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first_imgShifting from the Dutch pension system’s predominantly defined benefit (DB) arrangements to individual defined contribution (IDC) would make it “much less complicated”, according to Bas Jacobs, a professor of economics and government finances at Rotterdam’s Erasmus University.Speaking at the recent Pensioenforum in Scheveningen, he argued that an IDC approach would solve most of the system’s current problems.Jacobs said the proposals of state secretary Jetta Klijnsma for an updated financial assessment framework (FTK) were an “incomplete and very complex mixture” of a guaranteed nominal pensions contract and a soft contract under real terms.By contrast, a mandatory IDC would deliver a transparent and complete contract, with the paid premium also producing the future benefits, he said. In such an approach, the negative redistribution effects, as a consequence of the current average pension accrual and contribution, would disappear, he said.The same would go for the “subjective” criteria for risk premiums, the discount rate and the ultimate forward rate (UFR).Jacobs noted that the proposed FTK legislation – with an increased threshold for indexation – would leave an unpaid bill of €300bn, and predicted that the conflict over risk sharing between generations and other groups of participants would continue.Referring to the combination of longevity risk, inflation and financial risk that pensions funds currently faced, Jacobs concluded that schemes were trying to “insure something that is actually impossible to insure”.The professor also claimed that the pensions system would remain procyclical following the prescribed “asymmetric” recovery periods, and reminded his audience that the procyclical character of the current system had greatly contributed to the deep recession in the wake of the financial crisis.In his opinion, the nominal guarantee under the new FTK will result in too little investment risk for young participants and too much risk for older participants.He stressed that a mandatory DC system would allow for a correct age-dependent investment mix, without a conflict between generations.“In addition, there won’t be funding shortfalls or a procyclical policy for investments, contributions and benefits,” he said.However, Jacobs acknowledged that the lack of risk-sharing among the generations, such as longevity risk, would be one of the disadvantages of a DC scheme.He said that, under IDC arrangements, participants should be offered longevity insurance, and be protected against “short-sighted” investment decisions.last_img read more


first_imgIn a statement, the pension fund explained the measures had become necessary because of the “massively worsened conditions on the capital markets”.“The historically low interest rates mean that insufficient returns from the capital markets are flowing into Swiss pension funds,” the BLPK said.“This means the Swiss retirement system can not longer rely on the capital markets as third contributor to the system to the same extent as before.”Caisse de prévoyance de l’Etat de Genève, the CHF11.8bn pension fund for employees of the canton of Geneva, has also announced that, despite the fund’s positive estimated performance as at the end of 2016 – of 5.5% -, it is cutting the technical rate in one go from 3% to 2.5%.  In a statement, it said this would significantly reduce the pension fund’s margin relative to the minimum coverage requirement, and that, in the event of significant market fluctuations, it could therefore take temporary sanitation measures on top of structural measures to restore long-term financial equilibrium.However, the board decided it was better not to wait to lower the technical rate if the trend toward lower rates persisted in the coming years.CPEG has also decided to increase the retirement age for its plans, effective 1 January 2018, representing a cut in benefits of around 5%.Other structural measures to ensure the long-term financial equilibrium of the pension fund may be on the cards, with CPEG saying that raising the retirement age only partially compensated for the lowering of the technical rate.It said the board would therefore explore other structural measures, such as lowering the pension target. ‘Painful but necessary’With their adjustments, the BLPK and CPEG follow the lead of other Swiss Pensionskassen that have already cut their rates in recent years.Among them was the BVK, with one of the most drastic cuts in the conversion rate, to below 5%.The pension fund – for the canton of Zurich – faced tough criticism from members, with some companies and authorities opting to leave the scheme. While the average cut in future pension promises was calculated at 8% at the BVK, the average losses at the BLPK are even higher, at 14%.“The cuts are painful but necessary to guarantee the financial sustainability of the BLPK,” the Pensionskasse explained.Each of the 60 affiliated pension plans in the BLPK now has to decide on whether to accept the cuts or leave the BLPK.A third option is for a pension plan within the BLPK to offer better rates, but this would mean higher contributions.The changes only apply to future retirees, as existing pension promises are untouchable under Swiss law.In 2014, the BLPK came under fire because it had to negotiate a financial top-up from the employers and the canton to fill a CHF2.2bn gap that had amassed over the years. From 2018, the pension fund of the Swiss canton of Basel-Landschaft, bordering the city of Basel to the south, will drastically lower its pension promises for future retirees.The pension fund for employees of the canton of Geneva is also making cuts, albeit smaller ones.First, the CHF27bn (€22bn) Basellandschaftliche Pensionskasse (BLPK) will cut the technical rate it applies to active members’ accrued capital (technischer Zins in German, or taux technique in French) from 3% to 1.75% from 2018.Subsequently, the conversion rate (Umwandlungssatz) used to calculate members’ pension payout levels, will be lowered in four steps from 5.8% to 5% between 2019 and 2022.last_img read more


