04 August 2010

More about means-testing of pensions

As I was deprived of a means of earning a living, I could not apply for income support (or 'social security'). So I was entirely dependent on building up capital and making gains on it (very hard work) to support myself, and work towards setting up an institutional environment for myself. So on reaching what they like to regard as retirement age, without having been able to start on my real adult career, I have savings built up which reduce my state pension to less than 75% of what it would be if I had sufficiently small savings outside of house ownership.

How could a person who had been deprived of an academic career have avoided this? Well, by accepting the social interpretation of one’s position and allowing them to medicate one into a zombie-like state, as did a certain Somerville graduate, by no means as exceptional as I was, but set on an academic career. (She was certainly no stupider than the average Oxford professor, and was clever enough to have learnt Polish on her own to a useful level.)

When thrown out of Somerville without a research scholarship (in history) she had about twenty jobs, each lasting no more than a fortnight (if I remember rightly). She then invoked the 'aid' of the social services, who diagnosed her, gave her a year’s resident psychiatric treatment, and released her to spend the rest of her life on the streets of Oxford, free from any need to support herself by 'earning a living', but also having surrendered the use of her own mind to the anaesthetising drugs provided by the NHS.

Her pension contributions were automatically paid for her. So she has presumably qualified for the full state pension, and it is unlikely that she had built up any capital, so she would not have lost over a quarter of it as I have done.

So you see one pays for one’s independence, and for even trying to increase it.