Prep Sports Roundup: 4/5
ROOSEVELT, Utah-Brindy Bartlett and Malorie Bostick each doubled as the Union Cougars smacked Delta 10-0 in Region 14 softball action Friday. FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailBaseball April 5, 2019 /Sports News – Local Prep Sports Roundup: 4/5 2-A Central Softball MOAB, Utah-Emmitt Hafen went yard and the Richfield Wildcats smacked Grand 10-1 in the first game of a Region 15 baseball doubleheader Friday. Jake Shepherd and Trey Roundy each doubled for the Wildcats and Josh Thalman took the win on the mound for Richfield. MONTICELLO, Utah-Chance Helms and Parx Bartholomew each homered as the Gunnison Valley Bulldogs routed Monticello 11-1 Friday in 2-A Central baseball action. Bartholomew added a double and Creed Mogle earned the win on the mound for the Bulldogs. MILFORD, Utah-Dawson Orton doubled and the Kanab Cowboys routed Milford 9-1 in 2-A South baseball action Friday. Sam Orton posted six strikeouts as well in the win for the Cowboys. Region 14 MONROE, Utah-South Sevier scored 8 runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to pull away from North Sanpete 15-5 in Region 15 baseball action Friday. Kaetz King and Straton Lundgreen both homered and Brennen Hunt doubled in the win, while Peydon Wood pitched a complete game for the Rams and drove in 3 runs at the plate. Tyler Hadley and Ashton Osborne each doubled in the loss for the Hawks. Written by 2-A Central GUNNISON, Utah-Jaida King posted a pair of doubles as the Gunnison Valley Bulldogs routed Millard 16-1 Friday in 2-A Central softball action. Katelyn Cherry, Kezzley Winn and Paige King all added doubles in the win for the Bulldogs. Gracy Christenson earned the win in the circle for the Bulldogs. Megan Wade doubled in defeat for the Eagles. MOAB, Utah-Connor Belnap doubled and posted 3 RBI overall, leading the Richfield Wildcats to a Region 15 baseball doubleheader sweep of Grand with a 13-1 win Friday. Leif Robinson added a double and Jake Shepherd earned the win on the mound for the Wildcats. FILLMORE, Utah-Hunter Higgs and Stockton Andersen both doubled as the North Sevier Wolves pounded Millard 14-4 in 2-A Central baseball action Friday. Rylan Crane took the win on the mound to pace the Wolves. BEAVER, Utah-Ronnie Robinson went yard twice and the Enterprise Wolves pounded Beaver 10-0 Friday in 2-A South softball action. Allie Laub earned the win in the circle for the Wolves. SALINA, Utah-Kamree Brunson homered, tripled twice and doubled as the North Sevier Wolves routed Piute 14-0 in 2-A Central softball action Friday. Alissa Bosshardt, Kaysha Beckstead, Madison Bennett, McKayla Crane and McKylee Malmgren all added doubles for North Sevier. PRICE, Utah-Collin Lewis belted three hits and Ty Anderson tripled as the Carbon Dinos blanked Delta 10-0 Friday in Region 14 baseball action. Braxton Bennett earned the win on the mound for the Dinos. 2-A South 2-A South Region 14 BEAVER, Utah-Andrew Bowler and Matthew Bowler both doubled as the Enterprise Wolves edged Beaver 5-4 Friday in 2-A South baseball action. Keldon Nelson earned the win on the mound for Enterprise. Region 15 Brad James
Fight for OUSU committee commences
The most overtly partisan husts were for the position of NUS delegate, which sees three competing slates. There are six positions available.Ellie Dibben, Ellie MacDonald and Niamh White are running for the position under the ‘Stand Up’ banner. They made clear their support for remaining affiliated to the NUS last summer, and now wish to see a positive and constructive relationship with the organisation in the wake of Oxford voting to remain a member. A question from the oor asked the NUS Delegate candidates if they would categorically promise to vote against any potential re-election. All four ‘Wake Up NUS’ candidates vowed to vote