Divest Public Pension Funds from Weapons Dealers

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While governments buy weapons, market weapons to other governments, donate weapons to other governments, and bestow tax breaks on weapons dealers, there is another less-visible way in which public money sustains weapons dealing.

Public pension and retirement funds are invested, directly and indirectly, in weapons companies. Teachers and other public servants whose interests ought to lie with promoting human needs have their retirement security tied up with maintaining or enlarging the war industry.

Please sign this global petition against public investment in weapons dealing.

If you live in one of these places, please sign this specific petition as well:
Canada.
Japan.
United Kingdom.

If you live in one of these U.S. states or cities, please click to sign a petition to your state legislators and governors or city councils and mayors:
California.
Delaware.
Michigan.
New York.
North Dakota.
Texas.
Wisconsin.

Chicago, Illinois.

If you live in any other part of the U.S., please click here to email your state legislators.

If you live in one of the above locations, including specifically Chicago or New York City, and would like to take the lead on organizing local education and protest and lobbying actions, contact us.

Public retirement investment in an industry that threatens to cut short all of our retirements is ironic but widespread. We don’t know how widespread. If you have information, especially on parts of the world not yet included here, please share it with us.

TOP WEAPONS DEALERS
We’re starting by looking only at investment in the top 20 weapons dealers in the world. These are their names and where they are based (though they sell their weapons all over the world):
Lockheed Martin, United States
Boeing, United States
BAE Systems, United Kingdom — and subsidiary: BAE Systems Inc., United States
Raytheon, United States
Northrop Grumman, United States
General Dynamics, United States
Airbus Group, Trans-European
United Technologies Corp., United States — and subsidiary: Pratt & Whitney, United States
Finmeccanica, Italy
L-3 Communications, United States
Almaz-Antey, Russia
Thales, France
Huntington Ingalls Industries, United States
United Aircraft Corp., Russia
United Shipbuilding Corp., Russia
Rolls-Royce, United Kingdom
SAFRAN, France
Honeywell International, United States
Textron, United States
DCNS, France

You may notice that none of these companies is located in the parts of the world afflicted by warfare, while half of them are in the United States, seven in Europe and three in Russia.

CANADA
The Canada Pension Plan has these investments in 12 of the top 20 weapons dealers:[1]
Lockheed Martin: 133 shares, market value $38M
Boeing: 305 shares, market value $50M
BAE Systems: 934 shares, market value $9M (note: this is an investment in the UK BAE, none in the US subsidiary)
Raytheon: 131 shares, market value $21M
Northrop Grumman: 142 shares, market value $36M.
General Dynamics: 114 shares, market value $19M
General Electric: 3557 shares, market value $146M
United Technologies: 186 shares, market value $24M
L-3 Communications: 124 shares, market value $19M
Thales: 133 shares, market value $15M
Huntington Ingalls: 135 shares, market value $24M
SAFRAN: 177 shares, market value $16M

JAPAN
The single largest pension fund on earth is the Government Pension Investment Fund of Japan.[2]
Its investments include:
BAE — $20,210,582,394 — 21,685,640 shares
Boeing — $81,910,132,740 — 4,550,982 shares
Finmeccanica — $3,631,487,860 — 2,544,637 shares
General Dynamics — $30,994,240,244 — 1,904,125 shares
Honeywell — $75,954,577,525 — 6,071,812 shares
L-3 — $8,094,474,705 — 536,578 shares
Lockheed Martin — $45,810,122,730 — 1,882,094 shares
Northrop Grumman — $25,675,320,046 — 1,330,112 shares
Raytheon — $31,189,321,224 — 2,366,026 shares
Rolls Royce — $25,067,231,930 — 14,774,867 shares
Safran — $20,782,961,926 — 2,482,419 shares
Textron — $9,491,086,465 — 1,784,508 shares
Thales — $3,724,150,151 — 559,265 shares

That’s billions of dollars in each of 13 of the top 20 weapons dealers in the world, by a government engaged in a debate over whether to uphold its peace constitution and refrain from waging war.[3]

