Thursday 12 October 2023


Who would have thought it was so fucking complicated? Get to the required age then having your pension paid? Like for my mother's generation? No such luck.

My busiest days since waving a tearful farewell to work, have been filling in stupid forms and digging out decades-old payslips.

OK, it's partly my fault for not getting a job after leaving school and staying there until retirement. Or just staying in the UK. Both options would have made life simpler.

Brain Trawling and archive dredging for my work history, brought back so many memories. What was the name of that company when I had six pints of Mild at lunch? Or the one where I rarely went home without a couple of pints in the pub around the corner? Which one had the licensed bar in the canteen?

Then there was the one where I left two hours early most days so I could have a couple of beers in the pub before picking up the kids. So many happy memories.

And how could I forget my first job in Holland? After the interview, which must have gone pretty well, my putative boss asked: "Would you like lunch?"

I wasn't going to piss off my new boss. Or turn down a free meal. At a really nice restaurant, he kicked off with a kopstoot: a pils and a jenever. Which he continued to knock back during the meal. No way I was going to turn down this job. And I was right. Every company event was a huge pissup.

It's funny what you remember. The dates? No idea. I would use my CV for the information. But that's not 100% accurate. That's where the old payslips come in.

I thought searching beer sources could be boring. Compared to looking through financial stuff, it's like Disneyland on acid.


Matt said...

I'm 53 next month. I can claim my civil service pension at a reduced rate in two years, and at the full rate in seven, although it'll probably be another ten after that before I see my, by then no doubt paltry, state pension.

If you've got your National Insurance number, HMRC should still have a record of where you worked here (when I worked at Stockport social security office, a guy came in once who'd been abroad for years and wanted to claim benefits, but didn't know his National Insurance number - we managed to trace it and his records within the hour).

Anonymous said...

If it is any consolation my generation will have an even harder time with regard to retirement.

arnie moodenbaugh said...

Are you trying to dredge up prior employers in order to claim pensions from the companies? In the US Social Security (SSA) keeps good track of employment. My wife worked a short while for a company years ago which offered a "defined benefit" pension of its own. The SSA even kept track of that and, as she approached retirement age, notified her of its existence! She's receiving $63.38 a month from that employer now.

Professor Pie-Tin said...

It comes to us all eventually old sport.
Luckily and certainly not by planning on my part I have full state pensions from two separate countries, a 9% guaranteed annuity my old man insisted on me taking out with a private pension provider half a century ago, another wagon-load of euros tucked away in Malta that my dodgy Jewish accountant organised for me and assorted rental properties providing income.
The end result is endless free moolah at a time when I can barely manage half a dozen drinks in a good session and take two days to recover from it.
Why didn't I have all this sodding time and money when I needed it ?

Bribie G said...

Living in Australia I empathise with your current struggles. I unearthed a couple of surprises along the way. I suddenly remembered that when I joined the Civil Service in '69, and left in '74, I had actually accrued ten years benefits, not five.

One of the first things that happened on recruitment was the union reps explaining to newcomers that we were able to pay extra National Insurance which would benefit us in the future. I said "it's going to be 45 years till I get any benefits but what the heck, why not". So on emigrating to OZ in '77 I was effectively covered for my first five years in the Antipodes.

Forgot all about that for 45 years!! I think that particular scheme was one of the first things that Thatcher abolished.