first_img<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span>The President of Togo, Faure Essozimna Gnassingbe, who pays particular attention to the issues of fight against global warming and protection against coastal degradation in Africa, has commended Eko Atlantic City on its technique adopted to provide a permanent solution to coastal erosion. Gnassingbe gave the commendation during a tour of the new city, led by the Chairman of South Energyx Nigeria Limited, Mr. Ronald Chagoury, on September 21, 2018.Coastal erosion, a menace experienced through-out West Africa, including Nigeria and Togo, has been an on-going problem for hundreds of years impacting the lives of millions of African.Commenting these issues, the Chairman of South Energyx Nigeria Limited, the city planners and developers of Eko Atlantic City, Mr. Ronald Chagoury, said: “Eko Atlantic City came up as a solution to address the erosion that was fast destroying the coast of Victoria Island and its environs.”“We recognized that an urgent step had to be taken to protect the shoreline of Victoria Island and reclaim the land that had been lost. As a result, the Eko Atlantic City project came up as a permanent solution to the coastal erosion of Victoria Island and parts of Lekki and we have ensured this through the construction of the ‘Great Wall of Lagos’.”Eko Atlantic City is a planned city of Lagos State, Nigeria, being constructed on land reclaimed from the Atlantic Ocean.Upon completion, the new peninsula, which is still under development is anticipating at least 250,000 residents and a daily flow of 150,000 commuters.last_img read more


first_imgNational Security Minister Peter Bunting (L) has disclosed that the Jamaican murder rate is showing signs of a downward trendKINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — The murder rate in Jamaica is showing signs of a downward trend from the 3.1 per day to 2 per day, reflecting a 30 percent reduction since the start of the year.This was disclosed by Minister of National Security, Peter Bunting, when he addressed business leaders and other private sector interest groups, during a ‘Meet the Ministers Power Breakfast’ session in Kingston on Thursday.The minister said although it is early in the year, the recent crime fighting measures and strategies are bearing fruit.“Hopefully, we are seeing the beginning of a trend and there are certain mechanisms in place to ensure that we don’t lose these gains that we have been picking up. In fact, all major crimes have been trending down over the past few months… but this is not enough,” the minister said.Reflecting on his early days as minister of national security, Bunting said: “One of the first things that struck me in settling into the Ministry was how tolerant as a society we had become of our extraordinarily high levels of violent crime.”He further observed that studies, including the World Bank reports as well as the findings of local experts, indicate that crime is the number one obstacle to growth and development and has been so for over the past four decades.The minister suggested that without the “extraordinary high levels of crime, our economy and our earnings per capita would be somewhere between three times and 10 times its current levels, and that doesn’t even take into account the grief, the misery, the pain and suffering caused to the families of the victims.”It was against this background that among his first tasks was “to set what some people describe as an audacious goal.”“I said that within this term of office, we must reduce our crime, in particular, our murder rate to first world levels and that we must be tolerant of nothing less. We have started at a time when we were having over 100 murders per month. At the time when we set this goal, people were saying that we must be crazy,” the minister said.He pointed out that despite the apprehension, the ministry immediately engaged in a number of initiatives, including a communication programme which has been running for the past several weeks. There was also the promulgation of a national security policy, which would provide the strategic framework for the next five years.Lamenting the defects in the judicial system, which handicap the speedy dispensation of justice, the minister said that the judicial system is a critical part of dealing with law enforcement and achieving success in fighting crime.He observed that the “culture of adjournment that we have in our justice system is costing this country an enormous amount of money.”“When an important case is postponed, a case for which we have witnesses in the international witness protection programme and we have expert witnesses that have to fly in, it literally costs us millions of dollars to have everybody in place. The taxpayers in this country deserve more, not only from a justice point of view, but from a value point of view,” Bunting said.The minister also pointed to similar examples of inordinate delays in the civil court. He added that the bureaucracy is also replete with similar examples and argued that the country is not going to make the type of progress that is needed, “unless we make a paradigm shift in our approach to fighting crime and our approach to governance.” By Allan BrooksCaribbean News Now 20 Views   no discussions Sharing is caring! Share NewsRegional Murder rate trending down in Jamaica by: – April 28, 2012center_img Tweet Share Sharelast_img read more


first_imgThe suspect’s apprehension was staged on the strength of an arrest warrant issued by Judge Eunice Tan Cuansing of the Municipal Trial Court in Cities in Silay City dated Dec.12, 2019.Barredo was taken to the Silay City police station. BACOLOD City –Police nabbed a man facing a theft charge in Barangay Lantad, Silay City, Negros Occidental.Resident Arnold Barredo was caught yesterday, a police report showed. The court recommended a P6,000 bail bond for the suspect’s temporary liberty./PNlast_img