against, or to vote to re-open nominations if no suitable alternative candidate stood for the position.There were vocal concerns about Bouattia’s alleged anti-Semitism, while Baruch Zev Gilinsky went as far as to describe the NUS President as “abhorrent”. However, O’Neill and Yule of ‘Count On Us’, argued that it was too early to determine their vote.Yule argued that Bouattia had issued a further apology for her alleged anti-Semitic comments, and thus could not be discounted off-hand.Hustings were held for the positions of President, Vice President Access and Academic Affairs, Vice President Charity and Community, Vice President Welfare and Equal Opportunities, and Vice President Women.Also speaking were candidates for the six NUS Delegate positions and for the three Student Trustee positions. Two candidates for Student Trustee were not present, although one did submit a prepared statement.Only two positions are unopposed. Thomas Barringer is the sole candidate for Vice President Charity and Community, while Catherine Canning is running alone for Vice President Access and Academic Affairs. Kate Cole, founder of OUSU campaign for suspended students SusCam, is running for president with ‘#takeACTion’. She told Cherwell of a “mix of nerves and excitement” when describing her emotions before the event.Cole said: “This has been a year and a bit in the making, so it all coming out is pretty exciting.“[There’s a] first time for everything, so this is definitely a first for me. We’ll see how it goes.”Meanwhile, Vivian Holmes, former chair of the OUSU LGBTQ Campaign, is running for the presidential position with ‘Stand Up’.Speaking to Cherwell about the campaign launch, Holmes described themselves as “slightly stressed, slightly excited.” They added: “I think my thesis supervisor is slightly more stressed than I am, but I’m okay.” Lucasta Bath, Baruch Zev Gilinsky, Adam Hilsenrath and Thomas Turner are running on the ‘Wake Up NUS’ slate, seeking to hold the NUS to account and to force structural change after the defeat of the ‘No Thanks, NUS’ movement last year.Standing on the smaller ‘Count On Us’ slate are Sean O’Neill and Aliya Yule. They describe themselves as running “for welfare, for education, for liberation”.Kathryn Walton and Andrew Peak are running as independents, with Walton using the hashtag #fightforrights.As with the candidates for other positions, the potential NUS delegates were largely united on their opposition to PREVENT and the Teaching Excellence Framework. However, the topic of NUS President Malia Bouattia’s potential re-election was more divisive. OUSU election campaigns were officially launched this week, with the first of two rounds of hustings held at Somerville College on the evening of Monday 30 January.Nominations for positions closed at noon last Thursday, with campaigning officially beginning the next day.The event—held at Flora Anderson Hall—was well attended, in part thanks to the free pizza and prosecco on offer.Several different slates were represented, each with a different policy agenda, and each with differing views on the current state on the NUS.‘Stand Up’ advocate for combatting harmful government impositions and seek the existence of a plurality of student voices.‘#takeACTion’ are running for “an Accountable, Consistent and Transparent sabbatical team that works for every one”, according to their individual candidate profiles on the OUSU website.These are the only two slates fielding candidates for President of OUSU. There were no nominations for the position of Vice President Graduates. Nominations will be re-opened for this position at a later date. The final hustings are to be hosted at Keble College on Thursday 2 February, before voting opens on Tuesday 7 February. Polls close on Thursday 9, with results announced that evening.
