first_imgTalk of an affordability crisis among UK defined benefit (DB) schemes is not borne out by data, the executive director for regulatory policy at The Pensions Regulator has said.Writing in a blog post last week, Andrew Warwick-Thompson said alarming media coverage was giving the impression DB pension fund deficits were in crisis, unaffordable and “about to rain Armageddon on UK Plc”, with cuts to member pensions being the only way to avoid widespread insolvencies.He said this was misleading, based on deficits calculated on a buyout basis – reflecting exceptionally low bond yields and the cost of capital buffers and a profit margin for insurance companies – rather than a “scheme-specific basis”.Very few schemes fund themselves on a buyout basis, said Warwick-Thompson, so the £1trn-1.5trn (€1.1trn-1.7trn) deficit figure quoted in media headlines is “really of academic interest to the majority of schemes”. The scheme-specific basis for calculating deficits, according to Warwick-Thompson, “allows schemes to carry out their valuations in a way that reflects the anticipated returns on the investments they actually hold now and anticipate holding as their investment strategy matures”.He said a pension scheme did not have to invest only in bonds but had “great flexibility” to diversify by investing in asset classes such as equities, property, infrastructure “and even derivatives”.“As the returns on these assets are generally anticipated to be higher than the yields on bonds, the discount rate used to calculate the scheme-specific deficit will be higher, too, and the deficit correspondingly lower,” he said.Overall, he said, even though there are some sponsors that may become insolvent and their schemes end up with the Pension Protection Fund (PPF), this is a minority, and there is no evidence the PPF would be overwhelmed by this.“In summary, the real scheme data doesn’t show there is a systemic DB affordability issue,” said Warwick-Thompson.“The majority of employers will be able to ensure their DB schemes are sufficiently funded to meet their liabilities as they fall due.”His comments came only days before consultancy JLT Employee Benefits published fresh figures on the funding position of UK private-sector DB schemes, which it said would lead to questions being raised about the affordability of pension liabilities.The consultancy recently published its monthly index of the estimated funding position of UK private-sector DB schemes, according to which deficits stood at £503bn as at 30 September.This is equivalent to a funding level of 74% and represents a slight improvement from the situation at the end of August.Charles Cowling, director at JLT Employee Benefits, said “[t]here seems to be no relief in sight, however, for companies with large pension schemes and their pressed trustees”, pointing to expectations that Gilt yields would remain below 1.5% per annum for the next 20 years.“The government and regulators are facing some troublesome choices,” he said.Cutting pension benefits to members or reducing guarantees will be unpopular with voters, but forcing companies to guarantee pension promises made when market conditions were different could lead to dividends being scrapped, share prices falling and, “worse still, companies going bust”.Cowling added: “Changing how pension liabilities are valued, as some have demanded, does nothing to help the problem – it just sweeps it under the carpet for someone else to manage.”last_img read more


first_imgJohn Elway’s mother, Janet, dies at 82 Associated Press Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — The Denver Broncos say general manager John Elway’s mother, Janet Elway, has died after battling pancreatic cancer.The team said she died in Palm Desert, California, on March 4.Janet “Mimi” Elway was raised in Hoquiam, Washington, where she met and married Jack Elway in 1958. March 17, 2020 The couple had three children, Lee Ann and twins John and Jana. Jana died in 2002, a year after Jack Elway’s death.,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6last_img


first_imgNigeria on Saturday, at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo, qualified for the FIFA 2018 World Cup courtesy a 73rd minute strike from Alex Iwobi.A win watched by over 30,000 fans combined, inside and around the stadium. The victory as delightful, left a sour taste in the mouth of some fans who fell victim to stampedes.The Local Organizing Committee (LOC) in a bid to ensure vociferous  support for the Eagles had tickets for the game subsidized to 500 and 1,000 Naira respectively.As expected, the fans turned up in their numbers. Early as 13:00GMT they were already trickling into the stadium. In unity, the security agents aligned to ensure all went according to plan.At the early stages, it seemed orderly as fans armed with their ticket queued for entrance. It became a problem more when both those who had and the many who didn’t have tickets felt they were being delayed unduly and had to begin a forced entrance.The result? STAMPEDE.As it is with such incidents, there were casualties. Many suffered various degree of injuries with the obvious a perforated head.“There were indeed crowd disturbances, people got injured while trying to force their way through. But nobody died.” – Stadium Manager, JohnNo one deserves to get his head smacked with a baton or leg bruised for wanting to cheer his/her beloved Eagles. Sure, there isn’t one route for preventing crowd problems. Even in organized climes, where seats allocations are effective & organization is a norm ~ incidents still occur.How to limit such occurrences should be priority for all involved just as performing well at the quadrennial event is for the team.A reminder that the world governing body (FIFA) earlier slammed Nigeria with a fine of 30,000 Swiss Francs for their fans’ unruly behavior after the Super Eagles’ 4-0 win over Cameroon at the same stadium.RelatedCAF #WCQ Match Day 5: Nigeria, Tunisia, and Egypt one win away from Russia 2018.October 5, 2017In “Africa”Supporters Club President Rafiu Ladipo Berates NFF Over Eagles’ World Cup ExitJuly 1, 2018In “Africa”Toulouse FC vs Paris St GermainJune 30, 2017Similar postlast_img read more


first_imgBumble bees have a thing for tomato plants, especially if they’re harboring a destructive virus. That’s the curious finding of a new study, in which researchers released the insects into spaces that contained either normal tomato plants or those infected with the cucumber mosaic virus (CMV). CMV alters the gene expression of the tomato plants it infects, stunting their growth and distorting their leaves, and it can cause severe losses of crops worldwide. It also causes the plant to emit a different scent than noninfected tomatoes, researchers report today in PLOS Pathogens. The scent appears to make a difference; the bees were more likely to visit infected plants than noninfected plants, and they spent more time buzzing around them. That preference likely keeps the virus going in tomato plants, according to a mathematical model the team developed. The team says further research could lead to ways to increase bee pollination of important crops.last_img read more