COVID-19 makes Swiss occupational pension reform increasingly urgent

first_imgThe recent decline of pension funds assets, which has been caused by the COVID-19 crisis, makes for a reform of Switzerland’s occupational pensions even more urgent, the managing director of the employers association Schweizerische Arbeitgeberverband, Roland Müller, told IPE.The Swiss Employers’ Association expects the Federal Council to submit its message to parliament as soon as its operations resume back to normal, he said.Following an invitation of the Federal Council, the Swiss Employers’ Association (SAV), the Swiss Trade Union Federation (SGB) and Travail.Suisse made a series of proposals to review the second pillar pension system with the goal to reduce occupational pensions’ funding problem, secure a certain level of pensions payments and to improve social security for low-income workers.But the coronavirus crisis has forced an extension on the reform consultation until May 29. The delay should not have an impact on the final result. “The extension of the deadline will not affect our position,” he said, adding that social partner compromise has broad support from the association’s members.For Sergio Bortolin, managing director of Aska Pensionskasse, an occupational pensions reform is inevitable due to demographic developments, the ongoing low interest rate environment, and other social changes.“The redistribution from actively insured persons to pensioners must be reduced to an acceptable level,” he added.The points of the proposal from social partners include a reduction of the minimum conversion rate to 6% from the current 6.8%, a lifelong monthly pension premium for recipients of old-age and disability pensions from the occupational pension scheme, and an adjustment of the retirement credits.“In the mandatory occupational pension plan, the current minimum conversion rate of 6.8% leads to excessive pension benefits, and to an unwished redistribution from the young to the old generation,”  Müller said, in light of an ageing population and the current financial markets environment, which has been affected by persistent negative interest rates.He added that according to the Occupational Pension Supervisory Commission (OPSC) this costs around CHF7bn (€6.6bn) a year.The social partner proposal, which is based on both contribution and benefit measures, expects to “fix the problem”, while securing pensions at the previous level.“Due to the good price-performance ratio, this reform is also suitable for small and medium-sized companies,” Müller explained.Necessary reformFor Carl Hollitscher, head of institutional sales for Austria and Switzerland at Franklin Templeton, the reform is necessary.“The financial stability of the pension sector is under pressure mainly due to a low rate environment and a rising life expectancy rate,” he said.He agrees that the extension is just a reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic and should have no impact. The reform is a step in the right direction, he said.“The lowering of the conversion rate is the right thing to do, but the step down could have been bolder. On the other hand, the payments to compensate for the shortfall in specific pensions are too generous,” he continued.He claimed that such payments “should have been focused solely on people affected by the reform and potentially in need”.He added that the lack of a mechanism that ties pension benefits dynamically to a population’s life expectancy is an important point that is missing in the current reform.“Unless the drift in longevity of the population is properly incorporated, the main issues will persist,” he said.The employers’ association is certain that parliament ultimately will adopt the reform.“The compromise is not a bureaucratic monster, it can be passed by the parliament immediately and introduced promptly,” Müller said, adding that in the past no reform has made its way through parliament without the backing of social partners.To read the digital edition of IPE’s latest magazine click here.last_img read more

Inpex confirms end-September for Ichthys LNG shipments start

first_imgJapan’s Inpex said the shipment of products from the Ichthys LNG project in Australia will start by the end of September, following new delays. The company said on Wednesday it has completed the inspection on electrical equipment during the final safety verifications carried out in cooperation with Australian regulators as it prepares to start production.Ichthys LNG project has already completed the necessary commissioning of all key onshore and offshore facilities for the production start-up.To remind, Australia’s National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) found issues at the Ichthys LNG project’s CPF during an inspection.Inpex noted in its statement, that following additional verifications concerning the electrical equipment, the project is scheduled to commence production, and will thereafter begin the shipment of products towards the end of the first half of the current fiscal year, ending September 2018.The company also noted that first, it will start shipping condensate followed by liquefied natural gas and then liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).However, it still noted that the Ichthys LNG activity schedule may fluctuate depending on the weather conditions at the worksites, preparation activities and other factors.Inpex added it is also evaluating how the delays will impact the company’s financial results for the year ending March 2019.Reuters reported last week the project value was pushed up by the delays from the initial $34 billion to around $40 billion.The Ichthys LNG project is expected to produce up to 8.9 million tonnes of LNG and 1.6 million tons of LPG at peak annually, with up to 100,000 barrels of condensate per day at peak.The project is a joint venture between Inpex, major partner Total, Taiwan’s CPC Corporation and the Australian subsidiaries of Tokyo Gas, Osaka Gas, Kansai Electric, Chubu Electric Power and Toho Gas.last_img read more