News story: Companies House committed to Disability Confident scheme
Companies House Disability Confident Committed certificate. PDF, 892KB, 1 page Find out more about Disability Confident and Companies House equality and diversity policy. As a Disability Confident Committed employer we’ve committed to: ensure our recruitment process is inclusive and accessible communicating and promoting vacancies offering an interview to disabled people anticipating and providing reasonable adjustments as required supporting any existing employee who acquires a disability or long term health condition, enabling them to stay in work at least one activity that will make a difference for disabled people
Horoscopes by PsychicDeb for July 2015
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Aries – the emphasis this month is on friendships and group relationships in general. Don’t try to change your allegiances right away, instead, allow yourself to see what part they actually play in your life.Taurus – early to mid-month, frustrations may be unavoidable but you can make the best of the situation by taking a clear-headed approach to the areas under disagreement. By the end of the month, more harmony will prevail, so relax.Gemini – helpful hints are available should you decide to make an adjustment in a close alliance. A relative you admire could offer some timely advice. Word to the wise: Listen up!Cancer – a physical attraction might develop into a meaningful relationship. It’s apparent you are quite mesmerized by another’s charms.Leo – you may find that the demands at work draw you away. Allow this to happen but only up to a point. You have important insights to offer and may be able to smooth over work relationships in a way that will help you deal with more intimate ones later.Virgo – after the New Moon you should relax, lie low and take care of yourself. Don’t begin new projects. Bring current ones to completion, if possible, but don’t strain yourself. Instead, indulge yourself, within reason.Libra – creative projects may be bubbling up in your brain right now. Have patience; let your thoughts arise from within. Get out of the house and get into group activities – parties, socializing, whatever. Later on, there will be plenty of impetus to work.Scorpio – being too opinionated can get you into hot water and induce others to cool off towards you. Discipline the way you express your ideas; find the right venues for doing so, and you may be surprised at how persuasive you can be.Sagittarius – you may be wasting energy because of self-doubt. It’s time to cast some of those old doubts to the wind and pay attention to the details. You can get some useful work done by mid-month as long as you don’t insist on bringing things into their final form.Capricorn – in the midst of love, take some time to clarify your finances and those financial arrangements you have with others. If you keep some perspective, help can come from unexpected sources. Don’t be casual about what you should and shouldn’t be paying closest attention to.Aquarius – don’t take the easy way out; you are “tuned-in” to the proper wave length now. A telephone call might lead to an eventual agreement. Trust your uncanny instincts to set yourself straight.Pisces – spend time with friends from whom you expect nothing more than their being themselves when they’re with you. Find ways to improve communications in your personal enterprises by letting warmth be your guide.IF YOU KNOW YOUR RISING SIGN, CONSULT THE HOROSCOPE FOR THAT SIGN AS WELL.Psychicdeb has been a professional astrologer for over 25 years. Self-taught, she began her studies in astrology when she was 8 years old, learning what she could from her mother’s astrology magazines. As she got older and learned geometry, she searched for books on Astrology and taught herself how to construct a chart. She teaches Astrology for a nominal fee. Psychicdeb also uses the tarot to do psychic readings, channeling her spirit guide Helen. Reiki is one of her obsessions. Psychicdeb is a Reiki Master and loves to teach others the benefits of Reiki. You can find her at the Original Psychic Fairs on Sundays. A listing of the Fair dates can be found on her website at: www.astro-mate.org. Namaste!
US man fails Bond-esque underwater escape from FBI using ‘sea scooter’
Agents watched the suspect’s bubbles rise to the surface for 25 minutes before he emerged and was handcuffed.- Advertisement –
Japanese airline ANA returns with direct flights to Ljubljana and Dubrovnik from Tokyo and Osaka
Earlier this year The Ministry of Tourism stated that “the strategic goal of the Ministry is to develop Croatia as a destination that is accessible to various airlines, especially before and after the peak of the summer season. That is why we are turning to the Asian market, primarily Korea, Japan and China. ” Source: Association of Croatian Travel Agencies In relation to the introduction of regular routes to Croatia and the acceptance of the Air Service Agreement between Croatia and Japan, the first round of bilateral negotiations took place in November last year. The Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs confirmed that there is a stable demand for air connections between Croatia and Japan in the future, as well as JTB Travel, the largest Japanese travel company. The first flight from Osaka to Ljubljana is expected on August 31, and the first flight from Tokyo to Ljubljana on September 14. The first charter will fly from Dubrovnik to Tokyo on September 7, and to Osaka on September 21. Passengers will be transported by Ana’s Boeing 787-9 which has a seating capacity for a maximum of 395 passengers. The largest Japanese airline All Nippon Airways (ANA) is returning with charters to Ljubljana and Dubrovnik from Tokyo and Osaka organized by the largest Japanese tour operator, JTB Travel. The number of Japanese tourists visiting Croatia is constantly growing. Thus, a total of 159.574 tourists from Japan were recorded last year, which is an increase of 12,3 percent compared to 2017. Most of them remained in Dubrovnik, followed by Zagreb, Plitvice Lakes, Split and Opatija.
