German companies move to bolster scheme funding levels

first_imgAs projected in WTW’s ‘German Pension Finance Watch’ for February, capital-market gains and an increase in the discount rate calculated under IAS19 helped improve funding levels at corporate schemes. It said the contributions made by companies, however, were of significance given that, under German law, pension obligations do not need to be fully funded, but rather can be based on on-book cashflow projections.This is possible because the insolvency protection is not based on full funding but on contributions to the  Pensions-Sicherungs-Verein pension protection fund.At Mercer Germany, chief actuary Thomas Hagemann also pointed out that “German companies are free to decide whether to create pension assets, and, within the DAX, we can find the full spectrum – from full funding to not accruing plan assets at all.”He said the DAX average-funding rate was therefore a bit misleading, as Deutsche Bank, for example, has a 101% funding level, while real estate company Vonovia’s is 4%.But, according to WTW’s Jasper, German companies have “various incentives” to continue to increase funding.“One of them is aligning the pension liabilities with the pension assets, as it is difficult to have an LDI strategy when the assets are bound in machinery and office infrastructure,” he said.He also argued that capital-market “overreactions”, particularly in the wake of the financial crisis, could push some companies further towards funding.“Most analysts and rating agencies, meanwhile, have grasped the difference between Germany and the rest of the world in pension-plan funding levels.“But, at a first glance, a higher funding level still looks better.”Both consultancies agree there is a greater need for German companies in general to make themselves attractive as employers via good pension offerings.At Mercer, Hagemann pointed out that companies would have to come up with “creative solutions and good ways to communicate risks in the pension plans to their employees to be able to win and hold specialists”. Companies on Germany’s DAX stock exchange made around €10bn in pension-fund contributions in 2015, roughly the same amount they set aside in 2014.According to research by Willis Towers Watson (WTW), car-maker Daimler made the largest contribution at €1.9bn, increasing its funding level by 1200 basis points to 71%, while Energy giant RWE set aside €1.6bn, raising its funding level by 800 bps to 77%.Thomas Jasper, head of retirement solutions at WTW Germany, told IPE: “This shows German companies are faring well enough to be able to set aside more than €10bn towards their pension plans.”DAX companies’ average funding level increased by around 400bps last year to 65%, its second-highest level recorded after it reached 71% just before the financial crisis in 2007. last_img read more

Waterfront Coast house built by 90-year-old woman hits the market

first_imgThe house at 24 Bosun Blvd, Banora Point, is in a perfect position.BUYING a large block of waterfront land was a risky move for Merle Young.At almost 90 years old, designing and building the home of her dreams was going to be a big job.But she didn’t let her age stop her, and it is just as well because it ended up being a beloved family home for almost a decade.Her family are reluctantly selling the Banora Point house now that she has passed away.The owner, who was almost 90 years old when she bought the block, designed and built the house.It has impressive water views.Grandson Chris Middleton said she was determined to buy the land after moving from Sydney.“She moved up to be with extended family here,” he said.“It was a very rare opportunity to find that land.”He said she always had an artistic eye and wanted a home that accommodated her extended family so decided to build.“She had an enormous enthusiasm for everything,” he said.More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa11 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days agoMarketing agent Brent Savage, of LS Properties, said her attention to detail was impressive.“She was still in the process of lodging development applications to do little additions,” he said.MORE NEWS: Inside look at Coast’s $7 million houseMORE NEWS: ‘Not a pretty sight’: is this really what couples want?A black and white palette gives the house a modern edge.The house was built to accommodate Mrs Young’s extended family.The two-storey house has four bedrooms, three bathrooms and a large alfresco area overlooking the picturesque Tweed River.The main living areas can be opened up through sliding glass doors onto the alfresco area, which can also be closed off in bad weather. A black and white palette inside gives it a modern edge while deep water access outside is ideal be boaties.The property is on the market with a $1.695 million asking price.last_img read more

