October 3, 2020

Dutch pension system too obsessed with capital funding, says Frijns

first_imgThe Netherlands, with its predominantly capital-funded pensions system, should reconsider the current balance between capital funding and pay-as-you-go (PAYG), as the latter is currently more attractive, according to Jean Frijns, former CIO at the large civil service scheme ABP.Speaking at a book launch, Frijns argued that, in light of low interest rates, it made sense to place more emphasis on PAYG for the AOW state pension.He said a gradual transition to higher AOW benefits would also partly resolve some current problems in the Dutch pensions system, such as pro-cyclical effects as well as the fact that many self-employed workers (zzp’ers) only accrue AOW rights.Frijns said there had been no debate on capital funding versus PAYG since the 1950s and that the “glorification” of the capital-funded system had “continued for too long”. He said a gradually increased AOW could ease transitional problems caused by the planned abolition of the average pensions contribution.The former CIO, who chaired a government-appointed committee looking into investment policy and risk management at pension funds in 2008 and 2009, also claimed the Dutch system still faced “structural weaknesses”.He said these vulnerabilities had increased despite improvements in pensions provision and governance, arguing that the system had become a “plaything” of the markets because of its capital funding.“The low interest rates combined with the effect of the new financial assessment framework (nFTK) has doubled the scale of pension funds and made them too big relative to average earning and GDP,” he said.Frijns further argued that premiums were pro-cyclical, that pension funds contributed to the national savings surplus and that the system hindered labour mobility.The industry veteran predicted the new pensions system would provide for individual accrual and annuity-based benefits, carried out for ring-fenced categories of participants within pension funds.This, he said, will tackle the structural conflict between the generations in the current collective system.However, Frijns was sceptical that the government would tackle problems arising from the dividing up of pension funds’ assets or the cost of abolishing the average contribution.He said the government was likely to leave these for pension funds to solve.He also argued that regulators DNB and AFM were “co-governing” too much.“Focusing too much on costs and outsourcing details comes at the expense of participants’ interests, as well as the risk/return ratio,” he said.Frijns recently stepped down as supervisory chairman at Delta Lloyd following a dispute between DNB and the insurer’s executive board about a derivatives transaction.last_img read more

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Desfossés to leave €30bn French public service pension fund

first_imgPhilippe Desfossés, the chief executive of ERAFP, France’s €30bn public service pension fund, is due to leave the scheme in December, a spokeswoman has confirmed.He has held the post since 2008. The decision to appoint a successor to Desfossés is understood to have been announced at a meeting of the pension fund’s board of trustees at the end of June.The chief executive officer at ERAFP is appointed jointly by the government ministers for public service, the budget and social security.  The spokeswoman for ERAFP, which manages the mandatory pension scheme for around 4.5m civil servants, said it did not yet have official information about Desfossés’ replacement but his departure had been confirmed.Desfossés’ appointment was last renewed in 2013. IPE understands he had indicated wanting to continue in the role beyond 2018. His departure comes at a time of a sweeping pensions reform in France. The government wants to establish a universal system to replace the country’s many mandatory retirement schemes – there are more than 40 – and is currently laying the groundwork for this by way of an extensive consultation process being led by Jean Paul Delevoye, the high commissioner for the pension reform.ERAFP, which is a fully funded scheme in a predominantly pay-as-you-go system, comes under this reform and is supposed to be absorbed by the universal system.The government is also reforming private pensions savings within the framework of the “Pacte” law, which was adopted by the lower house of parliament earlier this month.Desfossés has been a strong advocate of responsible investment and the need for pension funds to take account of climate change. He has been vice chair of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change since 2016.He started his career in the French treasury, within the ministry of economy and finance, but also has private sector experience. He worked at AXA Group from 1998 to 2006 and then at Eli Lilly France.last_img read more