UNITED KINGDOM
According to this report, pension funds in the UK are forbidden to “pursue boycotts, divestment and sanctions against foreign nations and UK defence industries.”[4]

CALIFORNIA
The California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS, the sixth largest pension fund on earth[5]) is invested in the following weapons dealers.[6]
BAE Systems (United Kingdom), $77 million, 0.11% of total holdings.
Airbus Group (Trans-European), $1411 million, or 0.20%.
Finmeccanica (Italy), $29 million, or 0.04%.
Thales (France), $18 million, or 0.03%.
Rolls-Royce (United Kingdom), $98 million, or 0.14%.
SAFRAN (France), $64 million, or 0.09%.
Lockheed Martin, $167 million, or 0.22% of their total holdings.
Boeing, $252 million, or 0.33%.
Raytheon, $94 million, or 0.12%.
Northrop Grumman, $123 million, or 0.16%.
General Dynamics, $143 million, or 0.19%.
United Technologies, $333 million, or 0.44%.
L-3 Communications, $36 million, or 0.05%.
Huntington Ingalls, $26 million, or 0.03%.
Honeywell International, $309 million, or 0.41%.
Textron, $34 million, or 0.04%.

In addition, the California State Teachers Retirement System (CALSTRS) as of June 30, 2016 is invested in the following. The first number is that of shares, the second the market value in thousands of dollars:

Domestic Equities:
Lockheed Martin Corp          738,165         183,190
Boeing Co/The          1,635,727      212,432
Raytheon Company  1,632,503      221,939
Northrop Grumman Corp    865,662         192,419
General Dynamics Corp        827,634         115,240
United Technologies Corp    2,061,864      211,444
L 3 Communications Holdings         183,143         26,865
Huntington Ingalls Industrie           146,966         24,695
Honeywell International Inc            2,201,040      256,025
Textron Inc    644,048         23,546

International Equities:
BAE Systems Plc        4,286,549      30,027
Airbus Group Se        1,149,559      66,064
Thales Sa        287,942         23,995
Rolls Royce Holdings Plc       3,158,670      30,043
Safran Sa        575,968         38,981[7]

DELAWARE
The Delaware Public Employees Retirement System is invested in United Technologies Corporation in the amount of $29,927,361 — which is 0.32% of its holdings, and 269,786 shares of the company. This is one of the top 10 investments of this fund which may be invested in other weapons companies as well that are not in its top 10 investments.

ILLINOIS
The Municipal Employees’ Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago is invested in these weapons dealers:
Lockheed Martin $8,127,707 — 0.7% — 37,429 shares — Unrealised Gain/Loss $5,358,314
Honeywell International $7,153,787 — 0.7% — 69,072 shares — Unrealised Gain/Loss $3,407,048
These are two of the top 10 investments of this fund which may be invested in other weapons companies as well that are not in its top 10 investments.

MICHIGAN
The Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan is invested in these weapons dealers:
United Technologies Corporation $18,001,693 — 0.2%
Honeywell International, Inc. $15,566,882 — 0.18%
These are two of the top 10 investments of this fund which may be invested in other weapons companies as well that are not in its top 10 investments.

NEW YORK
The New York State Teachers Retirement System (the 22nd biggest pension fund on earth[8]) is invested (see these two PDFs for details: One. Two.) in Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, United Technologies, Honeywell, Huntington Ingalls Industries, and Textron. What lesson is this teaching New York’s students?

In addition, the New York City Employees Retirement System is invested in United Technologies to the tune of $71,899,692 — 0.4% — 703,383 shares. This is one of the top 10 investments of this fund which may be invested in other weapons companies as well that are not in its top 10 investments.