Dunne sits out training

first_img Goalkeeper David Forde and full-back Marc Wilson trained in the gym as they continued to nurse knee and hamstring problems respectively, but both are expected to return on Wednesday. Press Association The 33-year-old, who Trapattoni said on Monday is “90 per cent” certain to start Friday’s World Cup qualifier against the Faroe Islands, looked on as his team-mates went through their paces. However, assistant manager Marco Tardelli later revealed he was rested as a precaution after making his first appearance for a year against Georgia on Sunday. center_img Richard Dunne sat out Ireland training on Tuesday as manager Giovanni Trapattoni maintained a cautious approach.last_img read more

Active Shooter in New Jersey, Officer Down

first_imgSWAT is on the scene of an active shooting that began at a cemetery in Jersey City, New Jersey and then spilled into a bodega one Jersey City police officer has been shot in the shoulder. Another officer has also been hit in what officers are calling an ambush.BREAKING: Massive police response to active shooter at a Kosher Bodega in Jersey City, New Jersey. – One cop shot in the head– Suspects are reportedly one male and one female – All schools in the area are on lockdown– The ATF is responding— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) December 10, 2019 There is fear that there is some sort of device or bomb. The shooters are wearing all black and SWAT teams have surrounded their location.There’s at least one shooter reportedly with a long gun barricaded in the bodega. Officers need a bearcat to get to the injured officer. This is a breaking story.last_img read more

Fifa World Cup Egypt vs Uruguay Highlights, FIFA World Cup 2018: Gimenez header wins it for Uruguay