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Norway Gives Green Light for Equinor’s CO2 Storage Project

first_imgEquinor has been awarded an exploitation permit for CO2 storage on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.The allocated area for storage of CO₂ is located near the Troll oil and gas field and was announced in July 2018.Equinor is currently performing front-end engineering and design (FEED) studies on storage with project partners Shell and Total.The storage solution is part of the large-scale carbon capture and storage project in Norway.“The government has an ambition to realize a cost effective solution for full-scale carbon capture and storage in Norway, given that this will result in international technology development. The companies’ effort to mature a storage solution is a prerequisite for a successful project,” says Kjell-Børge Freiberg, minister of Petroleum and Energy.The allocation of an exploitation permit is necessary to continue the FEED-studies for a CO₂ storage solution. The FEED-studies will also provide more accurate cost estimates necessary for an investment decision.This is the first exploitation permit for storage of CO₂ on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The allocation is made under the CO2-storage regulations from December 2014.Equinor, together with project partners Shell and Total, will now mature the storage concept towards a Plan for Development and Operations (PDO) scheduled for delivery in 2019. An investment decision for the Norwegian full-scale carbon capture and storage project is expected in 2020/2021.last_img read more

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Beware the influence of vested interests’ input into the cannabis debate

first_imgStuff co.nz 9 January 2020Family First Comment: Superb article  warning of financial conflicts of interest by those arguing for legalisation of cannabis…“In the ongoing public discussion of New Zealand’s decision on cannabis it is valuable to hear all perspectives, but when these reflect only major corporate vested interests it would be reasonable to expect an indication of this from the publisher.”Media – take note.OPINION: David Clement of the Toronto Consumer Center writes of mistakes he believes Canada made in recent legalisation of recreational cannabis use, warning New Zealand not to do the same.He writes of the need to create a “more consumer friendly regulatory regime”. The gist of his recommendations is to allow the sale of higher potency products, keep prices low, and allow the marketing of cannabis.It was not surprising to find on the Consumer Center website acknowledgement of funding from Facebook (a social media platform selling data on individuals’ characteristics to enable marketing to them) and from two cannabis corporations. It is certainly possible to infer the influence of these funders on Clement’s arguments.Clement argues against a ban on cannabis advertising because it is inconsistent with our liberal approach to alcohol marketing, an argument we will expect to hear often from the cannabis corporations and their public relations surrogates.However, this inconsistency is also an issue for those concerned with health and wellbeing. There is a certain irony in our Government saying there should be no marketing of cannabis because research shows the adverse impacts of alcohol marketing, yet successive New Zealand governments have failed to regulate alcohol marketing even in the face of costs from alcohol harm of $7 billion every year.Marketing these products and keeping the price low, as Clement advocates, will increase the amount sold and correspondingly increase the number of people with cannabis-use disorder and cannabis-related motor vehicle crashes.In the ongoing public discussion of New Zealand’s decision on cannabis it is valuable to hear all perspectives, but when these reflect only major corporate vested interests it would be reasonable to expect an indication of this from the publisher.Professor Sally Casswell is a Professor of Public Health and Social Research at Massey University.READ MORE: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/118650579/beware-the-influence-of-vested-interests-input-into-the-cannabis-debate?cid=app-iPhonelast_img read more

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Everton complete first January signing

first_img Promoted ContentBest & Worst Celebrity Endorsed Games Ever Made7 Ways To Understand Your Girlfriend Better6 Interesting Ways To Make Money With A Drone7 Ways To Understand Your Girlfriend Better10 Risky Jobs Some Women DoWho Earns More Than Ronaldo?Behind-The-Scenes Selfies From 10 Popular Movies6 Extreme Facts About HurricanesPlaying Games For Hours Can Do This To Your Body12 Celebrities Who Almost Ruined Their Careers With One MovieCouples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable WayCan Playing Too Many Video Games Hurt Your Body? Loading… “My long-term goal, 100 per cent, is to play for Everton first team in front of the great crowds at Goodison. That would be my dream.” The Toffees are believed to have had an opening bid worth around £500,000 rejected last week, with Carlisle holding out for in excess of £1million. Though the terms of the deal have not been revealed, Everton’s revised offer was believed to be in the region of £900,000. Branthwaite made his senior debut in October and has gone on to make 12 appearances, scoring once. Everton have signed 17-year-old defender Jarrad Branthwaite from Carlisle for what the League Two club say is a “substantial fee” with future bonuses and performance-related clauses. The teenager has signed a two-and-a-half year contract and will link up with David Unsworth’s U23s.center_img Read Also:Everton: Davies salutes Ancelotti,others Premier League rivals Leicester City, Newcastle, Aston Villa as well as Scottish giants Celtic and Rangers were also linked with the teenager. Though Everton are currently banned from signing Academy players until November, they were able to bring in Branthwaite as he was signed to professional terms. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Branthwaite watched the young Blues in action against Arsenal at Haig Avenue on Monday evening. Speaking about his move, Branthwaite said: “The pathway is superb – that’s what made me want to join Everton. “I’ve seen those players get their chance in the first team and do well. “I just can’t wait to get started. Everton is a big club and I’m buzzing to be here. “The facilities at USM Finch Farm are unbelievable. I like everything about the place. “I want to settle in, get to know all the boys and put in some good performances for the Under-23s.Advertisementlast_img read more

