Swiss unions have branded flexible pension pay-outs introduced in some of the country’s second-pillar funds “a curse”, and warned the model increases both administrative workloads and costs for funds.The topic of flexibility was among the most hotly debated topics during this month’s Swiss second pillar pension conference Fachmesse 2. Säule was the one on flexible pension pay-outs, with Doris Bianchi of union umbrella group SGB highly critical of the model.“It is a curse for all current employees who will have to accept not knowing the level of their pension pay-out in future and for pension funds because of legal uncertainties,” she said during a debate at the conference referring to possible problems in evaluating such schemes and transferring members to other Pensionskassen.However, two pension funds which already introduced the flexible model said they had no such problems. The pension fund of accountancy PwC in Switzerland pioneered the model in 2005, by introducing a “bonus pension” model in which the level of pension is calculated every three years. “We need less than an hour to set the new benchmarks every three years and adjusting the pension pay-outs is no big deal either,” Josef Bachmann, managing director at the PwC pension fund told IPE.He confirmed that it had taken some time and resources to develop the model – “especially as we were the first” – but he stressed the positive effect this flexibilisation has on the pension fund fully justifies the costs.Over the last years, many Swiss pension funds have been forced to adjust their technical parameters, such as the discount and the conversion rate, in order to ensure that no money from active members had to be transferred for paying out pensions to retired members.However, amending the technical parameters only offered limited assistance, with other solutions needed to ensure sustainability of the second pillar.One solution could be flexible pension pay-outs where only the legal minimum is guaranteed – a model similar to the one introduced by energy sector fund PKE this year.Ronald Schnurrenberger, managing director at the PKE, confirmed the administrative effort was minimal after the initial costs for setting up a new IT system.“Our system has been set up to ensure simple administration: The system only has five steps,” he explained, referencing target pensions of 90%, 95%, 100% – which is the target pension – 105% and 110%.Those steps depend on the certified funding level as per year-end with the target pension being paid out if the funding level is between 100% and 120%.This target pay-out level is also used for assessing the value of the pension fund in the company’s accounts and for possible transfers of members to other pension funds.Schnurrenberger stressed his members understood the need for the measure and those active members on the trustee board had voted in favour of the introduction fully knowing they would be receiving only a minimum guarantee on their pension in the future.Bianchi had argued the model helped employers save on second pillar costs as in case of underfunding retirees were covering a part of the deficit, while currently it was only the employer and the employee contributing to the recovery.At the conference, Christoph Ryter, president of the Swiss pension federation Asip, stressed “every additional bit of room for manoeuvre” given to the trustee boards was “a good thing”.He mentioned when the mandatory second pillar was set up in the 1980s many Pensionskassen had introduced a legal clause to cut pensions if necessary which they had to revoke after the first revision of the law governing mandatory occupational pensions in Switzerland, the BVG.“This increased the ‘de-solidarisation’ between active members and retirees – with the introduction of a flexible pension pay-out this would be amended to a certain extent,” said Ryter.He stressed, however, that a flexibilisation should never be introduced for pay-outs below a legal minimum.For his fund, the Migros Pensionskasse (MPK), a flexible pension pay-out model was “no option” at the moment as “financial security is very high” and in fact the MPK remains one of the few funds to still be run as a defined benefit scheme.Meanwhile, the Pensionskasse of Swiss railways SBB is still discussing whether or not to introduce flexible pension pay-outs and managing director Markus Hübscher said he expected a decision by the board of trustees this year.
Swedish life and pensions provider Folksam Liv reported rapid growth in premiums in the first half of this year, rising 59% to SEK8.94bn (€939m) from SEK5.60bn in the same period last year, but warned that growth would stall in the second half.In its interim report for January to June 2015, Folksam said the continued strong growth was due to a high level of interest in its traditional life insurance, which it said carried good conditions for policyholders.Jens Henriksson, deputy director and group head of Folksam Liv, said: “Folksam Liv is expected to have lower growth in the rest of the year, compared with the first half.”This was because it had made changes to its traditional life insurance pension product and stopped selling the mortgage and insurance product Senior Capital, he said. On July 1, the guarantee level for the company’s traditional pensions was cut, with the return promise applying to only 85% of contributions after that date compared with 95% before.Folksam said most customers had accepted the new conditions and carried on with their pension savings, but that the changes were expected to result in a slowdown in growth in the autumn.Folksam Liv’s return for January to June fell to 3.7% from 5.3% in the same period last year.The solvency level rose to 162% at the end of June from 155% at the end of December, and total assets grew to SEK165.6bn from SEK156.2bn at the end of last year.Meanwhile, local government sector pension fund KPA Pension, which is 60% owned by Folksam and 40% owned by the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SKL), reported a 4.0% return from January to June, down from 6.0% in the same period the year before.Premiums grew in the first half to SEK10.2bn from SEK8.8bn, the fund said.KPA Pension said it had won several pensions contracts in the first half, including contracts from municipalities of the city of Stockholm and of East Gotland.Assets under management grew to SEK134.6bn at the end of June from SEK116.7bn.