‘Business as usual’ for Blues

first_img Press Association Sport understands Benitez took training at the club’s Cobham base this morning and is likely to be in charge for Saturday’s Barclays Premier League clash with West Brom, where the atmosphere at Stamford Bridge and taunts towards Benitez could be more toxic than usual. The ‘business as usual’ statement is reminiscent of comments made by one of Benitez’s predecessors, following the departure of Roberto Di Matteo last November, when the Spaniard was placed in charge. Andre Villas-Boas, now in charge at Tottenham, said: “At Chelsea, I think another sacking is just like any other day at the office.” It seems the addition of ‘interim’ to his title has irked Benitez since his appointment and he finally erupted following a fourth win in six games – a run which was preceded by just three wins in 10. In 27 matches, Benitez has 14 wins and a victory percentage of 52 per cent, which – alongside Villas-Boas – is the poorest start of any of the nine managers in the Abramovich era. The reaction of the former Liverpool boss in confirming his departure at the end of the campaign is likely to heighten speculation over his replacement, with former boss Jose Mourinho – now at Real Madrid – reported to be the top target. Whoever replaces Benitez will become the 10th manager in 10 years under Abramovich. Never before has the Russian billionaire had three managers preside over his team in one season, but, should Benitez depart before the end of the campaign and ahead of fulfilling his brief of Champions League football next term, that is what will happen. Rafael Benitez is expected to be given at least one more match in charge at Chelsea despite his rant criticising Blues supporters and the club’s decision to give him the title of interim manager. Press Associationcenter_img Benitez spoke frankly following the holders’ 2-0 FA Cup win at Middlesbrough, which set up a quarter-final tie with Manchester United. His criticism sparked suggestions his tenure could come to an end imminently, rather than as scheduled at the end of season, with the comments unlikely to have gone down well with owner Roman Abramovich and the Blues board. Chelsea, however, insisted it was just another day at Stamford Bridge, where reports of dressing-room unrest have been played down. A club spokesperson said: “It’s business as usual.” last_img read more

Hughes: Fitting that Walters won it

first_img Current hero Walters now has 10 goals in all competitions this season, and Hughes said of the 31-year-old: “At the end it was fitting that Jon scored his third goal to take the game away from them because I thought on the day he was magnificent and a credit to his profession. “He gives everything, every game, and on his 200th game it was fitting he won it for us.” Asked whether Walters will be getting a new contract – his current deal expires in the summer – Hughes said: “Well, he is going the right way about it! “I’m sure there will be discussions nearer the time. But I’m just delighted for him – he probably doesn’t get enough credit for what he does on the field of play, and his determination and effort to get everything out of his body and his ability is second to none. I am really pleased for him.” Walters has spent time out of the first XI this term, and Hughes added: “I think he has a freshness in his play now. He has been in and out the team, but when he comes in, he gives everything and always has an impact for us. “I think he is benefitting from understanding he can’t play week in week out if he is going to be the best he can be.” Stoke’s win – their fourth in six league games – lifts them to ninth in the table, while struggling QPR remain 19th, a point adrift of safety, and still yet to register anything other than a loss on the road this term. This was an 11th defeat from 11 top-flight matches in 2014/15 for the Londoners, but their manager Harry Redknapp insisted afterwards he was encouraged by the performance and believes they will not be relegated. Walters marked his 200th appearance for the Staffordshire outfit by striking in the 21st and 34th minutes to put them 2-0 up before adding a stoppage-time header to wrap up the victory. It was the first Barclays Premier League hat-trick ever scored by a Stoke player and came on the day they celebrated club icon Sir Stanley Matthews, 24 hours before what would have been his 100th birthday. Stoke boss Mark Hughes labelled Jonathan Walters “a credit to his profession” after the forward notched a hat-trick to steer the Potters to a 3-1 home win over QPR. Press Association Redknapp – whose side made it 2-1 in the 36th minute through Niko Kranjcar and hit the bar in the second half via skipper Joey Barton’s free-kick, but were punished throughout by Stoke for defensive sloppiness – said: “3-1 looks like you were well beaten, but that wasn’t the case. “But we make individual errors and it costs you. “At 2-1 at half-time, I thought we could go on and win the game, I really did – and I said that to the players. I said ‘I wouldn’t take a draw’. “In the second half we battered away, but we just couldn’t get the goal. If we had got the one, I think we would have gone on and won. But I couldn’t have asked for more effort than they gave. “I’m encouraged by it. I know where we are and what we need to do, and I still think we have every chance. I still think we’re capable of getting out of trouble.” Asked about the possibility of bringing in new players before the transfer window closes on Monday night, Redknapp said: “It’s hard – I couldn’t say we are definitely going to get anyone in before the deadline. “We’re trying, but it’s not easy to find players in this window, especially this late.” Redknapp said there had been no developments in terms of any pursuit of Wolves forward Bakary Sako, and when asked about Tottenham frontman Emmanuel Adebayor, he said: “I don’t know if it’s a possibility. “He would do us, that is for sure, but whether there is a chance I honestly don’t know.” Hughes, meanwhile, said Spurs winger Aaron Lennon “has been mentioned” with regard to potential Stoke dealings, but added: “I don’t think that one is going to happen for us.” And he said: “I don’t anticipate there being too much happening to be honest. “We have been close to a number of players during the month, but for the most part they have all fallen by the wayside. “At this point, I’d be surprised if we do anything before the deadline.” last_img read more