first_img# 90″ GOAL! What a header by Jose Gimenez! Leaps the most and heads it in! Uruguay 1-0 Egypt# 88″ POST! Brilliant free kick by Cavani but the PSG star is denied by the post this time! Unlucky!# 86″ FOUL! In an extremely dangerous position! ‘Suarez territory this’ but Cavani is over it!# 82″ SAVE! What a save by Elshenawy! Cavani launches a rocket of a volley but is denied by a brilliant save!# 81″ SUBSTITUTION: Warda OUT, Sobhi IN! (EGYPT)# 80″ CHANCE! El Neny tries to chip the goalkeeper but the shot is just wide! Salah is appreciating the effort from the bench! # 78” CHANCE! Four of Egypt’s players were clear inside the penalty box but a poor cross ends the attack!# 77″ Godin is frustrated there as he knows it was a good chance to swing in a cross!# 72″ CHANCE! Suarez was clear but decided to round the goalkeeper, only to be unsuccessful at it! Massive miss for Uruguay!# 71″ CHANCE! A huge chance for Egypt but the shot from Trezeguet is straight to Muslera!# 71″ Uruguay’s flicks and tricks are not working here as Egypt continues to impress with their determination and pressing!# 69″ Cavani shoots but it strikes Cacares’ arm, handball given! # 68″ Godin manages well to get a foul, Uruguay continues to look for a chance or two!# 66″ El Neny is dominating the midfield!# 64″ Cavani switches the play to Rodriguez but he is blocked by Fathi!# 62″ Great counter attack by Uruguay and a decent cross by Cacares but Hegazi was alert there. # 59″ Huge cheers from the crowd as they see Salah on the giant screen. # 58″ SUBSTITUTION: Arrascaeta OUT, Cristian Rodriguez IN!# El Neny is dominating the midfield, Vecinho is finding it tough to deal with him. New Delhi: On the Day 2 of FIFA World Cup 2018, Egypt and Uruguay lock horns to start their journey to glory. The opener between Russia and Saudi Arabia offered plenty of goals and this fixture also promises the same.It’s a clash which promises lot of attacking opportunities, with the likes of Salah, Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani set to feature for both the sides. The Egyptian southpaw Mohamed Salah is expected to start from the bench following his shoulder injury in the Champions League final against Real Madrid. Highlights: # Thanks for joining in! Catch all the live action from Morocco vs Iran here:  # FULL TIME: Uruguay wins it after a late header by Jose Maria Gimenez! Heartbreak for Egypt as they were superb throughout the game! Brilliant match and big points for Uruguay!# 95″ Suarez is fouled and Hegazy is given a yellow card!# 93″ Cavani is happy to take it away to the corner flag!# 5 minutes of added time!  For all the Latest Sports News News, Fifa World Cup News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.center_img The @Pharaohs have arrived at the stadium! Are you ready for a day of football? Find out where you can watch #EGYURU here 👉— FIFA World Cup 🏆 (@FIFAWorldCup) June 15, 2018Egypt Playing XI: Elshenawy, Abdelshafy, Hegazy, Gabr, Fathy, Elneny, Hamed, Warda, Elsaid, Trezeguet, MohsenSubs: El Hadary, Ekramy, Elmohamady, Gaber, Ashraf, Attia, Samir, Morsy, Kahraba, Sobhi, Shikabala, SalahUruguay Playing XI: Muslera, Varela, Godin, Gimenez, Caceres, Nandez, Bentancur, Vecino, De Arrascaeta, Suarez, CavaniSubs: Campana, Silva, Silva, Pereira, Coates, Sanchez, Rodriguez, Torreira, Laxalt, Stuani, Gomez, UrretavizcayaWe have our teams for the first match of the day!What are your thoughts? #EGYURU #WorldCup— FIFA World Cup 🏆 (@FIFAWorldCup) June 15, 2018Welcome to News Nation live coverage of the FIFA World Cup 2018! Day 2 of FIFA’s showpiece event has three exciting matches and in the first fixture, Egypt faces Uruguay.  # 51″ Clever passing by Egypt but the final pass by Trezeguet is heavy. Goal Kick!# 49″ SUBSTITUTION: Tarek Hamed OUT, Morsy IN!# 48″ Tarek Hamed is down in some pain, Egypt medical team is with him now. # 46″ CHANCE! What a chance for Luis Suarez as he shoots from close range! Stunning save from Elshenawy! # Second half begins as Salah is spotted in the dugout! The referee blows the whistle!!# Halftime – A pretty equal half for both the teams, Egypt would be a very happy team as they have successfully kept Suarez and Cavani silent!# 1 minute of added time!# 44″ Again a poor cross by Varela. Suarez and Cavani are not happy.# 43″ Cavani crosses but the ball is dealt by the Egypt defense!# 42″ Suarez is being double man marked, he is cramping for room. # 40″ Its pretty even at the Ekaterinburg Stadium, with both the teams trying to create some chances, the final pass is lacking quality here. # 38″ Dangerous ball by skipper Diego Godin but first touch of Arrascaeta is very very poor. Goal kick to Egypt!# 36″ One thing that Uruguay needs to improve is their crossing! They have been horrible till now while crossing the ball.# 35″ Nice display of quick short passing by Uruguay but a disappointing final pass by Nandez. Pretty even so far. #EGYURU 0-0— FIFA World Cup 🏆 (@FIFAWorldCup) June 15, 2018# 31″ Suarez’s shot is straight at the defense wall!# 30″ We are at 30 mins mark and still its 0-0. Meanwhile, Bentancur is fouled in around 30 yards mark! Suarez to take the free kick# 28″ CLOSE! Vecino shoots from distance but is wide!# 26″ Nandez takes a quick throw in, Suarez tries to show some trickery to get past the defenders but is stopped!# 25″ Luis Suarez is now coming deep to collect the ball. # 23″ OFFSIDE! Luis Suarez shoots but the referee calls offside! # 22″ CLOSE! Cavani shoots but is deflected for a corner!# 19″ Sloppy play by Vecinho and El Neny does well to get the ball back.# 15″ The Free Kick is swung in the box but is headed to safety by Cacares.# 15″ Foul on El Neny and a free kick in a dangerous position for Egypt! # 13″ Uruguay are slowly coming back to the game! A dangerous attack by them and Suarez’s shot is just wide of the post!# 10″ Trezeguet shoots, but its straight to the goalkeeper. Easy hold for Muslera# 8″ Uruguay are struggling to cope with the high pressure of Egypt.# 5″ Egypt has started really well, they are pressing very well in the midfield and are giving no time for Uruguay players.# 3″ Edinson Cavani is holding his ankle there, looks in some pain. But he is carrying on.# 2″ Egypt are passing their way out from the back.# It’s Kick off!last_img read more