Hat Tip: Kiwiblog
Rustan Castañeda. IAN PAUL CORDERO/PN ILOILO City – A former assetof the National Bureau of Investigation Region 6 (NBI-6) and his accomplice werearrested in a drug buy-bust operation in Barangay Luna, La Paz district. Castañeda admitted he ownedthe firearm but failed to present his licence. Police identified them asformer NBI-6 informant Rustan Castañeda, 36, resident of Barangay Cabanbanan,Oton, Iloilo and Dixie Deñosa, 27, of Barangay San Isidro, Jaro district. Castañeda said he wassurprised when police officers arrested him. “I was supposed to reportJohn to the police for his illegal activity but they arrested me and let Johngo,” he added. Recovered for theirpossession were nine sachets of suspected shabu, a .380-caliber revolver withseven live bullets, an NBI badge, and a plastic canister. “Dixie told me to get thepouch from John and when I received it, the police arrested me. I think theywere mistaken because the police were supposed to arrest John and not me. I’mnot engaged in illegal drugs,” said Castañeda. However, Castañeda deniedowning the suspected illegal drugs, saying Deñosa told him to receive the pouchfrom a drug supplier that was only identified as a certain “John.” RDEU chief Lieutenant JerseyBesas said prior to the operation, the suspects were under surveillance forseveral days and Castañeda was the primary target of the operation. Castañeda and Deñosa werenabbed after they sold suspected shabu to an undercover officer of the PoliceRegional Office 6‘s Regional Drug Enforcement Unit (RDEU) for P5,000 around2:05 p.m. on Sept. 14. Deñosa, meanwhile, revealedthe supplier and source of suspected shabu came from Manila but she denied her involvementin the illegal drug trade./PN
An antidrug officer inspects items confiscated from Marlon Tanilon, Lucil Antolo, Prince Legaspi, and John Patrick Arca, who were nabbed in an entrapment operation in Barangay Tangub, Bacolod City on June 22. POLICE STATION 2/BCPO BACOLOD City – Nineteen sachets of suspected shabu weighing about 28 grams valued at around P224,000 were seized in a buy-bust operation in Barangay Tangub. The suspects were detained in the lockup cell of the Police Station 2, facing charges for violation of Republic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002./PN Residents Marlon Tanilon, 46; Lucil Antolo, 51; Prince Legaspi, 36; and John Patrick Arca, 35, yielded the suspected illegal drugs, a police report showed. The suspects were caught after they sold suspected shabu to an undercover cop for P500 around 4:05 a.m. on June 22, it added.
Area Boys & Girls Basketball Scores.Tuesday (11-21)Boys Scores.South Ripley 60 Jac-Cen-Del 51Milan 54 Franklin County 37Greensburg 63 North Decatur 43Trinity Lutheran 95 South Decatur 75South Dearborn 73 Rising Sun 70Hauser 78 Greenwood Christian 53Waldron 74 Christel House Academy 62Shawe Memorial 54 Medora 49Edinburgh 56 SW Shelby 47Girls Scores.Batesville 51 Connersville 40Batesville JV Won 35-27Union County 45 Oldenburg 40Rushville 70 South Dearborn 40Shawe Memorial 77 Medora 19
Batesville, IN— This year’s Star-Spangled Indianapolis Symphony in Batesville, originally scheduled to take place on June 28, 2020, has been canceled. Organizers made the decision to not move forward with the patriotic performance and fireworks display out of an abundance of caution for the health and well-being of organizers and attendees.Uncertainty around the timing of when COVID-19-related stay-at-home orders will be lifted has also made planning a large event challenging. The organizers appreciate the public’s understanding of this decision and will determine the next steps once it is safe to do so and, in the meantime, encourage the community to stay healthy and safe.
