obligations is the very definition of a Ponzi Scheme

    True yet that is also the basis of the State Pension.

    I really think the Triple Lock has to go but without cross party support will it??

    It can perhaps be afforded if the age of retirement goes up at least as fast as life expectancy. My actuary recently gave us the cheerful news that life expectancy is going up more slowly than previously thought. He also told us that we had had some unexpected claims benefits, which we eventually worked out meant some poor sods had died earlier than expected. Actuaries are weird.

    Really sorry to hear about your troubles. I very much hope things improve for Mrs BJO.
    Thanks David

    If you were forced to make a guesstimate what age would you predict my youngest daughter (age 22) would get a state pension.

    She is working on never and hoping to save circa 0.5m in todays money in next 40 years.
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 2,645

    Pulpstar said:

    They need to get on DC like the rest of us. Except those in gilded public sector retirement. But there isn't the money for that.

    Why dont you work for the Public Sector if the employment package is so attractive.
    BJO, if you were designing public sector employment from scratch, would you make it low pay/higher pension, or, to the same overall cost to the taxpayer, average pay/average pension?
    The former was the model i chose after Uni. I only wanted to work for 30 years knew many public sector employers were paying a bit less but knew if i paid 15% of salary (the pension then minimum of 6% plus a voluntary top up of 9%) I would be able to retire in my mid 50s (with a big Actuarial reduction compared to MPA of 60}

    As it turns out it was a good plan. I didnt expect the private sector pension schemes to get worse and worse so quickly .

    I retired at 54 on about 2/3rds of what i would have got at 60 if i had stayed which was a good job as we had 3yrs of good holidays before Mrs BJ became permanently paralysed.

    The other thing i hadn't totally realised is that my state pension will be over £30 a week less on current numbers compared to someone on a private scheme forever.

    Although actually now i am a carer that £30 a week gap is erroding. I understand someone who has been unemployed all their life get NI Contributions paid so they get the £30 more full state pension.

    Overall my age group is relatively lucky compared to the young. Public Sector schemes are based on average salary now and my minimum contribution would be treble in % terms compared to what it was 40 years ago.

    In fairness none of us know what the future holds and my plans for life after work have been shattered because of Mrs BJs health and thoroughly shit life she now has.
    I am so sorry that you and your wife have suffered such a traumatic event so soon after you retired. I just wish you both great happiness in the years to come. (And I think you agree that a few early nights help as we get older)
    Yes, none of us knows what is round the corner. It is why the Welfare State matters, most of us are only a few steps from needing it for us or our loved ones.
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 18,149
    rcs1000 said:

    viewcode said:

    For example, somebody from a top UK university with BSc, MSc, PhD, and 2-3 years of post-doc say in machine learning could easily end up working with a big tech firm or a bank on £150k+ a year pretty much straight away. Somebody with that in history of art on the other hand.

    Right, hold my beer... :)

    Somebody with a BSc, MSc, PhD and 2-3 years of post-doc in machine learning would be in their late 20s/early 30s, will have learned C++/Java in school, and will have recently transitioned to R and probably won't have Python.

    Whereas somebody with just a BSc and MSc will be in their early 20's, will have been coding in R and Python for most of their career and will accept jobs around the 30-40K outside London and 40-50K in London.

    You get old fast in this business and can get outbid very quickly.

    Over the past 18-24 months both the UK Government and Scottish Government have been throwing money into Data Mining/Machine Learning and there's going to be quite a few bright young Tillys emerging blinking into the employment worlds and will walk into 40-50K jobs. Which is great (and at that age is damn good) but it's not the hookers-and-coke level salaries you describe.

    I would be extremely surprised if said person had managed to avoid Python in the last decade.

    And even if they had, then - given their existing skillset - they could pick up Python in a couple of hours.

    Would you, by chance, know of an easy way to get Python anywhere?
  • Sandpit said:

    rcs1000 said:

    viewcode said:

    For example, somebody from a top UK university with BSc, MSc, PhD, and 2-3 years of post-doc say in machine learning could easily end up working with a big tech firm or a bank on £150k+ a year pretty much straight away. Somebody with that in history of art on the other hand.

