July 16th, 2024

Alberta Pension Plan – declaring war on seniors


By Lethbridge Herald on October 25, 2023.

DAVID B. CARPENTER

An Alberta political sycophant suggested recently “Its so obvious that since 1966 Alberta has carried the load for the rest of the CPP provinces.”

He goes on to conclude that Alberta taking half of CPP assets is a reasonable place to start. My mind immediately zapped to the movie “Independence Day” and flashed a picture of Albert Nimzicki stuttering “Uh, excuse me, Mr. Sycophant, That’s not entirely accurate”.

CPP has been totally funded by workers and their employers. Other than their legal responsibility as an employer, the government of Alberta has not put a dime into CPP. 

It therefore deserves nothing from the fund. The pension money belongs morally and legally to the workers who participated in CPP to fund their pensions. Full stop. 

If you did not participate you do not get to share in the pension. There are folks who have structured their income to come from sources that did not require participation in CPP and they will get what they deserve. Governments only play a fiduciary role to oversee the administration and protect the interests of the individuals to whom the funds belong.

Our political sycophant indicates that in his opinion a literal reading of the law would result in an asset transfer to Alberta of 117 per cent of CPP net assets. And then he allows that the results of his literal reading make little sense so he suggests that the LifeWorks consultant is perfectly within their legal rights to add a clause or two to come up with a slightly less unreasonable conclusion. 

And that is the sum total of the logic behind the $334 billion transfer number.

Most people familiar with pension fund management are aware that CPP Investment Board is the world wide gold standard for pension fund administration over the long term. 

Over the last 10-year period, CPPIB returned an annual compound rate of 10.9 per cent and AIMCO (Alberta Investment Management Corporation) returned 7.2 per cent. 

Today’s CPP fund totals $181 billion more because Alberta was not involved in managing the money. More importantly, today’s CPP is well-positioned to withstand the coming economic slowdown which most economists who do not sell their services as sycophants are forecasting. So what can seniors possibly gain from having Danielle Smith manage their pensions? What will she do with the money?

The website identifies two proposals. Firstly, bonuses to all Albertans of $5,000-$10,000, not just the ones who paid into CPP. 

No rationale was given as to how these bonuses produce a more stable pension fund for the seniors who rely on it. 

The second proposal would be to turn Alberta into an economic powerhouse. As no examples were provided on how to do this, I had to consider firstly the current UCP policy position that allowing government to pick winners and losers is not a strategy for long-term economic success. There is a reason for the policy.

In all of the economic carnage of failed magnesium plants and cell phone manufacturers, I could not find a good long-term example highlighting government’s prowess in business.

Sowhat’s the purpose for Premier Smith declaring war on seniors? That answer does not lie in any published data so I can only speculate. 

Firstly, let’s cut away the legalese and focus on the essence of what the plan proposes. Significant monies belonging to pensioners and future pensioners are going to be removed from the management of CPPIB and allocated to Danielle Smith with the only admitted uses being to distribute gifts to voters in an election year and fund unnamed economic development projects owned by unnamed corporations. 

Neither of these are suitable investments for the pension funds of seniors. Further, both violate the fiduciary responsibilities assumed by the trustees of any pension plan.

Premier Smith has not mentioned one word about her intention to ignore her trust responsibilities to the new APP or the existing CPP. 

In my opinion the APP is merely a con, perpetrated by my own provincial government, designed to pull off the largest attempted kleptocracy in the history of Canada solely to create a massive unregulated slush fund.

To succeed, it needs to baffle Albertans with the idea that they are the rightful owners of pension entitlements of current and future seniors not only in Alberta but also in other provinces, even though those seniors paid exactly the same premiums in and deserve the same pensions out of CPP as Albertans.

So what can we do? Just say no. Say no in your emails, say no in your conversations, say no on the street corner, say no in the coffee shop, say no when you are at church, say no when you are at school, say no to the fundraising letter, say no at the ballot box. Tell her that you won’t accept a bribe stolen from the pensions of other hard working Canadian seniors. Tell her that you have real Alberta values.