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Tax targets Ballinrobe prize

first_imgTax Reform was just edged out of it at Galway last time and will try to go one place better as he leads a team of three for trainer Andrew Oliver in the Follow Ballinrobe On Facebook Maiden at Ballinrobe. Oliver also has Land A Blow in the Burleigh Accountants Handicap, but he could struggle, especially against recent Dundalk second Granny On Fire. The Ballinrobe Racecourse Of The Year Handicap completes the Flat programme, with Willie Mullins’ booking of Pat Smullen for Una Veintena an eyecatching move. Mullins also has some jumpers in action, with Alileo, who was placed in four out of his six Flat starts in France, having a first crack at obstacles in the Costello McDermott Maiden Hurdle. He will be returning from a 665-day absence though, so many may prefer Massini’s Trap, a decent third here on his hurdling debut last time, or Super Cloud, who has been knocking on the door. Mullins’ trio is completed by Viconte Du Noyer in the valuable EPS Pumps Handicap Hurdle, but he has struggled in better company of late and The Ring Is King and Hurricane Jojo come into this on the back of victories. The Namid colt was beaten a nose by Sister Slew on that occasion and will have plenty of support in a race in which his handler also runs Velocity Of Sound and Sticks And Stones. Aidan O’Brien’s Lake Nova looks his leading rival, although he has failed to show improvement on his debut second in three subsequent starts. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

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Judge will not dismiss prosecutor in Parkland shooter case

first_imgA Florida judge is refusing to take the lead prosecutor off of the case of confessed Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz.In her ruling Thursday, the Broward County judge said Cruz does not have any right to choose the prosecutor in his case.Cruz’s public defenders had asked to remove State Attorney Michael Satz for refusing to consider anything other than the death penalty for Cruz and allegedly calling Cruz “evil” and worse than serial killer Ted Bundy.Cruz is accused of killing 17 people during the Valentine’s Day 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.Defense attorneys have said Cruz would plead guilty to killing 17 people at the Parkland high school in exchange for life in prison.He is set to go to trial on capital murder charges in January 2020 and could get the death penalty if convicted.Related content:Prosecutor: Nik Cruz “Worse than Bundy” and Refuses to Reconsider Death Penaltylast_img read more

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Price student fights for social justice

