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The UK government’s attempts to end excessive pension fund charges have been thrown off course after its own regulatory policy committee (RPC) branded a key government document “not fit for purpose”.The committee – which scrutinises government proposals before they become law – has given a “red” opinion on the impact assessment carried out by the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) on proposed legislation to reduce pension fund charges.Impact assessments are normally carried out as part of the legislative process to estimate the likely costs and benefits, as well as associated risks, of proposed legislation that has an impact on business, civil society organisations, the public sector or individuals.The RPC then provides an opinion on the quality of analysis and evidence presented in the impact assessment, which will help determine whether the legislation goes ahead. The government’s pension charge proposals suggest three options: do nothing; improve disclosure of charges; and set a charge cap on the default fund for automatic enrolment.The RPC said: “The evidence presented does not adequately demonstrate why Option 3 is considered to have a zero net impact on the pensions industry.”According to the impact assessment, Option 2 – which requires an increased disclosure of information by pension providers – is expected to cost the industry £172m (€204m), whereas Option 3 – an industry-wide charge cap in qualifying pension schemes – is only expected to cost the industry £19m.But the RPC said: “It would appear some pension providers may be making excessive profits above the expected norm. If this is the case, then Option 3 will result in a profit reduction for many of these firms. The evidence as it is currently presented does not adequately demonstrate why Option 3 is considered to have a zero net impact on the pensions industry.”It added that certain other potential costs did not appear to have been identified – for instance, ongoing costs to pension providers for providing the required information on charges under Option 3.The RPC’s report also said that, given the fact most pension charges are currently no more than 1%, a possible effect of a charge cap would be that providers charging less than this cap would tend to increase their charges to the level of the cap without losing customers.“The likelihood and impact of this outcome should be explored in more detail,” it said.It also questioned why a combination of Options 2 and 3 had not been discussed, given that they appear to result in different benefits – i.e. better transparency under Option 2, and a charge cap under Option 3.Darren Philp, head of policy at The People’s Pension, said: “The government’s charges impact assessment has been shown the red card by its own regulatory policy committee.“This was a consultation that lacked detail and was built on sand, and the government now needs to rethink and pick up the gauntlet thrown down by the recent Office of Fair Trading (OFT) report to improve transparency and comparability across pensions.”Alan Morahan, principal at Punter Southall, said: “The impact assessment states that, if a cap of 0.75% is introduced, 90,000 employers will no longer be able to use their existing pension scheme for auto-enrolment.“It goes on to state that the transitional cost of setting up alternative pension provision would be around £55m.“This implies an individual employer cost of around £611, which is a significant underestimate.”Morahan said the costs of successfully completing auto-enrolment for a smaller employer would be an order of magnitude greater, at around £5,000, with provider selection, negotiation and implementation costs of around £3,500.A more accurate cost estimate would therefore be £315m.“We would urge the DWP to give a clear indication that any of the proposed changes will not be implemented for at least 12 months,” Morahan said.“This would give employers and the pensions industry time to deal with the huge numbers reaching their auto-enrolment staging date in the first half of 2014.”
