AFT Resolution


WHEREAS, all workers deserve a secure and dignified retirement based upon a guaranteed stream of income that allows them to maintain a decent standard of living after a lifetime of service; and

WHEREAS, in order to have a secure retirement, members must have a secure employment career; and

WHEREAS, the vast majority of the American Federation of Teachers’ 1.6 million members participate in defined benefit pension plans, whose assets exceed $3 trillion; and

WHEREAS, these pension plans are actually deferred wages for workers who have actively contributed to their fund, paid their fair share and accepted increased employer contributions in lieu of raises for the sake of retirement security; and

WHEREAS, our members’ pension plans invest more than $3 trillion in assets to supplement member and employer contributions with professional investment management firms that, along with pension fund staff and trustees, have a duty to protect and promote the retirement security of plan participants, including a duty of loyalty to those participants and a duty of prudence in investment decision making; and

WHEREAS, an essential component of retirement security is ensuring that adequate funds are contributed to meet benefits now and into the future; and

WHEREAS, costs matter in investing pension assets, and many costs and fees, including investment management fees, carried interest and other hidden fees, are not currently disclosed; and

WHEREAS, many investment management firms and their executives, using profits made from investing our members’ retirement assets, are actively engaged in attacks on public education and defined benefit pension plans under the guise of pension and education reform; and

WHEREAS, our members’ retirement security requires that:

  • sufficient assets must be contributed to pension plans to pay for current and future benefits;
  • all investment fees and costs must be transparent and fully accounted for; and
  • investment management firms must be aligned with the long-term interests of our members and plan participants, including maintaining and strengthening public education, public services and defined benefit pension plans:

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers, with its affiliates, members and pension fund trustees, will actively promote and protect employment and retirement security through research, active engagement and policy development of our members’ pension funds, including support for:

  • full funding of our members’ pension plans;
  • policies that require full transparency and accounting of all investment fees and costs; and
  • pension fund procurement policies that promote the alignment of investment management firms and executives with AFT members’ long-term employment and retirement security interests, and that include certification that they will not promote or fund efforts to privatize public education and services or undermine defined benefit pension plans; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT, with its affiliates, leaders and members, will engage the public, policymakers, fiduciaries and others to effect adoption of these principles and policies in order to better ensure that each of our members enjoys a safe, secure and dignified retirement.


Please note that a newer resolution, or portion of a resolution, may have superseded an earlier resolution on the same subject. As a result, with the exception of resolutions adopted at our most recent AFT convention, resolutions do not necessarily reflect current AFT policies.