Thursday, September 27, 2012

Australia, Spain Grabbing Private Pensions

A trend appears to be emerging.

Back in 2008 Argentina did the grab-n-go and in 2010 it was Hungary.

Last year the U.S. Treasury "borrowed" from Federal employee pensions, something they are allowed to do under the rules.
More seriously big-time policy wonk Teresa Ghilarducci has been pitching the nationalization of 401K's and calling for allowing private sector workers "to enroll in cost-efficient and professionally managed state-operated retirement programs."
She is getting a very good reception from the powers-that-be.

Yesterday the Gillard government in Australia, while not outright appropriating the superannuation funds said they would tax the retirement money at higher rates:
Super 'shouldn't be a honeypot'
Leave our superannuation alone, Treasurer Wayne Swan

Today it's Spain
Spanish Budget: Spain to tap EUR 3 billion from pension fund to cover liabilities
Rajoy Raids Reserve Fund for 1st Time to Pay for Higher Pensions

Now it's no skin off my nose if governments raid retirement funds, I've never had a paid vacation or even holiday and I sure don't count on anyone to finance my retirement but this could get troubling long about the next recession.