Jayhawks too much to handle for Trojans

first_imgA year ago in Lawrence, Kan., the USC men’s basketball team was narrowly edged by the host Jayhawks by two points following a late 3-pointer from guard Josh Selby with 26 seconds left in the game.Thursday’s rematch wasn’t as close.USC finished with a season-low 13 points in the first half before eventually falling to No. 12 Kansas, 63-47, in front of a crowd of an announced crowd of 6,431 at the Galen Center.“The stage was a bit big for our guys,” USC coach Kevin O’Neill said. “We looked slow. We looked bad. And we didn’t shoot well.”The Trojans (5-8) stumbled out of the gate, shooting just 23 percent from the field in addition to 13 turnovers in the opening half. No player finished with more than four points, and no player scored a field goal in the last five minutes of the half.“We turned the ball over way too much and our defense was soft,” junior forward Aaron Fuller said. “We didn’t match their intensity. That’s why we were blown out.”Kansas closed the first half on a 14-3 run, building a 12-point halftime lead that proved to be insurmountable for the Trojans, who would finish with 18 turnovers – the most since their season opener against Cal State Northridge on Nov. 11.Trailing, USC relied heavily on Fuller in the second half, as he finished with a game-high 19 points – 15 coming in the final 20 minutes of the contest. It was also a season-high for the 6-foot-6 forward, who collected 19 points during a Nov. 22 contest against Morgan State.“We were really trying to establish an inside game,” Fuller said. “I got it going in the second half so [O’Neill] kept wanting to feed me the ball.”Outside of Fuller’s efforts, however, USC couldn’t keep pace with Kansas, which saw four of its players finish in double-figures, including Naismith Award candidate forward Thomas Robinson, who finished with a near-double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds.Sophomore guard Maurice Jones, who led USC in scoring with 15.6 points per game entering the contest, finished with seven points over 36 minutes.Perhaps, even more frustrating for O’Neill, sophomore center Dewayne Dedmon was held scoreless until about six minutes left to play in the second half. He would finish with only one basket.“He’s a developing young player,” O’Neill said of Dedmon, who also finished with four fouls and just two rebounds. “He’s got to play harder. If you’re not getting points, you have to get more offensive rebounds. It’s going to take him time. He’s not ready.”Dedmon, who has been in foul trouble several games this season and played just 20 minutes Thursday, expressed similar sentiments.“I have to play aggressive without fouling,” Dedmon said. “I have to learn how to do that.”The Trojans are not scheduled to practice until Monday, and they do not play again until Dec. 29, when they open Pac-12 play at California at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley, Calif. The Golden Bears (10-2) are undefeated in nine games at home this season.Following another road matchup at Stanford on New Year’s Eve, USC will return to the Galen Center on Jan. 5 to host Arizona State at 7:30 p.m.last_img read more

Double whammy as SmartBets adds Swedish and horse racing

first_img StumbleUpon Share Customisable odds comparison site SmartBets has expanded its Scandinavian horizons after launching in Sweden. This makes it the fifth language available on the platform.SmartBets is now available in English, Danish, Italian, German and Swedish. This is the latest in a series of expansions into new territories in recent months; in April SmartBets launched in Danish, in February it launched SmartBets Italia and in December the German version went live.In another first for the Better Collective brand, it has been announced that horse racing will now feature on the UK version of SmartBets platform. This will be integrated into the Smartfeed and have its own section on the site.This is all about ease of use for players as SmartBets UK punters will now also be able to bet directly through the platform instead of jumping between bookies to back their horses.Thomas Høgenhaven, Chief Strategy Officer for Better Collective, commented: “We’re excited to expand the SmartBets brand even further, especially in the Scandinavian market, which is why launching in Sweden was seen as a logical step.“The UK has always been one of our focus markets, so following football with horse racing was a natural move. SmartBets will continue to add new sports to the platform as it develops, as well making them available in all our language markets.”SmartBets is part of Better Collective (founded in 2004) which also encompasses Betting Expert which delivers over 125,000 tips per month on its social network. Related Articles Paris tracks face second shutdown as government changes coronavirus policy May 20, 2020 BHA extends racing suspension beyond end of April April 16, 2020 Share Irish racing cancelled as Varadkar increases COVID-19 measures March 25, 2020 Submitlast_img read more

