Recently the Montgomery County Council decided to put ideology above smart investing principles and vote for a resolution calling for the divestment of the county pension fund. The resolution vote follows a failed attempt to force the board to divest at the end of last year.
Protect our Pensions opposed the original bill and also opposed the resolution, stating:
Given that the original bill was deemed simultaneously dangerous to the county’s pension funds and ineffective in its broader purpose, there is no reason that Council members should consider this resolution, as it proposes the same damaging behavior as the original bill. Legitimizing divestment, no matter what form, opens the possibilities pressures of divestment on other grounds, forcing lawmakers to play divestment whack-a-mole, and further destabilizing portfolios in the process.
The Council members ignored the voices of residents, many of whom signed our organization’s online petition, which urged members to “keep politics out of our pensions.”
The concerns of Protect our Pensions were echoed by the representative of the county’s firefighters and paramedics, Jeff Buddle, who wrote to the Council:
Injecting new parameters called for by the resolution into the Trustee’s decision-making process solely for political purposes runs counter to the Trustees’ fundamental fiduciary duties and should be rejected by the City Council.
We urge the trustees of the Montgomery County Retirement Board to resist any pressures to influence investment decisions on ideological grounds, and strongly affirm the fact that they answer to pensioners, not politicians.