first_imgA Fort Pierce linesman digging in the 600 block of Avenue G found bone and notified the Fort Pierce Police Department.Investigators arrived to the scene, and several more bones were dug up, police say.It’s unclear if the bones are from a human or animal.The area is still being searched by authorities, and no other information has been released.Fort Pierce police detectives and crime scene investigators are in the 600 block of Avenue G after a linesman digging unearthed a bone and notified @FortPiercePD. Several more bones have been recovered and the scene is still being searched. pic.twitter.com/O7PyEcgfYZ— Fort Pierce Police Department (@FortPiercePD) August 5, 2020last_img


first_img Bio Mike MandellMike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at mmandell@ellsworthamerican.com. Hospice volunteers help families navigate grief and find hope – September 12, 2020 MPA approves golf, XC, field hockey, soccer; football, volleyball moved to spring – September 10, 2020 Latest posts by Mike Mandell (see all)center_img Latest Posts Ellsworth runners compete in virtual Boston Marathon – September 16, 2020 BANGOR — Try as he might, Justin Norwood couldn’t hold back the tears.In a dimly lit corner of Bangor’s Cross Insurance Center on Saturday, the Mount Desert Island boys’ basketball team’s head coach of the past 11 seasons couldn’t help but cry just a little bit. Considering the season this year’s Trojans have had, it wasn’t hard to see why.“It’s really hard to talk about them without getting emotional,” Norwood said. “It’s hard for words to do it justice in what they mean to me.”MDI’s drive for a second consecutive Northern Maine championship came up short against a strong Hermon team. Yet even though the team couldn’t defend its title, Norwood’s emotions defined the Trojans’ season more than a scoreboard ever could.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textMDI’s season came to an end with a 51-38 loss to Hermon in the Class B North championship game Saturday. The Trojans, who trailed by 22 points entering the fourth quarter, fought until the end to pull within single digits against the No. 1 team in the class before falling to defeat.Although second-ranked MDI kept Hermon scoreless on the first two possessions, the Hawks’ defensive prowess challenged the Trojans just as much in the opening minutes. Baskets by Keenan Marseille and Jacob Godfrey then gave Hermon a 4-0 lead before MDI finally scored its first points of the game on a Drew Shea layup.With the game tied 6-6 early in the second quarter, Hermon scored three straight baskets to take an eight-point lead. MDI responded with back-to-back 3-pointers from Derek Collin and James McConomy to cut the deficit to 14-12, but the Hawks scored 10 of the next 12 points to take a 24-14 lead into halftime.“They’re just a good team,” Norwood said of 21-0 Hermon “They’re big and hard to attack around the rim, and their defense makes it hard to get penetration. It’s just a well-coached, good basketball team all around.”Hermon stayed on the offensive in the second half with a Garrett Trask 3-pointer and a free throw from Godfrey to take a 28-14 lead. An MDI layup on the following possession cut the deficit to 12 points, but the Hawks went on a 12-2 run to extend their lead to 22 points at the end of the third quarter.The Trojans, though, kept Hermon off the scoreboard for the first few minutes of the fourth quarter to trim the deficit to 40-23. MDI would cut the Hawks’ lead to as few as nine points in the final two minutes with 3-pointers from McConomy and Andrew Phelps.“The fight they showed there at the end is what I’ve come to expect of them all season,” Norwood said. “Even being down as much as we were, they never stopped believing and powering through it.”Phelps led MDI with 10 points, all of which came in the fourth quarter. McConomy added nine with a strong effort of his own in late in the game, and Shea provided eight for an MDI team that concluded its season with a 17-4 record. The Trojans’ other scorers were Collin with five points, Owen Mild with four and Colby Lee with two.In spite of the loss, the 2017-18 season could hardly be categorized as anything but a success for the Trojans. After losing nine seniors from last year’s Gold Ball-winning team, the Trojans won eight of nine games to begin the season and entered the state tournament on a four-game winning streak before scoring a combined 151 points against Washington Academy and Presque Isle.The Trojans will lose six seniors — McConomy, Phelps, Mild, Lee, Alden Fournier and Dane Vanzura — to graduation in June. The program will reload as it always does, but for Norwood and another member of his family, this particular group of players will be one they always remember.“It’s tough for my daughter because she didn’t get to see them all week, and this meant a lot to her,” Norwood said. “They’re the type of people my kids look up to and the community looks up to. It’s hard to stress enough how much that means.”last_img read more