Felons must pay all fines before receiving the right to vote

first_imgA federal appeals court has ruled that felons in Florida must have a zero balance on all of their fines, legal fees, and restitution before they regain their right to vote.The ruling was made Friday afternoon and reverses a lower courts judge’s decision to reinstate a felon’s right to vote regardless of their financial obligations.Florida Agricultural Commissioner Nikki Fried spoke about the ruling saying that they will continue to fight for justice:“Although this ruling is a setback, we cannot allow ourselves to be set back in our pursuit of justice for those who have paid their debt to society. This decision must only renew our fight to ensure all Floridians can exercise their Constitutional right to vote. The goal of Amendment 4 can be achieved through Florida’s clemency system, even in its current, broken state. My fellow Clemency Board members have the power to restore Floridian’s rights. Yet Governor DeSantis has not held a Clemency Board meeting in 282 days, and continues wasting taxpayer dollars fighting Amendment 4 in court. Neither history, nor the 1 million Floridians awaiting justice, will be deterred by today’s ruling.”Florida is not only a swing state but it is also a must-win state for President Trump’s bid for re-election.Some believe that felons would have helped to sway the vote.last_img read more

Syracuse gives up 34 points in the paint despite beating Texas Southern, 80-67

first_img Related Stories Syracuse uses late 1st-half surge to beat Texas Southern, 80-67Fall knocks Malachi Richardson out of Syracuse’s win against Texas SouthernSyracuse community reacts to win over Texas SouthernFast reaction: 3 takeaways from Syracuse’s 80-67 win against Texas SouthernGrade Syracuse’s performance against Texas Southern and vote for the player of the game Published on December 27, 2015 at 6:36 pm Contact Jon: | @jmettus Texas Southern forward Derrick Griffin ran along the left baseline, leapt in the air and caught a lobbed pass from forward Chris Thomas before slamming home the alley-oop with two hands.Syracuse forward Tyler Roberson smacked his hand into the side of his right leg in frustration and dropped his head down after watching Griffin convert on his third alley-oop in a span of more than four minutes to tie the game at 11-11.“We weren’t really ready for the lob like that I don’t think,” Syracuse forward Tyler Lydon said.With Griffin, a dual-athlete playing forward for the basketball team and wide receiver for the football team, Texas Southern was able to exploit Syracuse’s defense. In the first half, backdoor cuts led to five successful alley-oops.The Orange adjusted, dropping its center under the basket after halftime, but it left the high post open. The Tigers were able to gash the Orange in the paint, scoring 34 points — more than half of its total — there. Syracuse was able to overcome its difficulties down low to win 80-67 in the Carrier Dome on Sunday.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“They took it right to us,” SU interim head coach Mike Hopkins said. “We’ve been trying to get the point across to our team, on our end, the importance of defense and tonight we just we had some breakdowns and we’ve got to get better.”Texas Southern hadn’t shown the quick lob passes in previous games, Hopkins said, but the Tigers abused Syracuse with them in the first half.SU guard Michael Gbinije sent the Carrier Dome crowd into a frenzy with a transition layup, but Griffin answered by slamming in a one-handed alley-oop just seconds later, silencing the fans.Griffin looked into the crowd opposite the Syracuse bench and pounded his chest.“You’re not there to trade baskets,” Hopkins said.  “You’re there to get stops and compete on the defensive end and we’ll keep hammering at that. Wasn’t too happy with our overall defensive effort tonight.”With 6:40 left in the first half, Griffin watched a lob attempt carom off the backboard, too far away that he didn’t even jump, but it was the first unsuccessful alley-oop try of the day. The four previous had all gone down.Lydon said the wing players in the zone missed a few rotations — which he called mental lapses — leaving the pass open behind the center. When Dajuan Coleman subbed back into the game with seven minutes and 30 seconds left in the half, he held out his right arm behind himself, wary of the backdoor cut.Hopkins kept the centers under the basket in the second half, instead of stepping up higher in the zone like usual.  The move worked to take away the lobbed passes, but left SU vulnerable at the high post. Gbinije said taking away the lob underneath, while also trying to limit the high post, is a push-and-pull scenario.“In any good defense you’re going to give up something,” Hopkins said. “You have to figure out and pick your poison. In the most part, we’ve obviously got to get better at that.”Griffin added eight points to his first half effort, finishing a perfect 9-for-9 with game-high 20 points.Hopkins said the Orange needs Roberson to be a physical presence in the paint, instead of leaving forward Malachi Richardson to be like “a welterweight fighting a heavyweight.”Despite Griffin and Rodriguez being the only Texas Southern players taller than 6 feet 5 inches, the Tigers were able to take advantage of Syracuse’s vulnerabilities on the inside. In the first half, it was lobs behind the defense and in the second, it was baskets in front of the big men.“We tried to stop that guy that was throwing down those crazy dunks,” Gbinije said, “but we didn’t do a good job tonight, defensively.” Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Superlatives from Syracuse’s 80-62 loss to No. 22 Florida State

