French President Emmanuel Macron recently triggered Clause 49.3 of the French Constitution (applicable since 1958) to force a raising of the pension age from 62 to 64 without the consent of France’s parliament, the Assemblée Nationale. This is a form of governance otherwise known as dictatorship.
The likely reason why Macron has decided to risk so much political capital over such an unpopular and seemingly irrelevant policy is the role of retirement age to Agenda 2030 and the United Nations’ replacement migration policies.
In 2000, the Population Division of the United Nations’ Department of Economic and Social Affairs of published a document entitled Replacement Migration: Is it A Solution to Declining and Ageing Populations?. It set out a set of scenarios for the period down to 2050. It sought to address a purported ageing population crisis that will see a growing number of pensioners supported by a dwindling number of workers in developed countries.
The document sets out detailed proposals for mitigation of this bogeyman, in the form of drastically increasing the retirement age and vastly boosting migration from countries with young populations to countries with ageing populations. We have just seen this arbitrary UN policy impinging on Britain, too, after it was announced that the Government is considering delaying raising the pension age to 68 as a result of life expectancy falling during the pandemic period.
These arbitrary policies appear to be designed to incentivise countries to reduce life expectancy in place of the nurturing of families and protection of fertility. They encourage the erosion of retirement rights, to the benefit of the financial institutions and government finance. They are, moreover, a solution looking for a problem: they incentivise levels of migration at the national level to cause the outrage necessary for the UN to present global governance of migration as the answer, in line with Agenda 2030 target 10.7.
Source: UN DESA, 2000
Macron has been insisting that the retirement age rise to 64 only goes some of the way towards satisfying the UN’s extreme Scenario II, which demands that France raises its retirement age to 74 by 2050 if it fails to meet unachievable replacement migration targets. This sets up the false dialectic that if replacement migration is rejected, the retirement age must rise to unacceptable levels.
The UN is similarly demanding that the retirement age in the UK must rise to 72 by 2050 if replacement migration targets are not satisfied here. We have seen this play out over recent years, with the British Government using the Border Force and other organisations to facilitate small boat crossings of the English Channel, then quartering tens of thousands of undocumented migrants in hotels with full board at an annual cost of almost £2 billion. For the costs of the hotels alone, the climate change levy could be abolished, increasing British productivity so that we could instead fund family life and an ageing population.
As the policy of encouraging small boats has become a political hot potato, the Government has proposed steps to reduce illegal migration. It is, therefore, likely no coincidence that measures have been taken at the same time in the 2023 Spring Budget to encourage more pensioners to return to work, alongside removing barriers to investing more into pension funds. This is because the UN’s arbitrary replacement migration policies will require that any reduction of immigration levels must be responded to with enhanced erosion of retirement rights.
In the UK, we are in a much worse position than France. Our retirement age was 60 for women and 65 for men, rising to 65 in 1995—the very year that, in a remarkable coincidence, was the baseline date for the UN replacement migration projections. That age was then hiked to 66 by 2020 and is due to rise to 68 by 2028. However, we do see this ratcheting-up of pension age being reviewed in Whitehall. In light of what I surmise to be the Government’s success in reducing life expectancy during the pandemic, it is now proposing to delay raising the retirement age to 68, settling instead on 67 for the time being.
This cruel policy of forcing an increasing number of reluctant geriatrics into the workforce will inevitably fail to increase productivity, merely resulting in the theft of the pensions and retirement we have paid for. What we should instead be doing is demanding an urgent restoration of the pre-1995 retirement ages of 60 and 65, alongside the abolition of arbitrary UN replacement migration policies.
Causes of the pension crisis
This elaborate replacement migration policy blames the general public for the pension crisis that was, in fact, caused by a never-ending cycle of increasingly elaborate and exuberant government interventions in the market. All of this was facilitated by having an independent central bank that can print money without the consent of Parliament without limit, following the collapse of the discipline previously imposed by the gold standard.
We can trace this ill back to the founding of the Bank of England, but the most recent pensions crisis can be explained by the quantitative easing that followed the 2008 crash. In order to maintain asset values and keep borrowing costs low (including for governments themselves), governments instructed their central banks to conduct quantitative easing, to make unprecedented purchases of assets including government debt.
Pension funds tend to rely on government bonds. Government-issued debt instruments (known as gilts in the UK) are desirable because they are a safe form of long-term investment, since the governments of developed countries rarely default on their debt. They also—until 2008—provided pension funds with a steady flow of income to pay pensioners, owing to their interest-bearing nature, much like a savings account in a bank.
That was until quantitative easing, in an illustration of the proverb, "Be careful what you ask for; you just might get it." Governments started printing money (easing), to purchase bonds, etc., in order to keep interest rates low, to keep borrowing costs low (for themselves), and to protect asset prices.
As borrowing costs fell to record lows, so did the interest that pension funds received from the bonds that had heretofore been the pension fund workhorse; much as your personal bank account will have stopped paying any reasonable sum of money on your deposits. At the same time, the price of government bonds soared to record highs. This is because there is an inverse relationship between bond prices and their interest rates: as demand rises for bonds, with more purchases of them being made, bond prices increase. At the same time, interest rates on bonds fall.
