Pension Scheme for WSDE workers

Dr Wolff, I am from Melbourne Australia. I have read your book Democracy At Work from cover to cover. However I have found that no references have been made for retirement arrangements or a pension scheme for the members of WSDEs. Could you please explain how that works.

Official response from submitted

There are, with an economy based on WSDEs, a variety of ways to organize pension systems (as indeed there has proved to be a variety within capitalist systems). For an existing system built and refined over half a century, you can look at the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation's very well documented system. Another way would be to allocate a portion of a worker coop's net revenues as a fund to be used to make pension payments to retired WSDE workers. This raises the question of how such a fund would be invested over the time that the worker is working. And here multiple possibilities likewise exist. It could be cautiously invested in govt bonds and/or it could be invested, part or whole, in loans at interest to new start-up WSDE's thereby constituting a fund that was both aimed at pension provision but also WSDE growth. Witholding of contributions into such a pension fund could come from individual WSDE members' wage income and/or from net income of the WSDE (total revenues minus wage and other input costs). An interesting concept that some WSDE's have developed entails rethinking what "retirement" means. Here the idea is that individual workers would be offered a situation somewhere between regular work and full retirement with a whole network of full-time and varying part-time tasks needed by the community of WSDEs that would be partly paid as all regular workers are paid and partly funded out of pension fund disbursements. In sum, no special problems attach to WSDE's in terms of establishing, funding and managing a pension fund system.

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  • Richard Wolff
    responded with submitted 2017-02-01 13:03:26 -0500
  • Jude Perera
    published this page in Ask Prof. Wolff 2017-02-01 07:21:28 -0500