Every expense underwritten by taxpayers must be scrutinized afresh

We are moving through an era where the status quo must be questioned and all tax-payer-funded-expenses must be subject to rigorous review. This article on the overlap, extra costs and potential waste of individual public pension plans is worth consideration:

“You know them by their handles: HOOPP, OMERS, OPB, OP Trust, and Teachers. These five defined benefit pension plans make up the bulk of the pension assets for public sector workers in Ontario. Which means that the Ontario taxpayer is on the hook for each when the markets fail to produce sufficient capital growth and income to meet the contractually promised benefits. With $338 billion of collective investment assets at the start of the 2011 fiscal year, there is a lot a taxpayer risk when the market wanes.

Each of the five plans has its own unique qualities and history. HOOPP is known to be a plan filled with younger workers in the medical field, while the Teachers is a more “mature” vehicle of teachers who often live to 90 or 100 years of age or more. If you live in London, Ontario and work for the public sector on the Provinical side, these are the five entities that the government set-up years ago to serve your needs.

But you’ve got to ask yourself: why a London firefighter, a London teacher, a local OPP officer, a local MTC employee and a nurse at St. Joseph’s Hospital might all be served by different pension plan managers with seemingly different strategies and risk tolerance levels? That can’t be the most efficient way to manage scarce financial resources in wild stock and credit markets, particularly when the same taxpayer winds up funding the shortfall if things don’t go as hoped. Which has been the case for at least the past three years.”

See the whole article:  Does Ontario really need five pension plans?

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2 Responses to Every expense underwritten by taxpayers must be scrutinized afresh

  1. dave says:

    Those public sector gigs are pretty sweet. Wages paid by taxpayers and then pension shortfalls backstopped by those same taxpayers. Teachers in particular have a sweet deal. Work say 200 days a year and get paid very well. At one time it was important to pay teachers well to attract them to the profession but the pendulum has swung too far in their pay and benefits. No wonder young people are tripping over themselves trying to get into this job even though there are not enough teacher jobs.

  2. kenny says:

    What’s the difference 5 plans or 1 plan? It is now generally thought that having many small banks is better than 1 that is “too big to fail”. What happened to diversification? As far as the CPP, I don’t think that I can trust it’s management because it is done by a third party. Just the same, the goverment does not deserve the right to hide behind a shield of percieved incompetence & abandon the public it was elected to serve. That’s probably why these other plans came in to being, because they were designed to better serve their members, while the CPP was seen to be inadequate.
    That is so typical to attack the working professional! They probably went on strike to get those benefits early in their career which should somehow now be stolen for expediency.
    After all, someones bonus might need funding, or perhaps there’s a NAFTA settlement that might be better used to funnel money through, than people’s retirement. Wake-up! Keep focused on the problem. Political cronyism & unsustainable multi-billion dollar annual corporate tax cuts on the part of the federal corptocratic ruling government is solely where the blame lies. These pension plans have been managed with fiduciary diligence up until now. If there is a shortfall, it was probably caused by Ron Paulson & associates. If you have a career as a public servant, why shouldn’t the public service provide your retirement? Nobody should be just thrown on a scrap-heap. Instead of cutting-off those that might have benifits so that EVERYONE ends up living in tent cities, why not improve social programs? John Raulston Saul advocated “Peace, Order, & Good Government” as a cornerstone of Canadian society. Deviate from that & you end up with a mafia jungle.

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