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Dutch Pensions Federation calls for postponement of system review

first_imgThe Dutch Pensions Federation has called on the government to postpone the implementation of planned changes to the pensions system by another year.It said it was concerned ongoing delays in decision-making over the system’s review would pose “great risks” for its proper implementation.The federation was responding to stalled negotiations between the governing coalition parties – the VVD and the PvdA – and the opposition party regarding government plans to reduce tax-facilitated pensions accrual from 2.25% to 1.75% a year.The measure was meant to save €3bn for the national budget, but the opposition – which has a blocking majority in the Senate – fears younger workers will be unable to accrue sufficient pension rights. On 13 December, on national radio, Gerard Riemen, director at the Pensions Federation, said: “We should have had clarity for two months already, as the implementation of changes in pension arrangements usually takes a year.”Postponing the update of the pensions system would also entail a second delay for the new financial assessment framework (FTK), including the new pensions contract.Last year, Jetta Klijnsma, state secretary at the Ministry for Social Affairs, postponed the introduction of the reviewed FTK by a year to 1 January 2015.At the time, both the €293bn civil service scheme ABP and the €134bn healthcare pension fund PFZW, as well as the Pensions Federation, expressed their disappointment, citing uncertainty over the sustainability of the pensions contract, which had already been a subject of debate for four years.The government’s proposals for the new FTK have not yet been published, as a result of the decision to develop a single hybrid pensions contract – rather than a nominal version, as well as one under real terms – following a consultation with the pensions sector.last_img read more

FRC investigates actuaries, accountants on Coats Group schemes

first_imgHowever, the complaints are likely to relate to individuals rather than the conduct of specific accountancy firms or actuarial consultancies, as the FRC has previously named companies under investigation.The statement did not specify which of the company’s three pension funds were affected by the work undertaken by those under investigation, nor did it specify what area of work by the professionals was being queried.TPR has long been in discussions with the threadmaking company.In February, the firm announced it would be retaining $505m (£342m) to address funding shortfalls within the Brunel, Staveley and Coats UK pension schemes.In its most recent half-yearly report, published 28 July, Coats says it has yet to settle its talks with TPR but re-emphasises its intention to address funding shortfalls with the $505m retained within the company.The company’s half-yearly report adds: “There are active discussions as to the support structure provided by the parent group cash and the level of annual deficit recovery payments.“If a settlement cannot be reached, and the investigation process continues, Coats believes any hearing is unlikely before the fourth quarter of 2016 at the earliest.”It notes that only once a settlement with TPR is reached will the regulator withdraw its Warning Notice, first issued in early 2014. The Financial Reporting Council (FRC), the UK regulator of the accountancy trade, is investigating an unnamed number of accountants and actuaries employed to work for the pension schemes of Guinness Peat Group.The allegations, which relate to schemes sponsored by the company now trading as Coats Group, concern eight years of conduct from 2004 onwards, according to a statement by the FRC.“The decision to investigate,” the FRC said, “follows a referral from the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries regarding matters arising from the Pension Regulator’s (TPR) own ongoing investigation into the group’s pension scheme arrangements.”A spokesman declined to specify the number of individuals involved and said it did not disclose names of individuals while under investigation.last_img read more

XPS: UK schemes sitting on £260bn accounting ‘black hole’

first_imgUK defined benefit (DB) scheme sponsors could be sitting on a £260bn (€290bn) accounting black hole, a new study from consultants XPS Group has warned. The accounting gap demonstrated what XPS referred to as the growing difference between “accounting balance sheets and future long-term targets”.Wayne Segers, head of transactions at XPS, said: “The Pensions Regulator is already expecting trustees and employers to set long-term funding targets, which will drive a greater difference between accounting and the cost of pensions.“Accounting disclosures will be an ever more important window in helping to explain this gap and good pension disclosures can help allay concerns around pension contributions and set out a clear path for managing pension risk.” In its 2017 Thematic Review, the UK audit watchdog, the Financial Reporting Council, emphasised the usefulness of DB sponsors not only presenting but also explaining alternative valuations to the accounting measure in their accounts.On other key accounting assumptions, the XPS study broadly confirmed the findings of comparable studies this year from advisers KPMG and Lane Clark Peacock LLP.In relation to discounting, XPS said UK sponsors used an average discount rate of 2.8% during 2018, across a range of 2.6% to 3.1%.The consultancy added that schemes with a rate in excess of 2.85% were likely using a non-standard approach to discounting.On life expectancy, XPS discovered that some 82% of DB schemes had updated their assumptions to take account of the recent slowdown in the rate of longevity improvement.Finally, the XPS survey supported the view that the cost of implementing last year’s equality ruling had turned out to be lower than initially feared.In October, the High Court in London ruled that employers must grant equal “guaranteed minimum pension” (GMP) payments accrued between 1990 and 1997 to both male and female workers.XPS’s analysis showed that the cost of implementing the GMP ruling for most of the schemes in its sample was less than 1% of liabilities.The XPS Group survey was based on an analysis of 150 of the firm’s clients preparing accounts under a range of different financial reporting regimes including International Financial Reporting Standards.last_img read more