Further, the New York State Common Retirement Fund, which comprises the New York State and Local Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) and the New York State and Local Police and Fire Retirement System (PFRS) and which is managed by the Division of Pension Investment and Cash Management in the Office of the State Comptroller, is invested in the following war profiteers:
Boeing 901,785 shares  139,921 value  9/30/16
General Dynamics  1,632,825  shares
Raytheon  906,000 shares
General Dynamics  901,785 shares
Lockheed Martin  765,900 shares
United Technologies  2,331,020  shares
Honeywell  2,908,100  shares[9]

More information on the investments of the New York State Common Retirement Fund is available. As of March 31, 2016, they are as follows. The first number is that of shares, the second the cost of shares, the third the value as of March 31, 2016:
Lockheed Martin Corp. 742,600 56,362,293 164,485,900
Boeing Company/The 1,806,182 83,791,299 229,276,743
BAE Systems plc 3,157,759 19,892,919 23,101,713
Raytheon Company 867,400 48,594,251 106,369,262
Northrop Grumman Corp. 591,303 42,705,500 117,018,864
General Dynamics Corp. 887,380 55,909,841 116,575,111
Airbus Group Nv 449,650 27,737,120 29,898,461
United Technologies Corp. 2,508,971 115,531,837 251,147,997
L-3 Communications Holdings, Inc. 198,900 24,205,180 23,569,650
Thales S.A. 178,352 9,241,933 15,649,558
Huntington Ingalls Industries, Inc. 158,416 8,795,662 21,693,487
Rolls-Royce Holdings plc 228,359 2,951,416 2,238,463
Safran S.A. 215,919 15,120,612 15,127,184
Honeywell International, Inc. 2,117,900 77,284,056 237,310,695
Textron, Inc. 687,696 30,201,721 25,073,396[10]

NORTH DAKOTA
This is the state with a public bank that is invested in the Dakota Access Pipeline. The North Dakota Retirement and Investment Office is invested in these weapons dealers:
Boeing Company $18,613,588 — 134,181 shares
Safran SA $13,578,820 — 200,478 shares
These are two of the top 10 investments of this fund which may be invested in other weapons companies as well that are not in its top 10 investments.

In addition, the North Dakota Public Employees Retirement System is invested in:
Boeing Company $9,430,550
Safran SA $6,840,016
These are two of the top 10 investments of this fund which may be invested in other weapons companies as well that are not in its top 10 investments.

TEXAS
The Teacher Retirement System of Texas  (#18 on World’s Largest Pensions as of 2015 according to: pension360.org ) has these investments in 14 of the top 20 weapons dealers (in number of shares):
Lockheed Martin Corp 219,869.000
Boeing Co 408,212.000
BAE Systems 1,275,550.000
Raytheon Company 322,676.000
Northrop Grumman Corp 292,680.000
General Dynamic Corp 66,502.000
Airbus Group 727,144.000
United Technologies Corp 250,528.000
L3 Communications Holdings 311,140.000
Thales 354,221.000
Huntington Ingalls 393,237.000
Rolls Royce Group 3,788,702.000
Rolls Royce Hldgs 51,728,610.000
Rolls Royce Holdings 1,124,535.000
Safran 918,509.000
Honeywell 791,020.000
Textron 22,430.000[11]

WISCONSIN
The Wisconsin Investment Board (#24 on World’s Largest Pensions in 2015, according to: pension360.org) is invested in the following. The first number listed is that of shares and the second number represents the value as of December 31, 2014.
Core Retirement Investment Trust:
Lockheed Martin 225,673     43,457,850
Boeing 604,526     78,576,289
BAE Systems 3,018,388     22,214,309
Raytheon 513,783     55,575,907
Northrop Grumman 276,822     40,800,795
General Dynamics 181,544     24,984,085
Airbus Group 266,525     13,335,730
United Technologies 1,264,998     145,474,770
Finmeccanica 183,391     1,716,491
L-3 Communications Holdings 132,101     16,672,467
Thales 42,182     2,296,650
Huntington Ingalls 29,165     3,279,896
Rolls Royce Hldgs C 173,538,630     270,590
Rolls-Royce Holdings 1,749,286     23,729,896
Safran 740,482     45,921,038
Honeywell International 1,091,644     109,077,068
Textron 165,721     6,978,511

