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Swiss funds slow to consider variable pension benefits

first_imgAccording to the survey 2% of the funds are already using some form of flexible pension pay-out.Another 23% did not comment on the subject but a quarter said the topic had come up in discussions, and larger funds are more likely to have debated the matter; 8% said they had discussed the issue and decided against the introduction of a flexible pension element, while another 2% said they had decided in favour.But Swisscanto beleives that many Pensionskassen will wait until the pension fund of the Swiss federal rail operator, SBB, makes its decision and will then check the reaction of the media and the public.In the survey among Pensionskassen jointly managing CHF506bn (€413bn), Swisscanto also found that the average conversion rate used to calculate pension payouts from accrued assets has declined further.The average conversion rate is now 6.34% compared to 6.7% in 2011, with 43% of all Pensionskassen having decided on further cuts down to a target level of 5.99% in coming years.This is below the 6% threshold envisaged by the government in its ’Altersvorsorge 2020’ reform package.Additionally, for the first time, the average discount rate applied by surveyed Pensionskassen has fallen below 3% to 2.89%.Swisscanto calculated that the adjustment of the conversion rate over the last 10 years has decreased pension payout levels by 9.4%. Four out of ten Swiss pension funds have never debated the possibility of introducing variable pension payouts, according to a survey by the Zurich-based asset manager Swisscanto.Faced with low returns from capital markets, demographic challenges and high discount and conversion rates, Swiss funds may in future have to cross-finance pension payouts from active members’ assets.A solution to the problem is to adjust the technical parameters, as many are currently doing, or to introduce a bonus element to a guaranteed minimum pension for future pensioners – a measure which was introduced by the Pensionskasse of PwC in Switzerland in 2005 and by the energy Pensionskasse PKE only at the beginning of this year.As in the Netherlands, which has seen widespread pension benefit cuts in recent years, such measures could be highly unpopular.last_img read more

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Brenner offers 20 birthday wishes for sports world

first_imgTurned 19 years old yesterday. It’s been a long year, with a lot of ups and downs, lot of changes in my life, moving up to Wisconsin and all.But something pretty cool happened when I woke up on my 19th birthday. A note was left taped to my door, telling me in addition to my one birthday wish each year, I was receiving an additional 19 wishes, representative of my age. Don’t ask me why, I just tell it like it is.Needless to say, I blew it. With 20 wishes, I could have wished for money. I could have wished for a new car. Heck, with 20 wishes, I could have wished for the Lakers cheerleaders and called it a day.However, being the sports nut I am, I decided to close my eyes and instead wish for the following …I wish everyone would lay off Barry Bonds a little bit. I understand what he did — excuse me, “allegedly” did — was wrong, but this thing is getting blown out of proportion.I wish the NFL would let ESPN show “Playmakers” again. I just started watching the DVDs; really, really, really good show.I wish somebody could explain to me how through 20 games, the Colorado Rockies have scored six more runs on the road than at home — while playing four more games at Coors Field than elsewhere.I wish Brett Favre a much better season than 2005. I’ve been one of his harshest critics throughout this entire process of indecision, but I truly hope he gets to erase last year’s nightmare before leaving Green Bay.I wish that Steve Nash takes home the MVP award but Dirk Nowitski gets more votes than people expect. He deserves a lot more respect than he receives.I wish baseball begins to look more like basketball when it comes to team salaries … the pathetic New York Knicks had the NBA’s largest payout to its players, whereas teams like the Pistons, Spurs, and Suns all dwelled in the bottom half of the league in the same category.I wish that whole Duke lacrosse story would go away. I thought it had ended, like, a month ago. I thought wrong.I wish John Stocco lives in an airtight, slash-free, bulletproof bubble when he’s not at Camp Randall. The Badgers are screwed if he goes down.I wish that pro tennis benefits from the new instant replay system. We won’t see it at any Grand Slam until the U.S. Open, but that sport is desperate for viewership without any convincing American men or women.I wish people would quit knocking the NBA. Same for the NHL. Any sports fan who hates two out of four major sports leagues is not a sports fan.I wish my luck would change for fantasy baseball. First year ever doing it, and I’m in last place in both leagues. Ouch.I wish Rick Reilly never stops writing for Sports Illustrated.I wish the Nuggets turn it around. Not likely. They’re a train wreck right now.I wish they change the speed limit in Nebraska to 160 mph, so I can try to understand what the big deal is with NASCAR. And so I can get from Madison to Denver in about three hours.I wish Bret Bielema a successful first season. Hard to say about his ability as a head coach just yet, but he’s one of the nicest guys I’ve met in sports.I wish that LenDale White goes to a team that could really use him to the best of his abilities. Personally, I think he’d look great in his hometown, donning orange and blue.I wish ESPN comes to its freaking senses and takes the NHL back. It’s not quite the same watching hockey on the channel that wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for Lance Armstrong.I wish Wisconsin and Colorado meet once more in the Alamo Bowl this December. Not that I’ve got a thing for Texas, but I’d really like to witness the Badgers play the Buffs firsthand, and that’s about the only way it’s gonna happen.I wish the NFL cleans up that referee problem. I’m still bothered by how the Steelers were extraordinarily screwed and dominantly favored — all in the same postseason.Oh, what the hell. I’ll wish for one Lakers cheerleader, too.Only 729 days until Aaron’s 21st birthday. Score it. You can direct comments concerning Aaron’s articles to [email protected]last_img read more

