I work for the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City as director of music at Epiphany Catholic Church.Â Through my employment, I have a retirement plan, a 403-b (like a 401-k, only for non-profit organizations).
The investment choices are stock and bond mutual funds, or a money-market account.Â Metropolitan Life runs the show.Â My retirement money is in the money-market account, but as I have noted previously, it is not a very sound money-market fund.Â It’s funds are invested in:
- Large (and therefore uninsured) deposits in banks,
- Commercial paper (like Lehmans)
- Bank acceptances (effectively, these are post-dated checks)
So in mid-September I wrote the business office, suggesting that employees be allowed to take their money out of this plan and deposit it in CDs at a locally owned bank or credit union.Â Three weeks later, no reply.
So I sent another email, and noted that it seemed to me that the financial advice the Archbishop was getting was as toxic and useless as the psychological advice he received a few years ago statingÂ that a certain priest with a predilection for teen-age boys was “cured” and no longer a danger to young people.Â
Unfortunately, that psycho-babble wasn’t worth much, and he “re-offended”, thereby gravely harming two young men, and also causing great public scandal and a judgment of about $10 million, which the Archdiocese paid.
I think employees everywhere should demand reforms in the 401-k/403-b system.Â Every plan should be required by law to include an account at a locally owned bank or credit union as one of its investment options.Â
Alas, that would be a structural support for the Main Street economy, and would take money away from the parasitical Wall Street economy, so it will take strong pressure from voters for Congress to force such changes on the retirement system.
Here’s a final curious note.Â I went to the Metropolitan Life retirement system website today, and curiously the documents describing the investment options in the Archdiocese’s plan aren’t available.Â How conveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeenient.