What is Ritchie talking about here?

Yes doctors are well paid. But very, very many of them wonder whether it is worth it as they get older. One reason their pension fund is so over-funded is their low life expectancy.

Doctors have a lower life span than the average population?

That\’s piffle.

Anyone capable of coming up with a construction in which Ritchie\’s statement is not piffle?

42 thoughts on “What is Ritchie talking about here?”

  1. My guess would be that Mrs M is copping the sharp end of some State inspired piece of bureaucratic paperwork nonsense that is causing her stress, and she is giving him a hard time, and this little rant is the result.

  2. What a fascinating post of Richtie’s: 3 paragraphs decrying the quite appalling working conditions that he claims exist at the moment – even leading to reduced life expentancy no less – and the final paragraph arguing against a future that hasn’t happenned. No he says, it must not, under any circumstances, be privatised – because that would be inhuman, put profit before peoples’ saftey and wellbeing etc.

    Interestingly, his description of the terrible working conditions his poor wife endures makes absolutely no mention of the outcomes of all this for patients. There in a nutshell is the best argument I have heard yet for privatisation.

  3. It’s worse than you think – the doctors pension pot isn’t oversubscribed it isn’t getting enough cash. Currently (as we were reminded daily by Richie’s pals) it runs a surplus but – from 2017 (this is from memory) it trips into deficit. Hence the pension reforms than made Richie’s wife’s colleagues go on strike and abandon patients.

  4. I think you will find that doctors, such as my wife, often kill themselves upon retiring in order to not be a burden on the State. It is because they are so compassionate towards other patients that they commit suicide.

    It is not because they have seen first hand the excellent care that the NHS provides and prefer the pine box treatment.

  5. I know half a dozen doctors socially, and they’re pretty pleased with their lots.

    ONS data seems to show they live on average a few years longer than (say) builders.


    However, you can become a builder at 16, and die in a fall from some scaffolding the next day, but you can’t become a quack before 25ish, which will skew the stats – not that the Telegraph mentions this.

    There’s a famous example of this in respect of orchestral conductors – they lived on average to be 80 or 90, when the average life expectancy was 50…

  6. I’ve just read his piece. He’s a barking mad loon.

    If the missus can’t hack being a doctor, she should get out and do something else.

    There’s nothing ‘compassionate’ about killing people because you’re too tired to treat them properly… it’s called manslaughter.

    It would be interesting to go to Downham market, look at the obits over the last three years, find out how many people died of reasonably preventable illness which was missed by their doctor, find out if their doctor was Mrs Murphy, and then advise the bereaved rellies of this column, which would seem to support some action against her.

  7. “Among both U.S. white and black men, physicians were, on average, older when they died, (73.0 years for white and 68.7 for black) than were lawyers (72.3 and 62.0), all examined professionals (70.9 and 65.3), and all men (70.3 and 63.6).”

    What, men who had already survived into their mid twenties when they chose their professions were living only into their early seventies? How old are those data?

  8. An ONS study on trends in longevity gives (as at 2006) an average life expectancy for medical practitioners of about 80 years.

  9. “One reason their pension fund is so over-funded is their low life expectancy”.

    How can a “pay as you go” pension scheme, which by its nature does not have”a fund” be “over funded”. Jings! One would expect a self professed expert not to be taken in by a clever accounting wheeze designed to show a “surplus” in in year contributions against in year outgoings, when in fact all the in year contributions and hence outgoings come from one source – the Health Budget!

  10. Richie’s wife is a quack?

    She can’t be a very good one or she would have diagnosed his narcissistic personality disorder and delusional disorder by now.

  11. I’ve been googling around and stumbled across a bunch of dimwits assuring each other that doctors live to an average of 58. Maybe Murphy is one such dimwit?

  12. highly paid people like to tell themselves their job is so burdensome they high pay barely compensates them SHOCKER

  13. dearieme, The mortality data was taken from 1984 until 1985. Another factor is that it will be mean age at death, not life expectancy. Life expectancy is a projection, and given health trends in the last 100 odd years, is always higher than the ages people are actually dying at. The given ages still seem low though.

