“The message to stop the development of the HBS will be welcomed by those who saw it as an expensive distraction and largely pointless,” he said.“It is a fairly clear steer from the Parliament that EIOPA needs to put the breaks on anything that could cause IORPs additional work.”He welcomed Hayes’s approach, as well as the MEP’s observing Council of the EU recommendations to simplify the Directive.Dowsey said the rapporteur had been true to his word in trying to mend the funding issue for cross-border pension funds, which cannot be underfunded.However, the current wording on funding has caused the consultancy some concerns.Similarly, James Walsh, EU policy lead at the UK’s National Association of Pension Funds, said the current wording in relaxing the full-funding requirements could have unintended consequences.The new version states that a fund’s technical provisions should be fully funded “from the moment when the institution starts operating a new or additional scheme”.The text, however, fails to specify what constitutes a “fund launch”. Dowsey said: “Hayes clearly wants to do something about the [fully-funded cross-border situation], but the amendment he has made is open to conjecture.“The sentiment is welcome, but, as drafted, it is potentially less helpful … the intention is to facilitate cross-border schemes without making it more onerous than the domestic situation.”Dowsey also highlighted that, in Article 13/3, the IORP II Directive suggests that bulk transfers between IORPs will require most of their members’ approval, regardless of geography.However, Ireland and the UK have special regulations in place to allow transfers without consent, subject to protections from members and independent actuarial approval.“As drafted,” Dowsey said, “[the regulations] could prevent bulk transfers and potentially frustrate M&A activity.” The European Parliament’s latest draft of the IORP Directive calling for limitations on the EU regulator will be largely welcomed by the industry, Towers Watson has said.In a draft published earlier this week, Irish MEP Brian Hayes, IORP rapporteur for the Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON), said the controversial holistic balance sheet (HBS) accounting approach was “not realistic in practical terms”.He also suggested other European Insurance and Occupation Pensions Authority (EIOPA) projects should be pegged back, and argued that neither the European Commission nor the regulator had the power to draft additional technical standards.Mark Dowsey, senior consultant at Towers Watson, said the latest draft – likely to enter trialogue by the end of the year – sent a clear message to EIOPA.
Most fantasy football owners wouldn’t mind starting their drafts by picking a top running back. The only problem in 2019 is how messy the top of the RB rankings are. Ezekiel Elliott and Melvin Gordon look no closer to returning from their holdouts (and Gordon could get traded and throw a wrench into multiple teams’ plans). Then in Kansas City, the relatively unknown Damien Williams has been missing time at camp because of injury, allowing newly signed handcuff Carlos Hyde to stand out. Everyone would like some clarity on their cheat sheets, but it doesn’t seem to be coming yet.Be sure to check out our top 200 rankings throughout the preseason, as we’ll be frequently updating them as injuries, signings, and starter announcements occur. Damien Williams injury updateAndy Reid praised Carlos Hyde on Sunday for “taking advantage” of the reps he’s gotten with Williams injured, according to NFL.com. Williams wasn’t expected to be out this long with his hamstring injury, and his missed week of camp has allowed both free-agent signee Hyde and rookie Darwin Thompson to get more plays. Reid singled out Hyde, for whatever that’s worth.DRAFT STRATEGY AND RANKINGS TIERS: Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/STWilliams is being selected as an RB2 in standard leagues. There’s a month until the season starts, so his Week 1 status shouldn’t be in doubt. The handcuff to Williams could be crucial, though, especially in an offense as high-powered as Kansas City’s. It’s worth keeping tabs on this situation. If Hyde has stuff left in the tank or if Thompson can wedge his way into the conversation, Williams’s value would take a notable hit. DOMINATE YOUR DRAFT: Ultimate 2019 Fantasy Cheat SheetMelvin Gordon holdout updateAfter Gordon requested a trade last week, there’s been much speculation as to where he might end up. Houston and Tampa Bay seem like the two most obvious destinations, but the Houston Chronicle reported Monday morning that the Texans won’t be pursuing a trade for Gordon. There have been no reports on whether the Buccaneers are pursuing a specific Gordon trade. Adam Caplan has reported that while Gordon is out, Justin Jackson is ahead of Austin Ekeler for early-down work in L.A.If Gordon were to be traded, it would shake up the rankings entirely. He’d presumably be a surefire first-round pick no matter where he ended up, while it would also boost Jackson and Ekeler’s value with the Chargers. A Gordon trade would also knock someone else out of a top backfield job with another team. The most fantasy-friendly outcome, in terms of least chaos, would be Gordon remaining with the Chargers and just playing football.2019 STANDARD RANKINGS:Quarterback | Running back | Wide Receiver | Tight End | D/ST | Kicker | Top 200When will Ezekiel Elliott end holdout?Cowboys owner Jerry Jones doesn’t see a deadline on Elliott’s holdout, he told USA Today. He went on to say that he won’t “see a point” in months, either. Basically, Jones was saying that as the current collective bargaining agreement exists, he doesn’t see a reason to give in and pay Elliott what he’s requesting. Jones has already said it takes more than a RB to win a Super Bowl. If anything, this throws more doubt into ‘Zeke’s availability to start the season.Dallas brought in veteran Alfred Morris last week to serve as Elliott insurance alongside youngsters Tony Pollard and Darius Jackson. Elliott is universally ranked as a top-four player in fantasy football for 2019, so he’s as big (or bigger) a risk as Le’Veon Bell was in 2018. If you draft Elliott in the first round, it would behoove you to grab Morris late to provide insurance on your top pick. 2019 PPR RANKINGS:Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | Top 200