first_imgNo. 22 Florida State’s Trent Forrest drove inside the paint and lobbed the ball toward the left side of the hoop. Phil Cofer took a step before rising up and catching the ball, slamming it down to give the Seminoles a 16-point lead with under three minutes left. Cofer put the exclamation point on a night where Florida State could not miss.Despite turning the ball over 21 times, the Seminoles (17-5, 5-4 Atlantic Coast) shot an impressive 54.5 percent from the field, riding the hot hands of Terance Mann and Mfiondu Kabengele to a 80-62 win over Syracuse (16-7, 7-3) on Tuesday night. Only four players for Syracuse found the scoring column in the loss.Here are the superlatives from Syracuse’s loss.Big Moment: Terance Mann’s breakaway dunkWith just under nine minutes remaining and Syracuse trailing by five, Elijah Hughes attempted to pass the ball toward Tyus Battle at the top of the key. But Forrest picked the ball off, passing it forward to Mann, alone on a breakaway. He rose and slammed it with two hands, pushing the Seminoles lead to nine. Syracuse managed to keep the game close for the majority of the second half despite trailing by 22 at one point, but Mann’s breakaway dunk took the life out of the Carrier Dome crowd that quickly quieted down.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textStud: Tyus BattleAfter one of the worst games in his college career, Battle was nothing short of dominant against Florida State. In an up-and-down first half that featured a 27-5 FSU run and a 14-3 SU run, Battle was the only consistent player for the Orange.The junior finished with 16 first-half points on 6-of-9 shooting, while the rest of Syracuse scored just 15 points on 6-of-20 shooting. Battle’s aggressive nature continued in the second half, as he finished with a game-high 23 points and a pair of steals in the loss.Dud: Frank HowardNothing went right for Frank Howard on Tuesday night. In the first half, he missed both his 3s and added a turnover as Florida State jumped out to a 22-point lead. He was subbed out and never returned until the second half, as Syracuse cut the once-large deficit to single digits.However, Howard struggled to start the second half and was subbed out not three minutes in after back-to-back passes missed their intended target. He checked into the game but never shot again, finishing with zero points and three turnovers in 14 minutes.Highlight: Forcing turnoversFlorida State’s offense was efficient — shooting wise — the entire game. But the reason Syracuse was able to battle back and cut the lead to just two midway through the second half was because of FSU’s inability to control the ball. The Seminoles turned the ball over 21 times, constantly leading to Syracuse fastbreaks. In a game where SU did not beat FSU in most statistical categories, it did in points off turnovers, 18-16.Lowlight: 3-point defenseRight from the start, Florida State attacked from beyond the arc. M.J. Walker opened the scoring for FSU with two quick 3s before Kabengele added two more later. The Syracuse 2-3 zone has been strong as of late, and Florida State entered the matchup ranked 239th in the country in 3-point shooting.It was a perfect recipe for an upset over another Top 25 team. But FSU kept on firing and kept on connecting. Leading by seven with just under eight minutes to play, Kabengele added back-to-back 3s to put the game out of reach. The Seminoles finished with a 50-percent clip from 3 in the win. Comments Published on February 5, 2019 at 10:00 pm Contact Charlie: | @charliedisturcocenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

EPL resumes after international break

first_imgKick-off at Villa Park is at 12:45.Among the three o’clock matches today, Arsenal can keep their fading title hopes alive.The Gunners will host Watford at the Emirates as they look to shrink the 11 point gap between themselves and Leicester.Man City and West Ham are also hoping to improve their Champions League prospects as City visit Bournemouth and the Hammers play host to Crystal Palace.Elsewhere, relegation battlers Newcastle and Sunderland are up against Norwich and West Brom respectively while Stoke host Swansea at the Britannia Stadium.There’s also one late game this evening at Anfield where Liverpool host second-placed Tottenham from 5.30. Last season’s champions are away to the bottom club in the lunchtime kick-off.Manager Remi Garde left Villa this week.Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink says he saw some of their opponents’ last game and believes they will provide a challenge.last_img read more