Gobernador Wolf: Se otorgan $2 millones en subvenciones para centros comunitarios para personas de la tercera edad en 2019-20
Sheraden Healthy Active Living CenterProgramas y serviciosAllegheny$45,000 Center for Life-WindberMejoras y renovaciones a la infraestructuraSomerset$25,800 Coatesville Area Senior CenterMejoras y renovaciones a la infraestructuraChester$76,270 Marysville/Rye Senior Citizens’ CenterMejoras y renovaciones a la infraestructuraPerry$13,943 View this information in English. LifeSpan Chartiers Senior Resource CenterMejoras y renovaciones a la infraestructuraAllegheny$64,346 Whitehall Active Community CenterProgramas y serviciosLehigh$10,038 Vintage, Inc.Mejoras y renovaciones a la infraestructuraAllegheny$85,000 Pottstown Area Seniors CenterMejoras y renovaciones a la infraestructuraMontgomery$9,050 Hamlin Senior CenterTecnologíaWayne$15,000 Canton Active Living CenterMejoras y renovaciones a la infraestructuraBradford$19,402 Chambersburg Senior Activity CenterProgramas y serviciosFranklin$40,448 Coal Region Adult Community CenterProgramas y serviciosNorthumberland$10,500 The Center at Spring Street, a program of Boyertown Area Multi-ServiceMejoras y renovaciones a la infraestructuraBerks$76,846 West Chester Area Senior CenterrMejoras y renovaciones a la infraestructuraChester$35,000 Rose Tucker Active Adult CenterTecnologíaLuzerne$14,191 Meyersdale Senior CenterMejoras y renovaciones a la infraestructuraSomerset$66,300 Windy Hill Senior Center, Inc.Programas y serviciosYork$22,026 Schoolhouse Senior CenterMejoras y renovaciones a la infraestructuraDelaware$30,123 The Rutherford House Senior CenterMejoras y renovaciones a la infraestructuraDauphin$34,235 Millerstown Senior Citizens CenterMejoras y renovaciones a la infraestructuraPerry$7,670 Red Land Senior CenterProgramas y serviciosYork$8,090 Bullskin Township Senior Citizens, Inc.Mejoras y renovaciones a la infraestructuraFayette$36,726 SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Berwick Senior CenterProgramas y serviciosColumbia$17,725 South Side Market HouseMejoras y renovaciones a la infraestructuraAllegheny$51,000 Center in the ParkMarketing y enlacePhiladelphia$30,442 Central City Senior CenterMejoras y renovaciones a la infraestructuraSomerset$25,871 June 24, 2020 Washington Senior CenterMejoras y renovaciones a la infraestructuraWashington$50,220 Central Blair Senior CenterMejoras y renovaciones a la infraestructuraBlair$21,780 Main Line Senior Services DBA Wayne Senior CenterProgramas y serviciosDelaware$23,194 Carlisle Senior Action CenterMejoras y renovaciones a la infraestructuraCumberland$6,248 Williamsburg Senior CenterMejoras y renovaciones a la infraestructuraBlair$47,722 Active Aging of Cambridge SpringsTecnologíaCrawford$5,000 Senior Center NameProject TypeCountyAmount Confluence Senior CenterMejoras y renovaciones a la infraestructuraSomerset$43,470 Crispus Attucks Active Living CenterProgramas y serviciosYork$20,390 Latrobe Center for Active AdultsMejoras y renovaciones a la infraestructuraWestmoreland$38,800 Español, Press Release, Public Health, Seniors En el día de la fecha, el Gobernador Tom Wolf anunció que 60 centros comunitarios para personas de la tercera edad en todo el estado recibirán las subvenciones 2019-20 del Departamento de Envejecimiento de Pennsylvania para centros comunitarios para personas de la tercera edad por un total de $2 millones de fondos asignados por la Asamblea General de la Lotería de Pennsylvania.“Los centros comunitarios para personas de la tercera edad desempeñan un papel inmenso para los residentes mayores de Pennsylvania al ayudarlos a envejecer en su ámbito”, dijo el Gobernador Tom Wolf. “Las subvenciones empoderarán a estos centros para realizar los cambios deseados para beneficiar en mayor medida a los asistentes regulares al tiempo que atraen a una nueva generación de participantes”.Las subvenciones ayudarán a los centros para personas de la tercera edad a financiar proyectos basados en sus aplicaciones, como la actualización y modernización de las instalaciones, la provisión de nuevos programas de salud y entretenimiento, la actualización de la tecnología y la mejora de las oportunidades de comercialización.