The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has approved proposals from its interpretations committee to make two amendments to International Accounting Standard 19, Employee Benefits (IAS 19).The move came during a 22 January meeting of the board in London.Board members also voted to issue the two amendments for public comment as a single exposure draft.The amendments cover: the effect of actions by the trustees of a defined benefit (DB) pension scheme to limit a sponsor’s ability to recognise a plan surplus in its accounts; andhow a plan sponsor calculates current service cost and net interest costs following remeasurement of its net DB liability following a plan amendment or curtailment.The impact of the plan surplus amendment could be most keenly felt in the UK, staff acknowledged in a meeting paper presented to the board.Staff acknowledged that the amendment could be of interest in the UK, where trustees can enjoy “unilateral powers to buy annuities (without changing a pension promise)”.The accounting rules for DB pension obligations under International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) are set out in IAS 19.The first of the two amendments discussed by the IASB on 22 January concerns a document known as IFRIC 14, a guidance document that explains how DB sponsors should apply the so-called asset-ceiling under IAS 19.The document was originally published in 2007 by the IFRS Interpretations Committee’s predecessor, the International Financial Reporting Interpretations Committee, or IFRIC.At issue is paragraph 58 of IAS 19, which limits the measurement of a DB asset to the “present value of economic benefits available in the form” of refunds from the plan or reductions in future contributions to the plan.Interacting with this requirement in IAS 19, IFRIC 14 deals with the interaction between a minimum funding requirement and the restriction in paragraph 58 on the measurement of the DB asset or liability.When a DB plan sponsor applies IAS 19, it must first measure the DB obligation using the projected unit credit method, on the one hand, and fair value any plan assets on the other.This calculation will produce either a DB asset or liability at the balance sheet date.Where a plan is in surplus, the sponsor recognises the lower of any surplus and the IAS 19 asset ceiling – that is, the economic benefits available to the sponsoring entity from the surplus.However, a constituent has asked the committee to consider whether preparers should take account of events that might disrupt the plan unfolding in line with the IAS 19 assumptions when they apply IFRIC 14.An example would be the trustees of a DB scheme whose future actions could reduce the ability of a sponsor to recognise an asset.For example, the trustees of a plan might have the power to augment members’ benefits or wind up the plan and purchase annuities.The committee previously discussed the issue during its March, May, July and September meetings last year.As for the impact of the proposed amendment, staff noted in their meeting paper that if a plan is closed to accrual of future benefits, “the impact of this issue could be significant”.This is because, staff continued, the “economic benefits from reductions in future contributions are not available (i.e. economic benefits are available only from a refund of a surplus)”.Outreach conducted by staff on the likely impact of the changes has “implied that this issue could have significant impacts on some cases and that diversity in practice exists”.Separately during the meeting, the IASB also tentatively agreed with the recommendation from the IFRS IC to amend IAS 19 to clarify the treatment of plan amendments, curtailments and settlements.The board confirmed DB sponsors should determine current service cost and the net interest for the remaining period after a plan remeasurement has occurred using the assumptions arising in the remeasurement.In addition, the board agreed that a sponsor should base the calculation of the net interest charge for the rest of the reporting period on the remeasured net defined benefit liability or asset.It also clarified the treatment of current service cost arising either before or after a remeasurement.The board said service cost arising in the current reporting period before a plan remeasurement occurs remains a component of current service cost and not past service cost.Service cost under IAS 19 is the cost borne by an employer of providing a retirement plan.The net interest charge is calculated by multiplying the net DB asset or liability by the sponsor’s chosen discount rate.Subject to confirming that the board and the IFRS IC have complied with formal due process requirements, the board will issue the proposed amendments in a combined exposure draft for public comment.
The taxonomy is to be developed through delegated acts, with the first due to be adopted by the European Commission by the end of 2020 and to start applying as of the end of 2021.Antti Savilaakso, research advisor at Impact-Cubed, said: “We anticipate asset managers and asset owners alike to want to get an early insight into what their own portfolios will look like through [the EU green taxonomy] lens and be able to start preparing for the disclosure requirements.“There is a risk for many investors that their funds could be labelled as ‘greenwash’ if they fall outside what EU regulators define as sustainable. That is why this new pre-screening service, or greenwash checker, will be an important tool for many investors.”Arleta Majoch, product specialist at Impact-Cubed, said the tool would help investors anticipate how their portfolio would look under the taxonomy framework.“It can help them prepare for in what light their approach could be cast if it’s not fully captured, and to help them start thinking about their own messaging, about reclaiming the narrative,” she told IPE.According to Impact-Cubed, the tool provides complete coverage of listed markets as well as private assets. It is thought to be the first of its kind to come to market, with other providers having products in development.Impact-Cubed is the company behind a portfolio impact assessment model that has been used by institutional investors such as the Church of Finland.The European Parliament and European Council reached a political agreement on the taxonomy regulation on 18 December.The technical expert group (TEG) on sustainble finance is understood to be due to publish taxonomy implementation guidance next month. Recommendations from TEG are to be the first input into the Commission’s work on developing the delegated acts. A tool has been launched to help asset owners and asset managers prepare for how their portfolios or investment products could look under the forthcoming European Union system for defining what economic activities count as environmentally sustainable.Developed by Impact-Cubed, the tool is intended to give investors the insight they need to anticipate and avoid having funds or portfolios labelled as amounting to “greenwashing”.One of the European Commission’s aims for the regulation for the so-called taxonomy, or “green list”, is for it to curb misleading marketing.Under the regulation, funds and pension products marketed as green or sustainable will need to back this up by reference to the taxonomy, and those that do not will have to make an explicit statement about this in a sort of disclaimer.