first_imgMICHAEL Jordan says he will donate $100M (£78M) to groups fighting for racial equality and social justice.The NBA legend said in a statement that he and his Jordan Brand would distribute the money over 10 years.The money will go to a number of organisations in a bid to tackle “ingrained racism”.It comes in the wake of protests breaking out across the U.S, and around the world following the death of George Floyd as he was restrained by police.Floyd, an unarmed black man, died on May 25 after a white police officer, since charged with murder, knelt on his neck for over eight minutes.“We are announcing a joint commitment from Michael Jordan and Jordan Brand to donate $100M over the next 10 years. We must join forces with the community, government and civic leaders to create a lasting impact together,” said Craig Williams, president of Jordan Brand.“There is still more work for us to do to drive real impact for the black community. We embrace the responsibility.”Speaking last week Jordan said he was “deeply saddened, truly pained and plain angry”.“I see and feel everyone’s pain, outrage and frustration,” he added. “I stand with those calling out the ingrained racism and violence toward people of colour in our country.“We have had enough.” (BBC Sport)last_img read more


first_imgWisconsin freshman guard Taylor Wurtz has been able to defend four different positions this season.[/media-credit]Off to a 3-0 start for the first time since the 2006-07 season, the Wisconsin women’s basketball team is gathering momentum early this season. Between a tough early-season road matchup against UW-Milwaukee last week and Sunday’s come-from-behind victory over Cleveland State, the Badgers are battle-tested and eager to prove themselves to the rest of the nation“We’re certainly excited to be sitting where we are,” Wisconsin head coach Lisa Stone said. “We hung in there [Sunday], we were down 14 points to a very active, aggressive, hot-shooting Cleveland State team. We really empowered each other and pulled through in the second half to play very good defense down the stretch, make some key plays.”Badgers get busy with tough scheduleFollowing Tuesday night’s game against UW-Green Bay, the Badgers will hit the road and travel to Eugene, Ore. for the BTI Tip-Off Tournament Nov. 27-29. Between the three tough opponents Wisconsin will face in Oregon — Portland State, Oregon and Cal State Fullerton — last Sunday’s game and Tuesday night, the Badgers will have played five games in a week.“We have a short turnaround, another game [Tuesday], and then three on the road coming up this week, so we’re in a tough spell in our schedule,” Stone said. “I’m looking forward to the challenge and growing and getting better every day.”After beginning the season with a 68-43 rout over North Dakota and then the 64-55 road victory over Milwaukee, Wisconsin saw its first real challenge of the season against Cleveland State Sunday. Down 15 late in the first half, the Badgers relied on a strong second half from junior forward Lin Zastrow, who was held scoreless in the first half due to early foul trouble, and freshman guard Taylor Wurtz, who put UW ahead for good with a spin move and jumper in the paint with 1:39 remaining. When Stone was asked about how her team will endure its rigorous upcoming schedule, she had a very simple answer.“Just not talking about fatigue,” Stone said. “It is what it is. It’s the way it is. I tell our players most basketball teams right now in the country…our men are in Hawaii right now, going to play a ton of games in a row and short turnarounds in their ACC challenge…same with us. It’s what you do in the non-conference; you can think about it and you can succumb to fatigue, or believe or talk about it like ‘Oh I hope we’re not too tired’…we don’t even address those issues, we talk about our next game.”Freshman Wurtz living up to high expectationsSince even before the preseason media hype began for her squad, Stone was touting her new freshman guard Wurtz. Standing at 6-foot, Wurtz boasts good size for a Big Ten guard and has impressive versatility to complement her height. In the Badgers’ first three games, Wurtz has played positions 1-4, and was even entrusted with bringing up the ball late in the game against Cleveland State.“I’m not at all surprised with Taylor Wurtz,” Stone said. “She’s a kid, if you read her bio and any type of description of her, she has a basketball under her arm most of the time, and it’s not due to turnovers. It’s due to the fact that she loves to play the game. She’s in the gym before, during, after the games; she’s a player that wants to get better. Putting the ball in her hands at the end of the game [Sunday] was not a question at all for us. Just her growth on a daily basis, she’s going to be fun to watch.“The sky’s the limit; she’s nowhere near where she’s going to be, but she’s one that’s going to work at it to be the very best that she can possibly be by the time she’s done.”last_img read more


first_imgThe following incidents were reported in the USC Department of Public Safety incident report summary between Thursday, April 3, and Friday, April 4. Crimes against a personat 11:08 A.m. on April 3, a female resident at the University Gateway Apartments reported being verbally harassed by her roommate, though no physical threats were made against the complainant.At 12:28 P.M. on April 3, two male suspects approached a female student outside Cardinal Gardens and asked for money for an unspecified charity. The student subsequently withdrew $400 in cash from a nearby ATM and gave it to the suspects.Crimes against propertyat 10:35 A.m. on April 3, Department of Public Safety officers reported that an unknown suspect removed two coffee makers from the Galen Center.last_img