The car is one of those places, like the loo, where you think about things. Yesterday I was overcome by thoughts about my pension. It hits me, from time to time, mostly followed by moments of anxiety as I see myself destitute and living in a box beneath the Pont du Gard.
Not now being married, and without a complimentary pension, I will be at the mercy of the State and the Lord only knows how much faith we can place at the foot of their impeccably polished jackboots.
So I thought I'd tarry on the internet and see if I couldn't find out how much I can expect to live on come the day I no longer have to set my alarm. I didn't, in fact, get any further than the Government Retirement site because they have a nifty calculator which allows you to get an inkling as to your situation based on certain facts from your professional past.
I filled in various fields indicating how long I had been employed, or in student jobs, and was asked how much I earned in 1991 and 1993. No interest in anything more recent. As I had been doing piecemeal work as a language teacher in 1991 and in the UK doing a PGDip in 1993, I was only earning miniscule amounts of money and thus barely registering on the pensions yardstick. I can't say I was that worried back then either - who is, at 30?
However, I was a tad disconcerted to go through the workings of the pensions calculator and end up with the princely sum of 103€ per year at age 60, finishing with 285€ fifteen years later. Unless prices come down dramatically I'm not sure how I'm going to live on that...
Well, I suppose I'll have to cross that bridge when I come to it and assume in the meantime that maybe I didn't do the form quite right...
For those interested, the CNAV have a site too which might ask more pertinent questions. It is best, however, to keep tabs on one's pension fund as mistakes creep in to official information on individuals and you can find yourself having to produce all earnings statements from the moment you took your first job doing a paper round for proof.
In this, as in so many situations, it is best never to throw anything away!