The TRW Pension Scheme has transferred £2.5bn (€3.1bn) in liabilities to Legal General (L&G) in an uncommon partial-buyout arrangement that breaks the UK record for a single transaction.The scheme, sponsored by service provider to the automotive industry TRW Automotive, transferred around 78% of its liabilities in the all-pensioner buyout.The £3.5bn scheme has around 46,000 members, transferring the plans of 22,000 pensioners to the insurer and retaining £1bn of liabilities, mainly deferred members.Neil Marchuk, chair of the trustee board, said the deal was a material de-risking process providing security to the insured members. Joseph Cantle, CFO at TRW Automotive, said the partial buyout significantly improved the company’s balance sheet, transferring the liabilities to L&G.A partial buyout is where pension schemes transfer liabilities in their entirety to an insurer but do not wind down. A buy-in is the exchange of liabilities for an insurance contract against future payments held as an asset by the scheme.The scheme and its advisers had been working towards the deal for some time, running other risk-reduction exercises such as pension increase exchanges (PIEs) and enhanced transfer values (ETVs).Insurance quotes remained in the scheme’s favour given the deal’s record size and the intensely competitive bulk annuity market – particularly since the Budget reforms in March.James Mullins, partner at consultancy Hymans Robertson and adviser to the scheme, said its complex investment hedging had been beneficial in securing the timing and pricing of the deal.The PIE exercise, accepted by just under 40% of members, had made quoting simpler for L&G, as the scheme indexed using the consumer prices index (CPI), a notoriously difficult index to hedge.A PIE exercise sees the member accept an inflated initial pension payment in exchange for the waiving of annual index increases.“This deal could be the catalyst for partial-buyout,” Mullins said. “This scheme was not exceptionally funded, so a buyout looked a long-way off. But the series of steps undertaken meant they have been able to partially buy out two-thirds of the scheme.”The deal represents L&G’s second record-breaking deal of the year, after it insured £3bn of liabilities in a buy-in with the ICI Pension Fund.Managing director of L&G Retirement Kerrigan Procter said: “We have worked with the scheme over many years as they moved from index funds to liability-driven investment, and now to buyout with L&G.”The insurer has now dominated 2014, writing more than £8.3bn in bulk annuities, more than the entire 2013 market.The 2014 market is now expected to break the £11bn mark, with consultancies reporting hundreds of millions worth of transactions before year-end.Mercer’s David Ellis, lead adviser to the pension scheme on selecting L&G, said while it would be pleased with its 2014 performance, other insurers would not be feeling the pinch.“The year before, Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC) did very well, and Rothesay Life bought MetLife, which was a multi-billion deal as far as it is concerned,” he said.Mullins added: “Next year will be great as well, with L&G and Prudential and others even more keen to transact to make up for falling individual annuities sales – which is great for competitive pricing.”Bulk annuity pricing power is expected to “see-saw” between insurers and pension schemes as a variety of market and competition factors take hold, according to consultancy LCP.
