The International Brotherhood of Teamsters and hospitality union UNITE HERE applaud the announcement that a U.S. Senate committee plans to address the risky activity of private equity companies in the insurance and retirement asset industries.
A hearing on such issues, including the aggressive investment strategies of private equity-controlled insurers, is scheduled for Sept. 8 before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. The topics are critical to workers and retirees as private equity companies, particularly Apollo Global Management, are taking control of more retirement assets and obligations through pension buyout deals.
Athene, a retirement security company owned by Apollo, entered the pension risk transfer market in 2017 and grew so rapidly it consumed the largest market share in 2020 and 2021.
Committee Chairman Senator Sherrod Brown said he intends to address “the growth of offshore reinsurance markets and increased risk-taking behavior across the life insurance industry” during the hearing, among other issues. Brown has asked the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and the Federal Insurance Office to study what risks these more aggressive tactics of private equity insurance providers present to policyholders.
“Lawmakers have to get off the sidelines and do something about private equity’s dangerous behavior around insurance and retirement assets,” said Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien. “The Teamsters applaud Senator Brown for helping to ring the alarm bells on private equity’s expanding presence in these industries. Our government needs to get serious about safeguarding workers’ retirement benefits and start scrutinizing the investment actions of companies like Apollo.”
“Workers’ earned pension assets should stay in federally regulated and insured pension plans,” said UNITE HERE President D. Taylor. “They should not be sold off to private equity, reinsured offshore in Bermuda, and placed into complex and illiquid investments. We look forward to these issues being addressed in the upcoming hearing.”