Eat, drink and be merry – for it will enhance your pension

Dec 18th, 2007 | By | Category: Personal Columns

I once heard a quote attributed to Dennis Skinner, the veteran radical English Member of Parliament, that everyone should read the Financial Times because those behind it didn’t tell each other lies (the words used were less polite).

The FT comes into our house once a week – it takes us a week to digest the Saturday edition – so it was Monday breakfast time before I reached the Money supplement (The FT having a ‘Money’ supplement seems, to me, as odd as if the Church Times had a ‘Church’ supplement). Anyway, deep within the Money supplement was news that the wages of sin is not only death, but an enhanced pension beforehand.

Unrepentant smokers, drinkers and indulgers will find great encouragement in Elaine Moore’s articles on 14th December and 15th December. Ms Moore writes on 14th December in a piece entitled Eat, drink and be better off,

Another mince pie? Top up of sherry? The season dedicated to over-indulgence is upon us.

The good news for those prone to suffering post-binge remorse is that although leading a gluttonous lifestyle is undoubtedly bad for your health, it could provide a boost for your annuity rates.

In case anyone should imagine that this was a momentary aberration brought on by an excess of Christmas good cheer, this is followed on 15th December with Unhealthy retirees to gain in annuity shake-up,

Smokers, obese people and anyone with an unhealthy lifestyle are set to benefit from higher pension payouts from next year.

There is logic in it. Life insurance premiums are higher because there is the possibility of an early payout. Correspondingly annuities, whereby you pay a lump sum for a regular income can also be higher, because they expect them to come to an earlier end.

If you were of an inclination to try to maximise your income, there would be a temptation to try to present yourself as smoking, drinking and overweight – even if you were a slim total abstainer.

Where the moral of the story is, I’m not sure.

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