Friday, May 27, 2016

If Japanese millennials think they will never retire, why are Sri Lankan millennials looking for a job with a retirement package as their first job?

It is merely my supposition, but Sri Lanka’s millennials, that is roughly those born between 1980 and 2000, or those between 16 and 36, who are looking for employment seem to be thinking about retirement benefits at the time of looking for their first job! I find this a truly strange phenomenon, which I can only blame their parents for, for giving them false ideas of employment and what they should be looking for.

If you check the link above you will see that in Japan, a developed country, and I would say with a disciplined labor force, almost 37% believe they will never be able to retire. Amazingly they are in touch with reality, whilst in Sri Lanka our youth are completely living an Alice in Wonderland existence, with false hopes, and expectations, that MUST have come from their parents, who are also not in touch with reality, due to successive Governments pandering to their psyche with the virtues of Govt. employment not only with a good pay check but also with a pension and be doled out by the politician they support!

Anyone with any knowledge of public finance will know that the Sri Lankan government HAS NOT made any provision anywhere for the unfunded pension liability of the state sector workers, which it is under obligation to pay. Why? We in the private company I am at, have to provide an estimate of superannuation payable to staff when they leave, in advance of the fact, (this is NOT tax deductible but affects profits) and more than that we pay 20% of the workers wages to EPF so that when they leave, they have a pot that builds up which they may use as a retirement fund if they so wish.

SO WHEN WE SAY UNFUNDED, we mean that the Government has made NO provision anywhere for future pension obligations. If in a few years the Govt. is unable to pay its way, the first thing they will be forced to do is to increase the retirement age so they can delay this pension liability. In reality they will have to raise it so high, say till 80, so in the end all workers will be dead and the Govt. will NOT be forced to make any pension payment at ALL.

That then is the reality. So it is best to advise all those millennials who seek employment in the state sector to do so at their peril, as the Govt. will NOT be able to afford to pay you a pension at any age, and so you will have to work till you die in the Govt. service. That is the reality, no matter how you want to coat it to the Millennials. It is better to be truthful, so this parents’ misconception of a Govt. job can be truly put to rest sooner rather than later for the sake of the Millenials.  

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