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.”
By Jay Cook |Gov. Phil Murphy has said he wants to legalize marijuana within 100 days of entering office. Now that he’s been inaugurated, some local governing bodies are feeling the need to take a stance of their own.Monmouth County is the first county in the state to take an official position on the controversial subject. Last week, the all-Republican Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders passed a resolution citing their unanimous opposition to the legalization of recreational marijuana inside the county’s 469 square miles.“It’s just where we personally stand on it,” said Freeholder Patrick Impreveduto, the former mayor of Holmdel who was recently elected to the board. “I’ve been opposed to recreational marijuana use my whole life.”The resolution, which was distributed to all 53 towns, details many of the board’s concerns. Among those are the amount of increased traffic deaths in Colorado since legalization began there in 2014, the inability for law enforcement to determine if a motorist is under the influence compared to testing for alcohol in someone’s system and a report detailing how prevalent dispensaries are in Colorado, which noted there are more medicinal marijuana centers than Starbucks coffee shops and more recreational marijuana outlets than McDonald’s restaurants in that state.Impreveduto, who has worked in the education industry for over 40 years, said he’s seen firsthand the progression from marijuana usage to harder substances like alcohol and cocaine. He did emphasize that the freeholders are not against medicinal marijuana.“We’re asking the local towns to pass the same resolution and tell the state legislators and the governor that this is not something that’s wanted, not only in Monmouth County, but in other parts of the state,” Impreveduto said.Statements from local governing bodies regarding the drug have started trickling out of government meeting rooms in the Two River area. In October, Shrewsbury Borough passed an ordinance prohibiting businesses “engaged in the cultivation and/or distribution of medical marijuana,” along with other types of cannabis paraphernalia.Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna, a Democrat, said the discussion about what to do with marijuana dispensaries has already started in the borough.He said Red Bank will look to adopt a law prohibiting “certain types of headshops and or similar institutions” from opening up “except in extraordinarily limited designated areas.”That could happen as early as the next borough council meeting slated for Feb. 14. He said there would be discussions with the in-house planners to see where in Red Bank a recreational or medicinal cannabis dispensary could be allowed. But the options would be slim, he said. Menna doesn’t want to see those establishments near churches, schools, parks, in the downtown or in residential areas.“If the state goes ahead with a legalization, I’m not necessarily sure it can be prohibited everywhere, if the legislature and the governor approve it,” Menna said. “So, then the question is, can you regulate it?”Red Bank’s neighbors, Republican-led towns like Rumson and Fair Haven, are looking to craft their own local laws to prohibit any cannabis-related business from opening in town.Fair Haven councilman Robert Marchese brought the issue up at a public workshop meeting on Jan. 22. The goal is to ultimately change zoning laws in town to prohibit smoke shops and cannabis dispensaries in the small riverside borough.“You’re talking about banning something that’s already illegal,” Marchese admitted. “But everyone’s forgetting in this debate that marijuana is illegal pursuant to federal statue.”He said a change to local zoning law has approval from Mayor Benjamin Lucarelli and could be passed soon. The borough is considering passing a similar resolution to the one from the freeholder board.“It would not fit into the aesthetic of Fair Haven,” Marchese said. “I’m drawing the analogy of a high-end cigar/smoke shop in Manhattan.”Marchese also said the actions proposed for Fair Haven would not prohibit the use of medicinal marijuana.Rumson Mayor John Ekdahl echoed those sentiments, saying his town could look to institute the law similarly passed in Shrewsbury. The main driving force, he said, is the negative impact it could have on the student body.“We don’t have to talk too much more about the opioid crisis in New Jersey; we know it too well,” Ekdahl said. “Anything we can do to sort of chip in and help New Jersey with this crisis and protect our local schoolchildren, we really have to seriously consider doing it.”But some in the pro-cannabis industry say these discussions are premature. Scott Rudder, president of the New Jersey CannaBusiness Association based in Trenton, said towns should be careful before passing any legislation.Rudder, a former Republican mayor and state assemblyman, said he appreciates the concerns from local lawmakers, but he’s “done the research, seen the science and talked to the officials and I know factually that cannabis is significantly healthier for you than anything you’d find in a liquor store or certainly healthier for you than lots of things you would find in a pharmacy.”New Jersey’s cannabis industry has the potential to generate significant revenue, Rudder said. His organization projects after one full year of legalization, the cannabis industry could be a $2 billion to $3 billion market, generate $300 million to $500 million in tax revenue and create 50,000 to 75,000 jobs directly.The New Jersey CannaBusiness Association is hosting an educational seminar for local elected officials on Feb. 20 in Trenton where medical professionals, law enforcement and public policy professionals will talk about the benefits of legalized cannabis. He hopes it can begin to change some perspectives.“This is not a partisan issue,” Rudder added. “It’s really going to come down to education.”This article was first published in the Feb. 1-8, 2018 print edition of The Two River Times.Correction, Feb. 12: The online version of this article has been corrected to reflect Fair Haven councilman Robert Marchese’s statement about Fair Haven’s policy about medical marijuana. The borough would not prohibit the sale or use of medical marijuana.
