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Irish pension fund deficits soar to €6.8bn

first_imgConor Daly, partner at LCP, said: “These rises bring challenges, both for the companies themselves and the members … many companies have committed to funding proposals that have been approved by the Pensions Authority.“Market conditions could result in those going off track by year-end 2016 and may require re-negotiation with pension scheme trustees and approval by the Pensions Authority for 2017.”In July, less than a month after the UK voted to leave the European Union, the Bank of Ireland pension fund reported a €460m increase in its deficit.The sudden spike in shortfalls – which for some pensions reached record highs – could hurt dividend payouts and force financial services companies to hold higher regulatory capital, Daly added.Pension funds that avoided wind-up during the 2008 financial crisis might soon come under renewed pressure as the cost of sponsor contributions mounts.In addition, members will “undoubtedly have to take some of the pain”, Daly said, including potential benefit cuts or scheme closures.In its report, LCP said the volatile nature of Irish deficits showed that many companies had yet to implement effective de-risking programmes.LCP analysed the balance sheets of 26 Irish public and state-owned companies with “significant” DB assets to determine the impact of contributions and deficits on sponsor covenant.The consultant found that, last year – a period in which deficits substantially reduced – sponsors contributed on average more than double the amount necessary to cover benefit accruals in an effort to plug shortfalls.Two companies, C&C Group and DCC, contributed more than 10 times benefit accrual.The 26 firms contributed an aggregate €1.16bn to their pensions during 2015.At the end of 2015, only one sponsor – building materials company Kingspan Group – had a surplus in its pension fund.Across the channel in the UK, research by Hymans Robertson indicated that market movements in the wake of the US presidential election helped reduce the UK’s aggregate DB deficit.The consultant estimated a reduction of £35bn (€40.7bn) to bring the shortfall to £825bn as of November 15.Calum Cooper, partner at Hymans Robertson, said: “If the experience of the past year, and particularly the past six months, teaches us anything, it’s that deficits can be extremely volatile.“But these huge gyrations in headline funding figures should not knock schemes off course. A long-term focus needs to be maintained through short-term political fog and uncertainty.” Irish pension schemes’ funding plans may come unravelled in the coming months due to spiralling deficits, consultant LCP has warned.The combined shortfall of Irish defined benefit (DB) pensions ballooned in the first nine months of 2016 to €6.8bn, according to LCP estimates.Falling corporate bond yields, quantitative easing in Europe and the impact of Brexit caused Ireland’s aggregate shortfall to more than double since the end of 2015.Equity gains this year and a bond market rally following the US election earlier this month softened the blow but only marginally.last_img read more

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Myhill braced for Foster return

first_img When that time does come, Myhill, although happy with the form he has been showing, knows there is every chance he might be dropped, with Foster going straight back into the side. Speaking ahead of West Brom’s Monday night league clash at home against midlands rivals Aston Villa – the club at which the 31-year-old began his career – Myhill said: “Ben has proved himself to be a top keeper all the time he’s been here and I have no illusions – I’ll be up against it. “Your best is always good enough as a player, and if the manager chooses Ben that’s his decision. I just want to do as well as I can while he’s not fit.” Asked if he felt capable of keeping a fit Foster out, Wales international Myhill said: “You’d have to ask the manager that, I don’t pick the team. “I’d like to play in the team, I’m trying my best at the minute and I think everybody’s happy with the way I’m playing. “The manager is paid to pick the team. He’s doing a good job of it and we’ll just keep fighting to get in the team all over the pitch.” Clarke has given little away on the matter, describing Myhill as a “joint number one”. Clarke said: “It’s been great for me, great for the club and great for Boaz because he’s waited a long time to get in the team. Boaz Myhill has emphasised he is under no illusions about the battle he will face for first-team football when his fellow West Brom goalkeeper Ben Foster returns to fitness. “The job of number two goalkeeper at any club is a difficult one but he’s proved this season that he’s more than a number two, he’s a joint number one – when he’s had to come in and do the job for us he’s been great. “To lose Ben Foster when we lost him at the start of the season could have been very difficult for the club and for the team going forward. “But we knew we had another international goalkeeper who could come in and do the job and the way the team has defended tells you the back four are comfortable with Boaz and he is comfortable with them. “It’s been an almost seamless transition.” Myhill has played in Albion’s last nine Barclays Premier League games after Foster, who has been the club’s established number one, sustained a stress fracture of a bone in his right foot in a 0-0 draw at Everton on August 24. Foster was initially ruled out for 12 weeks, and while he has returned to light training, Baggies boss Steve Clarke on Friday refused to give a timescale in terms of when the England international might be available for first-team selection again. Press Associationlast_img read more

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It’s been 15 years since the Death of Basketball Giant Mirza Delibasic

first_imgToday is marked the fifteenth anniversary since the death of BH basketball giant Mirza Delibasic Kindje.Family members and friends will lay flowers on his grave in the Alley of the Greats at the Sarajevo cemetery Bare and commemorate the legendary basketball player of Bosna and Real Madrid, the last basketball romantic who was admired by basketball Europe and the whole world.Mirza Delibasic was born on the 9th of January 1954 in Tuzla. He started his brilliant athletic career back in 1968, when he became a pioneering champion of BiH in tennis. He replaced tennis by basketball in Sloboda from Tuzla and moved to “Bosna” in 1972. He played almost 700 matches and scored 14,000 points for “Students”.He was a Champion of Yugoslavia (1978 and 1980), the Club Champion of Europe in 1979, and won all possible trophies with the national team of the former state. He was twice Champion of the Old Continent (1977 and 1979), the World Champion in 1978 and Olympic Champion in 1980. He was proclaimed for the best basketball player of Yugoslavia in 1980. He wore the jersey of “Yugoslavia” 176 times and scored 1759 points. He was elected for the best athlete of BiH four times, and was declared for the athlete of all times in our country in 2000.In just two years at Real Madrid, Mirza Delibasic won so many friends with his gaming and human qualities that he will never be forgotten, and his former teammate Juan Antonio Korbalan wrote the book “Conversations with Mirza”.He remained loyal to Sarajevo during the siege as well, when he thanked on the invitation of the leadership of “Real” to replace besieged BH capital with Madrid “paradise”. He was a basketball team coach of BiH that won the eighth place on the European Championship in 1993. This is still the best performance of our national team at the European championships.Mirza Delibasic Kindje died on the 8th of December 2001 in Sarajevo.(Source: faktor.ba)last_img read more

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Uncertainty Looms over Reopening of Schools

first_imgRecommencement of academic activities in the country remain uncertain as the Ministry of Education (MOE) looks desperately to authorities of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOH/SW), and the World Health Organization (WHO) to determine when it shall be safe for schools to resume normal function.Deputy Education Minister for Instruction, Hawa Goll-Kotchi, told reporters over the weekend in Monrovia that the authorization to reopen schools was depending on the MOH/SW and WHO.The two entities are the ones that recommended to government the closure of schools due primarily to the outbreak of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) early this year.Madam Kotchi’s statement followed a meeting held with stakeholders with the intent to decide on a date schools will reopen after four-long months of the suspension of academic activities. At the meeting, according to Madam Kotchi, both the WHO and MOH have not up to date, reached a final decision as to which date schools would resume, “because no go ahead have been given to the MOE for classes to recommence.”“These are two health-related institutions that have the final saying as to the safety of the country from the deadly Ebola epidemic. By that, the MOE will likewise take the decision to announce that it was safe to operate schools comparative to the apparent decrease in the number of Ebola cases in the country.”However, she noted that the MOE had configured about three separate calendars to run the curriculum in the country just in case they were given the go ahead to recommence classes.The three calendars, she said were set to begin in January, February or March next year depending on what the health situation would be like in the country within the remaining weeks to end the 2014 year.Since the EVD outbreak prevalence began to decrease in the country, ordinary Liberians are of the hopes that educational activities would soon resume to ease the anxiety and the school-going children who have been home all throughout the crisis. Nevertheless, the resumption of classes, in the mind of Madam Kotchi would to some extent depend on the instruction of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf that upon the passage of the budget, the MOE should commence cleaning of school campuses; a process some school authorities have started. In the meantime, Madam Kotchi said the MOE has already made a proposal to the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) for the renovation of about 500 schools throughout the country to have them prepared for resumption of academic activities. Some of the repair works at targeted schools involved bringing in new furniture as well as the installation of Ebola preventive materials and hand pumps, among other things.Meanwhile, President Sirleaf has reversed her latest nomination of Ramses Kumbuyah as Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports for Administration, opting to retain him as Deputy Education Minister for Administration.The President’s decision was predicated on an appeal from Education Minister-designate Elizabeth Davis-Russell pleading for continuity of service by Kumbuyah in his current position, a letter from President Sirleaf addressed to members of the Liberian Senate has said.In the letter dated November 24, 2014 to the Senate, President Sirleaf quoted Davis-Russell as saying Kumbuyah “represents an institutional memory of the education sector and therefore must remain at his present position at MOE.”“I have accepted Dr. Russell’s appeal and hereby withdraw the nomination of Dr. Nancy Freeman and nominate her to the position of Deputy Minister for Administration at the Ministry of Youth and Sports instead of Kumbuyah,” she added.Following the reading of the communication, the Senate voted to forward the letter to the Committees on Education and Youth and Sports to begin confirmation hearings for the nominees.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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