The Alberta Teachers’ Association is reiterating its call for the UCP government to reverse its decision to transfer teacher pension investment control to the Alberta Investment Management Corp (AIMCo), in light of news that investment managers lost $4 billion on a “wrong-way bet.”
While teacher pension plan investments were not affected by this loss, the news underscores the concerns identified by teachers about the pension investment takeover, said ATA president Jason Schilling.
“It is completely unacceptable that investment managers would make such a significant investment without fully understanding the risks,” he said. “I am confident that ATRF would not have invested in such a risky venture.”
Schilling referred to the Globe and Mail story that broke the news, citing sources saying that “AIMCo now acknowledges its executives were not fully aware of the risks they were taking.”
Half of the board seats for the Alberta Teachers’ Retirement Fund (ATRF) are occupied by teachers, and the fund has an investment strategy that specifically caters to the risk profile of teachers, Schilling said.
“This type of investment exceeds the risk tolerance that would be acceptable to teachers,” Schilling said.
ATRF’s investment plan was prepared to handle fluctuations like those that have been experienced during the current market downturn and, so far, ATRF investments have weathered the slowdown as well as could be expected, said Schilling.
He said that this news story again raises serious concerns over the AIMCo takeover of teacher pensions and is encouraging members to reach out again to MLAs.
“Teachers invest their own money into their pension plan. Teachers were not consulted on the takeover and this story further validates our concerns. I am calling on the Government of Alberta to finally listen to teachers and stop the takeover by repealing Bill 22.” ❚