“Estos proyectos tendrán un efecto positivo para los centros comunitarios para personas de la tercera edad que reciben las subvenciones y los adultos mayores a los que sirven. A medida que volvemos a la sensación de normalidad, los residentes mayores de Pennsylvania pueden estar ansiosos por regresar a su centro comunitario local para personas de la tercera edad y realizar las actividades que disfrutaron antes de las órdenes de quedarse en casa además de experimentar algunas nuevas oportunidades que pueden surgir una vez que se completen estos proyectos”, dijo el Secretario de Envejecimiento, Robert Torres.Hay más de 500 centros comunitarios para personas de la tercera edad en todo Pennsylvania que tienen una variedad de ofertas como comidas nutritivas, oportunidades educativas, servicios de transporte, asesoramiento financiero y de seguros y programas de ejercicios físicos. Las ganancias de la Lotería de Pennsylvania ayudan a financiar estos programas cada año.“Estamos muy orgullosos de que la Lotería de Pennsylvania haya podido proporcionar más de $30 mil millones en fondos para impuestos sobre bienes inmuebles y reembolsos de alquiler, asistencia con recetas médicas, comidas a domicilio y otros servicios cruciales de los que dependen las personas de la tercera edad”, dijo Drew Svitko, Director Ejecutivo de la Lotería de Pennsylvania. “También estamos orgullosos de poder decir que seguimos siendo la única lotería de la nación que destina todos los ingresos a programas que benefician a las personas de la tercera edad”.Para recibir más información sobre los centros comunitarios para personas de la tercera edad y otros servicios y programas que ofrece el Departamento de Envejecimiento de Pennsylvania, visite aging.pa.gov.A continuación se muestra la lista de los Centros comunitarios para personas de la tercera edad ganadores y los montos de las subvenciones: Mountain Citizens Action Group, Inc.Mejoras y renovaciones a la infraestructuraFayette$9,600 Elizabeth Seton Center, BrooklineProgramas y serviciosAllegheny$32,000 Lewistown Senior CenterMejoras y renovaciones a la infraestructuraMifflin$26,950 Mechanicsburg Place: A Senior Center and MoreMejoras y renovaciones a la infraestructuraCumberland$54,861 Littlestown Area Senior CenterMejoras y renovaciones a la infraestructuraAdams$25,500 Riverview Community Action CorporationMejoras y renovaciones a la infraestructuraAllegheny$54,000 Gobernador Wolf: Se otorgan $2 millones en subvenciones para centros comunitarios para personas de la tercera edad en 2019-20 Middletown Senior Community CenterProgramas y serviciosBucks$30,372 Millersville Senior CenterProgramas y serviciosLancaster$46,000 West Shore Senior CenterProgramas y serviciosCumberland$10,570 Center at the MallMejoras y renovaciones a la infraestructuraBeaver$35,858 Carmichaels Activity CenterServicios de nutriciónGreene$10,014 South Central York County Senior CenterServicios de nutriciónYork$7,220 The Open Link (The Center at The Open Link)Mejoras y renovaciones a la infraestructuraMontgomery$58,488 Marconi Center-South PhiladelphiaMejoras y renovaciones a la infraestructuraPhiladelphia$41,455 Weatherly Senior CenterProgramas y serviciosCarbon$5,100 Earl J. Simons CenterMejoras y renovaciones a la infraestructuraWayne$143,505 Senior Adult Activity Center of Phoenixville AreaMejoras y renovaciones a la infraestructuraChester$32,975 New Kensington Center for Active AdultsMejoras y renovaciones a la infraestructuraWestmoreland$33,450 West Newton Senior CenterProgramas y serviciosWestmoreland$18,650 Southern Blair Senior CenterTecnologíaBlair$11,200 Somerset Senior CenterMejoras y renovaciones a la infraestructuraSomerset$60,000 Active Aging Center of MeadvilleProgramas y serviciosCrawford$7,260 Johnstown Senior Activities CenterMejoras y renovaciones a la infraestructuraCambria$10,000 Hazelwood Healthy Active Living CenterMejoras y renovaciones a la infraestructuraAllegheny$65,000 Luis Munoz Marin Senior CenterMejoras y renovaciones a la infraestructuraLancaster$42,106
Joseph Mariathasan: USS debate raises profound questions for UK DB
The Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation (CSFI) held a roundtable last week on the issues of pension funding raised by the USS debate, with protagonists from two schools of thought regarding pension liability valuations.On one side were those who believe that pension liabilities are akin to bonds and can be valued as such, while the other side believes that cashflows, not present value calculations, are what should drive investment policy. Credit: Warwick University UCU branch UCU members striking at Warwick University over USS proposals earlier this yearThe debate – if it can be called that – was a great disappointment. The two sides have fundamentally different philosophical frameworks for defining the valuation and hence the management of defined benefit (DB) pension schemes and no amount of arguments are likely to create a consensus, any more so than the creation of a ‘consensus theology’ could have arisen from the religious wars of the past.Religious wars were ultimately settled by an acceptance of the freedom to worship as one wishes. That option is not available for the protagonists in the debate over pension valuations.The one thing both sides can agree upon is that the crisis surrounding USS is due to failures in the system of pension regulation and control rather than in the management of USS itself. That raises the point that, quite apart from the ‘theological’ arguments over valuations, the more important question is whether and how DB schemes can remain in existence. That issue, along with issues such as finding other providers of risk capital for the UK economy, are still to be resolved .The writing on the wall for DB pensions came when what used to be regarded as promises to pay pensions on a ‘best efforts’ basis became legal liabilities. Managing a DB pension scheme thus became a risk management problem, not an investment one, so eliminating all investment risks irrespective of the costs trumps any other objective.For many individuals with DB pensions, that has provided extremely attractive transfer values – in many cases, members have been offered 40 times their annual pension when considering transferring out, as a result of the yields on gilts and index-linked gilts falling to low levels as pension funds have bought them up to match liabilities.Perhaps the most important product of the JEP’s report was that the second phase of its work should seek to determine whether there is an alternative methodology for future valuations that could provide long-term stability for USS while enjoying the support of all parties.Where does this leave USS ? Guy Coughlan, chief risk officer, points out that the real issue is not whether USS has a current surplus or deficit in terms of accrued obligations, but whether contribution rates will be sufficient to generate the income for the fund to provide for the continued accrual of new pension benefits in a world of lower returns. It is this issue, he argues, that is the real driver behind the recommendation to increase contribution rates.It is difficult to see how the JEP by itself can solve the underlying issue of the high cost of guaranteed annuities that lies behind the demand for higher contributions. The panel may be able to postpone any drastic decisions for a few more years, and it is conceivable that market conditions could change for the better with regard to prospective asset returns.Given the importance of the higher education sector, however, there may be a case for future governments to consider alternative options, which could range from granting a state-backed guarantee, to measures enabling more risk-taking.At the extreme, the government could even take on historic liabilities as it did with the Royal Mail Pension Plan a decade ago, absorbing assets to help pay down the national debt and pay pensions to academics out of general taxation, as is currently the case with civil servants.Ultimately, pensions are just one element of the total compensation package offered to academic staff. What they should be and how they should be delivered cannot be separated from a more general discussion on how academic staff should be paid in order to attract and retain talent in a critical sector for the UK. The first report of the Joint Expert Panel (JEP) on the valuation of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) was published on 13 September. This should keep academics happy for a while and gives the management of USS a clear direction on which way to head.However, while this provides a compromise of sorts, the underlying issues that gave rise to the passionate debate and industrial action have not actually gone away.As expected, the JEP has come out with a set of recommendations that should enable the future contributions rates to be set at levels significantly lower than originally proposed. It has done this through a series of tweaks to the investment assumptions used by USS enabling the JEP to recommend reduced contribution levels.The key changes they have put forward involve re-evaluating sponsors’ attitudes to risk and the reliance on the sponsor covenant; adopting a greater consistency of approach between the 2014 and 2017 valuations, which affects the scale and timing of deficit recovery contributions; smoothing future service contributions to ensure greater fairness between generations of scheme members; and using more current information, including recent market improvements, new investment considerations and the latest data on mortality.