    Right, hold my beer... :)

    Somebody with a BSc, MSc, PhD and 2-3 years of post-doc in machine learning would be in their late 20s/early 30s, will have learned C++/Java in school, and will have recently transitioned to R and probably won't have Python.

    Whereas somebody with just a BSc and MSc will be in their early 20's, will have been coding in R and Python for most of their career and will accept jobs around the 30-40K outside London and 40-50K in London.

    You get old fast in this business and can get outbid very quickly.

    Over the past 18-24 months both the UK Government and Scottish Government have been throwing money into Data Mining/Machine Learning and there's going to be quite a few bright young Tillys emerging blinking into the employment worlds and will walk into 40-50K jobs. Which is great (and at that age is damn good) but it's not the hookers-and-coke level salaries you describe.

    I would be extremely surprised if said person had managed to avoid Python in the last decade.

    And even if they had, then - given their existing skillset - they could pick up Python in a couple of hours.

    Would you, by chance, know of an easy way to get Python anywhere?
    What do you mean by get it anywhere?
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 20,367

    DavidL said:

    Using current contributions to pay past obligations is the very definition of a Ponzi Scheme

    True yet that is also the basis of the State Pension.

    I really think the Triple Lock has to go but without cross party support will it??

    It can perhaps be afforded if the age of retirement goes up at least as fast as life expectancy. My actuary recently gave us the cheerful news that life expectancy is going up more slowly than previously thought. He also told us that we had had some unexpected claims benefits, which we eventually worked out meant some poor sods had died earlier than expected. Actuaries are weird.

    Really sorry to hear about your troubles. I very much hope things improve for Mrs BJO.
    Thanks David

    If you were forced to make a guesstimate what age would you predict my youngest daughter (age 22) would get a state pension.

    She is working on never and hoping to save circa 0.5m in todays money in next 40 years.
    Hopefully, about 75. I say hopefully because that means that life expectancy has continued to improve and for her should be mid to high 80s. The key, as you know better than any of us, is not how long you live but how long you live with good health. If medicine can improve that doctors will be worth their fabulous pensions!
  • rcs1000rcs1000 Posts: 22,412
    Sandpit said:

    rcs1000 said:

    viewcode said:

    For example, somebody from a top UK university with BSc, MSc, PhD, and 2-3 years of post-doc say in machine learning could easily end up working with a big tech firm or a bank on £150k+ a year pretty much straight away. Somebody with that in history of art on the other hand.

    Right, hold my beer... :)

    Somebody with a BSc, MSc, PhD and 2-3 years of post-doc in machine learning would be in their late 20s/early 30s, will have learned C++/Java in school, and will have recently transitioned to R and probably won't have Python.

    Whereas somebody with just a BSc and MSc will be in their early 20's, will have been coding in R and Python for most of their career and will accept jobs around the 30-40K outside London and 40-50K in London.

    You get old fast in this business and can get outbid very quickly.

    Over the past 18-24 months both the UK Government and Scottish Government have been throwing money into Data Mining/Machine Learning and there's going to be quite a few bright young Tillys emerging blinking into the employment worlds and will walk into 40-50K jobs. Which is great (and at that age is damn good) but it's not the hookers-and-coke level salaries you describe.

    I would be extremely surprised if said person had managed to avoid Python in the last decade.

    And even if they had, then - given their existing skillset - they could pick up Python in a couple of hours.

    Would you, by chance, know of an easy way to get Python anywhere?
    By a remarkable coincidence, yes I do.

    :smile:
  • Foxy said:

    Using current contributions to pay past obligations is the very definition of a Ponzi Scheme

    True yet that is also the basis of the State Pension.

    I really think the Triple Lock has to go but without cross party support will it??