Hoosiers upset to be upsetFollowing their big home win over the Badgers last Wednesday, Kelvin Sampson’s Hoosiers hoped the momentum from that win would propel them closer to the top of the Big Ten standings. However, it seems that the team from Iowa City didn’t get the memo, as Iowa handed them their third loss in conference play this season. Sampson was quick to praise Hawkeye senior Adam Haluska for the stability he provides on both ends of the court, remarking how much Iowa is able to “feed off of him.” Iowa freshman Tyler Smith provided the Hawkeyes with an excellent rebounding performance, pulling down nine boards on the night. Smith’s effort prompted Sampson to remark that rebounding is uncharacteristically the biggest problem of late for the Hoosiers, who are usually very strong in that category thanks to the efforts of D.J. White.Following an away contest at Northwestern Wednesday, the Hooisers will host the rival Illini on Saturday to try to avenge a loss earlier this season in Champaign. According to Sampson, “both teams are in a position where they need a win.”Michigan looks to finish strongAfter starting off the Big Ten season 4-1, the Michigan Wolverines have dropped three conference games in a row and are showing signs that they may once again be heading toward the NIT tournament. Head coach Tommy Amaker has tried to focus his team on taking each outing one at a time. “It’s healthy to continue being positive,” Amaker said. The Wolverines are going to need all the positive energy they can muster in the coming weeks, as they are set to take on home and away contests against surging Ohio State and rival Michigan State. Also on the schedule are important games at home against nationally ranked Indiana as well as a trip to Illinois.For a team still without a signature win to improve its bid for a spot in the NCAA tournament, Michigan still has a very good record. But a win over one of the ranked teams in the Big Ten would do wonders for not only the Wolverines’ standing in the conference, but also for their confidence heading into the Big Ten tournament in March, where they could possibly secure a berth in the NCAA tournament.Smith picking up slackDespite a 5-4 record in conference play, the Iowa Hawkeyes are sitting at fourth in the Big Ten after a pair of confidence-boosting wins over Michigan and Indiana. Hawkeye head coach Steve Alford praised the efforts of his team over the past week, where the team played three tough games and came away with victories in two of them. “[The week] was demanding for the young guys,” Alford said. The “young guys” weren’t the only ones tired after the week’s end. Senior Adam Haluska, who currently leads the conference in scoring at over 20 points per game, has really had to step into a leadership role following the graduation of five seniors from last year. With the absence of senior guard Mike Henderson for most of the season, Iowa has had to look elsewhere for contributions. Lucky for the team, freshman forward Tyler Smith has matured into one of the best freshmen in the conference. The freshman is averaging more than 15 points a game and has been held to less than 10 points only once since Big Ten play began. Iowa will look toward Haluska and Smith to continue their excellent play this week with back-to-back road games at Minnesota and at the Kohl Center on Saturday.Spartans search for key winsWhen asked this week about his thoughts on recent articles stating the Big Ten was having a down year, Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo was quick to give a rebuttal, saying, “I don’t think our league in general doesn’t get the respect it deserves.” Izzo remarked that he wasn’t sure if the results of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, in which the ACC dominated, was the main reason for the negative press, but claimed that no conference with nationally ranked teams should ever be considered weak.The Spartans, who have been ranked on several occasions this year, are smarting after losing their last three conference games, two of which came at the hands of Ohio State.”(The team) did enough things to win the games,” Izzo said of the two losses. In the end the Spartans couldn’t overcome the powerful one-two defensive punch of National Freshman of the Year candidate Greg Oden and Othello Hunter, a 6-foot-9 junior forward, as the two combined for five blocks and 19 rebounds. The Spartans continue to rely heavily on the all-around game of senior guard Drew Neitzel, whose consistent scoring and leadership has thrown him into contention for Big Ten player of the year. While Izzo wants to continue to take advantage of the unique abilities of Neitzel, he remains concerned for the senior’s endurance, as he is logging over 35 minutes a game. While the Spartans may have this upcoming weekend off from conference play, they could use wins against Michigan in Ann Arbor and at home to improve their 4-5 conference record before the Big Ten tournament.
