War Investments: Cda's "Big 6" Pension Funds Invest Billions in World's Top Weapons Industries

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Richard Sanders Richard Sanders's picture
War Investments: Cda's "Big 6" Pension Funds Invest Billions in World's Top Weapons Industries

Looking forward to a PEACEful retirement?
Drat, your pension relies on investments in WAR!

Research by the Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade (COAT) shows that Canada's six largest pension funds* ("The Big Six") have billions invested in the world's leading weapons manufacturers. Our pensions rely on profits from war industries that are arming US- and NATO-led invasions, regime changes, military occupations and repressive governments around the world that attack activists struggling for peace, democracy, justice and human rights.

*****  Is this how you want your retirement savings invested? *****

World's Top War Industries, 2010:
Canada's "Big Six" pension funds have $1.7 billion invested in dozens of the world's top 100 weapons manufacturers, as ranked by military revenues in 2010. Investments include:
9 of the Top 10 (i.e., 90%)
17 of the Top 20 (i.e., 85%)
20 of the Top 25 (i.e., 80%)
23 of the Top 30 (i.e., 77%)
32 of the Top 50 (i.e., 64%)
45 of the Top 100 (i.e., 45%)
In other words, the bigger the war industry, the more likely that Canadian pension funds will invest in them!
http://coat.ncf.ca/research/Pensions-Top100.htm

World's Top War Industries, pre2010:
Canada's "Big Six" pension funds have an additional $400 million invested in 15 other major war industries that, though not in the Top 100 in 2010, were in that prestigious club during the previous 11 years.
http://coat.ncf.ca/research/Pensions-Top100-former.htm

F-35 Contractors:
Canada's "Big Six" pension funds have $2 billion invested in about 50 corporations that are building the F-35 warplane, including its prime contractor, Lockheed Martin.
http://coat.ncf.ca/research/Pensions-F35.htm

Israeli Apartheid:
Canada's "Big Six" have $4.5 billion invested in companies supplying the Israeli government with military, police, prison-related, surveillance and other so-called "homeland security" products and services that are facilitating the occupation, helping build the "Separation Wall."
http://coat.ncf.ca/P4C/66/CdnPensionFunds.htm

Indepth Research on CPP investments in Israel Apartheid:
Click below to read a free online report containing individual articles (with hundreds of references) on dozens of the corporations selling military, police, prison and related products to Israel.
http://coat.ncf.ca/P4C/66/66.htm

Please Sign our PETITION, re: CPP and Israel:

http://peaceaction.ca/cpp-israel

View 650 Signatories and their Comments here:
http://peaceaction.ca/cpp-israel-signatures/

Get copies of our report and support COAT's research:
Order copies of COAT's report for yourself, friends, colleagues, journalists, politicians, and others. And, while you're at it, please subscribe, renew, donate.
http://coat.ncf.ca/P4C/66/coupon66.pdf

Conclusion:
We, the 99%, are relying on retirement funds that not only invest in the world's biggest, nastiest corporations, we are profiting from billions worth of shares in war industries that are the vampire teeth of the global 1%. 

These war industries are the mercenaries of the 1%.  Call them what you will (except "defense" companies), these war industries are the enforcers, the bullies, the death squads, the hitmen, the assassination teams of the Global 1%.

It's divestment time.


* Note: Canada's Six Largest Pension Funds ("The Big Six") are:

  • Canada Pension Plan (CPP)
  • Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (QPP)
  • Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan (OTPP)
  • Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AimCo)
  • Public Sector Pension Investments (PSPI)
  • Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS)

 

 

 

 

abnormal

Richard, like it or not, as a matter of law pension trustees are required to optimize the return on pension funds.  Failing to do so means that they are personally liable (which is why I've consistently refused to serve as a trustee of my companies corporate pension funds).

NDPP

there is or should be no doubt that these pension investments are completely unacceptable. PERIOD.

Richard Sanders Richard Sanders's picture

Dear Abnormal,
I'm not sure I understand your point. You say:

abnormal wrote:

Richard, like it or not, as a matter of law pension trustees are required to optimize the return on pension funds.  Failing to do so means that they are personally liable (which is why I've consistently refused to serve as a trustee of my companies corporate pension funds).

I know you aren't saying it's okay that our pension money is being funnelled into the coffers of the world's biggest warmongers.

I assume you are just saying, hey, it's normal, ruotine, business-as-usual kinda stuff.