    It is a Ponzi scheme with the advantage that by law everyone must take part in it. Plus, if they really had to, we could cut the accrued rights of members.
    Surely the distinguishing feature of a Ponzi scheme is that it requires an ever expanding participation in order to survive. A pension scheme without a fund can remain viable as long as income meets expenditure, it doesn't need to be expansile.
    The stated reason for a cash in v cash out method is to stop the young from having to close the gap of the old.

    At best that means that the young pay up more than their forebears did, and break even on the necessary membership; or they pay what their forebears did and it is expansive.
  • viewcodeviewcode Posts: 5,162
    rcs1000 said:

    I would be extremely surprised if said person had managed to avoid Python in the last decade.

    And even if they had, then - given their existing skillset - they could pick up Python in a couple of hours.

    I wouldn't be surprised: there's quite a bit of individual inertia. However, you are right about picking it up quickly.
  • bigjohnowlsbigjohnowls Posts: 9,857
    Sandpit said:

    rcs1000 said:

    viewcode said:

    For example, somebody from a top UK university with BSc, MSc, PhD, and 2-3 years of post-doc say in machine learning could easily end up working with a big tech firm or a bank on £150k+ a year pretty much straight away. Somebody with that in history of art on the other hand.

    Right, hold my beer... :)

    Somebody with a BSc, MSc, PhD and 2-3 years of post-doc in machine learning would be in their late 20s/early 30s, will have learned C++/Java in school, and will have recently transitioned to R and probably won't have Python.

    Whereas somebody with just a BSc and MSc will be in their early 20's, will have been coding in R and Python for most of their career and will accept jobs around the 30-40K outside London and 40-50K in London.

    You get old fast in this business and can get outbid very quickly.

    Over the past 18-24 months both the UK Government and Scottish Government have been throwing money into Data Mining/Machine Learning and there's going to be quite a few bright young Tillys emerging blinking into the employment worlds and will walk into 40-50K jobs. Which is great (and at that age is damn good) but it's not the hookers-and-coke level salaries you describe.

    I would be extremely surprised if said person had managed to avoid Python in the last decade.

    And even if they had, then - given their existing skillset - they could pick up Python in a couple of hours.

    Would you, by chance, know of an easy way to get Python anywhere?
    youtube

    my favourite is the cheese shop
  • rcs1000rcs1000 Posts: 22,412
    Foxy said:

    Using current contributions to pay past obligations is the very definition of a Ponzi Scheme

    True yet that is also the basis of the State Pension.

    I really think the Triple Lock has to go but without cross party support will it??

    It is a Ponzi scheme with the advantage that by law everyone must take part in it. Plus, if they really had to, we could cut the accrued rights of members.
    Surely the distinguishing feature of a Ponzi scheme is that it requires an ever expanding participation in order to survive. A pension scheme without a fund can remain viable as long as income meets expenditure, it doesn't need to be expansile.
    Well, yes.

    The reason - I suspect - that ratios have remained healthy in the Universities scheme, is that our education sector has continued to expand. We have more academics than ever before paying into a scheme.

    Now imagine that the UK population becomes fixed at 65 million. That means that the number of people going to university will be falling going forward, as a consequence of our ageing society. This in turn means we'll need fewer academics. At the same time, rising life expectancies and the recent increase in the number of academics, means the number of people supported by this diminishing number of workers.

    If the number of academics falls by a half, while the number of retirees double (and the second of these is a near certainty), then that positive funding ratio disappears very quickly. (And with it the assets of the scheme.)
  • I know a simple solution to all of this....the pension fund should buy into the Venezulan CyptroCurrency, the Petro...would could possibly go wrong!
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 2,645
    DavidL said:

    Foxy said:

    Using current contributions to pay past obligations is the very definition of a Ponzi Scheme

    True yet that is also the basis of the State Pension.

    I really think the Triple Lock has to go but without cross party support will it??

