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Dutch regulator rejects Wonen, Detailhandel merger for second time

first_imgFor the second time, the Dutch regulator (DNB) has blocked the planned merger between Wonen, the pension fund for the home-furnishing industry, and Detailhandel, the retail sector scheme.The regulator concluded that the funding gap between the two schemes was too great.The pension funds are now faced with two choices: work together within the new ‘general’ pension fund (APF) – expected to come into force from 1 January 2016 – or continue as they were, independently.The companies and workers involved in the schemes initially aimed to merge the €3.2bn Wonen and the €12.9bn Detailhandel on 1 January 2015. As of the end of 2014, Wonen had a coverage ratio of 111%, Detailhandel 117%.To bridge this gap, the schemes suggested the companies associated with Wonen would increase their contributions over a five-year period. Other proposed measures included passing on the benefits of scale for Detailhandel to the participants of Wonen, as well as re-allocating Wonen’s early retirement reserves to its general pension assets.However, André Steijaert, chairman at Wonen, said the regulator concluded the merger would come at the expense of Detailhandel’s participants, as well as Wonen’s future participants.He added that he felt the social partners involved in the proposed merger had set Wonen’s board “an impossible mission”.In 2013, the regulator rejected a funding-gap plan that would have seen Wonen’s participants forego indexation and face a series of rights discounts.Steijaert said the APF was a now potential option, assuming the industry-wide schemes could ringfence their assets.Continuing independently is also an option, he added, explaining that Wonen’s contribution for 2016 would be lower than the expected premium under the new merger scheme.Steijaert added that the Wonen social partners had shown no interest in merging with any other pension fund than Detailhandel, and that this option was, therefore, not on the agenda.Wonen’s board will discuss the situation with its social partners next month.At July-end, Wonen’s funding ratio was 102%, while Detailhandel’s coverage stood at 109%.The pension funds have 132,000 and 1m participants, respectively.last_img read more

Netherlands roundup: Pension funds, social partners to tackle diversity

first_imgSubsequently, the pension fund organisation and StAr – which represents the biggest unions and employer associations – would flesh out best practices for increasing diversity and come up with policy proposals and a rota for appointing trustees, Koolmees said.The rota is meant to support an early search for new board members.Accountability boards to get approval over cross-border transfers The Pensions Federation and the Labour Foundation (StAr) are to collaborate to encourage Dutch pension funds to increase board diversity, social affairs minister Wouter Koolmees has announced.In a letter to parliament, Koolmees said many schemes still failed to comply with the Code Pensioenfondsen, which stipulates that every pension fund must have at least one female trustee as well as a board member of under 40 years old.According to the minister, 40% of the 240 pension funds lacked a woman on their board, while 65% of boards don’t have a younger trustee.He indicated that the federation would engage with non-compliant pension funds in order to hear about their “experiences and barriers”, starting with the country’s 20 largest schemes. Wouter Koolmees, social affairs ministerThe accountability boards (VO) of Dutch pension funds will be given the right of approval over transfers to cross-border schemes, social affairs minister Wouter Koolmees has said.Answering questions from parliament about the implementation of the IORP II directive, Koolmees said representatives of workers and pensioners would have to agree with such a transfer.However, he said this wouldn’t apply for a collective value transfer between Dutch entities “as this would remain subject to the Dutch prudential framework”.The Christian Democrats (CDA) indicated that the minister’s answer did not entirely dispel their fears regarding different supervision regimes abroad. The minister didn’t exclude the possibility that other EU member states would tax pension assets, the party said.However, Koolmees argued that pension funds considering a value transfer would logically take aspects of stability and taxation into account before making a decision.He emphasised that individual participants also had a right to object.last_img read more