With inadequate money now available to pay pensioners, as a result of interest rates collapsing to zero or negative figures, pension funds had to find a way to obtain replacement income to avoid defaulting on their obligations to their trustors. It just so happened that the very financial institutions that had just blown up the banks with mortgage-backed securities had the exact same solution to this crisis. Pension funds would use the inflated price of the zero-yielding bonds that they held as collateral to purchase packages of high-risk, high-yielding junk assets.
What goes up must come down. When interest rates started to rise towards the end of the Covid–19 pandemic, as a result of inflation caused by lockdown-induced supply chain collapse and war, the bonds held by pension funds collapsed in value. Striving to offset loss of earnings caused by quantitative easing, they found they no longer had the assets to back the investments they had made. Governments then stepped in with the very same solution as 2008: more quantitative easing for asset purchases, further eroding the value of our pensions and inflating away our standard of living.
These problems are compounded by social justice warriors intimidating—and, in some cases, governments coercing—pension funds to divest from politically incorrect but solid investments such as oil, gas and coal, with them instead being encouraged, and sometimes arm-twisted, to invest in low-yielding woke priorities: causes dependent on government subsidies and mandates, such as green energy.
This hapless state of affairs is illustrative of why we have a pensions crisis. It is not primarily caused by an ageing population or by us having the audacity to retire before we are too old to enjoy our retirement. All these things could be solved by technological advancements and by us having more children.
Replacement Migration Scenarios
Source: UN DESA, 2000
The UN’s replacement migration policies demand vastly increased levels of migration if the UN’s own absurd retirement age targets are not satisfied. It should be clear to any economist or mathematician that their methodology is as flawed as Professor Neil Ferguson’s Covid–19 infection models when they are forced to conclude (see image above) that South Korea, a country with a land mass less than half the size of UK’s, requires a population import of over six million to retain its 1995 ratio of working age to retired people.
Despite identifying plummeting fertility as the main cause of ageing populations, the document fails to identify any causes to the fertility crisis—and, instead of providing incentives to increase family size, its targets only serve to incentivise erosion of life expectancy and retirement rights. Also, the harnessing of the private sector and technology do not feature as a way to increase the productivity of a dwindling workforce.
Nor is there any attempt in the document to distinguish between skilled and unskilled migration; no recognition that excess flows of unskilled or even illiterate labour can reduce productivity, making it harder to support an aging population. The words skill and qualification do not feature at all in this 143-page document on migration. The word traffic doesn’t feature either, with no reference made to the problem of trafficked migrants often not paying taxes or contributing to pension funds, as a result of them being coerced into slavery; yet migration at anywhere near these levels would require a vast human smuggling operation.
Interventions to reduce life expectancy and legalise euthanasia are not discussed, for obvious reasons, but they are undoubtedly incentivised by replacement migration’s arbitrary targets. A connection between reduced life expectancy and a more generous retirement age has indeed been confirmed, because the UK Government recently announced that it may delay a hike of the retirement age to 68 in response to life expectancy falling during the pandemic.
In the conclusions for each country, Scenario V is set out as the preferred option. It seeks to maintain arbitrarily the 1995 ratio of working-age to retired-age people by any means, on the false premise that cramming more people in will result in pension funds being maintained. The numbers that this objective contrives are preposterous, with the UN calling for a British population of 136 million by 2050. For every one of the countries covered in the paper, Scenario V results in massive dilutions of native populations to way below 50%, causing rapid unprecedented cultural genocide.
These targets may not be met, but they allow the UN to criticise any amount of migration as being too low, so that it can call for endless volumes of migration, perpetual retirement age hikes and other population interventions. Meanwhile, the state of our pensions will continue to deteriorate if migration is not skills-based and if the BIS and other international bodies continue to subject pension funds to the arbitrary central planning of their investment strategies.
Agenda 2030, Target 10: "Reduce inequality within and among countries"
As with the previous overpopulation crisis that is now replaced by the ageing population crisis, we can expect to be herded into yet another revolution once the totem of replacement migration has run its course. More will be said about the coming “migrant crisis”, with victims of human trafficking becoming demonised and mistreated.
This “regrettable and unforeseen failure” of replacement migration will then be deployed, in a further false dialectic, to justify the implementation of Agenda 2030 Target 10.7, which calls on countries:
to facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies.
This means ceding the governance of national migration policies to the United Nations through the Hegelian dialectic of problem, reaction, solution.
The alleged cause that is invoked will be the failure of liberal democracies to control migration, prompting predictable calls for yet more of the arbitrary global governance that caused the problem in the first place. Amongst the measures will undoubtably be international digital identification, with proof of vaccination and health status being demanded at every turn, alongside persistent attempts to abolish the common-law right to medical confidentiality.
The overarching goal of Agenda 2030, Target 10, is to “reduce inequality within and among countries”. The UN then pretends that this socialist objective “can and should be achieved” via an extreme combination of “universal political, economic and social policies”, “to ensure a life of dignity for all”—such utopianism as could only be striven for by instituting dictatorship.
This brings us back to Macron’s despotic use of the French Constitution’s Clause 49.3. It should be a warning to us all that global governance is inconsistent with the liberal principles of democracy, common law and constitutionally limited government.
Main image: Toufik de Planoise, Wikimedia Commons | licence CC BY-SA 4.0