  14. Doctors were once notorious for drinking themselves to death or overdosing on whatever was in the cabinet. I suspect the current generation doesn

  15. Doctors were once notorious for drinking themselves to death or overdosing on whatever was in the cabinet. I suspect the current generation doesn’t take the job quite so seriously and look after themselves a little better. Especially when they’ve all that lovely lolly in the pension pot.

  16. I’m confused. I thought Ritchie pays his wife to ‘work’ for him in some way?

    Or am I thinking of some other bloated scrotum?

  17. Ok, does this make sense (if not quite whatever point was being made)?

    Doctors, as they get older, look at their overstuffed pension pot, and think (quite rationally) “is it really worth carrying on working when I can just retire now on a perfectly adequate, if reduced, income?”

    I don’t think I have changed any factual assertions made. Btw, I have no idea if doctors’ pensions are overstuffed. But if he’s right, then we should pay them less so they have to keep working longer. Again, I don’t know if he’s right.

  18. Dave

    Murphys wife is the only other partner of Tax Research UK LLP.

    She takes a negligible profit presumably because she is a higher rate taxpayer, even though Ritchie couldn’t rely on the protection of limited liability without her contribution of providing a warm body to be registered as a partner at Companies House.

    She is avoiding tax.

  19. Excellent, Ritchie is now laying the groundwork for “pensions expert” to be added to his CV.

    I very much doubt he has a clue about the finer workings of pension scheme reserving or annuity pricing, for doctors or any other group. A few months ago he wrote a piece which exposed him as not even understanding the concept of discounted cashflows.

  20. Dearieme, what is a fucking bike, and where can I get one? Sounds better than a racing bike or a mountain bike.

  21. I suspect that what Ritchie means by an over funded pension fund is one which pays more in benefits than would be paid by a defined benefit plan with a value equal to the lifetime limit and therefore is subject to clawback taxation.

    He is setting up his stall for defending a large future tax grab through holding the lifetime limit fixed in nominal terms on the pretext that annuity rates are recovering (in case they ever do).

  22. The Thought Gang

    Murphy has criticised the private pension industry because the amount paid out in benefits is no more than the amount of tax relief that savers get (or ‘subsidy’ as he likes to call it).

    So he neglects to take into account the fact that the tax relief is all going to current savers, and the benefits are going to former savers. This is quite important, especially given that the closure of all the old DB schemes means that there are many more people saving into private schemes than are drawing from them.

    So.. here we see (ref Simon Cooke @5) him denying the funding reality of a public sector pension, whilst also being prone to wrongly ascribe that funding reality to private pensions.

    Idiot or evil? You decide.

  23. If Murphy thinks the pension pot is overstuffed I would be worried if I was a doctor. It is the work of a mere moment to brand them as kulaks is Murphy s world. Hide those pigs…

  24. Isn’t there something in Flan O’Brien about bicycles? Dearieme? Or are you some deracinated Englishman?

  25. Some doctors are directors of the company running their surgery too – when they retire they can sell on their share to another doctor, be brought out by the company buying back the share or simply get dividend income on top of pensions.

  26. …….Doctors in the old Soviet Union used to get the same pay as lorry drivers, which proves something or other, I am not sure what…….

    The Commies realised that when it came to killing people, road accidents and medical malpractice were just as good as each other

  27. His wife might not be so tired if she wasn’t moonlighting working for Murphy.

    And let’s remember, he says that she does provide real assistance to his business, otherwise her profit share wouldn’t be justified.

  28. Richard Murphy says: May 29 2013 at 10:20 am
    ‘The stats show doctors have a horrible habit of dying soon after retirement’

    Matt says: May 29 2013 at 2:32 pm

    ‘Can you supply a link to those stats, please, Richard ?’


    Richard Murphy says: May 29 2013 at 4:26 pm
    ‘No -I have to say I know them from reading them

  29. I’d guess that people in all walks of life have a horrible habit of dying soon after retirement, because one reason for retirement is ill health.

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