Swiss pension funds’ perseverance pays off in pandemic-stricken H1

first_imgThe proportion of funds impacted by the negative interest rate regime imposed by the the Swiss National Bank has risen steadily from 58% to 73% since 2016.The share of pension funds with technical interest rates below 2% continues to increase – 58% for private funds and 49% for public pension institutions –up from 4% in 2016.Swiss pension funds increased investments in equities and reduced allocations in bonds in 2019. Around 31.6% of assets were allocated to equities (up from 29.3% the prior year) and 29.3% for bonds (down from 30.9% in 2018). Real assets also saw investments worth 24.3%, while 1.4% went to mortgages, 6.4% to alternatives, 5.5% to liquid funds, 0.5% to loans and 0.9% to other asset classes.Pension funds achieved on average returns of 10.85% in 2019. The pension funds with the best performance have achieved an annual return of 5.4% over the past five years.Swisscanto stressed the necessity of a rapid reform of the second pillar system with a particular focus on the immediate reduction of the minimum conversion rate – Mindestumwandlungssatz – from 6.8% to 5.8%.The average conversion rate continues to fall, however, from 6.74% in 2010 to 5.63% in 2020.Swisscanto expects the number of pension funds to continue to decrease. This development is associated with a profound change of occupational pension provisions, with traditionally close ties between companies and pension funds disappearing.The number of Pensionskassen are expected to fall in 2026 to around 1,000 from 1,562 in 2018, according to pension supervisor OAK BV.To read the digital edition of IPE’s latest magazine click here. Swiss pension funds have fared well to market shocks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in the first half of 2020, according to the Swisscanto Pensionskassenstudie 2020.Funding ratios rose to 110% at the end of H1, up 10 percentage points from the peak of the pandemic in March, but still down from 113.9% at the end of 2019.A study conducted by Swisscanto, based on data of 520 pension funds with total assets worth CHF772bn (€710.6bn), noted that the current funding ratio scenario is only a snapshot.The essential element to finance the second pillar pension system in the long term is the ability for pension funds to make returns on assets through active investment strategies, it said. Generating returns in the long run remains a major challenge, it said.last_img read more

Mongolian beef recipe.

first_imgMongolian Beef Recipe. Photo credit: Randy Mayor; Styling: Leigh Ann RossYIELD: 4 servings (serving size: 1 cup)TOTAL: 20 minutesIngredients:2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce1 teaspoon sugar1 teaspoon cornstarch2 teaspoons dry sherry2 teaspoons hoisin sauce1 teaspoon rice vinegar1 teaspoon chile paste with garlic (such as sambal oelek)1/4 teaspoon salt2 teaspoons peanut oil1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic1 pound sirloin steak, thinly sliced across the grain16 medium green onions, cut into 2-inch piecesPreparation:1. Combine first 8 ingredients, stirring until smooth.2. Heat peanut oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add minced ginger, minced garlic, and beef; sauté for 2 minutes or until beef is browned. Add green onion pieces; sauté 30 seconds. Add soy sauce mixture; cook 1 minute or until thickened, stirring constantly.Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough, Cooking LightDECEMBER 2009Recipe source: 29 Views   no discussions Food & DiningLifestyle Mongolian beef recipe. by: – August 6, 2011 Share Tweetcenter_img Share Share Sharing is caring!last_img read more

New toloma processing plant for the Delices

first_img Sharing is caring! 143 Views   no discussions LocalNews New toloma processing plant for the Delices by: – September 9, 2011 Share Tweetcenter_img Share Share Hon. Petter St. Jean. Photo credit: GIS NewsA new toloma processing plant for the Delices community could soon become a reality.Parliamentary representative for Delices Petter St. Jean says cabinet has approved 15,000 square feet of land for a toloma processing plant for that community.He made that announcement during the 14th inaugural meeting of the Delices/Carib/La Roche/ Victoria Village Council and the commissioning of a 2.8 million dollar water supply on Wednesday.“I want to announce that exactly six weeks ago, the Cabinet of the government of Dominica took the decision to allocate land to the Delices Toloma Women’s Action group in excess of 15,000 square feet for the erection of a new toloma plant,” he said.He said the group wills soon receive the certificate of title in that regard.Meantime, St. Jean says cabinet has also approved lands for farmers who are already occupying the Fond Toma Estate for agricultural purposes.“The Cabinet has taken a conscious decision to allocate to farmers the Fond Toma Estate. These lands will be given to farmers for agricultural development,” he added.He said the promise was made during the 2009 general elections and that his Government will deliver that promise.Dominica Vibes Newslast_img read more