UMB sponsors McDan Open

first_imgWith barely two days to the start of this year’s edition of the McDan Open West African Championship 2017, anticipations are fervently rising as the sponsors of the tennis tournament are making all the necessary efforts to stage a wonderful competition.McDan shipping and logistics has already made a startling statement of intent by promising a whopping $10,000 for the winners this year which begins on April 24-29 at the Accra sports stadium.However, Universal Merchant Bank (UMB) has appeared to share the same ideology in raising future tennis stars.They have joined in staging the McDan Open in determination to make it a very huge platform so that together with other partners develop the sport of tennis.UMB’s core value, SPEED, an acronym which stands for Speed, Passion, Excellence, Ethics and Diligence happens to be synonymous with the sport tennis and the Director, Marketing and Communications of the bank, Yvonne Botchey opined that they are pleased to play a major role in hosting the championship. “For us at Universal Merchant Bank we are proud to be a sponsor of the McDan Open West Africa tournament,” she said at the head office of UMB.“We are an institution that is committed to healthy living, exercise and fun, so as a natural extension of that commitment to partner with the McDan Open West Africa tournament.”She added, “As a proud Ghanaian institution, we apply initiatives that are aimed at developing and nurturing Ghanaian talents and the McDan Open is doing just that for our young budding Ghanaian tennis stars.”Football has always been a major sport to reckon with for centuries in the country but the annual McDan Open tournament has emerged to bridge that gap and on Monday at the tennis court of the Accra sports stadium will be a place to witness great tennis spectacle.last_img read more

Targeted ICE office shootings in Texas blamed on ‘political rhetoric’

first_imgOfficials are blaming “political rhetoric and misinformation” after shots were fired at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office in San Antonio, Texas, early Tuesday morning.Around 3 a.m. Tuesday, unidentified suspects fired shots at a San Antonio building which includes the ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) field office and Jefferson Bank offices.The FBI confirmed in a press conference later Tuesday that it was targeted attack.“All of the shots that we have found were on the floors where ICE has offices, so there is no question it is a very targeted attack, said Head of San Antonio FBI Christopher Combs.No injuries were reported, but ICE agents and other faculty were inside the building at the time of the shooting, the FBI said.Federal investigators from the FBI and Department of Homeland Security are currently investigating the “targeted attack.”As of Wednesday, the FBI has not identified a suspect, but reportedly plan to charge the person or persons with assault on a federal official.One person was arrested at the scene but later released.This story is developing.last_img read more

Porter remanded on simple larceny charge

first_imgA porter was on Thursday remanded to prison by Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan after he appeared in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts to answer to a simple larceny charge. Junior Robinson, 24, initially pleaded guilty with explanation, but his plea was changed following his explanation. It is alleged that between May 15 and May 16, 2018 while at Water Front, Port Kaituma, North West District, he stole four excavator bucket pins and two junction boxes valued $809,000, property of Edward Rodrigues.According to the prosecution’s case, on the days in question the stolen items were displayed in a glass case in front of the Virtual Complainant’s business place. The items were subsequently stolen, and a report was made to the Police. Following an investigation, some of the items were recovered. Robinson was subsequently arrested and charged after CCTV footage reportedly showed that he was the person removing the items. In court on Thursday, Robinson told Chief Magistrate McLennan, “I don’t want to waste your time; I didn’t take his things.” Police Prosecutor Gordon Mansfield had no objections to bail being granted. Robinson was remanded to prison, and the matter would continue on June 27, 2018.last_img read more