Danish FSA to probe market-rate pension payouts
Denmark’s financial watchdog has launched an investigation into market-rate pensions provision and the associated risk transfer to scheme members that has occurred since the products gained prevalence.The Danish Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA) said the study would examine the payout process and how companies managed investment risk – and whether this newer pension model was of benefit to its customers.Carsten Brogaard, Danish FSA deputy director, said: “The payout process in market-rate schemes can be very different from the traditional guaranteed pension schemes.“Payments cannot be expected to be stable, and for some products payments may vary significantly in size over the payout period. We must have a better overall overview of this.” In recent years, Danish pension providers favoured market-rate pension products – which are linked directly to financial market performance – over the traditional average-rate products that smooth returns from year to year, and sometimes include a yield guarantee.In some cases companies have switched customers to market-rate products automatically, and in other cases clients have been given a choice.The FSA said the reason for the “theme survey” was that the risk in market-rate products, previously carried by companies, has been transferred to individual pension savers who must bear any losses on the investments.The regulator said it would focus particularly on the decisions taken by pension companies’ supervisory boards on the payout process.Linked to this, it said it would investigate the stability of pension payouts and how this was included in the risk management of the product – including the extent to which stabilisation and smoothing mechanisms were used.The FSA said it expected to publish its conclusions later this year.This is not the first time the Danish FSA has honed in on market-rate pensions. In early 2017, it released a paper scrutinising, among other things, consumer risk in the market-rate model.
Changing Dutch accrual rates needs more attention, says Shell scheme
Shell’s Dutch scheme lost 0.6% on its investment portfolio last yearThe Shell scheme posted a 0.6% loss on investments in 2018, according to the annual report. This would have been a 2.2% decline without its interest rate hedge position, the scheme said.Private equity holdings and matching assets were Shell’s best performing asset classes, with returns of 13.4% and 14.9%, respectively. Real estate delivered 3.7% through positive revaluations as well as rental income.In contrast, listed equity holdings fell 8.7%. Shell attributed a 4.1% loss on fixed income to rising risk premiums for emerging market debt and risk-bearing credit.It described the 0.9% loss on hedge funds as disappointing, given its long-term return goal for the allocation was Libor plus 3%.In its annual report, the Shell pension scheme also said it had decided to raise its allocation to Dutch residential mortgages by €1bn.The board explained that, despite the asset class’s limited liquidity, the investment offered an attractive return, adding that mortgages’ long duration matched the scheme’s long-term liabilities.It reported asset management and transition costs of 0.58% and 0.1%, respectively. Administration costs amounted to €267 per participant.At year-end, the Shell scheme had 7,685 workers, 18,665 pensioners and 7,280 deferred members. Discussion about pensions reform in the Netherlands are paying insufficient attention to the potential impact of the transition from average to degressive pensions accrual, according to the Dutch pension fund of Shell.In its annual report for 2018, the €27bn SSPF argued that a new pensions contract – which is subject to negotiation between the government, employers and unions – was not relevant to every pension fund. However, the government’s decision to abolish the current pension accrual method would affect all Dutch schemes.“Compensating older workers for the negative effects of degressive accrual through a new pensions contract won’t be feasible for many pension funds,” the closed pension fund said.It concluded that, if the government’s plans were implemented, the scheme’s contribution rate of 23.5% last year would have to rise significantly, without delivering a better pension. Therefore, the Shell scheme advocated granting schemes sufficient legal leeway in the transition to a new way of pensions accrual, to enable closed schemes to carry on with their existing pension plan.Separately, the pension fund said it planned to decrease its investment risk when its funding was improving, and vice versa, based on a new asset-liablity management study.As a consequence, it had reduced its allocation to return-seeking assets by 10 percentage points to 5.1% in 2018, while increasing its interest rate hedge from 10% to 25% of liabilities.At year-end, the pension fund’s coverage ratio stood at almost 128%, enabling the scheme to grant a full 1.6% inflation compensation.Private equity offsets listed losses