No Pagtaltal; Guimaras not letting guard down despite COVID-19-free status

first_imgILOILOCity – The island province of Guimaras is raising its pandemic response levelfrom Level 1 to Level 2 to ensure that it remains free from the coronavirusdisease 2019 (COVID-19). Publictransportations will also be regulated to abide the guidelines set by the Departmentof Health for physical distancing to mitigate the spread of the virus. Businesshours for establishments except those that are considered essential will bereduced. UnderLevel 2 response beginning April 15, entry to different ports of Guimaras willbe limited, according to Gov. Samuel Gumarin. Returningresidents of the province will only be allowed entry if they do not exhibitCOVID-19 symptoms but will comply with the mandatory quarantine regulations. Further,trips of motorbancas and Ro-Ro vessels plying the Guimaras – Iloilo route viceversa will be significantly reduced. Outboundtravels of Guimarasnons will also be limited with only medical referrals andtravels for emergency purposes allowed provided they have valid IDs andQuarantine Pass. Accordingto Gumarin, the provincial government has deemed it wise to raise the pandemicresponse level because the province is vulnerable, given the limited capacityof its health care system. Fornon-residents who will leave the island, only those that have In-bound Passwill be allowed to travel.center_img “Hugtonnaton ini. Bantayan naton ang borders sang aton probinsiya. Kinahanglan naton Now on its 45th year, “Pagtaltal sa Balaan Bukid” in Jordan town is an open-air passion play on the death of Jesus Christ. Guimaras has cancelled its famous annual Holy Week presentation “Pagtaltal sa Balaan Bukid” due to the threat posed by COVID-19. Angapelar ko lang sa mga Guimarasnon, bululigan naton ini,” Gumarin said. Non-residents who will enter Guimaras will only be allowed entry if the purpose of travel is to transport basic commodities and necessities and for emergency cases that may result to loss of life, liberty or property provided that they are certified cleared from COVID by the designated health authority and shall be issued an inbound pass. protektahanang Guimaras nga kun mahimo indi makasulod sa aton isla ang COVID-19. “Guimarasis the only province in Western Visayas that remains free of the disease, it isessential to tighten the traffic of people going to and from the province,”stressed Gumarin who signed Executive Order No. 43 for this on April 7./PNlast_img read more

Serena Williams set to play inaugural Kentucky tournament

first_img Loading… Serena Williams will make her return to the WTA tour at a new hardcourt tournament in Kentucky in August, organizers said Thursday. The Top Seed Open said 23-time Grand Slam champion Williams and 2017 US Open winner Sloane Stephens will be in the field when play begins on August 10. Williams hasn’t played since representing the United States in the Fed Cup in February, before the WTA tour along with most of global sport shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic. Both the WTA tour and the men’s ATP tour are scheduled to resume in August. Williams has already said she plans to enter the next scheduled Grand Slam tournament, the US Open, which is slated to begin in New York on August 31.Advertisement Read Also: Tiger Woods cautious about return ahead of Memorial The Kentucky tournament was one of two new events confirmed by WTA chief executive Steve Simon last week as additions to the tour’s revamped calendar. WTA action is scheduled to resume with the Palermo Open in Italy starting on August 3. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 last_img read more