    It is a Ponzi scheme with the advantage that by law everyone must take part in it. Plus, if they really had to, we could cut the accrued rights of members.
    Surely the distinguishing feature of a Ponzi scheme is that it requires an ever expanding participation in order to survive. A pension scheme without a fund can remain viable as long as income meets expenditure, it doesn't need to be expansile.
    It still depends on ratios. And they have been moving in the wrong direction with more pensioners being supported by fewer workers. We have better demographics than most western European countries but it is still a problem. So you have to fix the numbers by reducing the entitlements by putting up the age at which people qualify. Steven Webb did some sterling work in this area.
    Steve Webb was excellent, but while a Ponzi scheme is intrinsically fraudulent, a pension scheme just needs to strike a balance between contributions and liabilities. As indeed the universities are attempting.

    Many private schemes created their own problems by taking contribution holidays in the Eighties and Nineties.
  • John_MJohn_M Posts: 6,466

    DavidL said:

    Using current contributions to pay past obligations is the very definition of a Ponzi Scheme

    True yet that is also the basis of the State Pension.

    I really think the Triple Lock has to go but without cross party support will it??

    It can perhaps be afforded if the age of retirement goes up at least as fast as life expectancy. My actuary recently gave us the cheerful news that life expectancy is going up more slowly than previously thought. He also told us that we had had some unexpected claims benefits, which we eventually worked out meant some poor sods had died earlier than expected. Actuaries are weird.

    Really sorry to hear about your troubles. I very much hope things improve for Mrs BJO.
    Thanks David

    If you were forced to make a guesstimate what age would you predict my youngest daughter (age 22) would get a state pension.

    She is working on never and hoping to save circa 0.5m in todays money in next 40 years.
    Very sorry to hear about your wife John.

    FWIW, I just received my notice (it's still a long way off), 68 years, 8 months. I'm sure it'll go up further.

    There's a rising consensus that the inter-generational gap is morally wrong. My generation (I'm the last of the boomers), won on the swings and the roundabouts. Green has proposed an 'over 40 tax' for social care, the triple lock is daft, and I'd be delighted to see means testing for other pensioner freebies.
  • bigjohnowlsbigjohnowls Posts: 9,857

    I know a simple solution to all of this....the pension fund should buy into the Venezulan CyptroCurrency, the Petro...would could possibly go wrong!

    Express Headline surely
  • YorkcityYorkcity Posts: 3,245
    Foxy said:

    Pulpstar said:

    They need to get on DC like the rest of us. Except those in gilded public sector retirement. But there isn't the money for that.

    Why dont you work for the Public Sector if the employment package is so attractive.
    BJO, if you were designing public sector employment from scratch, would you make it low pay/higher pension, or, to the same overall cost to the taxpayer, average pay/average pension?
    The former was the model i chose after Uni. I only wanted to work for 30 years knew many public sector employers were paying a bit less but knew if i paid 15% of salary (the pension then minimum of 6% plus a voluntary top up of 9%) I would be able to retire in my mid 50s (with a big Actuarial reduction compared to MPA of 60}

    As it turns out it was a good plan. I didnt expect the private sector pension schemes to get worse and worse so quickly .

    I retired at 54 on about 2/3rds of what i would have got at 60 if i had stayed which was a good job as we had 3yrs of good holidays before Mrs BJ became permanently paralysed.

    The other thing i hadn't totally realised is that my state pension will be over £30 a week less on current numbers compared to someone on a private scheme forever.

    Although actually now i am a carer that £30 a week gap is erroding. I understand someone who has been unemployed all their life get NI Contributions paid so they get the £30 more full state pension.

    Overall my age group is relatively lucky compared to the young. Public Sector schemes are based on average salary now and my minimum contribution would be treble in % terms compared to what it was 40 years ago.