Leo Cullen has been appointed as Leinster’s new head coach. Leinster and the Irish Rugby Football Union announced that Cullen has agreed a two-year deal. He had been in interim charge following the departure of Matt O’Connor at the end of last season. Cullen made more than 200 appearances for Leinster and captained them to three European titles. The 37-year-old former lock also won 32 Ireland caps between 2002 and 2011. Leinster Rugby chief executive Mick Dawson said: ” Leo’s status as a player is beyond question. He is second only to Gordon D’Arcy in terms of senior appearances, and he was an outstanding captain and leader on the pitch. “Over the last 12 months or so in his capacity with the forwards, and indeed over the pre-season as interim head coach, Leo has continued to impress everyone at Leinster with his tactical and strategic direction. “It was a thorough and robust interview process, and we took our time to ensure that this was the case. The process included the input of all relevant stakeholders, and ultimately Leo was the best candidate that we interviewed.” Leinster defence coach Kurt McQuilkin, meanwhile, has seen his short-term deal extended to a two-year contract. Press Association
(REUTERS)-South Africa’s JP Duminy and Dean Elgar both scored centuries in a third-wicket partnership of 250 to drive the tourists to a 388-run lead over Australia at the end of the third day of the first Test yesterday.Australia removed both centurions around the tea break, as well as Temba Bavuma and captain Faf du Plessis in the last hour, but by then the damage had been done and the Proteas will go into day four on 390 for six.Quinton de Kock, who was dropped by Adam Voges on one, was at the crease unbeaten on 16 at the end of a long, hot day at the WACA, along with Vernon Philander, who had made 23 not out.South African paceman Dale Steyn was ruled out of the rest of the series with a fractured shoulder on Friday and will play no further part in the match, reducing the number of wickets Australia need to take.Steyn was a member of the Proteas team that chased down 414 to beat Australia at the WACA in 2008 but it was a debutant Duminy who scored the three runs off Mitchell Johnson that got the South Africans over the line.Now 32, Duminy looks to have played a key role in another Perth triumph after his brilliant 141 rammed home South Africa’s advantage after they had skittled Australia for 244 in reply to their 242 on Friday.Duminy faced 225 balls and hit 20 of them for fours with another going for six, overhauling partner Elgar before lunch and reaching his fifth test century with two runs to deep cover soon after the break.NERVOUS NINETIESIt was his first century in two years and his third against Australia, just reward for a masterclass of calm control and shot-making.The end came just as it looked like the pair of left-handers would bat through to tea, Peter Siddle benefiting from a DRS review when the technology revealed a nick off the bat that carried through to wicketkeeper Peter Nevill.Elgar did not have such a good experience on his previous visit to the WACA, having got a pair when he made his test debut at the ground in 2012, albeit on the winning team.Dogged and determined where Duminy was fluent, the 29-year-old reached his fifth test century half an hour before tea after a prolonged spell in the “nervous nineties”.His career-best 127 came off 316 balls and he had hit 17 fours and one six when Josh Hazlewood finally winkled him out after tea when he offered a tired shot and got an edge which Mitchell Starc took at gully.Starc should have caught Elgar on 81 when the batsman skied the ball to mid-off but he lost the ball in the Perth sun, tripped himself over trying to readjust his position and spilled it on the turf, to the despair of bowler Nathan Lyon.The left-arm paceman also accounted for Du Plessis (32), a fine edge taken behind by Nevill, while Hazlewood had Bavuma well caught by Usman Khawaja at deep square leg for eight but the collapse Australia needed never materialised.After Perth, the series continues in Hobart before concluding with a day-night Test at Adelaide Oval.SOUTH AFRICA 1st innings 242 (Q. de Kock 84, T. Bavuma 51; M. Starc 4-71)Australia 1st innings 244 (D. Warner 97, S. Marsh 63; V. Philander 4-56)South Africa 2nd innings (Overnight: 104-2)S. Cook c S. Marsh b Siddle 12D. Elgar c Starc b Hazlewood 127H. Amla b Hazlewood 1J. Duminy c Nevill b Siddle 141F. du Plessis c Nevill b Starc 32T. Bavuma c Khawaja b M. Marsh 8Q. de Kock not out 16V. Philander not out 23Extras (b-4 lb-13 nb-1 w-12) 30Total (for 6 wickets, 126 overs) 390Fall of wickets: 1-35 S. Cook,2-45 H. Amla,3-295 J. Duminy,4-324 D. Elgar,5-346 T. Bavuma,6-352 F. du PlessisTo bat: D. Steyn, K. Rabada, K. MaharajBowling: M. Starc 27 – 7 – 99 – 1(w-1),J. Hazlewood 32 – 10 – 97 – 2(nb-1),P. Siddle 22 – 8 – 47 – 2, M. Marsh 22 – 4 – 52 – 1(w-3), N. Lyon 21 – 2 – 76 – 0, A. Voges 2 – 1 – 2 – 0.
(REUTERS) – England could field separate test and limited-overs teams to play matches on consecutive days as part of a compressed home season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, says the ECB’s director of cricket Ashley Giles.England have suspended professional cricket until at least May 28 due to the outbreak and uncertainty also looms over their home series against West Indies, Pakistan, Australia and Ireland.Wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler has said England could field two different teams on the same day at separate venues to maximise the amount of cricket in a truncated summer. “Technically it’s feasible,” former spinner Giles told British media. “You could put two different groups together. We haven’t really looked at that, like that, yet.”However, Giles thought it more likely that matches could take place on consecutive days.“We’ve certainly looked at playing two formats around the same time,” he added. “You could have a Test match running and play a T20 or an ODI the day before or the day after a test match. “But it’s also working with the broadcasters on what’s best and what they want. That’s another important partnership for us.“They will be suffering at the moment and we are very much all in this together.”Giles hoped at least some cricket would be played this summer though he conceded hosting West Indies for a three-Test series in June was looking “less and less likely”. “The deadline of 28 May still stands but … it’s looking less and less likely that we’re going to be out there in June,” he said.