Retired county worker says divestment plan is bad idea

Posted 10 July 2017 at 10:58 pm


I’m now retired and worked for Orleans County for 30 years. I’ve been reading a little bit about the divestment plan, and I think it is terrible.

And the people in charge of managing our pension fund agree. Comptroller DiNapoli and others in the Comptroller’s office have publicly stood up against this plan. DiNapoli and others believe that this plan will mean billions in losses. You don’t have to be an expert to understand that a plan that is expected to lose billions is a bad one.

Why is this a bad idea? On paper it doesn’t sound bad, the idea is pensions would be required to pull all investments from any fossil fuel related company. But, this would require a lot of money to be moved (billions), and forcing this change will result in a pension portfolio that is less diversified and more dependent on riskier and lower-yielding investments. I’ve never been one to play the stock market, but I can tell you, that kind of move is not smart.

Having worked for Orleans County for 30 years, I’ve seen plenty of good ideas and some bad ones.  But this one, is one of the worst. I am going to be stuck footing the bill for this bad idea, either through tax hikes or spending cuts. For someone who’s on a fixed income, like me, this bad plan will have real consequences. New York can’t afford this plan, and neither can I.

Deb Sherk