Dutch schemes headed for rights cuts after dramatic funding drop

first_imgSource: Mark PrinsWouter Koolmees, Dutch social affairs minister“If our funding doesn’t improve, we will already have to apply a discount next year,” said Peter Borgdorff, director of the healthcare scheme.“It can only be prevented if social affairs minister Wouter Koolmees decides to suspend cuts,” he added.Trade union FNV had already called on the government to delay rights discounts during the implementation of the pensions agreement between the social partners and the cabinet in June.Borgdorff said: “At the conclusion of the accord, the parties said that rights cuts would be avoided. It doesn’t improve the credibility of the pensions system, if discounts have to be applied within a year.”Rights cuts at the four largest pensions funds would affect almost eight million pension entitlements in the Netherlands. However, the current ultimate forward rate of 2.2%, against which the schemes are allowed to discount their liabilities, cushioned the drop in interest rates.Aon estimated that the falling rates had caused the valuation of liabilities to rise more than 4% on balance.It attributed the drop in rates to the escalating trade conflict between the US and China, a worsening economic outlook, and increasing uncertainty around Brexit.The consultancy also cited hints by several central banks that they were considering monetary easing. However, it noted that this had limited losses on equity markets.“If our funding doesn’t improve, we will already have to apply a discount next year.”Peter Borgdorff, director of PFZWSchemes’ so-called policy funding – their average coverage of the past 12 months – is the main criterion for rights cuts and indexation, and this is to fall further in the coming months as a result of the recent funding drop. Mercer said it expected the policy funding to drop to 104% on average at the end of this month.Although the cabinet had temporarily lowered the minimum required coverage ratio from 104.3% to 100%, it has also raised the so-called critical funding level, which is different for different schemes.Pension funds with a coverage short of this critical level must immediately cut pension rights and benefits, as they cannot make a reasonable case for recovery to the required funding of around 125% within 10 years.The cabinet is also to reduce the allowed assumptions for future returns as of 2020, which will limit pension funds’ recovery potential.ABP and PFZW under pressure, tooAlthough the most recent funding figures of the large pension funds date from the end of June, a funding drop of five percentage points since then would mean that the coverage ratios of civil service scheme ABP, healthcare pension fund PFZW, and the metal schemes PMT and PME had dropped to between 90% and 92%.Under the old rules – with a minimum required funding level of 104.3% – PMT and PME were already facing cuts next year.However, given the current situation, even the new threshold of 100% won’t be sufficient to prevent discounts, which could be as high as 8%.ABP and PFZW have a year’s respite on cuts compared with the metal schemes.However, in their new recovery plan next year, in which they must factor in the lower parameters for future returns, their funding must be above the critical level to avoid immediate cuts.The critical funding level for ABP and PFZW will be 95% and 94% as of 2020. If PFZW’s funding would stand at, for example, 91% at the end of this year, it must cut pension rights and benefits by 3% next year. More Dutch pension funds are facing cuts of pension rights and benefits following a dramatic funding drop in the first week of August.As a consequence of a combination of persistently lower interest rates and falling equity markets, their funding decreased by no less than four percentage points, according to Aon Hewitt and Mercer.Funding had already dropped at least one percentage point on average in July.The consultancies said that long-term interest rates had decreased 20 basis points on average, resulting in the 30-year swap rate – the main criterion for discounting pension funds’ liabilities in the Netherlands – falling to around 30bps as at the end of Wednesday.last_img read more

Former transsexual says surgeons too quick to operate

first_imgThe Christian Institute 28 January 2015A man who underwent a sex change then had it reversed is warning that surgeons are too quick to operate in cases like his.Walt Heyer, 74, now advises people who want to have a sex change that their problem is psychological.Heyer, from Los Angeles, was married with two children before he had surgery to look like a woman in the 1980s.‘Very very upset’He got divorced three months before the operation, after which he lived as Laura Jenson.His daughter – who was 15 at the time – was “very, very upset” by his decision, and his twelve-year-old son said it would have been “easier” if Heyer had died.He described the physical transition from male to female as a “battle”, but it wasn’t until he began studying psychology that he decided the sex change had been a mistake.http://www.christian.org.uk/news/former-transsexual-says-surgeons-too-quick-to-operate/last_img read more

