NB public pension monies making great returns – outside NB

It’s nice to see the retirement funds for New Brunswick’s public service teachers and judges doing so well.

They’ve got over $100 million invested with Ontario government paper, millions invested in Verizon, Wells Fargo, Citibank – $30 million worth of Suncor Energy (at the time of these statements).  Nearly $11 million invested with Siemens, $21 million with Royal Dutch Shell, $10 million with Qwest, $13 million with Pfizer, $8 million with Pepsico.

Don’t look to hard for the New Brunswick portion of the $9 billion invested because you won’t find much. They say $63 million has been invested in the province but I can’t find the list.

We have discussed this before.  I don’t think that the NBIMC should be forced to invest a large part of its investments in New Brunswick.  I agree with the idea that it should invest where it can get the best return on the investment for the public servants.

There are, however; two points I would make.  If New Brunswick is not a good enough market for the investment of our public sector employees, that is all the more reason why we should be aggressively looking for investors who, in fact, could be interested in investing here.  There continues to be skepticism in this province about efforts to attract investment even as $9 billion worth of public pension monies flow out of New Brunswick (oh, by the way, in case you are feeling a little uppity, take a look at your RRSP investments – I did this a couple of years ago and it turns out my little retirement egg is almost exclusively invested outside new Brunswick as well).

Economic development is fundamentally about business investment.  Businesses invest their capital here and that capital generates labour income and taxation.  If most of our surplus money is flowing out of the province, we have to find other sources to bring in.

The second point is that it is not impossible that a little more of the NBIMC funds could be used for NB investments.  Quebec uses a far greater portion of its monies to invest in-province and, yes, I know this is controversial. Maybe we should ask the civil servants if some of their retirement monies should be invested in New Brunswick.

Then again, maybe guys like me should do the same with my RRSPs.

6 thoughts on “NB public pension monies making great returns – outside NB

  1. mmm…what would be a good, publicly held, company to invest in in NB? You mention Quebec…they have several, as does Ontario, and Alberta, Saskatchewan…I am not saying NB doesn’t have any I just don’t know who or what they are. Equity investing for profit is one thing but messing with retirement funds is another.

  2. Well there is a little difference between NB and Quebec in terms of investment opportunities. Maybe we should be addressing why investment isn’t being attracted to the province. Why would we think that what is bad for us would somehow be alright for someone else?

    Also why would the public servants have to bear more risk than any other citizen? I don’t follow the logic as to why their retirement income should be risked more than someone elses?

  3. Yes. The public sector pension system should not be put at risk. I just want to use this story as a teaching moment to help us understand the importance of investment to our economy.

  4. What’s NB Gov current level of debt? What is the stuctur of this debt? If we look here, we’ll find a considerable amount of investments being made. We don’t typically look at it this way, but it is “investment”.

  5. As a former public servant drawing a provincial pension, I was once asked by someone whether I wanted to see a portion of my pension plan dedicated for investment in NB. My answer was yes, because if we don’t generate more economic returns in this province my pension is almost certainly going to be at risk.

  6. We have two businesses in the province which are comparable investments to the aforementioned portfolio options.

    At this point, they’re privately held.

    We have a handful more that could someday compete in this category, most are Atlantic Canadian companies, instead of NB-based firms. We need to start looking a economic development on a regional basis with NFLD, NS, and PEI and leverage our respective points of difference to build an Atlantic Canadian portfolio. We’re too small to go it alone.

    Would love to have my portfolio outfitted with McCain, Irving, Nalcor, NS Power and PEI tourism stocks but it’s a bit of a pipe dream for now. I’ll take my -10% over the last 3 weeks and shut up.

    What about an NB investment fund with guaranteed return but cap it at certain amount so venture firms could add to earnings and reinvest. Some creative accounting programs would be needed, but I’d be all in.

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