first_img“I have to realize, ‘OK, I did my part.’ I can’t control everything. I can’t follow everything,” Reese said. “It’s learning when and how to take breaks before I’m beginning to internalize all the world issues.” “What inspired me from the beginning … was that I realized the black community was really vulnerable to a lot of these legislative changes and has been historically and that a lot of these policies or predicted outcomes right now are a direct result of the policies that were instilled before,” Reese said. “If I’m going to have any sustainable impact on my community for the better, it’ll have to be through legislation.” “I also have a passion for political engagement and engaging young people to care about politics,” Reese said. “At our CBCSA, I created programming targeted at our student population to get people involved in activities. I brought elected officials from all different levels of government, consultants [and] nonprofits, and they either spoke, or we did some kind of speaking engagement for the students coupled with some kind of field opportunity to either work with that nonprofit or go canvas a neighborhood.” “I have to be at a table where decisions are made,” Reese said. “Because if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.” In her time at USC, Reese has held various roles in California politics, including an internship with California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s 2018 gubernatorial campaign, the Los Angeles Attorney’s Office and Sen. Kamala Harris’ 2016 U.S. Senate campaign and a fellowship with the office of Assemblymember Reginald Jones-Sawyer Sr. But Reese’s dedication to sharing her passion extends beyond the workplace, according to Conerly, who said Reese brought in several copies of former First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Becoming” to share with her peers. Reese, who also received her undergraduate degree from USC, has worked on instigating and promoting change on and off campus throughout her five years at USC. “There’s a general apathy about politics that I feel like is difficult to tap into … I think there’s basic things we can all agree on,” Reese said. “But translating that into getting people to the polls or to the ballot box — it’s just not the same.” She currently works as a fellowship coordinator for the Public Rights Project, a nonprofit that works to protect Americans’ rights by providing support to state and local law offices. Reese runs the program’s fellowship programming, which helps attorneys transition to the public works sector. This story is part of  the Daily Trojan’s special coverage for Black History Month. It will run periodically throughout February. “Once we said, ‘Hey, you’re the lead on Real Talk,’ she kind of took that and ran with it and really made it her own … She was able to identify speakers to bring in on her own, that was all her connections,” Conerly said. “I would say she’s someone that’s very resourceful, very organized.”center_img But Reese’s passion has carried her through the tough patches, inspiring her to stay involved and stay active in creating change. “There’s a GroupMe that she’s in, and she’s like, ‘Hey I bought all these books, if anyone wants one stop by CBCSA, you can have it,’” Conerly said. “It’s certain things she’s doing because she just wants to share with her peers.” There are certain difficulties in public policy, according to Reese, that made her realize self-care is essential for taking care of herself and her communities. “A lot of local offices are underfunded and understaffed, so basically Public Rights Project is trying to bridge the gap,” Reese said. “If it’s a staff issue, OK, well, let’s help you get staff; if it’s any pro bono work we can do to alleviate the pressure, OK, we can do that.” On campus, Reese has worked as a Social Justice Specialist — she led a series of Real Talk discussions for the Center for Black Cultural and Students Affairs at USC, which cover social and campus climate issues. As a leader for Real Talk from August 2017 to December 2018, Reese said she facilitated conversations about relevant issues, brought in elected officials to participate in Real Talk sessions and created field opportunities for participants to foster change through activities like neighborhood canvassing. Center for Black Cultural and Student Affairs Director Rosalind Conerly said Reese is a dedicated leader who always made and progressed new ideas for Real Talk events. Despite the challenges, Reese said her dedication to public policy refuses to wane. Kennedy Reese believes in living with intention. She found her passion for public policy through a gender minorities health disparity class for her previous undergraduate major, biochemistry. Deciding she wanted to get involved in the legislative decisions affecting different communities, Reese, now a graduate student, switched her major to public policy to learn how to create the changes she wanted to see. Graduate student Kennedy Reese has held various positions in California politics. (Photo courtesy of Kennedy Reese)last_img read more

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Smith: Hayes deserves freshman of the year, sixth-man consideration