Variable Retirement Income Trust:
Lockheed Martin 58,926     11,347,380
Boeing 155,056     20,154,179
BAE Systems 332,151     2,444,518
Raytheon 96,929     10,484,810
Northrop Grumman 57,067     8,411,105
General Dynamics 57,033     7,848,881
Airbus Group 22,946     1,148,116
United Technologies 255,384     29,369,160
Finmeccanica 15,801     147,893
L-3 Communications Holdings 26,571     3,353,526
Thales 3,629     197,585
Huntington Ingalls 9,164     1,030,583
Rolls Royce Hldgs C 13,078,890     20,393
Rolls-Royce Holdings 136,015     1,845,108
Safran 68,955     4,276,249
Honeywell International 215,674     21,550,146
Textron 52,042     2,191,489 [12]

WHAT NOW?
The above is probably just scratching the surface. It’s just what we know so far, not all there is to know. There are many ways in which funds may be indirectly invested in weapons (such as through investment in these funds). For example, there are fund management groups that are invested in weapons dealers:
Ameriprise invests in United Technologies, Lockheed Martin, Huntington, Boeing, General Dynamics, and Raytheon. Blackrock Group invests in LTD Honeywell, Raytheon, L-3 Communications, Lockheed Martin.[13]

We don’t have to know the full extent of the investment in order to begin making any such investments unacceptable, shameful, and illegal. War profiteering was, in fact, once deemed reprehensible. It has been in great measure normalized. The goal of this project is to render it unacceptable and impossible to engage in.

FOOTNOTES
1. Researched by Sarita Vogels.
2. According to pension360.org, researched by Corey Raths.
3. Researched by Gayle Morrow.
4. Researched by Gayle Morrow.
5. Researched by Jim Bearden.
6. According to pension360.org, researched by Corey Raths.
7. Researched by Corey Raths.
8. According to pension360.org, researched by Corey Raths.
9. Researched by Gayle Morrow in the Mergent Online database.
10. Researched by Corey Raths.
11. Researched by Corey Raths.
12. Researched by Corey Raths.
13. Researched by Gayle Morrow in the Mergent Online database.

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6 Comments

  1. dave powelson says:

    I received the response below from my state representative asking for specific details on how Utah tax money funds weapons dealers. Can you help me find some details for Rep. Redd?
    Thanks,

    On Sunday, December 4, 2016 10:04 AM, Edward Redd wrote:
    Dear Mr. Powelson,
    Using public money (tax revenues from people who pay taxes) to fund weapons dealers and profitability of future wars are issues that I do not fully understand as these issues have not crossed my state legislative path. Could you give me some specific details or examples where Utah income tax or Utah sales tax revenues are being used to fund weapons dealers? Also I am at a loss to understand how “tax dollars and the future security of public employees” are currently “riding on the profitability of future wars.” Educate me and help me out with some details about current public funding of weapons dealers (or manufacturers). Also help me understand what you would do to specifically remedy the current situation and how you would mitigate the potential negative unintended consequences that your suggested interventions might cause.
    Thank you for taking the time to respond to this email.
    Rep Edward Redd
    435-760-3177

    • We have not yet found anything in Utah, so need you to ask him to help with info on where state funds are invested and/or with a public committment that no state funds are invested in weapons dealers and they never will be!

  2. Monique Nadel says:

    War is NOT a normal way of life. Weapons are not necessary to life. Peace is essential to our existence.

  3. I’ve been in a quandary lately: when trying to divest from fossil fuels (stock market), I switched to the bond market–which I’ve been told invests heavily in the military. how do I avoid these????? does anybody out there know? I’m aware that there are companies that will “manage” your money and invest in socially responsible companies. the problem is they charge out the ying yang.

  4. We must find ways to maintain world peace. War is not an option. Weapons sale is a major detriment to these ends.

  5. Please do not support weapons of war.

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