Investing in Critical Infrastructure, Port Development Key for Blue Economy

first_imgOn the sidelines of the ongoing international conference on “Sustainable Maritime Development Towards 2030 and Beyond” being held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, World Maritime News had the opportunity to speak with Nancy Karigithu, Principal Secretary for State Department for Shipping and Maritime Affairs (SD&MA), Kenya.Referring to the country’s progress and the future steps in availing of the potential of Blue Economy, Karigithu said that this is a new concept adopted by Kenya. Its development in terms of infrastructure has seen a lot of investment in that area with the aim “to create the right environment for investment and for facilitation of the Blue Economy.”The principal Kenyan seaport, the port of Mombasa, is the gateway to the eastern and central African region and therefore plays a big role in the Blue Economy move. Karigithu explained that the government is undertaking critical infrastructure projects, including the development of the railway system for the transportation of cargo from the port to the hinterland, as well as the ongoing development of another international port, namely the Lamu Port.As part of the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport Corridor, the new port represents a government initiative to develop a second deep sea port along the Kenyan coast. The first of the proposed 32 berths at the Lamu Port was scheduled for official opening in October this year.“Capacity building (in terms of human resources) is also the key of the government’s agenda due to creation of jobs and giving the youth the tools and skills to participate in international shipping,” she added.Capacity building would facilitate the development of the country’s own Blue Economy, therefore helping Kenya take part in the global industry in a sustainable manner, but it would also provide for export of labor. In November 2018, the country’s President Uhuru Kenyatta signed an executive order setting up the Bandari Maritime Academy in order to be able to create a maritime center of excellence in maritime training. The move was undertaken in order to develop Kenya’s maritime sector, but also to enable the country to tap into foreign exchange in terms of employment in the international shipping fleet.Furthermore, Kenya is hosting The Africa Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre that has a goal of reducing or mitigating the effects of shipping in port cities. MTCC Africa is undertaking a number of pilot projects towards this area in terms of data collection that are envisioned to lead to a reduction in greenhouse gases from the shipping and maritime sector.Speaking about the greatest maritime potential in Kenya, Karigithu pointed out the port industry as a sector that can facilitate trade and a gateway in terms of logistics. She explained that the country plans to create a free trade zone within the port, therefore enhancing the role it plays in the Blue Economy.“We are also looking at shipping, maritime training and capacity building, not only for Kenya but also for the region around Kenya and East Africa, as well as taking account of the developments in the region, such as the discovery of minerals which accelerated the development of the shipping segment,”Touching upon the topic of “Empowering Women” at this year’s conference in Jeddah, Karigithu said that Kenya has been “very focused on creating gender equality, not just in the maritime sector but in the work place generally.”She explained that the government has been very supportive of the initiative aiming to attract more women to the maritime sector. As an example, Kenya organized networks that enable women to get as much knowledge and information as possible, with an aim of providing the much needed information to young people, particularly girls. In this way, girls at an early age are being informed that there is “potential for lifelong satisfying careers in this sector.”Karigithu further said that the most common challenges that women face in the industry are based on the cultural mindsets that believe that the maritime sector is reserves for men.She listed home front as another challenge, saying that women are generally observed as being home makers. Such a career can become a challenge “unless the whole family stands by the woman,” Karigithu concluded.World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more

