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More Bad News for CCWIPP Trustees

Written by Wanda Pasz Thursday, 03 May 2007

Just when they thought it was safe to go outside, there's more bad news for the trustees of the UFCW's reeking Canadian Commercial Workers Industry Pension Plan. The latest from CWIP-land:

Bahamas sources have told us that the CCWIPP trustees' much ballyhooed "sale" of the mothballed South Ocean Golf and Beach Resort to the Stillman Organization has fallen through. Oh well, so much for recovering all those lost millions (at least $70 million by conservative estimates).

To add to their headaches, yesterday's national election in the Bahamas ended in reigning prime minister, Perry Christie, getting the boot. A lot of time and effort was expended sucking up to Christie in the hope of winning some breaks for their golf and mothballs resort and now it looks like all was for naught. Ex-PM Perry's brother Gary was mixed up with pension-looting wonder boy Ron Kelly. Gary Christie was the head of a failed offshore bank that was described by a liquidator as having been used as a vehicle to launder funds from fraudulent Ponzi schemes. At least one of these allegedly had ties to the Tampa-based Traficante family, one of the US' leading organized crime gangs". Kelly was busted for receiving a fraudulent preference from the Americas International Bank just before it went bust in 2001. The best-laid plans of mice and rats.

As if that's not bad enough, CCWIPP's most recent actuarial report shows that, as at the end of 2005, its going concern liability was $405,558,100 (up from $307,308,500 the previous year). Its solvency valuation (if the plan were terminated at the end of 2005) stood $1,126,737,100 (about double 2004's $568,731,000) and its wind-up liability was an impressive $1,434,540,900. The pension plan's wind up transfer ratio was .50 as of the end of 2005, meaning that if the plan collapsed, members would get 50 cents for every dollar that is supposed to be coming to them. $279 million is still tied up in loans and real estate owned by CCWIPP's investment corporations. The 2006 report will be out soon. We're not expecting a miracle.

A trial date has finally been set for the FSCO's charges against the trustees. Mark Feburary 11, 2008 on your calendars. Let's turn up and give the trustees a warm feeling.

With so much going on, it's no wonder that a special meeting of the Investment Committee is happening this Sunday (May 6, 2007) in sunny Florida. The word on the street is that the great pension-god Cliff Evans is going to be there. Hey, wait a minute, didn't he resign for the CCWIPP board a few months ago? That Cliff - what a kidder. Now we know. More bad news for the pension gurus.

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