Daily pot smoking on U.S. college campuses at 35-year high: study

first_imgReuters 1 September 2015The number of U.S. college students smoking marijuana every day or nearly every day is greater than it has been in 35 years, according to a study released on Tuesday.Nearly 6 percent of college students reported using pot daily or near-daily in 2014, up from 3.5 percent in 2007 but less than the 7.2 percent recorded in 1980, the University of Michigan’s Monitoring the Future study found.Less frequent pot smoking was also on the rise, according to the study, although not as sharply.“It’s clear that for the past seven or eight years there has been an increase in marijuana use among the nation’s college students,” said Lloyd Johnston, the study’s principal author. “And this largely parallels an increase we have been seeing among high school seniors.”Loosened marijuana policies in states across the country have likely contributed to a rise in use by teens and young adults, who increasingly perceive the drug as harmless, the study said.In 2014, 35 percent of 19-to-22-year-old high school graduates said they thought regular marijuana use was dangerous compared to 55 percent in 2006, the study said.Nationwide, attitudes about marijuana have notably changed recently, with Colorado and Washington state voting to legalize recreational use in 2012 and Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia following suit.The percentage of college students using any illicit drug also rose to 41 percent in 2014, compared to 34 percent in 2006, an increase driven mostly by the uptick in marijuana use, the study said.http://news.yahoo.com/daily-pot-smoking-u-college-campuses-35-high-041158895.htmllast_img read more

Kitwanie Carbon wins the Tourism Youth Congress organized by Caribbean Tourism Organization

first_imgEducationLocalNewsSecondary Kitwanie Carbon wins the Tourism Youth Congress organized by Caribbean Tourism Organization by: – September 19, 2011 Share 34 Views   no discussions Share Ms. Kitwani Carbon. Photo credit: onecaribbeandiaspora.comRoseau, Dominica – (September 19, 2011) – Winner of the local Tourism Youth Congress made Dominica proud when she represented her country and emerged victorious at the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s Tourism Youth Congress held on September 17, 2011. The Tourism Youth Congress was part of the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s State of the Industry Conference held from September 16 – 17 in St. Martin. Miss Carbon participated in the Congress as Dominica’s “Junior Minister of Tourism” and presented on promotion of the wellness sector as being critical in enhancing Dominica’s tourism product. Miss Carbon capitalized on the fact that Dominica’s topography makes it ideal for promotion of wellness activities and is well known for its centenarians, thus making healthy living an ideal component of the Dominican tourism product. Director of Tourism Colin Piper and Minister for Tourism Hon. Ian Douglas witnessed Kitwanie’s presentation amongst 10 other “Junior Ministers of Tourism”. Mr. Piper stated that he was quite impressed with the level of preparation that Miss Carbon put into her presentation as it was evident that she had done considerable research on the topic. According to Piper, “Kitwanie showed the ability to think on her feet and propose original ideas in response to the mystery question.” Participating students were allotted three (3) minutes to present on a tourism issue affecting their country and one (1) minute to respond to a mystery question. Kitwanie is a fifth form student at the Convent High School and spent a portion of the summer vacation researching material for the Tourism Youth Congress and seeking the assistance of teachers at Convent High School as well as other community leaders involved in debating and public speaking. Discover Dominica Authority facilitated Miss Carbon and a chaperone’s trip to St. Martin for the event. The management and staff of the Discover Dominica Authority would like to extend sincerest congratulations to Miss Carbon for her success at CTO’s Tourism Youth Congress. During her reign as Junior Minister of Tourism, the Authority plans to involve Miss Carbon in various activities for promotion of Dominica’s tourism product. Press ReleaseDiscover Dominica Authoritycenter_img Sharing is caring! Share Tweetlast_img read more

Food Pantry Looks Toward the Holiday Season

first_imgBill Warren opens the Ripley County Food Pantry on the third Monday of each month.OSGOOD, Ind. – Shelves are stocked right now at the Ripley County Food Pantry but that will change once the holiday season arrives.The pantry opened eight years ago and has grown from serving forty people a month to now over 250 residents twice each month, pantry president of operations Bill Warren says.“We have really been blessed to have enough food to do that,” Warren exclaimed.“During this holiday season, people might spend their money on gifts or thanksgiving dinner or something and they come up short. So they come to us for food and so far we have been able to take care of that need.”In addition to food and non-perishable items, Warren said the pantry is actively accepting monetary donations to buy produce for needy residents.“Our goal is to give the first person and the last person the same amount of food,” Warren continues. “In order to do that, when I go shopping I buy food in 20 cases, whatever it is, it has to come up to 250 or I don’t buy it.”The food pantry is located at the Ripley County Fairgrounds, Bldg. 16C, in Osgood. It is open on the third Monday of each month. A mobile pantry is held on the first Friday of each month.For more information contact Bill Warren at (812) 756-2560.last_img read more