IN NZ THEATRES FROM THIS THURSDAY: Here is the list of Cinemas that will be playing GOD’S NOT DEAD 2 on opening weekend!Grace Wesley is neither a troublemaker nor a crusader. But when this conscientious public high school history teacher answers some honest questions about Jesus posed to her by a struggling, seeking student, she soon finds herself in trouble.Grace is first dragged into the principal’s office, then before the school board and, finally, into court as the ACLU leverages her “religious” responses as a way to drive the wedge between church and state even deeper than it already is.And yes – it is a great movie! We’ve seen it. Shown right is National Director Bob McCoskrie standing with one of the main stars of the movie. This was at the world premiere last October in the US.
Scarborough came home in third, with front-row starters Jaremi Hanson and McVay taking fourth and fifth. Frye scored win number one in the 25-lap feature, in his 42nd career PASS start. Friday night, he topped that. Jake Frye won his first PASS feature Friday at Trail-Way Speedway. (Photo by Rod Ort) By Frank Buhrman & Stephanie Dodson He’d taken the top spot when early race-leader Larry McVay and third-place Johnny Scarborough were penalized for clipping the restart cone following a lap eight caution, putting Frye in the lead over Doug Dodson. HANOVER, Pa. (July 17) – Jake Frye might wish the Pennsylvania Sprint Series ran at Trail-Way Speedway more often. A year ago to the weekend, the Lewisberry racer, still one of PASS’ youngest, equaled his best career finish – second place – when the IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Car series stopped at the Hanover oval. That’s how they stayed, as Frye handled lapped traffic with ease, while Dodson blew a brake line on lap 13, handicapping his effort. He was still able to hang on for his third straight runner-up finish. Feature results – 1. Jake Frye; 2. Doug Dodson; 3. Johnny Scarborough; 4. Jaremi Hanson; 5. Larry McVay; 6. Billy Ney; 7. Garrett Bard; 8. Kristina Pratt; 9. Eric Mathiot; 10. Mike Melair; 11. Dave Wickham; 12. Kruz Kepner; 13. Landon Price; 14. John Walp.
Press Association “We’re strong when we’re on the ball, we play quickly and I have lots of fun playing alongside the team,” he told Arsenal’s official website. “In my opinion, Tomas belongs to the best midfielders in the Premier League. “When you see how much he gives for the team and how he enjoys being on the ball, it makes us happy to have a player like that in our ranks.” Ozil moved to the Emirates from Real Madrid for a fee reported to be in excess of £40million and said he has found Arsene Wenger’s side to be exactly what he expected before completing the switch. “Before I came to Arsenal, I knew that the club belonged among the top five in Europe,” he added. “I knew that they were technically gifted and strong and you see that on the training ground when we are doing passing drills – the ball is always moving. “I think that’s thanks to the way young players are coached at the club because they always train with the ball, run passing drills and ultimately it’s being rewarded.” The Gunners will be looking to maintain their one-point gap back to Manchester City when they host Fulham on Saturday, with Rosicky likely to be missing with a suspected broken nose sustained in Monday’s 2-1 win over Aston Villa. The 33-year-old has made 21 appearances in all competitions for the table-topping Gunners and got on the scoresheet in the recent FA Cup third-round win over fierce rivals Tottenham. Rosicky, who has been at Arsenal since a 2006 move from Borussia Dortmund, was expected to feature less this season following the emergence of Aaron Ramsey and the arrival of Ozil, but the Germany international reckons his experienced team-mate is one of the best players in the division. Arsenal’s club-record signing Mesut Ozil is full of praise for team-mate Tomas Rosicky and believes the Czech Republic international belongs among the Barclays Premier League elite.