An inconvenient truth about the Irish marriage referendum

first_imgThe Irish Times 25 May 2015Seven hundred and thirty-four thousand, three hundred people did not vote No to love and equality. They are just as generous and inclusive as their neighbours who voted Yes, and just as fond of their gay relatives. In fact, some of them are gay themselves.That does not fit the dominant narrative that only people who were rigid, intolerant and fearful voted No. It is an inconvenient truth that this was not a referendum on whether we like gay people or not.People who voted No recognise marriage as the place where society celebrates sexual and gender differences as deeply embedded features of the human condition, primarily – although by no means exclusively – because it produces children. They wanted to preserve that in our social structures and law.The vast majority of Yes voters also voted from generous and humane impulses. More importantly, parents and relations of gay children, in particular, desperately wanted to convey to their children that they were just as equal as their straight siblings. We can all admire that and understand why they feel they have achieved that objective.We do not have to admire the fact that the campaign may have lasted weeks, but the soft coverage of gay icons and celebrities and “human interest” stories pushing the Yes side have been going on for years, with the enthusiastic collusion of the media.We do not have to admire a Government who relentlessly framed this so it was always going to be a battle between the heart and the head. We do not have to admire Government Ministers who talked about damaging the gay people’s mental health if we voted No.http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/breda-o-brien-an-inconvenient-truth-about-the-same-sex-marriage-referendum-1.2224422last_img read more

Guimaras still COVID-free, says guv Gumarin

first_imgGov. Samuel Gumarin says the island of Guimaras being free from coronavirus disease 2019 can be credited to the anticipation and measures undertaken by its provincial government. Guimaras, which is considered as “low-risk” by the national government in the spread of the virus, is under general community quarantine until May 15. GUIMARAS IO He added: “Ibig sabihin, kung magkaroon ng carrier sa isang bahay sa isang probinsya, lahat ng nasa bahay ay magkakaroon kung sakali.” “Naunahan namin ‘yung COVID-19. We prepared ourselves for this. Pinaigting po namin ‘yung border control dito,” he said.At least six seafarers will return home to Guimaras today. Gumarin ensured the persons will be immediately isolated in a quarantine facility.Guimaras is under GCQ until May 15 after it was classified by the national government as “low-risk” in the spread of COVID-19.Recently, the island province protested the Department of Health Region 6’s decision to count the 27-year-old seaman and resident of Buenavista town there who tested positive for the virus in Iloilo city as Guimaras’ first case.The Guimarasnon, who was one of the 266 stranded Ilonggo overseas Filipino workers who returned to Region 6 from Metro Manila on April 29, has yet to return to his home province.He is the region’s Patient No. 72/PN MANILA – The island of Guimaras being free from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) can be credited to its provincial government’s anticipation and preventive measures undertaken, Gov. Samuel Gumarin said.  “Anticipation is very important dahil kung ma-a-anticipate mo kung ano ‘yung magiging kalaban mo, you could make some sort of primary steps. So, kung ikumpara natin ‘yung parasitic infection, bacterial, at saka viral infection, ‘yung viral infection has the capacity to be explosive,” said Gumarin. According to the governor, the provincial government already banned the entry of individuals there from the National Capital Region since Jan. 31.last_img read more

Minister holds inter-ministerial session for sports development

first_imgRelatedPosts Minister gives condition for resumption of contact sports Minister pledges support for development of AI, robotics in Nigeria NSF 2020: Sports minister raises fresh hope Determined to revamp the sports sector in the country, the Sports Minister, Sunday Dare, will on Thursday in Abuja hold an inter-ministerial technical session, tagged: “Positioning sports as an industry – From concept to action.”Other ministers expected at the brainstorming session, according to a statement by the Head, Corporate Communications, Nigeria Economic Summit Group, Yinka Iyinolakan, are the Minister of Education, Information and Culture, Women Affairs, Industry, Trade and Investment, Finance, Budget and National Planning, Youth and Sports Development, Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social development.The statement reads: “The goal of the Inter-Ministerial Technical Session, is to develop a pathway for constant dialogue and engagement between the private and public sectors to chart a sustainable course for  unlocking the potentials of the Sports Industry and enabling the development of the whole gamut of the value chain of sports.“Through this pathway, it is expected that the reform of the Sports Industry will contribute to the socio-economic indices of the Nigerian economy by increasing participation in sport, enabling the  creation of jobs, promoting  greater employment of youth,generating revenues from sport-related activities and targeting a GDP contribution of 2-3% to the Nigerian Economy within 5-10 years.  “The outcome of the Inter-Ministerial Technical Session and the proceedings of the breakout sessions will form an integral part of the ongoing reform process towards a new National Sports  Industry Policy that will accommodate objectives  of all stakeholders in the public, social enterprise and private sectors for a vibrant sport industry, capable of contributing to the growth of the socio-economic indices of the Nigeria Economy.”The Inter-Ministerial Technical Session is jointly hosted by the Ministry and the Nigerian Economic Summit Group.Tags: sports developmentSunday DareYinka Iyinolakanlast_img read more