    In fairness none of us know what the future holds and my plans for life after work have been shattered because of Mrs BJs health and thoroughly shit life she now has.
    I am so sorry that you and your wife have suffered such a traumatic event so soon after you retired. I just wish you both great happiness in the years to come. (And I think you agree that a few early nights help as we get older)
    Yes, none of us knows what is round the corner. It is why the Welfare State matters, most of us are only a few steps from needing it for us or our loved ones.
    Well said , many people think they are in control , but in reality life can change in a moment.
  • MarqueeMarkMarqueeMark Posts: 17,799

    Sandpit said:

    rcs1000 said:

    viewcode said:

    For example, somebody from a top UK university with BSc, MSc, PhD, and 2-3 years of post-doc say in machine learning could easily end up working with a big tech firm or a bank on £150k+ a year pretty much straight away. Somebody with that in history of art on the other hand.

    Right, hold my beer... :)

    Somebody with a BSc, MSc, PhD and 2-3 years of post-doc in machine learning would be in their late 20s/early 30s, will have learned C++/Java in school, and will have recently transitioned to R and probably won't have Python.

    Whereas somebody with just a BSc and MSc will be in their early 20's, will have been coding in R and Python for most of their career and will accept jobs around the 30-40K outside London and 40-50K in London.

    You get old fast in this business and can get outbid very quickly.

    Over the past 18-24 months both the UK Government and Scottish Government have been throwing money into Data Mining/Machine Learning and there's going to be quite a few bright young Tillys emerging blinking into the employment worlds and will walk into 40-50K jobs. Which is great (and at that age is damn good) but it's not the hookers-and-coke level salaries you describe.

    I would be extremely surprised if said person had managed to avoid Python in the last decade.

    And even if they had, then - given their existing skillset - they could pick up Python in a couple of hours.

    Would you, by chance, know of an easy way to get Python anywhere?
    What do you mean by get it anywhere?
    Nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more....
  • RecidivistRecidivist Posts: 1,907

    John_M said:

    Sandpit said:

    ttps://twitter.com/forgetcape/status/967682934441377793

    The Telegraph is an absolute mess these days.

    The Telegraph is a mess these days, but to be fair to them that’s an opinion piece rather than an editorial.
    WhiteRabbit was saying the article isn’t as bad as the headline (a point I fully accept) but tbh years ago even the Telegraph’s opinion pieces were better than this.
    The Telegraph is a shadow of its former self. Its digital editor has freely admitted that it writes little more than clickbait and listicles.
    It is very sad how far it has fallen. Other papers might be worse but they didn't fall from such heights.

    As far as proper newspapers are concerned the only ones worth reading these days are the Times and the Guardian.
    Back in the seventies I could buy a Telegraph and be confident to have enough decent reading for a 2 hour train journey. I can't imagine ever buying it now.
  • RecidivistRecidivist Posts: 1,907
    Oh and still on the Telegraph, it used to have really good science coverage.
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 18,149
    John_M said:

    DavidL said:

    Using current contributions to pay past obligations is the very definition of a Ponzi Scheme

    True yet that is also the basis of the State Pension.

    I really think the Triple Lock has to go but without cross party support will it??

    It can perhaps be afforded if the age of retirement goes up at least as fast as life expectancy. My actuary recently gave us the cheerful news that life expectancy is going up more slowly than previously thought. He also told us that we had had some unexpected claims benefits, which we eventually worked out meant some poor sods had died earlier than expected. Actuaries are weird.

    Really sorry to hear about your troubles. I very much hope things improve for Mrs BJO.
    Thanks David

    If you were forced to make a guesstimate what age would you predict my youngest daughter (age 22) would get a state pension.

    She is working on never and hoping to save circa 0.5m in todays money in next 40 years.
    Very sorry to hear about your wife John.

    FWIW, I just received my notice (it's still a long way off), 68 years, 8 months. I'm sure it'll go up further.

    There's a rising consensus that the inter-generational gap is morally wrong. My generation (I'm the last of the boomers), won on the swings and the roundabouts. Green has proposed an 'over 40 tax' for social care, the triple lock is daft, and I'd be delighted to see means testing for other pensioner freebies.
    Except that an awful lot of the 40 year olds have only just married, and are thinking about school fees rather than pensions. Any solution needs to be focussed on the 60 year olds who just retired on 2/3 of their final salary.
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