Associated Press In a video conference with reporters, captain Jordan Staal said the players went through safety protocols that included wearing a mask and getting a temperature check when arriving at the arena, as well as “keeping your distance as best you can.”The team had announced last week that roughly 16 players were expected to participate, divided into two groups, with workouts closed to the public and media.In other developments related to the coronavirus:— The LPGA Tour lost another tournament when the Canadian Women’s Open was canceled because of travel restrictions and quarantine requirements from the COVID-19 pandemic. The CP Women’s Open was scheduled for Sept. 3-6 at Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club in Vancouver. The LPGA Tour and Golf Canada say it will return to Shaughnessy the last week in August next year.— Up to 800 spectators per day will be allowed at a tennis exhibition in Berlin in mid-July. This, even after four players tested positive for the coronavirus after playing in a similar event fronted by Novak Djokovic. Organizers of two tournaments in Berlin say the city health authorities have approved a limited number of spectators. The maximum is set at 800 per day for a July 13-15 outdoor event on grass, and 200 per day for a hard-court event in a hangar at the disused Tempelhof airport from July 17-19. Toward the end of his tenure as commissioner, Landis told owners they were free to sign Black players. But there is no evidence he pushed for baseball integration.FORMULA ONE-PROTESTSF1 drivers discuss whether to take a knee at season openerLONDON (AP) — Formula One drivers will discuss taking a knee at the opening race of the delayed season in Austria on Sunday. McLaren driver Lando Norris says it will be discussed following the drivers’ briefing with the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association on Friday. The study conducted by Danish research firm RunRepeat in association with the Professional Footballers’ Association found 63% of praise regarding a player’s intelligence was aimed at those with lighter skin, while 63% of criticism for a player’s intelligence was aimed at those with darker skin tones. The study looked at 80 matches in the Premier League as well as the top divisions in Italy, Spain and France this season. MLB-RACIAL INJUSTICE-MVP PLAQUES‘A dark past’: MVPs say time to pull Landis name off plaquesNEW YORK (AP) — As monuments, statues and memorials around the world come under increased scrutiny, some former Most Valuable Players in Major League Baseball are saying they’d like to see a change in future MVP plaques. The trophy is engraved with the name of Kenesaw Mountain Landis in large letters. Landis was baseball’s first commissioner and there were no Black players in the majors during his reign from 1920 until his death in 1944. His name has been on every American League and National League MVP plaque since then. Barry Larkin, Terry Pendleton and Mike Schmidt say they’d like to see it pulled off. The positive tests occurred on June 23, the first day all members of the team were tested as part of the NBA’s plan to restart the season, which was suspended in mid-March because of the pandemic. Griffin says the Pelicans have had no players test positive since.When the Pelicans return to action on July 30 against Utah at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports complex outside of Orlando, Florida, they will be 3½ games out of the Western Conference’s final playoff spot with eight games left.VIRUS OUTBREAK-NHL-HURRICANESHurricanesRALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Members of the Carolina Hurricanes have returned to their home ice at PNC Arena as the team began voluntary training sessions amid the second phase of the NHL’s return plan. July 1, 2020 NBA-RACIAL INJUSTICE-MORANT APOLOGYGrizzlies’ Morant apologizes for anti-police Instagram postMEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Memphis Grizzlies rookie guard Ja Morant posted and deleted an Instagram photo suggesting he’d replace his name with an expletive on his number 12 jersey in a protest against police. Morant then apologized, saying the post didn’t “accurately convey” what he wanted to share. Morant said he knows “there are good cops” out there.The