Ferdinand focused only on the prize

first_imgRio Ferdinand has no intention of getting distracted by record points hauls or winning the Premier League by the biggest margin. Both records have been mentioned in the last couple of weeks as Manchester United pulled 15 points clear of Manchester City in the title race. But as the two sides prepare to do battle in Monday’s derby clash at Old Trafford, Ferdinand is intent on remaining fully focused on landing the major prize. “It is just about winning,” he said. “If anything comes after that then great. If you win the league before the end of the season you can set other targets. For me personally we need to get the trophy first, then you can think of all the other stuff that goes on around it.” Monday represents City’s first cross-town trip since they put six past United in that never-to-be-forgotten demolition derby. Yet Ferdinand insists that mauling is not being used as motivation in the Red Devils camp. And neither is the pain suffered on the final day of the season, when Sergio Aguero’s injury-time strike snatched the trophy away after United’s season had already been concluded. “We are not any more hungry because of what happened last season,” said Ferdinand. “This is just the way we are. The mentality of this club, driven by the manager, is that you have to win and you have to be challenging for every single competition you go in for. “That has been the case since I have been here and will never change. This club, the manager, the management team he has behind him, and the players and the fans demand that.” center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

American Taylor retains Olympic triple jump gold

first_imgBy Jack Stubbs in Rio de JaneiroRIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (Reuters) – Christian Taylor of the United States retained his Olympic men’s triple jump title yesterday, recording the longest jump of the year to claim the podium top spot.Taylor, the defending Olympic and world champion, made his mark of 17.86 metres with his first jump, staking a claim for the gold medal that his rivals were unable to match.His American teammate Will Claye took silver and China’s Dong Bin went home with bronze after they recorded 17.76 and 17.58 respectively, also at their first attempts.“The job is done,” Taylor told reporters. “I never thought on my first jump that would be the gold medal.“I wanted it so much. It came together, the stars aligned.”In what soon developed into a predictable tussle for silver and gold from within the U.S. team, the rest of the field in Rio fell behind to join the spectators watching Taylor and Claye re-enact their Olympic duel from London four years ago.“It’s just who executes better on that day. We’re equally talented,” Claye said. “We’re all beatable. I just have to come back and get my win next time.”A notable absentee was world silver medallist Pedro Pablo Pichardo of Cuba, who would have been a challenger for the gold, having posted several marks at 18 metres and further in 2015.The 23-year-old has reportedly struggled with an ankle injury and opted not to jump in Rio, smoothing the way for Taylor.`Taylor’s road to Rio has been a rocky one after a worsening knee injury forced him to switch his take-off leg following his 2012 Olympic triumph, a radical move in one of the most technically challenging events in athletics.After a “game-changing” 2015, the 26-year-old was once again clearing the 18-metre mark, making a jump of 18.21 metres at the Beijing world championships to claim second place in the all-time list behind Briton Jonathan Edwards’ 1995 world record of 18.29.Speaking before the Games, Taylor had said the world record was within his sights but his winning mark yesterday fell more than 40 cm short.“I wanted the world record but it wasn’t to be,” he said. “Now the fire burns even stronger because I know it’s in the tank.”last_img

Froome unhurt but bike ‘totalled’ after hit-and-run case

first_img(REUTERS) – Tour de France champion Chris Froome said yesterday that he had escaped unhurt while having his bike written off by an impatient car driver in a hit-and-run incident.The 31-year-old three-time winner of the world’s biggest bike race, tweeted a picture of the twisted remains of his “totalled” training bike, saying he had been deliberately knocked off by the driver.The Team Sky rider said he was “okay” after the incident that happened during a training ride near his home in the south of France.Sky News reported that it understood Froome would be reporting the incident to police.“Just got rammed on purpose by an impatient driver, who followed me onto the pavement! Thankfully I’m okay. Bike totalled. Driver kept going!”, the Team Sky rider wrote, adding an emoji of hands clasped in prayer.Team Sky said the Monaco-based Froome had continued his training session after returning home to get a spare bike.Froome is training for June’s Criterium du Dauphine, his familiar warm-up event before the Tour de France between July 1 and 23. He is favourite to win the event for a third successive year.The incident was just another reminder of the continued perils faced by professional cyclists on the road during training rides.It occurred less than three weeks since the death of 37-year-old Michele Scarponi, the former Giro d’Italia winner, who was struck by a van while training in Italy.His team, Astana, described the death of Scarponi, a husband and father of two, as a ‘tragedy too big to be written’.last_img read more