Engine auction adds $18,200 to Saturday Super Nationals purse

first_imgBOONE, Iowa – The post-race auction of Saturday champions’ engines at the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s added $18,200 to the purse paid out to other drivers in those four divisions.Modified champion Ricky Thornton Jr.’s engine sold for $6,500 so each of the other 32 drivers starting that event receives $203.13.The engine that put Elijah Zevenbergen on top of the Stock Car podium sold for $6,000. The other 29 drivers in that division receive an additional $206.90.Northern SportMod champion Doug Smith’s engine sold for $4,100. Each of the other 29 starters in that event gets $141.38.And Hobby Stock champion Andrew Burg’s engine sold for $1,600, so the other 29 starters in that race receive an additional $55.17.All four Saturday champions received new engines from Karl Chevrolet and Karl Performance. J.J. Wise acknowledges a bid during the auction of the Saturday champions’ engines at the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s. (Photo by Tom Macht, www.photofinishphotos.com)last_img read more

Smith, Edwards help Volcanoes cut deficit on rain-hit day

first_imgST GEORGE’S, Grenada, (CMC) – An unbroken second-wicket stand between veterans Devon Smith and Kirk Edwards helped Windward Islands Volcanoes significantly cut their deficit against Leeward Islands Hurricanes in the Regional 4-Day Championship on Saturday.Left-handed opener Smith was not out on 56 and Edwards was not out on 35, as the Volcanoes reached 93 for one in their second innings – still trailing by 17 – before bad light stopped play with 18 overs remaining on the rain-hit third day of their first-round match at the National Cricket Stadium.The two experienced batsmen made light work of the Hurricanes’ bowlers, after Jeremiah Louis dismissed their new captain Tyrone Theophile for a first-ball duck in the second over and a one-hour stoppage for rain.Smith, the most prolific regional batsman, struck four fours and one six from 71 balls in close to the two hours of batting and Edwards collected just three boundaries from 78 balls in almost 1 ¾ hours.Earlier, Nkrumah Bonner hit 69 to anchor the bottom half of the Hurricanes batting before the visitors were bowled out for 343 for a first innings lead of 110.Sherman Lewis was the pick of the Volcanoes bowlers with 3-51 from 24 overs, Audy Alexander helped to run through the lower-order with his leg-spin, ending with 3-63 from 21.3 overs, and veteran off-spinner Shane Shillingford grabbed 2-94 from 39 overs.Starting the day on 231 for four, the Hurricanes were set back early, when Jacques Taylor was lbw to Shillingford for 25.Terrence Warde came to the crease and batted resolutely to put on 66 with Bonner and carry the Hurricanes to past the 300-run mark before Theophile bowled him for 28 with his uncomplicated slow-medium bowling.Mervin Matthew fell three overs later lbw to Lewis for seven and Alexander came to mop up the rest of the batting, including the scalp of Bonner, whose knock included just two fours from 171 balls in four hours of occupation. VOLCANOES 1st Innings 233Hurricanes 1st Innings(overnight 231 for four)C Hughes lbw b Lewis 89K Carty b Johnson 74A Saunders lbw b Saunders 6*+D Thomas c Alexander b Shillingford 4N Bonner lbw b Alexander 69J Taylor lbw b Shillingford 25T Warde b Theophile 28M Matthew lbw b Sherman 7J Louis c Cato b Alexander 14G Tonge not out 5J Campbell c Cato b Alexander 1Extras (b13, nb8) 21TOTAL (all out, 125.3 overs) 343Fall of wickets: 1-151, 2-175, 3-184, 4-184, 5-236, 6-303, 7-312, 8-338, 9-343Bowling: Johnson 7-2-14-1; Lewis 24-6-51-3; Shillingford 39-10-94-2; Sebastien 24-0-78-0 (nb2); Alexander 21.3-1-63-3 (nb6); Hodge 2-0-10-0; Theophile 8-0-20-1VOLCANOES 2nd InningsD Smith not out 56*T Theophile c Warde b Louis 0K Edwards not out 35Extras (b2) 2TOTAL (1 wkt, 25 overs) 93Fall of wickets: 1-0Bowling: Matthew 5-2-7-0; Louis 3-1-12-1; Warde 6-1-27-0; Tonge 7-2-21-0; Campbell 4-0-24-0Position: Volcanoes trail by 17 with nine second innings wickets standinglast_img read more

