Today's discussion:

The problem with Alberta’s pension plan

Rather than providing a wide range of possible considerations, Alberta's pension plan campaign offers only a single piece of analysis that significantly overstates the potential benefits of a separate provincial plan.

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Stuart Thomson

Today, University of Calgary economist Trevor Tombe gently pokes at some of the optimistic assumptions embedded in the Alberta government’s pension plan.

As Trevor writes, it’s important to understand the assumptions the government is using and be aware of what happens if they don’t pan out.

“A separate provincial pension plan for Alberta is an entirely legitimate policy position, and reasonable people can disagree. But hanging our hats on a single set of optimistic assumptions is anything but prudent.”

5th October 2023 at 7:35 am

this ucp government is best known for its financial illiteracy and investment losses. Who would trust them with the pension we worked all our lives to pay for????

5th October 2023 at 2:24 pm
Anthony Chezzi

There is always a need for meaningful dialogue regrading any government policy but when Smith comes out swinging as she does, her attituded doesn’t set the stage for meaningful dialogue. She might heed the old adage, ‘you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.’

5th October 2023 at 9:10 am
Al Raftis

It’s a common problem with conservative politicians, especially those further right. They overstate and exaggerate to the point of loosing support. Majority of people are around the centre in Canada.

5th October 2023 at 7:52 am
Robert Yaro

All pension plans come with risk. Which plan provides the lower risk, 1 that is spread over 38 million people or 1 that is spread over4.3 million? I understand that not everyone (retired, those not able to work etc) will contribute to the plans.

5th October 2023 at 6:39 pm
Bill Tufts

Who benefits from these huge pensions?
They pay out huge management fees to insiders elite managers. How many deals do insiders hear about to make a few $$$
Until recently funded tens of billions into projects into China and Asia. I think there is a legitimate consideration that Canadians should invest money locally.
Public sector union pensions are the big boys on the street, guaranteeing huge gold plated pensions to government workers. Many instances public sector created regulations affecting their investments inside the pensions

5th October 2023 at 6:35 pm
Rob Tyrrell

“A separate provincial pension plan for Alberta is an entirely legitimate policy position, and reasonable people can disagree. “

Do we really think savings is the driver of this initiative? Why the obfuscation? When multi-millions are involved in a change, there are absolutely those looking to peel off a healthy share and investing money in politicians to make it happen.

Too often politicians decide what they want (are told) to do and work backwards from there, gathering a patina of “evidence” and making motivated reasoning-based arguments for why it is the best decision. Inevitably, the non-elected promoters have achieved their objectives and rewards, and their political servants are long gone to their post-elected-boardroom-gig by the time the projections and promises have proven to have been wrong.

The multi-partisan result, chronic bad governance.

Sure, occasionally, journalists, watchdogs, and diligent citizens figure out what is going on before it happens, but this is likely the exception and only in the most egregious cases.
– Ontario Greenbelt Giveaway
– Nova scotia Owl’s Head Park Giveaway

*Yes, ‘giveaway’ is a biased term used to describe the oh-too-sweet terms given to the beneficiaries of these government decisions.

Sorry, nothing specific to add about this likely, latest, and trite instance of political capture. Just griping. We really need a democratic governance upgrade. Our stale political incentive structure and practice is really hurting us.

5th October 2023 at 7:58 am
Rob Tyrrell

I used angled brackets for my third bullet point and it seems that the forum application has filtered the enclosed text.
It was…
– Insert your “favorite” here…

5th October 2023 at 8:00 am