So, what are we to do when we who are among the 99% are being forced into complicity with the very weapons manufacturers who are helping the global 1% steal our world's resources.

Seems to me we are like the cattle whose milk is being used to finance the electric prods that guide us ever so gently into the slaughter house of our retirement years.

Or, to use another crunchy nugget of food-inspired imagery, behold the bloody right-wing chickens who continue to brainlessly vote for Colonel Sanders, or give their right arm (wing) to finance his re-election campaign.

I figure that if only people knew that their pension money was being stuffed into bags and handed over to the biggest Merchants of Death ever to walk roughshod over the earth, they might at least think about causing a bit of a fuss.

Please tell me its a good idea to try to let people know where their pension money is going and encourage them to do something.

abnormal

Richard, I'm not saying it's "okay" to invest in these companies.  What I'm saying is that, as a matter of law, the trustees of the pension fund are responsible for optimizing the return on the fund - if they don't they are personally liable which means they can be sued and the pension fund cannot indemnify them - that means their personal net worth (income, bank accounts, house, their own pensions, etc) are exposed.  And the courts will not hesitate because the trustees thought investing in these companies isn't a nice thing to do.

Fidel

Well at least they are making a bit of money now even if for death and destruction. Globalizing neoliberalization is all about the three D's:  death, destruction, and deindustrialization and key to the global war on democracy in general. Productivity gains in the D&D industry should equate to pension fund viability for decades to come. For the first three or four years CPPIB investment genies didn't make any money at all while mis-managing the national pension fund. At least somebody's winning under the global neoliberal financial regime. It's all good.

Richard Sanders Richard Sanders's picture

June 11, CPP Investment Board Public Meetings

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) has just announced the details of its biennial Public Meetings to be held in nine provinces on June 11.

The CPPIB are the people who make decisions about what corporations our retirement savings are invested in. They should also be held accountable and asked to publicly justify their decisions.

However, their public meetings are only held once every two years. So it's a bit of a rare opportunity to take advantage of when we can.

The times and places of their nine upcoming public meetings have just been listed on the CPPIB website.
http://www.cppib.ca/About_Us/public_meetings.html

Webcast viewers of these meetings can also submit questions but they need to register in advance. (Click the link at the bottom of CPPIB's "Public Meetings" page provided above.)

COAT Petition re: CPP and Israel
The Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade (COAT) started a petition urging the CPPIB to divest from companies that supply military/police/surveillance/prison-related technology and/or services that aid Israel's wars, its military occupation, the destruction of tens of thousands of Palestinian homes and orchards, and the building of checkpoints and the illegal separation wall, etc.

Almost 1000 have signed our petition so far. See confirmed signers and their comments here:
http://peaceaction.ca/cpp-israel-signatures/

If you haven't already done so already, please take a minute to sign now. Thanks:
http://peaceaction.ca/cpp-israel/

Petition signatories who live in the nine cities where the CPP meetings will be held have been notified and organisations that have officially endorsed COAT's petition* have been asked to tell their contacts.

Questions/Comments for the CPP meetings
People could ask general questions about the $1.4 billion that the CPP has invested in 66 companies that are complicit in supplying military/police/surveillance/prison-related technology and/or services to aid Israel's wars, its military occupation, the destruction of Palestinian homes and orchards, and the building of checkpoints and the illegal separation wall, etc.

Or, people could focus on one specific company that the CPP invests in. There are detailed articles dealing with 30+ such companies in the latest issue of COAT's publication, online at our website:
http://coat.ncf.ca/P4C/66/66.htm

Others may want to ask those in charge of the CPP why our retirement savings have been invested in many of the...

Companies Building F-35 warplanes
http://coat.ncf.ca/research/Pensions-F35.htm

World's Largest War Industries, 2010
http://coat.ncf.ca/research/Pensions-Top100.htm

World's Largest War Industries, prior to 2010
http://coat.ncf.ca/research/Pensions-Top100-former.htm

Anything that peace activists can do to help spread the word about the CPPIB meetings, or the COAT petition, would be much appreciated.

thanks and cheers
richard

* Note re: Organisations endorsing the Petition
The organisations that have endorsed the COAT petition so far are:

Barnard-Boecker Centre Foundation
Canadian Voice of Women for Peace
Halifax Peace Coalition
Independent Jewish Voices Canada
Palestinian Canadian Congress
Science for Peace