Aliyah Abrams through to Women’s 400m final in Peru

first_imgALIYAH Abrams became Guyana’s brightest star at the Pan Am Games in Lima, Peru, having become the first Guyanese to qualify for a final in a track event, during a dismal performance from the athletes representing the ‘592’ in Track and Field. After Brenessa Thompson and Emmanuel Archibald failed to make it out of the qualifiers in the 100m, and Jenea McCammon did not finish the Women’s 110m hurdles, Abrams clocked 52.92 seconds in heat one of two in the women’s 400m.In her qualifiers, Abrams, whose Personal Best in the event is 51.13 seconds, set on June 8, finished 5th behind Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson (51.99s), Cuba’s Roxana Gomez (52.04s), Jaide Stepter of the USA (52.19s) and Canadian Cheresse Constantine (52.92s).Abrams will compete in the final today, while Thompson will look to bounce back from her poor performance in the 100m, when she takes the field in the 200m. Winston George will also be on show today in the Men’s 200m.Meanwhile, Archibald, Guyana’s National record-holder in the Long Jump (8.12 metres), finished 11th in a field of 13 jumpers in the Men’s Long Jump at the Pan Am Games.Archibald,, who only made three attempts, leaped a distance of 7.21 metres, in the event that was won by Cuba Juan Miguel Echevarria (8.27 metres). Juan Miguel Echevarria is the current World Indoor Champion and the 2015 Junior Pan Am Champion.Jamaican Tajay Gayle was second (8.17 metres) and Uruguay’s Emiliano Lasa Sanchez came third with a distance of 7.87 metres.last_img read more

Edward Nii Odoom takes over as new Hearts of Oak head coach

first_imgEdward Nii Odoom has been named the new Accra Hearts of Oak head coach following the departure of Director of Football, Kim Grant.Grant’s exit was announced by the club on Tuesday, December 31, 2019.Hearts, in their brief statement on Twitter, asked fans of the club to back the new coach during his tenure.“The club would like to ask for continuous support for Coach Odoom and we wish Coach Grant the very best in his future endeavours.” The former Tema Youth coach was originally appointed the assistant to then Hearts of Oak caretaker coach, Henry Wellington in 2018.He takes over the club following their disappointing 1-0 loss to Berekum Chelsea in their Ghana Premier League opener.Kim Grant was appointed Hearts boss in December 2018 but speculation over his potential termination dogged the club prior to their opening day defeat.last_img read more

Klinsmann calls up 25 players for next two U.S. friendlies

first_imgJurgen Klinsmann, the coach of the United States national men’s soccer team, continued his effort to phase in new faces to his roster by calling in 25 players for the next two friendly matches, against Colombia in London on Friday and against Ireland in Dublin next Tuesday.The United States national men’s soccer team roster for the next two friendly matches includes longtime mainstay DaMarcus Beasley.CreditAdam Pretty/Getty ImagesThe roster includes longtime national team mainstays like defender DaMarcus Beasley, goalkeepers Brad Guzan and Nick Rimando and striker Jozy Altidore, but also a dozen promising players under age 24, including midfielders Alfredo Morales and Julian Green, and the young forwards Miguel Ibarra, Bobby Wood and Rubio Rubin, who at 18 will be the youngest player in camp.The complete list:Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake);Defenders: DaMarcus Beasley (Houston Dynamo), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt), Greg Garza (Tijuana), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Jermaine Jones (New England Revolution), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders); Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Julian Green (Hamburg), Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt), Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution);Forwards: Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Miguel Ibarra (Minnesota United), Jordan Morris (Stanford), Rubio Rubin (Utrecht), Bobby Wood (1860 Munich), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes).The selections also signal that Klinsmann’s plans may not always jibe with those of other teams. His call-up of Stanford University forward Jordan Morris means Morris will miss the Cardinal’s important weekend game against California, in which Stanford will try to claim its first Pac-12 title since 2001. And three players called to camp — Seattle defender DeAndre Yedlin and New England midfielders Lee Nguyen and Jermaine Jones — will leave their clubs during Major League Soccer’s playoffs.Jones is once again listed as a defender on Klinsmann’s roster, a sign that he still has a future with the national team at age 33, but probably in the back line. Jones played as a center back for the first time in a game against Honduras in October.Nguyen, a leading contender to be named the most valuable player in M.L.S., was rewarded for a strong season with his first national team call-up since 2007. The team also shows the breadth of options available to Klinsmann as he retools after last summer’s World Cup and the wide net he has cast. He called in players from 10 leagues in seven countries, and the forward line alone includes players from England’s Premier League (Altidore), the second-tier North American Soccer League (Ibarra), the N.C.A.A. (Morris), the Dutch Eredivisie (Rubin), Germany’s 2. Bundesliga (Wood) and M.L.S. (Wondolowski).last_img read more