Tevez facing community work

first_img Probation Service officer Mike Boliver said in court, after speaking to Tevez: “He was very clear when talking to me this has been a very salutary lesson. I think the seriousness and significance of this type of offence, I think the likelihood of this happening again is very, very slim. “Mr Tevez would welcome a chance to put something back into the community. Clearly, he is fit for unpaid work.” Passing sentence, chair of the bench Elizabeth Depares told the defendant: “Mr Tevez, you must realise you are a role model to thousands, if not millions, of fans but nobody is above the law. You should not have been driving. We have heard that you are sorry and it is now up to you to ensure you will not be brought back to court again.” Tevez was also fined £1,000 for having no insurance. He entered his plea in his native Spanish with the aid of an interpreter, as he stood in the dock, answering “I am guilty” to the charges. JPs heard that Tevez has not yet got a UK driving licence, partly because he has struggled to pass the theory test, which is conducted in English. Gwyn Lewis, defending, said that Tevez had now applied for a provisional licence and “his intention” was to become a legitimate driver. Tevez will begin a punishment of 250 hours of community service after admitting driving offences. The Argentinian was sentenced at Macclesfield Magistrates’ Court in Cheshire on Wednesday after admitting he was guilty of driving while disqualified and without insurance when leaving a golf club on March 7. The 29-year-old was caught driving a Porsche Cayenne by police, after an anonymous tip-off, and must complete his work in the community inside the next 12 months. Press Associationcenter_img Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez was urged to act as a role model as he was banned from the roads for six months.last_img read more

Cole on verge of Roma move

first_img Press Association The defender left Arsenal in May 2000 as part of a deal which saw William Gallas join the Gunners, and spent eight seasons with Chelsea, during which he won the Champions League, Europa League, Premier League and four FA Cups. Cole earned 107 England caps, but announced his retirement from international football ahead of the World Cup after he was left out of Roy Hodgson’s squad for the finals in Brazil. Former Chelsea and England defender Ashley Cole has arrived in Italy and is expected to complete his free transfer to Roma later on Monday. center_img The 33-year-old left-back is a free agent following his release by the Blues earlier this summer and had been linked with a number of teams, both in the Barclays Premier League and in Europe. Cole has flown to the Italian capital, with Roma posting a photo on their official Twitter feed, with the message: “Welcome to Rome, Ashley!”. last_img read more

Sole switches on late power

first_img Press Association Richard Hughes typically delayed his challenge on the Eddie Lynam-trained eight-year-old to collar Peniaphobia inside the dying strides. Amber Sky set a scorching gallop, which enabled Sole Power (11-2) to settle towards the rear before gunning down the opposition late on. Green Mask finished third. Sole Power landed a famous victory when he took the Al Quoz Sprint at the fifth attempt with his customary late surge in the five-furlong Group One contest at Meydan.center_img Hughes said: “He’s a wonderful little horse. I thought he ran too lacklustre (on his last start at Meydan), but Eddie Lynam’s done something and it’s worked a treat. “This horse deserves more recognition than he gets. He has been competing at the level for five seasons and I knew when I moved out a furlong and a half out we were in with a massive chance. “I still think he was a little but rusty, but I rode my own race and he stuck his neck out gamely to the line. That was the real Sole Power we saw and it’s my last ever ride at Meydan.” Owner Sabena Power added: “I’m so thrilled. He surprises us all the time – he’s fantastic. Richard was just wonderful. He was just so cocky.” County Meath handler Lynam, whose charge was winning at Group One level for the fifth time, is already thinking of a return to Royal Ascot, where Sole Power claimed the King’s Stand Stakes last summer. He said: “He’s put his CV up for (leading) European sprinter today. He’s just come to himself. On his day, he was always capable of doing it. If I could, I’d love him to do it at Royal Ascot as well.” Doug Whyte, who steered Peniaphobia into second place, said: “I couldn’t fault the way he ran. That was the first time he has travelled abroad. He was a true gentleman out there. He went down and stood completely still at the gate. He looks a true professional and I think Royal Ascot would suit him very well indeed.” last_img read more