Wednesday, June 12, 2013

We make a difference

A few days ago I posted a letter about "Getting the facts straight" where a Boomer explained that we have paid our way and that we will continue to contribute to society. There is research to back this up from England in a report written on Feb 28th by A. B. Velasco
A new report has shown that pensioners will provide society with £27 billion in unpaid work in just this year alone, up 2 billion from last year.
The unpaid work, which is essentially a gift to the UK, includes unpaid childcare for family members that would otherwise have to battle rising child care costs, and care for other members of the family that may be sick or disabled.
The figures come from the annual Retirement National report from insurers MGM Advantage.
Volunteering and community
Recent efforts by some lawmakers to keep pensioners from free bus passes and other cuts to benefits to ensure they “pay their fair share” are trumped by the MGM Advantage survey.
The research shows that in reality, pensioners are giving more than their fair share by contributing an average of 75 hours of unpaid work for charity each year and 73 hours volunteering in their community. This contributes £5.7 billion and £5.5 billion to the economy – for free – respectively.
In addition, pensioners and those approaching retirement give an average of 326 hours in childcare and care for other family members. It’s estimated that this service alone saves families a total of £15.5 billion.
These figures were calculated using average childcare charges and the minimum wage for volunteer and charity work.
Going ‘unnoticed’
Despite these vast contributions, Aston Goodey of MGM Advantage said that they appear to “go unnoticed by society, politicians and the media.” Goodey went on to say that many OAPs feel a “significant lack of respect” from the society to which they contribute so much.
In fact, 65 percent of pensioners said that they are treated poorly by politicians and the government, while 42 percent said that they feel poorly treated by society.
Because of this, campaigners are calling on the government to create a Minister for Retirement to ensure that pensioners are given a representative and voice in the government.
“The creation of a Minister for Retirement would ensure that the voice of the Retirement Nation is heard across Whitehall and would begin to address the issue that society and politicians treat them badly,” said Goodey.
The ‘Retirement Nation’ has worked for a lifetime, saved wealth in their personal pensions, and continues to influence and contribute to a society that largely marginalises them.
Simonne Gnessen, a contributor to this year’s Retirement Nation report, said: “Without debt, this group refuses to sit back and watch life pass them by.”
“We must not underestimate their power and influence, but at the same time, as a group, they need to make their voice heard and command more respect from society,” Gnessen continued

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