FNPF members paid for the ‘Part 1’ newspaper advertisement of Saturday August 13th 2011, and will have the privilege of paying for three more of these ads in the next 3 weeks. Next week’s waffle will be titled ‘What Pension Rate Is Sustainable’ – the answer to this how-long-is-a-piece-of-string question will surely be eagerly anticipated by all.

The incongruity of members paying for ads which directly contradict their best interest would be laughable were it not for the fact that today, for the first time, an FNPF ad makes it clear that pensions are for as long as the member lives. Gee – they finally got the message!

Unfortunately it has also taken upon itself the right to define precisely what ‘for as long as the member lives’ means; and has decided that ‘for as long as the member lives’ actually means ‘for as long as his/her contributions last’.
Today’s ad also states, ‘In 1999, the Pension Buffer contribution ceased.’ The members know that already. What they do not know is why did it cease –was the action legal ? why were they not consulted and where did that Buffer Fund money go? So far we have been given to understand that it just sort of dribbled away and is now simply ‘water under the bridge’.

Problem is, it seems we pensioners are also ‘water under the bridge’. It has been decided that 11% of us have outlived our use-by dates. The work we did and the contributions we made to society count for nought. Our experience and wisdom count for nought. The money that we saved, and the plans that we made for our later years, count for nought. At the stroke of a pen the lifestyle we worked for all our lives will be demolished, and that counts for nought.

When we chose to take a pension instead of a lump sum we were being far-sighted and wise. Naughty-naughty – how dare we be so clever as to work out that a pension beats a lump sum hands down? The FNPF ad says that we chose the unfair option. Their harping on about fairness is a blatant appeal to those who engage emotion before brain. Of course it is unfair – it always has been. That is life. The garbage collector will neither earn the salary nor save what a surgeon will: ergo, his pension will be smaller.

So, silver surfers, be it on our own heads! By making an unfair choice many years ago, and refusing to die 5 years after collecting our first payout, we have forced the FNPF to drastically cut our pensions!