league, Nike and the players association are reportedly working on a deal that would allow players to replace the names on the backs of their jerseys with social justice statements. Update on the latest sports —The Oakland Athletics are selling cardboard cutouts with fans’ photos that they will put in the seats at the Coliseum this season. The team also plans to mix in images of former players and celebrities alongside the fan cutouts. Major League Baseball is looking to play a 60-game regular season this summer because of the coronavirus. There will be no fans at ballparks on opening day, but some markets are hoping to play in front of smaller crowds by the end of the season. The cardboard cutouts for A’s games range in price from $49 to $129. Proceeds from the sales go to charity.VIRUS OUTBREAK-NBA-PELICANSThree New Orleans players test positiveNEW ORLEANS (AP) — Pelicans general manager David Griffin says three New Orleans players have tested positive for COVID-19 and will be in self-isolation until testing shows they can return to team activities without infecting others.Griffin declined to identify the players, citing medical privacy laws. The National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, the minor league governing body, made the long-expected announcement. National Association president Pat O’Conner says the leagues “don’t have national TV revenues.” O’Conner estimated 85-90% of revenue was related to ticket money, concessions, parking and ballpark advertising. The minors drew 41.5 million fans last year for 176 teams in 15 leagues, averaging 4,044 fans per game. MLB teams are planning for a 60-game regular season and most of their revenue will derive from broadcast money.In other MLB news:Major League Baseball says a team will not specifically announce a COVID-19 injured list placement for a player who is removed from the club after testing positive, just an IL trip. MLB’s operations manual says a positive test and exhibiting symptoms that require isolation for additional assessment or exposure to someone who has had the virus are cause for placement on the new COVID-19 IL. — Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is optimistic right fielder Aaron Judge, left-hander James Paxton, center fielder Aaron Hicks and designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton will be ready to play in the time for New York’s rescheduled opener at World Series champion Washington on July 23. Judge did not play in any exhibition games due to discomfort in his right pectoral muscle and shoulder that he felt when swinging. Paxton had surgery Feb. 5 to repair a herniated disk in his back. — Outfielder Heston Kjerstad agreed to a minor league contract with the Baltimore Orioles that includes a $5.2 million signing bonus, well below the slot value of $7,789,900 assigned to the No. 2 overall pick. The 21-year-old joins a rebuilding Orioles team that has lost at least 100 games in two straight seasons and used the No. 1 pick in 2019 to secure catcher Adley Rutschman out of Oregon State. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditMINOR LEAGUE SEASON CANCELEDBaseball’s minor leagues cancel 2020 seasonsNEW YORK (AP) — Baseball’s minor leagues canceled their seasons Tuesday because of the coronavirus pandemic, and the head of their governing body said more than half of the 160 teams were in danger of failing without government assistance or private equity injections. Six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton has been vocal about the Black Lives Matter movement and F1′s diversity issues. Black Lives Matter has been supported by soccer players in Germany, Italy and England taking a knee before and during games.BROADCASTS-DISCRIMINATIONSoccer players’ union points to racial bias in broadcastsLONDON (AP) — The soccer players’ union in England believes racial bias is evident during broadcasts of matches based on the language used by commentators in European leagues. —The San Diego Padres have acquired infielder Jorge Mateo from the Oakland Athletics in the first trade since baseball resumed after a shutdown of more than three months due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Padres will send either a player or cash to the A’s for the 25-year-old Mateo, who will be added to the