Rio Ready for Worst as Terror Threat Hangs over Olympics

first_imgBut will it be enough?Terror attacks have been rare, if horrifying at past Olympics. The most notorious was the 1972 massacre of 11 Israeli athletes and a police officer by a radical Palestinian group in Munich. A bomb planted by an anti-abortion protester killed one and injured 111 at the 1996 Games in Atlanta.“But Brazil has a lot of problems that other countries don’t have,” Ford said. “It’s sort of a perfect storm for anyone wanting to carry out an attack.”South America’s first-ever games have been plagued by a long list of problems, from the Zika epidemic and severe water pollution to slow ticket sales and questions about the readiness of infrastructure built for the games.Compounding the security concerns is the deepest recession in decades, which has forced the cash-strapped Rio state government to slash spending and delay paychecks, and a distracting political crisis that led to the removal of President Dilma Rousseff while she faces an impeachment trial. To make up for the shortfall, the federal government has had to step in with almost $1 billion in emergency funding, much of which will be devoted to security. Extra police are also being deployed from other states.To be sure, Brazil isn’t a newcomer to hosting mega-events. Every year it welcomes millions of foreign visitors during the weeklong Carnival celebration, and the 2014 World Cup went off with no major incidents.But it has almost no experience fighting terrorism. The country has long prided itself on having an enemy-free foreign policy, one that rejects military intervention.Not surprisingly, many Brazilians are on edge as the military buildup at airports and elsewhere become more evident. There have also been several bomb scares. The ritzy beach neighborhood of Leblon shut down streets for several hours last week after discovery of a suspicious bag that turned out to contain only clothes.“I never felt like this about terrorism before. I only worried about street crime,” said Fernanda Rocha, a pharmacist in Rio. “I have no idea how to avoid terrorists if they come.”Despite Brazilians’ easygoing attitude, better suited for a street party than an urban lockdown, Ford said there have been major improvements since the 2014 World Cup. Training exercises with U.S. and other foreign militaries to deal with chemical, biological and nuclear attacks have become more frequent. A joint-intelligence center has been created for the games, allowing intelligence services from around the world to share information and investigate threats as they emerge.Precisely because of Rio’s reputation for criminality, elite police units are more battle-tested than their counterparts in major U.S. cities.“They’re used to carrying bigger and stronger guns than we are,” said Bobby Chacon, a retired FBI agent who makes his home in Rio and spent a year running security at the 2004 Games in Athens.There are expected to be 85,000 military personnel and police fanning out across the city, double the number that was on the streets in London in 2012. While most will be concentrated at sporting venues, tourist landmarks will also be heavily patrolled.“They have the police in place and trained to stop a large-scale, coordinated attack,” Chacon said. “But there’s plenty of opportunities to cause harm, and they shouldn’t take anything for granted.”Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram A half-million foreign tourists, dozens of Heads of State and the attention of the world’s media. If there were ever a headache for anti-terror forces, it’s the Olympics.In the aftermath of deadly attacks by the Islamic State group in France and elsewhere, Brazil, which has almost no experience combatting terrorism, is beefing up security for the games that start in Rio de Janeiro on August 5. Plans include doubling the number of security forces on the streets, erecting more checkpoints and working closer with foreign intelligence agencies than Brazilians did in the 2014 World Cup.last_img read more

SuperSport to View IAAF World Championships Live

first_imgTheir roster features two defending World Champions and a newly crowned Diamond League champion.Viewers can see Muktar Edris attempt to defend his 5000m title, while Almaz Ayana will aim to retain her 10,000m title. Getnet Wale, winner of the 3000m steeplechase at the IAAF Diamond League final in Brussels, also features on the team.World leaders Samuel Tefera, Selemon Barega, Telahun Haile, Hagos Gebrhiwet and Letesenbet Gidey have also been selected, so too have world record-holders Yomif Kejelcha and Genzebe Dibaba.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Viewers on DStv and GOtv can get their fill of athletics action when the 2019 IAAF World Championships is held in Doha, Qatar from 27 September to October 6 as the Championships will be broadcast live on SuperSport 13.This will be the 17th edition of the biennial athletics event and take place at the renovated multi-purpose Khalifa International Stadium.One of the leading African athletics nations heading into the 2019 World Championships is Ethiopia, who will be sending a squad of 37 to Doha.last_img read more