Pension – by Karen

30 Dec

With Tabitha seeming a little tardy and some time on my hands this morning, I thought I’d jump right in and post. Of course, I haven’t thought of something to actually write about on this week’s particularly baffling subject, “pension”. My first thought, of course, was probably one shared by many flighty dabblers on the cusp of Gens X and Y – oh my god I still haven’t done anything about my super.

You see, I have about eight superannuation accounts, some of which have substantial funds in them, none of which have my current address on file. I did once make an attempt to consolidate them into one randomly selected fund, laboriously compiling all my account numbers onto a form which I submitted with a huge sigh of relief. A couple of weeks later, the forms were returned to my Hong Kong address, with the addition of a stamp saying “received”, and no further clarification. I emailed the fund in perplexity and was told, “There was an error. Please resubmit the form.”

You can guess what happened next (if you’re any decent kind of flighty dabbler on the cusp of Gens X and Y). I lost the forms and forgot about the whole thing.

(Before anyone helpfully informs me, I do realise there is a website where you can track lost super. Last I checked, one of my funds has ended up there.)

Beth’s interpretation of the theme as “future plans” is a sensible one. I guess pension particularly refers to plans for the last quarter or so of your life. I haven’t given a huge deal of thought to this part of my life, but in the spirit of honesty, I will share that I had always thought it would be the best time to experiment with recreational opiates. Right towards the end though.

I’ve given a little bit more time to thoughts of what I want to do when my kids are grown up (probably I’ll be about 50 then, not quite ready to go out on opiates) and most of my thoughts have been travel related. I think that would be a  good stage of  life to split your time between two continents. To have a fairly stable home in two very different parts of the world, with relatively few immediate responsibilities grounding you to either. I’d also like to spend a fairly substantial amount of time in India, which I consider not the most child-friendly destination for a long holiday.

My final thought on “pension” is about “pension” as a form of accommodation. This term always confused me as a child when I saw it in books. I thought it must be a kind of hostel for old people, but kind of wondered what Lucy Honeychurch types were doing there.

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5 Responses to “Pension – by Karen”

  1. Beth January 1, 2012 at 11:27 am #

    Random comments:

    Ahhh, super consolidation… What an exciting prospect.

    My Dad has always said a similar thing about recreational opiates and old age – great minds…

    I once met a couple who lived in Europe and NZ in a half-half arrangement. They hadn’t been in a winter for 15 years. Strikes me as freakin’ awesome. The old greek couple down the road do it too.

    I love Lucy Honeychurch.

    That is all.

  2. Karen January 3, 2012 at 2:13 am #

    I decided to try again. So boring. Each fund requires a separate form, along with a separate copy of my passport and marriage certificate, each of which must be certified. I’ve got it all in an envelope. Won’t stay shut. Japanese novelty sticky tape you have no place in the world of superannuation.

    • Tabitha January 4, 2012 at 2:07 am #

      Did you really just pick one of the funds at random? This is the step preventing me from consolidating: I can’t be bothered researching which fund is best. “I can’t be bothered” is a phrase which features in most of my thoughts about finance, actually.

  3. Karen January 4, 2012 at 2:20 am #

    Completely at random. And now I know how sound that strategy was: the fund I picked randomly last time appears to have gone out of business.

    Seriously though, it will be easier to make a sensible choice later if you actually know where your funds are.

    • Beth January 4, 2012 at 6:43 am #

      I went with the one that I had the most money in. I found out after a year of working for the govt that the govt super fund users were getting more super $ than the rest of us, which has now been changed thankfully. There is a free service run by the NSW govt where you can call up and get advice about super. It’s really good, but not much good to any of you three at the moment 😦

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