Portugal Confiscates Private Pension Funds – Can It Happen in the United States?

Portugal has confiscated $7.5 billion of private pension funds (November 2, 2011) as a last ditch effort to meet deficit targets. This is the European model for introducing “austerity” programs: steal the wealth from the producers. This is not the first time that this type of governmental theft has occurred as Neil Boortz outlined last year. I bolded the last paragraph where he warns us of the Obama administration’s study to do the same here:


So how’s that working out for Argentineans? Back in 2008, Argentina decided that it really didn’t want to let the financial crisis go to waste. So the wealth redistributionists thought that this would be a great time to seize all private pension funds! Remember that? The government nationalized $30 billion worth of assets under the guise of “protecting” the people from the perils of a volatile capitalists system.

Less than two years later, what is the government doing with that private money that it has now seized? It is using those nationalized pension funds to finance its current spending. How do you like that? From what we can put together from the Spanish reports in La NaciÃn, the government is funding its overhead costs with billions from the guarantee fund for the nationalized pension system. So the government seizes these private pension funds and then “borrows” the money to cover its overhead costs, promising people that there funds will be there when they are ready to retire. Meanwhile, Argentina keeps spending and debt continues to rise. Sounds like a Ponzi scheme to me!

You do know, don’t you, that at this very moment the Obama administration is conducting studies on the possibility of seizing or gaining control over your pension plans … much like they did in Argentina. Just something to keep on your radar screen.

Maybe Mr. Boortz’s warnings on several occasions about this possibility could be just the ravings of a right wing talk show extremist. Here is another excerpt from a former U.S. Congressman Robert Bauman:

Will Obama Nationalize U.S. Pensions?

Should you be worried about this latest radical Obama move?

There is an estimated $15 trillion worth of private retirement plans in the United States; $4 trillion in IRAs alone; this constitutes 35 percent of all private assets in America. That is what the Obama government is eyeing to help plug the multi-trillion dollar deficit in his big spending budget.

You could call this move Obama’s attempt to “pull an Argentina.”

Folks, I served in the U.S. Congress when Democrats were overwhelmingly in control. I’ve seen what happens when the Republicans are in charge, as well. Meaning simply, anything can happen—so hold on to your wallet… and your retirement account!

—Robert J. Bauman, JD

This last excerpt comes from the author of “The Threat of the Private Retirement System”:

Reports out of Washington indicate that new retirement annuities may be promoted by Obama aides. This is just the beginning! The question every successful American with substantial retirement assets must ask is “what will you do if our retirement funds are forced to become the buyer of last resort for US treasury obligations?” Unless you believe Congress and Washington bureaucrats will do a fair job of allocating and distributing your personal retirement assets between yourself and others, you must begin now to protect your assets.

The retirement trap I’m writing about is only a proposal at the present time and since it may well begin in the latter years of the Obama Administration, assuming the Democrats can somehow maintain their majorities in Congress, I’m calling it the “Obama Retirement Trap.” But make no mistake, the government need for current revenue and their frenzied search for liquidity to monetize their debt obligations is an unspoken quest of both political parties. The establishments of both political parties will do whatever it takes to stay in power, including the raiding and pillaging of your retirement funds.


Let’s see: $15 trillion in private retirement plans vs. $15.1 trillion in national debt. After the passage of S. 1867 in this upcoming week, my advice is to be quiet when the government takes the rest of your money or you and all of your assets may disappear into the night without a trace.

David DeGerolamo

Portugal raids pension funds to meet deficit targets

Portugal has raided €5.6bn (£4.8bn) of pension fund assets in a controversial scramble to meet its deficit targets.

The cabinet agreed to transfer the assets from four of Portugal’s biggest banks to the state balance sheet.

The assets will be used to bridge a gap needed to meet the fiscal deficit target of 5.9pc of GDP set by the terms of the country’s €78bn bail-out from around 10pc in 2010.

“This measure is more than sufficient to meet the budget deficit goal in 2011,” said Helder Rosalino, secretary of state for central administration, on Friday.

Portugal said it had informed the EU and IMF and assured them it would be a “one-off”. However the 2010 budget was met by shifting three pension plans from Portugal Telecom on to the public social security system. The liabilities don’t count, yet.

There have been no complaints from Eurostat but Raoul Ruperal from Open Europe said: “This can’t be seen as a future revenue stream in any way.”


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11 years ago

Here is an article written in 2010, there was talk about it in 2008, http://www.thenewamerican.com/index.php/usnews/politics/3478-obama-administration-plans-to-seize-401k-retirement-accounts

Obama administration believes that employers cannot be relied upon to adequately manage the 401(k) retirement accounts it provides for their employees, therefore the federal government will relieve them of that responsibility and take sole discretionary control of those funds, thus eliminating the risk of mismanagement. In other words, the Obama administration is planning to divert the “stream of income after retirement” and channel it right through Washington, D.C.

Sandra Martin
Sandra Martin
10 years ago

Yikes! If I put my IRA into an annuity, will it be safe from being confiscated? This is pretty scary. I never thought something like this could happen in the USA.


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