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What the frack? Canada Pension Plan takes us back to the future

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When the Canada Pension Plan was launched in 1965, government bonds typically provided enough of a hedge against inflation that pension funds could stick to the most secure investments and remain solvent. As the financial landscape changed, and government securities now have a real rate of return of less than zero, pension funds, including the CPP, were progressively forced into riskier investments. For the CPP, those riskier investments included fracking operations in Colorado.

Not only does fracking pose a lethal threat to drinking water, it has been a dubious investment financially even in the best of times. You’d think the state pension fund of the most virtuous government on earth would catch a whiff of the toxic fumes emanating from fracking operations and quietly exit their money-losing Colorado fracking play.
You’d be wrong. Instead, they’re doubling down.
Canada has changed since ’65. The current CPP payout tops out around $1,200/ month. Add in Old Age Security and you’re looking at a just under $2k. That’s just about enough for a one bed flat in Toronto, so good luck with your groceries and that occasional three-pack of Fruit of the Looms. There’s also the public housing option. Too bad about the twenty year waiting list.
But buck up, (old) homie! Don’t forget; you’re retired…
You’ve got all day to hang out under the Gardiner with a squeegee!


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