player pool for the resumption of spring training. The Padres are scheduled to have their first workout Friday at Petco Park. —Shohei Ohtani (SHOH’-hay oh-TAH’-nee) will resume his two-way career with the Los Angeles Angels when baseball returns. Angels general manager Billy Eppler confirms his Japanese star will pitch and hit in the majors this season. Ohtani was only a designated hitter last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He wasn’t expected to pitch in 2020 until at least May, and Eppler confirmed that the coronavirus pandemic hasn’t altered the Angels’ plans. The Angels could have a six-man rotation for the short season.—Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is optimistic right fielder Aaron Judge, left-hander James Paxton, center fielder Aaron Hicks and designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton will be ready to play in the time for New York’s rescheduled opener at World Series champion Washington on July 23. Judge did not play in any exhibition games due to discomfort in his right pectoral muscle and shoulder that he felt when swinging. Paxton had surgery Feb. 5 to repair a herniated disk in his back.—Sinkerballing reliever Jared Hughes and the New York Mets agreed to a $700,000, one-year contract, a deal that amounts to $259,259 in prorated pay over the 60-game season. He had a 6.35 ERA over five appearances and 5 2/3 innings during spring training with the Houston Astros and was released March 19. A right-hander who turns 35 on July 4, Hughes was 5-5 with a 4.04 ERA last season for Cincinnati and Philadelphia. — Outfielder Heston Kjerstad agreed to a minor league contract with the Baltimore Orioles that includes a $5.2 million signing bonus, well below the slot value of $7,789,900 assigned to the No. 2 overall pick. The 21-year-old joins a rebuilding Orioles team that has lost at least 100 games in two straight seasons and used the No. 1 pick in 2019 to secure catcher Adley Rutschman out of Oregon State.
THE Guyana Lawn Tennis Association’s (GLTA) premier tournament of 2019, ‘The GBTI Open’ is set for June 7-23.To that end, the GLTA received a sponsorship cheque from the Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry for the 10th edition of the tournament.In a release to the media, the GLTA noted that it is very appreciative of GBTI’s commitment as it contributes to the development of the sport in Guyana.Guyana’s top tennis players will be in action at the Bel-Air Park facility from June 7-23.The competition will see action in the following categories:Ladies Open Singles, Men’s Open Singles, Junior Girls Open Singles, Junior Boys Open Singles, Novice Medley SinglesMen’s over 35 Singles, Men’s over 45 Singles, Ladies Open Doubles, Men’s Open Doubles, Mixed Open Doubles, Men’s over 35 Doubles, Men’s over 35 Doubles, Novice Medley Doubles
Akwa is a side laced with top talent; Jean Efala, Olorunleke Ojo, Ottobong Effiong, Kodjovi Dadzie Ubong Essien, Dennis Nya, Wilson Elu, Cyril Olisema and Ndifreke Effiong easily roll off the tongue.There’s also the small matter of feared marksman, Mfon Udoh who is surrounded by a stellar caste which includes Wisdom Fernando, Ocheme Edoh and Godspower Aniefiok.Akwa also have the luxury of having two former Rivers United players, Markson Ojobo and Emeka Atuloma who both represented the ‘Pride of Rivers’ in the CAF Champions League and Confederation Cup where they reached the group stages of the competition to call on, for ‘inside information’ about the Port Harcourt club.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram A very special football match will be played today at the ‘Cathedral’, the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu when two grand establishments in Nigerian football, Akwa United and Rivers United go toe to toe for the right to play in the last 16 of Nigeria’s oldest football competition, the AITEO (Federation) Cup.Akwa reached this stage of the competition by beating Sokoto United 2-1 at the Old Parade Ground, Abuja in the round of 64 while Rivers United outclassed FC Timberloader 4-0 at the Lafia City Stadium, Lafia at the same stage.Wednesday’s game is extremely vital for both Nigeria Professional Football League clubs as success will mean their only route to the continent, next season, remains ajar.