"Financialization" of Government Pension Programs
In the 1990s the international financial oligarchy and their
institutions pushed governments to restructure their pension systems so
the funds could be invested in financial markets where it was said
higher returns could be obtained than was possible by parking the money
in low-risk but more secure instruments like government bonds.
with this push to "financialize" pensions came the pressure to convert
pensions from defined benefit plans that guarantee a certain level of
benefits to workers after they retire, to defined contribution plans,
where the level of benefits one receives upon retirement depends on how
well the plan is doing in the financial markets and on returns from
other types of investments at any given time.
for these changes, in addition to reducing governments' responsibility
to provide for workers' retirement security, was to put at the disposal
of the financial oligarchy a vast new pool of money to invest in order
to amass even greater private wealth for themselves.
1997 the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board was created by
legislation to operate at arm's length from the government. The mandate
of the new entity established as a vehicle for the financialization of
the CPP was to exercise its "fiduciary duty" to Canadians by first and
foremost maximizing the return on investments made on their
behalf. The Alberta Investment Management Corporation, established in
2008, operates in a similar way and under a similar mandate.
This article was published in
September 17, 2021 -