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Southern Albertan

…..could not be said better! Thank you!

buckwheat

Easy to say. We haven’t seen all the final details as yet.
Would it not be of benefit to children in a family to have an extra 1425.00 a year in their pockets? Would it not be a benefit to a business to have that contribution money available to purchase new equipment, hire additional employees, expand your business. To look at this from a completely sterile accounting viewpoint is to ignore the benefits that are possible for employees and seniors. It may not effect some directly, however, the dwindling number of future contributors may possibly benefit in a favourable way. What is that famous line and mantra. Oh yes,
”what about the children”.
PS. FYI the former Mayor did not write the byline for this article. It is clear that the editor and writer are showing their bias. Anti anything UCP without considering the information available.

Last edited 8 months ago by buckwheat
Elohssa Gib

Actually, Mr. Carpenter has done the right thing not identifying himself as a former mayor. That way people are free to consider his argument on its own merits, absent of any other information.
To me the question is very simple: Based on their track record, can I trust the UCP with my pension? Can the UCP, or any future government for that matter, be trusted not to use pension funds as an “unregulated slush fund?”

buckwheat

Like a 3 second google of the writer isn’t allowed. Anyone that has been in Lethbridge knows that he was a former Mayor.

Last edited 8 months ago by buckwheat
Elohssa Gib

Mr. Carpenter was mayor from 1986 to 2001. The population of Lethbridge in 2001 was 67,374; in 2023 it is 98,406, a 46% increase. Based on those numbers alone, I would conclude there are many city residents who have never heard of Mr. Carpenter or know that he was once the Mayor.

BTW, to be grammatically correct, your second sentence should read: “Anyone who …..” not “Anyone that ….” A 2 second google search would have sorted that issue out for you.

Mrs. Kidd (she/her)

Grammatically speaking you make an excellent point. Interestingly, teachers start in grade one teaching children about the difference between, and proper use of, that, who and which. Other commonly confused words covered in the lower grades include less vs fewer, farther vs further, much vs many, there vs their, to vs too, than vs then, and it’s vs its. More advanced grammatical topics such as split infinitives, the various types of clauses (e.g., subordinate vs dependent), and the proper placement of prepositions within sentences (i.e., not at the end), are reserved for grades five or six.

buckwheat

What is the track record?

Elohssa Gib

For starters, I would point to this paragraph in Mr. Carpenter’s piece: “In all of the economic carnage of failed magnesium plants and cell phone manufacturers, I could not find a good long-term example highlighting government’s prowess in business.” And then I would direct you to a list of concerns offered by Mrs. Kidd in the online comments to the letter by Ken Sears.

The PC/UCP track record may not concern you, and that’s your prerogative, but it doesn’t fill me with confidence.

Last edited 8 months ago by Elohssa Gib
biff

a compelling account of what amounts to an unjustified sleaze by smith and her cronies.

Citi Zen

Fake news. Everyone has their agenda, and David Carpenter certainly has his.

Ben Matlock

First, it’s an opinion piece not a news article, therefore, it can’t be “fake news.” Second, as an opinion piece it’s written from a particular point view, which in common parlance is often referred to as “an agenda.”

Les Elford

Thank you for your commentary, Mr. Carpenter. Your experience as a CA self-employed businessman and executive service on various Crown Corporations serves you well. I read AIMCO documentation years ago when this subject first arose under Mr. Kenney.
Concerns identified at that time were twofold; AIMCO’s poor investment returns, compared to CPP. Secondly the very clear ability for government officials with no professional investment acumen having the authority to influence AIMCO investment decisions. I believe this clause was originated by the NDP and took place resulting in the loss of Billions of Oil related investment dollars early during the pandemic.

If these clauses conditions remain, I concur with your concerns identified. I understand the lead CEO or Portfolio Manager of AIMCO has moved on since the pandemic and that loss.

buckwheat

Some fed in Calgary bragging today of a 10% return on the CPP over the last decade. 1% a year. I have a savings account at 3.75 daily. Clowns who believe the fed.