first_imgAt the beginning of the Wisconsin men’s basketball season, I never knew what to expect going into a Bo Ryan press conference, no matter how many I had previously attended. It seemed the only thing you could count on was at least one story from “back in the day.” But, as the regular season began to wind on, it became apparent that I could add one more expectation to coach Ryan pressers: Nigel Hayes.The freshman forward out of Toledo, Ohio gradually carved a spot for himself in the rotation and not long after, Hayes became a favorite among fans, media and his coaches, including Ryan.His ability to absorb coaching, draw fouls and absurd consistency with his mid-range jumper made him a coach’s dream. His quirky personality, expressiveness and fixation with useless trivia made him an instant hit with the media and fans alike. The result was Hayes’ hysteria in the press room as it seemed the freshman’s name came up in interviews whether it was prompted or not.As a freshman, Hayes has become one of the most consistent players for Wisconsin — save for the free-throw troubles — and has begun to grab the attention of the Big Ten conference, earning his fourth Freshman of the Week award and thrusting his name into the Big Ten Freshman of the Year discussion.With just a month left in the regular season, it looks like a two-horse race between Hayes and Indiana’s Noah Vonleh for the freshman of the year honors. But I believe Hayes’ case is getting stronger by the game, and although his stats are not quite on Vonleh’s level, his impact with the Badgers makes up for anything that might be lacking in the stats department.Hayes is averaging 7.9 points, 2.6 rebounds per game and a 53.7 shooting percentage — second best on the team among players with at least 25 games played.Vonleh’s numbers are gaudier as the freshman out of Haverhill, Mass. averages nearly a double-double with 11.6 points and 9.5 rebounds per game along with a shooting percentage of 54 percent. However, the Hoosier averages nearly eight more minutes per game than Hayes and plays for a bad team.It seems logical that playing for a team in the bottom half of the Big Ten would be a disadvantage for a young player, but I believe the opposite is true. I think Indiana’s down season gives Vonleh more freedom on the court and presents a willingness from the coaching staff to give him minutes that he might not otherwise get on a stronger, deeper team.Don’t get me wrong. I still think Vonleh is a terrific player with a very high ceiling. He has a very bright future in front of him and likely a successful professional career. But, just looking at individual accomplishments and contributions to the team, I think Hayes has a stronger case.The biggest thing Hayes has going for him is that he plays for a team that will more than likely finish in the top four of the conference, again. The fact that Hayes has contributed as much as he has and owns such an important role with Wisconsin as a freshman is impressive. Granted, the Badgers were in desperate need of frontcourt help, so Hayes may have landed in Madison at just the right time.But, just because there is a need at a position doesn’t mean a player is going to get inserted into the lineup just by necessity, not on a Bo Ryan coached team. But, Hayes has met coach Ryan’s lofty standards and has worked his way to becoming the first player off the bench for Wisconsin.The 6-foot-7 forward has shown massive improvement in his game since beginning his collegiate career in November. In his first 11 games, Hayes averaged just four points and 1.7 rebounds. Now, in his last 15 games, he is nearly tripling those numbers, averaging more than 11 points and four rebounds per game.Hayes’ effectiveness and offensive production in the latter half of the season isn’t lost on his head coach.“But when we’re effective, I’ll tell you the catalyst still has been Nigel, without a doubt,” Ryan said after Wisconsin’s home win over Minnesota Feb. 13.When you have been with the program for less than a year and Ryan, who has been coaching for 29 years, is already calling you a guy he’ll remember coaching when he looks back on his career, you’ve done something special.Not only does Hayes have a shot at Freshman of the Year, but sixth man of the year is a real possibility as well, as he averages the most points and rebounds and has the highest shooting percentage of any player in the Big Ten who has not started a game in the Big Ten.But whether or not the quirky kid from Toledo might get the nod for any Big Ten awards this season, he will still find his way into press conferences and will more than likely still bring a smile to his coach’s face.last_img read more

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Medical Team from Cuba to Arrive in BVI to Help With…

first_imgFahie, in thanking Cuba for responding to the territory’s request and said t the medical team will now allow the country to reopen with a greater sense of confidence, knowing that adequate specialised treatment capacity will be accessible to the islands. Premier Andrew Fahie who made the announcement during Tuesday’s Sitting of the legislature, said the Cuban team will consist of internist doctors, emergency response doctors, intensive care specialists and nurses who are trained in infectious diseases. Cuba has deployed teams of medical doctors and nurses to several countries in the region, including Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St Lucia, Barbados, St Kitts Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, Jamaica, and Suriname. HAVANA, Cuba – Twenty-two Cuban medical professionals are scheduled to arrive in the British Virgin Islands on Thursday to assist the government in its fight against COVID-19. “We requested the assistance in an effort to augment the capacity of the team of healthcare professionals currently at the BVI Health Services Authority to ensure that the territory is able to deal with any situation which may occur as we continue the cautious phased re-opening of our borders.”center_img “This has been long in coming and after their 14-days in quarantine, and after their successful COVID-19 testing, they will join our local medical team to strengthen our resolve in the fight against the coronavirus.” They have also provided support internationally to countries including South Africa and Italy. CMClast_img read more

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