Quick question: How would you like it if your planned retirement funds were ripped from underneath you because the people managing your retirement decided they should be making political statements with your money?
Here’s a sad bit of news for the jolly season: CalPERS in all likelihood could have enough money to cover their pension obligations to California’s retired and soon-to-be retired public employees. But that would only be if they stop investing in pet project companies, and instead focused on what they should – getting returns on the public’s investments.
You see, CalPERS has decided that it’s more important to bank roll companies that do work which CalPERS deems important. We’d say that ensuring retirees will have the money promised to them – otherwise known as the entire purpose of CalPERS – is more important than anything else, but apparently that doesn’t matter to CalPERS.
Here’s a quote from CalPERS spokesman Wayne Davis, from a Sacramento Bee article:
“We’re passionate about and fully committed to advocating on behalf of shareowners for the right to have a say in how the companies we invest in are run,” he said. “We stand behind our efforts. Any suggestion that we stop engaging with companies on behalf of our members is laughable.”
Laughable. Investing other people’s money is fun, right?
If it weren’t for CalPERS’ commitment to propping up failing companies who focus exclusively on social and environmental issues, than our local and state governments wouldn’t be under the gun. In turn, the public wouldn’t be exposed the risk of government bankruptcy, being forced to support pensions through higher taxes, and might even enjoy some of the perks that we just can’t when public finances are stretched too thin.
That means that they’d be taking less public money to provide diminishing retirement benefits to people, and using more money to combat the many serious issues plaguing California.
Unfortunately, judging from CalPERS’ attitude, that’s not going to change. This is a year in which “repeatedly faced calls from environmental advocates and left-leaning politicians to more aggressively confront climate change, make a stand on gun violence or take activist stands against Trump administration policies.”
So, pensioners, and people who care about the economic health of California – not to mention the welfare of your fellow Californians – do you want to see pensions cut because CalPERS is determined to make political statements with your money?
It’s already happening in California, even in nearby Trinity County.
Here’s a link to the full Sacramento Bee article: