IORP II: Not bad but could do better

first_imgPredictably, the UK’s pension minister Steve Webb heaped praise on the new British policy of allowing lump-sum beneficiaries off the hook of having to put it into an annuity. The British citizen’s innate sense of wisdom could be trusted not to blow any windfall on whatever, was the implied boast. Webb then urged against EU cross-border “excessive harmonisation”. After a slight hesitation, he softened this with approving nations “learning from each other”.But Webb came up, unsurprisingly, with the best anti-EU barb. As for the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority, he said: “No-one in the UK has ever even heard of it. [But] it’s creeping in.”Not dissimilarly, “we can’t have legislation coming in through the back door” came from the boss of BusinessEurope, Markus Beyrer. He made it clear that pension funding has no “need for any extra capital”. That is a sentiment expressed at virtually every conference on the subject of pensions. Its repetition would make a parrot swell with pride. And, sadly, it ignores the key challenges of increased longevity, low fertility and the prospect of soup-kitchen lives for future retirees.Also on the top table of the relevant panel, but generally ignored, was someone from the Commission itself. Nadia Calvino, a deputy director general, listened, once lightly scratched her face, but mostly she sat still. However, when something was said she clearly found to be particularly obstructive, her eyes turned up to the heaven. Ah! A Latin gesture!At last her turn did come. “To think we can solve all our problems by working at national level,” she said, “is, I think, not very credible.”As for the attacks on back-door legalisation, her answer was: “I have never seen the European Commission proposing anything out of the blue!” No doubt, she will have devoted many hours of her life to the Brussels activity of ‘committology’ – endless meetings for ‘stakeholders’ to have their say. Jeremy Woolfe on the latest skirmish between Brussels and EU member states on the thorny issue of pensionsThe European Commission’s conference in Brussels last week on the future of pensions was billed as a stocktaking exercise of reform developments over the past two years. It also had the objective of looking ahead.On stocktaking, the consensus turned out as ‘not too bad, but could do better’. Twenty-three countries have managed to raise their official pensions age, and seven have linked it to longevity, commissioner László Andor was pleased to report. But equal treatment for the female gender remains one of the vital issues he noted. New thoughts? Yes, indeed!Commissioner Michel Barnier emphasised that the subject of cross-border pensions needed a good looking into, and this was something that came up more fully the following day, at the presentation of IORP II Directive. Joanne Segars, chair at PensionsEurope, who wants to see “less red tape coming out of Europe”, called for efforts to centre on tackling the fact that half of European workers have no occupational pensions lined up.last_img read more

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DC audit to investigate all schemes above auto-enrolment charge cap

first_imgAn independent audit of workplace defined contribution (DC) insurance products is set to examine the appropriateness of charging structures that are above a cap set by the UK government.It was originally expected to audit only workplace DC products set up before 2001, after an investigation from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), a former competition watchdog, highlighted fees in these schemes as a concern.However, the committee said it had decided to use the charge cap as a baseline and audit all schemes above this limit, alongside those in its initial remit.This is despite the government’s charge cap only covering auto-enrolment default schemes and not any of schemes within the audit’s initial remit. “We have considered the implications of the charge cap proposed by the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) for the scope of the audit,” the committee said.“We have decided to include in the audit those schemes with charges above the cap. These are schemes that only have an annual member charge (AMC), and all member borne charges are between 0.75% and 1%.”The new scope will now audit all DC workplace schemes set up before 5 April 2001 and schemes set up after this where member-borne charges, excluding transaction costs, exceed 1%.It will also audit schemes that use combination charges, or more than one basic charge, regardless of when these schemes were set up.Pensions minister Steve Webb introduced a 0.75% cap on charges for all default funds used for auto-enrolment to come into effect next April.This includes schemes using all-inclusive fees, but excludes transaction costs while the government consults on the most appropriate method to include this.However, while the cap only tackled high-charges for auto-enrolment schemes, a study from the OFT, published last year, found a legacy of high charges and poor returns within insurance products set up before 2001.As a result, the OFT recommended these legacy schemes be audited as a better option to imposing a charge cap – which would affect some products such as guaranteed annuities.The OFT did not propose any charge caps, warning of unintended consequences.However, the government went against its advice is response to auto-enrolment funds.Carol Sergeant, who chairs the board responsible for the audit, said the final report would be published at the end of 2014.“It will set out the charging structures of in-scope workplace pension schemes, as well as show the impact of these charging structures on different types of scheme members,” she said.“It will also include any IPB recommendations for industry-level actions.”Steve Webb added: “The OFT identified £30bn of savers’ money in pension schemes with charges at risk of being poor value for money.“It is right the audit looks closely at these arrangements.“It is important all schemes give savers the confidence they are acting in their best interest.”last_img read more

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Race activist Rachel Dolezal: ‘I identify as black’

first_imgBBC News 16 June 2015On Monday, Ms Dolezal resigned from the anti-racism organisation NAACP, after her parents said she was pretending to be black.Speaking to NBC, she said that from the age of five she “was drawing self-portraits with the brown crayon instead of the peach crayon”.She added that she “takes exception” to suggestions she had deceived people.“This is not some freak-show, Birth of a Nation blackface performance,” she told NBC’s Matt Lauer. “This is on a real connected level how I’ve had to go there with the experience.”Hours beforehand, her mother Rutheanne Dolezal told the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme that her daughter had become “disconnected from reality”.Ms Dolezal’s estranged parents say her origins are mostly white, with a small amount of Native American ancestry. They say that she has no black origins.They have produced childhood pictures of her daughter with pale skin, freckles and fair hair.http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-33152596last_img read more

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Modified king Wolla reigns as first North Dakota IMCA national champion

first_imgJason Wolla became the first North Dakota driver to win an IMCA national championship in any division by topping the 2017 Modified point standings. He is pictured with Clay Smith of Speedway Motors at left and IMCA President Brett Root at right. (Photo by Bruce Badgley, Motorsports Photography)RAY, N.D. – His season-opening sweep of Winter Challenge features at Canyon Speedway Park in Arizona got Jason Wolla thinking that the 2017 season could be special.After his runner-up finish in the Iowa Frostbuster Series, he knew it would be.“There are a lot of good cars in the Frostbuster. It helps us tune up for the point season,” said Wolla, who went on to win 23 IMCA Modified features in his home state and become the first driver from North Dakota to win a national championship in any sanctioned division. “Getting in more laps early in the year is key to winning later in the season.”“We have a lot of quality cars that race weekly in North Dakota. A lot of people don’t realize the car count averages we have,” continued Wolla, nicknamed The Big Show. “We proved this year that if you’re willing to put the miles on, you can be in the hunt. There are enough cars that bonus points definitely work in your favor.”From Ray and also the first North Dakota driver to wear IMCA’s Side Biter Chassis North Central Region crown, Wolla more than doubled his career win total in the division with his 25 checkers in 2017.With new crew chief Jake Steffen on board, he won nine times at Southwest Speedway and six times at both Nodak Speedway and Dacotah Speedway, earning track titles at Williston and Minot and ending fifth in points at Mandan.“We’d drive three hours to race at Mandan on Friday, then another hour and a half to race Saturdays at Dickinson, and three to three and a half hours to race Sundays at Minot,” Wolla said. “A lot of weekends we left home on Friday and got home late Sunday night or early Monday morning.”Battling Cory Sample for the national title, Wolla won seven of nine August starts, including five in a row to end the month. Another weekend sweep, at Dacotah, Southwest and Nodak on Aug. 25-27, helped him clinch the national prize.“Things worked out good for us,” Wolla said of his banner August. “There were times in the year when we were close to a weekend sweep. Those elevate you. You work for weekends like that.”The repeat Allstar Performance State champion was also a two-time winner at McLean County Speedway. Wolla qualified all six nights of the Kupper Chevrolet Dakota Classic Tour and finished fourth in those standings.“It means a lot to me to have the title of national champion,” he said. “There were a lot of good drivers I watched growing up and I wanted to have the kind of success they did. It means a lot to me to be the first IMCA national champion from North Dakota.”That title is one of two Wolla gained this year. The other is Dad.“Winning the national championship would have to be number two on my list of highlights,” he said. “Samantha and I became parents of twins (son Odin and daughter Lily) on March 14. There are nights when you don’t get a lot of sleep racing. There are more nights when you don’t get a lot of sleep when you have twins.”Starts-62Wins-25Additional Top Fives-18HIS CREW: Jake Steffen, father Rick and Duane Knutson.HIS SPONSORS: Wolla Trucking, Wolla Oilfield Services, Fusion Fabrication and Basin Tubin’ Testin’, all of Williston; Gohrick Farms of McGregor; Dirt Defender of Red Oak, Texas; Fast Shafts of Des Moines, Iowa; Precision Performance of Cosgrove, Iowa; and Rage Chassis of West Union, Iowa.last_img read more

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Saha backs Giggs for United job

first_img “I could see that in the dressing room. The charisma was there when he was a player. You could feel that straight away. “He has the right character. He could have a laugh and a joke but he also kept his distance sometimes. “He has the pedigree and the biggest weapon he has is that he knows exactly what the fans are after – that they want the team to play the United way. “He was an attacking midfielder so he knows they want to see dribbling and counter-attacking football.” The hallmarks of the ‘United way’ were present during last week’s demolition of Norwich. And Giggs is doing all he can to make sure there is a repeat performance when United host Sunderland on Saturday afternoon. Press Association Sport understands Giggs has introduced double-training sessions at the AON Training Complex to make sure his players are up to speed for the game. By the time the next game comes around against Hull on May 6, Van Gaal may have been appointed as Moyes’ successor. The Dutchman is keen to finalise his contract at Old Trafford before he gets his Holland squad together for their training camp on May 7. United are keen for Giggs to stay at Old Trafford in some capacity, but they will not force the new manager to include the club’s record appearance maker among his backroom staff. Whoever takes charge next year, they will have to do far better than Moyes, who left United seventh in the Barclays Premier League just a year after Ferguson won the title by 11 points. Saha firmly believes the club will bounce back and start challenging for honours provided the new manager spends big in the transfer window. “You have to bring players in and if those players are the right ones then they will definitely bring success back to the club,” said Saha, who won two Premier Leagues, one Champions League and one League Cup during his four-year spell at Old Trafford. “When we bought Robin van Persie (in 2012) he was a big signing, he lifted the club and he won us the league and this is what one signing can do. “People talk about money and say this is destroying the game but money talks.” Press Association Giggs has been placed in charge of the team until the end of the season following the sacking of David Moyes. After last week’s 4-0 win over Norwich, there is a growing sense within the United dressing room and among the club’s vast fan base that Giggs should be allowed to carry on as manager beyond the summer. RYAN GIGGS has all the credentials to successfully manage Manchester United next season, according to his former team-mate Louis Saha. The United board regard Giggs as a potential manager of the future, but they are expected to appoint Louis van Gaal as their next boss instead as he has far more experience. But Saha, who played alongside Giggs for four years, thinks the Welshman is good enough for the position now. Speaking at the launch of the Soccerex global convention in Manchester, Saha said: “He can do the job now, for sure. “It seems like an easy choice for now because he proved he can do it last weekend. “I was sad to see David Moyes go. But maybe it would have been more clever to give (Giggs) his chance months ago.” Giggs is yet to complete his UEFA Pro License, but Saha thinks that should not prevent the 40-year-old from being a successful manager. Saha believes Giggs has already gained a wealth of knowledge from the 23 years he spent working under Sir Alex Ferguson. “The foundations are there (for Giggs to be a success). He was learning from the best,” Saha said. last_img read more

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President Trump suggests Delaying the Election until people can Safely Vote

first_imgBut the President has no authority to reschedule the general election per Federal law set in 8145 which stipulates that it always be held on the first Tuesday of the month of November. To move the election, Congress would have to pass new legislation to change the voting schedule, something experts say is extremely unlikely but not impossible given the constraints of the coronavirus pandemic. For the first time ever, a sitting president, Donald Trump, has suggested delaying the presidential election set for November 3rd.President Trump on Twitter this morning raising the idea of delaying November’s election, writing that mail in voting would lead to what he believes will be quote “the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history.” The president asking quote: “Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???” With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 30, 2020last_img read more

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Kyle McKenney moves past concussions to become top rower

first_imgEight years ago, Kyle McKenney would’ve never guessed he’d end up rowing for Syracuse.Eight years ago, he suffered his third concussion while playing basketball. Doctors told McKenney that he needed to stop playing contact sports, leaving him with few options.“We thought, well, how about tennis? How about swimming?” said Lynnda McKenney, Kyle’s mother.McKenney had other ideas. He lived on Lake Sammamish in Woodinville, Washington. His friends had just joined Sammamish Rowing Association, a private program, and he thought he’d give it a try.Eight years later, McKenney, a junior, is one of Syracuse’s top rowers. He shifts around on the first varsity eight boat, a role he filled in the spring. Needing a sport to salvage his athletic career in eighth grade, McKenney has made the most of his talents.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I liked being better than the guy next to you, always seeing where the other boat is and knowing that you could make your boat go a little further than the other guy,” McKenney said.Although rowing is becoming more popular, McKenney said, his parents weren’t completely sold on its unconventional aspects.“Especially when I started wearing spandex,” said McKenney. “They weren’t used to it. We’re a baseball family. I just got hit too many times that I had to start wearing the spandex.”McKenney would become a member of Sammamish’s high school men’s boat, leading his team to second-place finish in a competition at the Head of the Charles in Boston in 2012. He began hearing from multiple colleges, one being the University of Washington.At the time, it seemed like a good fit. Three out of Washington’s five coxswains are from Sammamish. With the close connections between the two organizations, McKenney’s mind was made up.“That’s where I was going to go because that’s what I could afford and what I really wanted to do,” he said.In the winter, Shawn Bagnall, then-assistant men’s rowing coach at Syracuse, met with McKenney. He had barely heard of Syracuse, but as he looked more into it, he started to consider the school seriously.McKenney first visited SU in March 2013, where he was sold by the expertise and style of men’s rowing head coach, Dave Reischman.“When he’s watching your stroke, he can tell what needs to be changed, and he says it in a way that can hit home for me and make those types of changes quickly,” said McKenney.The quality of the school, along with a scholarship, swayed McKenney into choosing Syracuse over Washington. He chose a path that he believes will result in greater, long-term success.“We think kids who want to come to Syracuse want something different,” said Syracuse men’s rowing head coach Dave Reischman. “Kyle is the ideal kid we try to recruit.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on September 30, 2015 at 9:12 pm Contact Chris: cfthomse@syr.edulast_img read more

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Men’s Basketball: Badgers drop another close contest to Temple

first_imgThe University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team (4-6, 1-1 Big Ten) fell 55-59 to Temple (7-2, 0-0 AAC) last night in Philadelphia.The Badgers dropped another close contest after nearly giving up a large lead in their previous game to Penn State.  Aleem Ford’s layup at the 3:27 minute mark to give Wisconsin a three point lead made the game look winnable, however the team was unable to score a single point with the remaining time in what became a four point loss.Men’s Basketball: Badgers look to turn season around as Big Ten play beginsMonday night, the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team continue the early season portion of their Big Ten schedule with Read…The dagger came when the Badgers were down by two.  Off an open three by Kobe King, Quinton Rose recorded a clutch rebound over Aleem Ford to clinch the victory for the Owls. While Rose is the team’s leading scorer, he otherwise had a relatively quiet day, scoring just nine points with three boards in the contest.Fellow guard Shizz Alston Jr. was able to step up in Rose’s place, hitting 7-15 for 22 points and a 4-1 assist to turnover ratio.  However, what was most impressive about Alston’s performance was his 6-6 free throw shooting with the final four coming in the last few minutes.During a post-game interview, the Washington post quoted Wisconsin head coach Greg Garg explained that fouling Rose was a mistake that the team did not want to make.“He was not the guy we wanted to foul,” Gard said, “They did a good job of getting the ball to him, and good players find a way to go get it.”The foul shots Also gave Alston the Temple school record of 50 straight free throws. During the same interview with Gard, the junior guard noted, “The record wouldn’t have meant much if we lost. I’m glad we got the win.”The elation for the Owls was met with equal disappointment with a Badger team that has continually been unable to finish late in games this season.  Even in their last victory against Penn State the team was one made three away from blowing a 17 point victory with just 10 minutes remaining in the second half. Former Badger star Jordan Taylor continues successful career abroadThere are countless athletes that have come through the University of Wisconsin over the years to play for the Badgers. Read…Despite missing a late layup that could have kept the Badgers competitive, Ethan Happ had to carry the load once again.  The forward had a solid 11-19 performance with 22 points and six rebounds.  Unfortunately, similar to other contests the teammates around Happ were unable to match his production.The scars of losing long contributing seniors like Hayes, Showalter, Koenig, and Brown are more apparent now than ever.  If the Badgers want to remain in the NCAA tournament hunt, they will need to shed their inexperience soon and start performing better in key games.last_img read more

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Crosstown showdown

first_imgFreshman forward Penelope Hocking has scored 12 goals this season and competes on the Under-20 Women’s National Team. (Emily Smith | Daily Trojan)The No. 2 women’s soccer team will face off No. 6 UCLA  Friday night at the StubHub Center, bringing a close to the regular Pac-12 season. After a win against No. 20 Colorado and a shutout tie against Utah, the Trojans are now 15-1-2 overall and 8-1-1 in conference play. USC will take a seven-game undefeated streak into the matchup. The 13-3-1 Bruins are coming off eight consecutive victories, the most recent being against Colorado. Sophomore attacker Ashley Sanchez played an integral role in both of the Bruins’ goals. After a Colorado foul early in the 19th minute, Sanchez launched a free kick to the left side, which helped create a scoring opportunity for redshirt junior midfielder Chloe Castaneda. The Bruins kept Colorado at bay, holding it to zero shots on goal and a 1-0 lead at the close of the half. Colorado came out strong in the second half, creating multiple scoring opportunities with a shot that hit the post in the 63rd minute and a narrowly missed free kick in the 64th. Buffs attacker Taylor Kornieck nailed a cross in front of the left post, scoring the tying goal and bringing the score to 1-1.In the 77th minute, UCLA’s Sanchez scored the game-winner when she stole the ball from a Colorado and launched it from close range past the Buffs keeper. Sanchez will be the main offensive player on the Trojans’ radar heading into the game on Friday. She leads the Bruins in all scoring categories with 23 points, 8 goals and seven assists. Sanchez has also either scored a goal or provided an assist in each of UCLA’s last eight games. The Trojans currently have a 398-minute streak going of keeping opponents scoreless, but the defense will need to be on high alert for the Bruins’ aggressive offensive plays. Sunday’s win also marked the fourth time in USC history that the team has marked 13 clean sheets in a season.  On the offensive end, the Trojans have outscored their opponents 46-7. Their goal differential of 39 leads the Pac-12 conference. Having outshot opponents 354-144 this year, the Trojans will need to continue working hard to control possession from the beginning in order to create scoring opportunities against the Bruins, whose goalies tail right behind redshirt sophomore Trojan keeper Kaylie Collins with a combined 41 saves. Four of the last five wins in a USC-UCLA matchup have gone to the Bruins, including the last two in a row. The last time the two teams faced off, the Bruins took the Trojans into overtime, with Sanchez scoring the winning goal in the 91st minute. The Trojans ended up tying the Bruins for a second-place finish in the Pac-12. UCLA leads the Crosstown Showdown series against USC with an all-time record of 24-6-1. The Trojans are tied at the top of the Pac-12 standings this season with No. 1 Stanford at 25 points each, while the Bruins follow close in second with 24 points. In addition to playing for a chance at the Pac-12 Conference title, both UCLA and USC head into the game vying for favorable seeding in the NCAA tournament. The Trojans are ahead of the Bruins coming in at second place on the most recent United Soccer Coaches NCAA Division I Women’s national poll with 828 total points and two first place votes, compared to the Bruins’ 679 points and sixth place ranking.  The Trojans will host the Bruins in the crosstown showdown at StubHub Center Friday at 7 p.m.last_img read more

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Guyana coalition backs Granger for president

first_imgGEORGETOWN, Guyana, – President David Granger seems to have the backing of the members of the coalition A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) as it prepares for a possible regional and general election in March this year.The granger coalition collapsed last month after then government backbencher, Charrandass Persaud, on December 21 backed a motion of no confidence filed by the general secretary of the main opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP), Bharrat Jagde.The decision by Persaud, a former member of the Alliance for Change (AFC), the second biggest member in the coalition, meant that regional and general elections are likely by March this year in keeping with the Guyana Constitution. The coalition had enjoyed a one seat majority in the 65-member National Assembly.The High Court is expected to give a ruling by month-end as the government seeks to challenge the validity of the votes cast in the National Assembly.Amma Ally, the general secretary of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), the biggest member of the coalition and Granger’s own party, said despite orchestrated rumors and untruths regarding the health of the incumbent he is still considered “fit and proper” for a second term and “the PNCR endorses his candidature.”Granger is in Cuba undergoing medical treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma and his doctors there have said he continues to respond well to the treatment and should make a full recovery.Ally said the party looks forward to be under his guidance for a second term and urged Guyanese to vote for vision, development, cordiality, selfless work and enjoy the good life.“We are also cognisant of his discipline and in no way can he be deemed as a corrupt leader. He possesses the necessary qualities that are required to be a country’s leader. He has constantly been active in cleaning up the 23 years of mess which the PPP put our country in,” Ally added.Another coalition party, the National Front Alliance (NFA) said it too would be supporting Granger.“We look forward to the opportunity to reaffirm our support for him. We did have our executive meeting earlier in the year, coming out in support of that,” said NFA executive member, Keith Scott, who is also Minister of Labor.“The people of this country trust President Granger, he has the right discipline. He has been very democratic in his dealings since he has acceded to power, and that is the kind of person that we need to bring healing in this society.”The Working People’s Alliance (WPA) executive member, Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine, said he sees no reason for his party to be swayed from President Granger as the candidate.“He’s a very upright person, very principled. No one can point a finger at him in relations to personal corruption, he’s really a model citizen, and we’ll be in support,” said Roopnaraine.Granger, who led the coalition to victory in 2015, will face Irfaan Ali,  who last weekend, said that he was “extremely humbled” with the party’s decision to pick him to lead it into the next election.last_img read more

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