SANTA CLARA — Back when he had a Baltimore bachelor pad, Kyle Juszczyk would spend his offseasons in the basement, handcrafting furniture out of Home Depot lumber runs.He built his kitchen table. He made a nightstand. Then he packed them up in March 2017 for a cross-country move to join the 49ers.“Now I garden a lot,” Juszczyk said. “All kinds of peppers, bok choy, onions, carrots, eggplant.”Juszczyk has taken root as a 49ers mainstay, a rare success story when it comes to high-priced free …
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest In Almeria, Spain, IoF2020 project stakeholders demonstrated a proof of concept focusing on interoperability and compatibility between farm machines, sensors and software.The IoF2020 group uses the ADAPT Framework focusing on interoperability and compatibility between farm machines, sensors and software. ADAPT is an open source software toolkit from AgGateway, based on a universal data compatibility model that uses plug-ins to enable translation between different proprietary data formats.“In everything we’re doing, we’re focusing on understanding the daily challenges of our customers and supporting them with products and solutions that make farming easier,” said Andreas Klauser, Case IH brand president. “This project is another great step that will help farmers to increase efficiency by using their data without any boundaries.”With the proof of concept demonstration, the IoF2020 partners confirmed their commitment to and progress on an open and interoperable system, through which data can flow seamlessly between different value chain participants. For farmers, this is critical because it will be possible to use different types and brands of equipment with a wide variety of software or services, regardless of manufacturer.“Our goal in this project is to continue to simplify how our customers share data between operators, machines and service providers like agronomists or contractors,” says Robert Zemenchik, global product marketing manager for Case IH Advanced Farming Systems.“Today, industry standards have focused on machine standards for physical design and electronic compatibility. The ADAPT solution goes a step further using digital plug-ins to ensure the various data types generated by the group membership are compatible with Farmer Management Information Systems. Now that we have a working proof of concept, we will deliver data management solutions to our customers that will be much faster and easier to work with than in the past.”
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest In Ohio, nearly 1 in 7 households experiences food insecurity to the extent that it cannot afford balanced meals on a regular basis, a rate higher than the national average, according to the U.S Department of Agriculture.At the same time, many Ohio farmers face low commodity prices, decreased foreign markets for their crops and severe weather that has triggered crop losses.With those challenges in mind, Ohio Smart Agriculture: Solutions from the Land, a statewide farmer-led initiative that includes representatives from the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) at The Ohio State University, has drafted a plan for Ohio agriculture to become more sustainable.To accomplish that, the group has come up with recommendations including expanding the available agricultural workforce, funding research on urban farming and safe ways to apply fertilizers that don’t jeopardize water quality, and streamlining the process for farmers to gain contracts to sell their crops to local school systems.For those struggling to feed themselves or their families, Ohio Smart Agriculture wants to increase public commitment to programs including Produce Perks that help low income families get fresh produce on a regular basis. And the group wants to explore ways to assist individuals who don’t qualify for state or federal food programs and yet still struggle to pay for nutritious meals.“Farmers often feel like people don’t listen to them, but this project offers a chance for their solutions to be heard and acted upon,” said Casey Hoy, a CFAES professor and project advisor. “The recommendations represent ideas from across the spectrum of Ohio farms and people who work with food security and the environment. It’s not about more of the same, it’s about how Ohio farmers can solve some of the biggest challenges we face statewide.”For a full list of Ohio Smart Agriculture’s proposed recommendations, visit go.osu.edu/smartag.For a video on Ohio Smart Agriculture, visit go.osu.edu/smartagvideo.
Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Last week I had the privilege of meeting Adam Greenfield, author of Everyware: The Dawning Age of Ubiquitous Computing. It’s one of my favorite books about the Internet of Things and is still ahead of the curve, even though it was written in 2005 and published in 2006. Greenfield was in my city Wellington for the week, so I sat down with him at a local cafe to get his views on the current state of Internet of Things and where it’s headed. If you’re unsure what the world will be like when everything is connected to the Internet (hence the term ‘everyware’), then read on for Greenfield’s acute observations and examples of what’s already happening. This will be a multi-part post, published over the course of this week.What’s Changed? Mobile Phones! Since it’s been nearly 4 years since Everyware was published, I asked Greenfield how Internet of Things has evolved since that time. In particular I wanted to know if anything major had changed since the book was first released. He replied that the mobile phone has been the biggest change. According to Greenfield, the “single biggest failure of imagination in the book was that someone would decisively re-imagine what the phone is.” I think he’s being overly harsh on himself, as the iPhone wasn’t announced until January 2007. So in 2005/06, nobody but Steve Jobs and some of his team at Apple could have possibly imagined what the phone would turn into. It should also be noted that Adam Greenfield was a very early adopter of mobile blogging (he coined the term “moblog”) and he is currently Nokia’s head of design direction for user interface and services. So if the evolution of the mobile phone since 2005/06 surprised even him, that tells you something about how much of a sea change the iPhone has been.RFIDOne thing that hasn’t changed as much as first thought is RFID. Greenfield ruefully noted that “this stuff is taking so long.” There are scenarios in Everyware that haven’t come to pass yet, such as RFID in credit cards and home theatres.However he thinks that RFID will eventually be usurped by superior item identification and tracking technologies. See this ReadWriteWeb post for more background on the state of RFID.The CityCurrently Adam Greenfield is working on his next book, called The City Is Here For You To Use. I asked him what cities he’s been most impressed with, in terms of their use of Internet of Things technologies. He mentioned Korea and Singapore, noting also that municipalities in East Asia have made a lot of progress. According to Adam Greenfield, a more interesting question may be: what kind of responses are those cities getting from companies? He said that technology companies like Cisco and Intel are responding with products and services for Internet of Things.I asked Greenfield what he thought the differences were between adoption in Asia and the U.S.? He replied that public motivation in Asia may be one differentiator. In many Asian countries, there is a belief in ‘progress’ and a future life that will be better because of the “heroic investments” of governments and big companies. He said that quality of life can be delivered as a service in a place like Korea, for example an Internet fridge. Whereas westerners tend to question the utility of things like that. To get a wider understanding of Internet of Things, I recommend you purchase Everyware now on Amazon. Neither myself or RWW is making any commission on this, I just think this book deserves a wider audience. Stay tuned for more from Adam Greenfield in Part 2 of this series. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts Tags:#Internet of Things#Interviews#web richard macmanus 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh met on Friday to discuss the issue of drug menace plaguing the region and decided to hold an inter-State meeting of all northern States on July 25.According to an official statement, the meeting will be hosted by Punjab; besides Mr. Khattar and Capt. Amarinder, the Chief Ministers of Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Delhi, as well as the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi Lieutenant Governor and Chandigarh Administrator are expected to attend.Elimination of drugs Capt. Amarinder said the Punjab government was committed to “the total elimination of drugs” being smuggled into the State not just across the border from Pakistan but also from within the country, especially Kashmir. He reiterated his government’s “zero-tolerance policy against drugs”.Though the problem of drug abuse is not as alarming in the State as it is in Punjab, yet the Haryana government has taken several steps for its prevention and also made the youth aware of its ill effects, said Mr. Khattar.The first inter-State meeting was held in August last year and a decision taken to set up a centralised secretariat at Panchkula (Haryana) with nodal officers from each State to be deputed for sharing of intelligence and information.
About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Chelsea manager Lampard: Christensen injury not severeby Freddie Taylora month agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea manager Frank Lampard says Andreas Christensen’s injury isn’t severe.The Dane sustained a knee injury in Sunday’s loss to Liverpool at Stamford Bridge.But Lampard could not provide an indication of when Christensen would return to action.The head coach said: “Andreas is not too severe. “Hopefully he won’t be out for too long but I can’t give a timeframe.”
President and Chief Executive Officer of Sagicor Group Jamaica, Christopher Zacca (right), presents scholarship awardee, Jordan Cochrane, with a scholarship and a branded school bag during the 2018 Sagicor Foundation Scholarship Awards ceremony, held on Thursday, August 23 at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.President and Chief Executive Officer of Sagicor Group Jamaica, Christopher Zacca (right), presents scholarship awardee, Jordan Cochrane, with a scholarship and a branded school bag during the 2018 Sagicor Foundation Scholarship Awards ceremony, held on Thursday, August 23 at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston. Addressing the 2018 Sagicor Foundation Scholarship awardees on Thursday (August 23) at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, in New Kingston, the Minister explained that PEP “is a new methodology and a better methodology, because what we are trying to do is reach everybody.” In the GSAT category, 27 children of JDF employees were awarded with academic grants valued at $40,000 for this school year, while the other 23 GSAT awardees received full scholarships valued at $50,000 each annually for their five years at secondary school. The full scholarships are renewed per annum on the condition that the awardees maintain an average of 80 per cent and above.For the tertiary scholarships, 25 students were selected based on academic performance, community involvement and voluntarism, strong leadership potential and financial need.Each awardee received a renewable scholarship valued at up to $250,000 towards tuition fees for a maximum of four years.The tertiary scholars will be pursuing their first degrees in various fields of study at The University of the West Indies (UWI), University of Technology (UTech), The Mico University College,Northern Caribbean University (NCU), Caribbean Maritime University and the Edna Manly College of the Visual and Performing Arts.