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Alex Guerrero in hospital and could miss five weeks, Miguel Olivo suspended after fight

first_imgOlivo lunged at Guerrero during a pitching change in the seventh inning of the Isotopes’ game against the Salt Lake Bees on Tuesday morning, apparently upset over Guerrero’s attempt at a tag during a stolen base earlier in the inning.Olivo went after Guerrero again in the Albuquerque dugout between innings. The 35-year-old catcher bit off part of Guerrero’s ear as the fight escalated. Teammates, coaches and even an umpire tried to break up the fracas, causing a delay in the game.The injury comes at an inopportune time for the 27-year-old infielder, who played the last two games at shortstop after spending the offseason and all of spring training preparing for a job at second base. Guerrero leads the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate with a .376 batting average. He had also recently been taking ground balls at third base.Guerrero signed a four-year, $28 million contract with the Dodgers last October after successfully defecting from Cuba.With Guerrero shelved, shortstop Erisbel Arruebarrena was recalled from Double-A Chattanooga to take the big-league roster spot of injured third baseman Juan Uribe. Arruebarrena, a Cuban defector who is considered major-league ready in the field, hit safely in six of his last seven games at Chattanooga to raise his batting average to .208. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Dodgers prospect Alex Guerrero remained in a Salt Lake City-area hospital Wednesday, one day after a portion of his left ear was bitten off by Albuquerque Isotopes teammate Miguel Olivo.Guerrero hasn’t decided whether or not to press criminal charges against Olivo, according to a source, and might not for some time as he continues to recuperate. Guerrero required plastic surgery Tuesday to re-attach the missing portion of his ear.The injury is considered long-term; according to one report he could miss up to five weeks. In the meantime, Olivo was suspended Wednesday by the Isotopes “pending the completion of an investigation into the dugout altercation during yesterday’s game at Salt Lake.”center_img The Dodgers signed Arruebarrena to a five-year, $25 million contract in February. He didn’t appear in Wednesday’s game.Uribe strained his right hamstring running the bases Tuesday and was placed on the 15-day disabled list.Also …The Dodgers made one other transaction Wednesday, optioning right-handed reliever Chris Withrow to Triple-A to make room for starter Hyun-Jin Ryu on the active roster.Withrow has a 2.95 ERA in 20 appearances with the Dodgers this season, while limiting opponents to a .143 batting average with 28 strikeouts in 21.1 innings. He’s also walked at least one batter in 11 of his last 15 appearances.last_img read more

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Grassley calls for more transparency at the Red Cross

first_imgWASHINGTON — As the American Red Cross responds to another round of deadly tornadoes overnight, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is introducing legislation that aims to make sure the relief agency is spending its funds appropriately.Grassley, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, says his bill would give a congressional watchdog group more complete access to Red Cross records for oversight.  “It’s a tax-exempt organization,” Grassley says. “My committee has responsibility over making sure tax exemption is used properly.”He says the bipartisan American Red Cross Transparency Act of 2019 responds to concerns the agency tried to halt a review by the Government Accountability Office and limited the scope of the review.  “We feel that there hasn’t been enough transparency on the part of this federally-chartered organization,” Grassley says, “and that’s pretty important because most non-profits aren’t federally-chartered, very few are.”The American people rely on the Red Cross to respond when tragedy strikes and it receives federal tax dollars for some of its disaster responses. Grassley says Congress has a responsibility to make sure the Red Cross answers questions asked on the public’s behalf and is operating up to the standards required of it during disasters. “The bottom line is, the Red Cross needs to share their books with the federal government when it’s investigated,” Grassley says. “And we want to make sure the Government Accountability Office has access to the records so the Red Cross can’t impede government review.”Grassley says the Red Cross has shown an “unwillingness” to answer questions in the past and the legislation strengthens transparency to make the agency more accountable to the public.last_img read more

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Lancashire win English senior crown

first_img6 Oct 2016 Lancashire win English senior crown Lancashire are the new English Senior Men’s County Champions – regaining their crown in a thrilling finale at Chipping Sodbury Golf Club in Gloucestershire.They beat defending champions BB&O (Bucks, Berks & Oxon) 6-3 in today’s title decider, but the scoreline sounds much more comfortable than the reality.Lancashire, who also won in 2014, got ahead early on by winning the morning foursomes 2-1. But BB&O made them fight every inch of the way in the singles, with five of the six games going to the 18th – and the sixth decided on the 17th.“It was unbelievable,” said team manager Mike Gray. “They are just a great set of guys, a wonderful team. This was a fantastic game between two good teams.”Both teams fielded an international player in the top singles with Ian Crowther representing Lancashire and David Niven leading the BB&O challenge. Their battle was typical of the afternoon’s play: close and hard fought with Crowther edging one up on the 17th, which he won with a superb up and down from behind the green.But on the 18th, Niven won the hole with a par which included a penalty drop and a holed 25-footer. Crowther described it as the five of the century and said the halved match was “a fair result overall.”Next was the fiercely contested game of Lancashire’s Trevor Foster and BB&O’s David Cromie. Foster was dormie two up but lost the 17th to a textbook par, before halving the 18th in par for his point. “It was unbelievable,” he said. “It was as good a match as I have ever had. In the first 12 holes David holed everything, I felt I was playing so well and he just kept coming back and back at me. It was a fantastic game of golf.”His win meant Lancashire had 3.5 points and needed just one more to secure at least a halved result today and an overall victory, thanks to a slender advantage from their previous two matches. They had to wait a while when BB&O’s Tim Whittaker came back from four down after eight to win on the last.But Andrew Westwell’s fighting finish took Lancashire over the line when he won 16, 17 and holed a testing downhill 3ft putt to halve the 18th for a one-up result.Westwell, who is playing at County Finals for the first time, left the last green in tears after the emotion of the occasion overcame him. But he paid tribute to his ‘brilliant’ caddy and team-mate Robert Fox.Alan Gillespie added another point to the Lancashire tally when he beat BB&O captain Ashley Brewer 2/1 and the scoreline was completed when Tony Holt halved his game with BB&O’s George Best Wilson.Brewer said afterwards; “We gave them a run for their money and it was a close battle, but the right team won. Lancashire are very, very strong and congratulations to them, they deserved to win on the day.  But we will be doing our best to try and relieve them of the trophy next year!”In the play-off for third place Devon overcame Worcestershire 5-4. The South West team also led 2-1 after the foursomes and completed the win with successes from Tim Aggett, Tony Allsopp and Rick Pillow.Team manager Jon Gynne was in charge for the last time and he was delighted to finish on a high. “The success is in getting here,” he said. “Then, you know you are going to come up against top players and you do as well as you can. We have done that and so I can’t ask for any more.”Click here for full scoresLancashire image copyright Leaderboard Photographylast_img read more

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Williams, Duggan weigh in on US soccer discrimination suit

first_imgThe 28 members of the current women’s player pool filed the lawsuit Friday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles under the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The USSF has not commented on the suit.“We believe it is our duty to be the role models that we’ve set out to be and fight to what we know we legally deserve,” forward Christen Press told The Associated Press. “And hopefully in that way it inspires women everywhere.”The lawsuit, which is the culmination of long-simmering concerns by the players, highlights the struggle for female athletes globally to achieve fair compensation for their efforts, even if that doesn’t mean identical paychecks to their male counterparts. “Fair” can include simple things like access to practice fields and changing rooms.In tennis, Grand Slam events and many other tournaments give equal prize money to men and women, in part due to the work of pioneers like Billie Jean King, who was calling for equitable prize money in the 1970s. She once famously proclaimed: “Everyone thinks women should be thrilled when we get crumbs, and I want women to have the cake, the icing and the cherry on top, too.”Two years ago, just before the U.S. women’s soccer team struck a new collective bargaining agreement that gave players pay raises and better benefits, the women’s national hockey team won a better contract after taking the drastic step of threatening to sit out of the world championships. The players’ effort went viral with the social media hashtag #BeBoldForChange.Meghan Duggan was one of the players who led the fight.“I have the utmost respect for the U.S. women’s soccer team and what they have always stood for,” she said. “They have continued to lead the way in advancing women’s sports and this is just another example of their boldness and leadership.”The men’s and women’s soccer teams have separate collective bargaining agreements, and their pay is structured differently. That means there is no simple dollar-to-dollar salary comparison. Terms of the CBAs have not been made public.Compensation for the women includes a guaranteed salary and salaries paid by the USSF for their time with clubs in the National Women’s Soccer League. The men get paid based on appearances, roster selection for friendlies and tournaments, and collective performance. The USSF has cited the contracts, as well as the revenue generated by the teams, as the reason for the differences.While the U.S. Women’s National Team Players Association is not a party to the lawsuit, it issued a statement supporting the players’ goal of “eliminating gender-based discrimination by USSF.”A group of five star players filed a complaint in 2016 with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that alleged wage discrimination by the federation. The new lawsuit effectively ends that EEOC complaint, brought by Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Becky Sauerbrunn, Carli Lloyd and former goalkeeper Hope Solo. The players received a right-to-sue letter from the EEOC last month.At the time of the original complaint, U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut led a bipartisan group of lawmakers in a letter to the EEOC in support of the players. On Sunday, she applauded the team’s ongoing efforts for pay equity.“These women are at the pinnacle of their sport. They are world champions. Yet, when they receive their paychecks, they are being paid less than their male counterparts. That is unacceptable,” she said in a statement to the AP. “Women and men in the same job deserve the same pay. Period. That is why I will keep pushing Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, which should be on the House Floor soon.”Following the EEOC action, the women took the fight for equality into contract negotiations and struck a new CBA covering 2017-21.WNBA players have exercised their right to terminate their CBA after the 2019 season, cutting the deal short by two years. The move allows the sides to negotiate a new deal that would go into effect for the 2020 season during an Olympic year.“Without commenting on the specifics of the lawsuit, the WNBPA stands for equity and fairness, and stands against discrimination of any kind. We are proud to stand with the USWNTPA and other unions in support of players on these issues,” said Terri Jackson, WNBA Players Association director of operations.Solo no longer plays for the national team. Her contract was terminated when she was suspended for comments made at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. However, she continues to champion gender equity issues.Last August, she filed her own federal lawsuit in the Northern District of California, accusing U.S. Soccer of violating the Equal Pay Act. That lawsuit is winding its way through the courts.“I’d always hoped my former teammates would follow suit and join me in the battle in federal court against the United States Soccer Federation,” Solo told the AP. “It was clear that U.S. Soccer was never going to acquiesce or negotiate to provide us equal pay or agree to treat us fairly. The filing by the entire United Sates women’s national team demonstrated that they no longer fear the federation by forcefully and publicly acknowledging U.S. Soccer’s violations of the Equal Pay Act and Title VII.”___AP Sports Writers Beth Harris in Los Angeles, Larry Lage in Detroit and Doug Feinberg in Las Vegas contributed to this report.___More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports United States’ Tobin Heath, second from right, is congratulated on her goal by Mallory Pugh (11), Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan (13) during the first half of a SheBelieves Cup soccer match against Brazil Tuesday, March 5, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson) While Serena Williams admittedly doesn’t follow soccer, the U.S. women’s national team caught her attention with its lawsuit seeking equitable pay. In this Aug. 13, 2018, file photo, Serena Williams serves to Daria Gavrilova, of Australia, in the first round at the Western & Southern Open in Mason, Ohio. Williams admits she doesn’t really follow soccer, but the U.S. women’s national team got her attention with its lawsuit over equitable pay. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File) The players accuse the U.S. Soccer Federation of “institutionalized gender discrimination” that includes unequal pay with their counterparts on the men’s national team.At the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, Williams praised the players who came before her to fight for equal prize money in tennis.“I think at some point, in every sport, you have to have those pioneers, and maybe it’s the time for soccer,” she said. “I’m playing because someone else stood up, and so what they are doing right now is hopefully for the future of women’s soccer.”last_img read more