TRADE DEADLINE: When is it? | TrackerSo what is general manager Jeff Gorton to do? Here’s a quick breakdown of the situation on Broadway.When was the last time Henrik Lundqvist played?It’s been 22 days since Lundqvist last appeared in the Rangers net — and that was in a six-minute and four-second relief stint against the Winnipeg Jets — when Igor Shesterkin left the game following a collision but returned.On Friday, he was a healthy scratch for the first time in his NHL career, a career that has spanned 15 years, 885 games, 751 starts and 459 wins. Those 459 wins, by the way, are the most by a goaltender in the franchise’s 93 seasons and put him at sixth on the NHL’s all-time wins list.NHL all-time wins listRankPlayerWins1Martin Brodeur6912Patrick Roy5513Roberto Luongo4894Ed Belfour4845Marc-Andre Fleury*4646Henrik Lundqvist*4597Curtis Joseph4548Terry Sawchuk4459Jacques Plante43710Tony Esposito423* ActiveWhy is Henrik Lundqvist not playing?Two words: Igor Shesterkin.The long — and I mean, long — heralded heir apparent to The King was drafted back in 2014 but spent the last few years in the KHL before coming to North America this year. He spent some time in the minors with the team’s AHL affiliate in Hartford but since getting the call-up in early January has been on fire. In 10 starts, he’s boasting a 9-1-0-0 record along with a .940 save percentage.New York also has Alexandar Georgiev, who is in his second full season with the club and has a 14-12-1 record with a .912 save percentage. There have been rumors of an impending trade involving the 24-year-old for a number of weeks, but as of now, he’s still a Blueshirt.Who is David Ayres? Meet the EBUG that helped beat the Maple LeafsBy comparison, Lundqvist, who turns 38 next Tuesday, is 10-11-3 with a .907 save percentage. Unlike his compatriots, his GSAA is in the negative numbers for the season (-1.69). With just 25 starts this year, even if he were to start every one of the Rangers’ last 21 games, it would be his lowest total since 43 in 2012-13 (lockout-shortened) and 46 in 2014-15 (missed time with a neck injury). Should the Rangers trade Lundqvist?Lundqvist has owned New York for the better part of 15 years. A seventh-round draft pick back in 2000, he has become one of the most revered athletes in New York sports history. He won the 2012 Vezina and was a finalist another four times and took the franchise to the 2014 Stanley Cup Final — who doesn’t remember him in the locker room after Game 5 — and two conference finals.But, the window of him winning in “The City That Never Sleeps” is closing and at almost 38, it may just be time for him to go to a legitimate contender to lift Lord Stanley’s Cup, a la Ray Bourque back in 2000 who won the following year with Colorado.Moving him, however, won’t be easy: Lundqvist has a no-movement clause and would have to approve of any trade — and he loves New York.As he told the “New York Post’s” Larry Brooks back in May after he hinted his career may not end with the Rangers, “My thinking hasn’t changed. The organization and I are on the same page. What I meant is that a player never becomes bigger or more important than an organization. My dream and goal is still to win the Cup in New York before I retire but at the same time, I as a player will be understanding of the position we are in and the process we are in.” NHL Network’s Jackie Redmond delivered a letter to the New York Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist on-air Friday suggesting the veteran netminder should contemplate waiving his no-movement clause before Monday’s trade deadline to go to a Stanley Cup contender, and let’s be honest, Jackie’s are never wrong.Less than 24-hours before the NHL’s trade deadline, it’s a three-headed goaltending monster at The Garden and while the team is right back in the middle of the playoff race, the future between the pipes is here for the Blueshirts — and it does not include The King. So even if Lundqvist was on board, and let’s be real he would much rather be in net than on the bench watching like he’s been, where would he go? Before the season started, that same Avalanche team was one many experts had pegged as a Cup-ready team. They just lost Philipp Grubauer indefinitely with a lower-body injury but are still one of the top teams in the Western Conference, and everyone saw what happened with the Hurricanes Saturday night; however, its doubtful the Rangers would trade him to a team they’re competing with for a possible playoff spot.Of course, losing Lundqvist would leave a big hole for the fanbase and whether or not he’ll actually head out of New York is unknown for now. Over the summer? Maybe. Brooks speculated on Feb. 17 that the Rangers may buy him out in June.Regardless, as Jackie Redmond said, Ranger fans would like nothing more than to see Lundqvist win a Cup — and fully understand it may not be while he’s donning the red, white and blue of the New York Rangers.
Wild Atlantic Big Swim is going to kick off tomorrow morning when swimmers will make the journey from Arranmore to Burtonport.Gourmet burgers provided by The Kitchen will await the swimmers when they arrive at Burtonport pier.Here’s a sneak preview of the stunning route; Schedule:7:30am: Sign in opens at Burtonport Welcome Centre. Tea and coffee provided. Registration is limited and will close at 8:30am, so get down there early to avoid disappointment!9:00am: Safety briefing. All swimmers will be provided with a NOWCA swimming tag and timing chip10am: Catch the ferry to arranmore 11am: Swimming begins!Costs: €70 if registering on the day, €60 for online registration, and €50 if you have pre-registered.Yesterday, excited organisers posted this picture with the caption; “We have just been out getting the seals on board to cheer us on! The tide will be with us and the water crystal clear.”A sneak preview of the cup!For more information you can find the official event page on Facebook.Good luck to all involved!Are you up for the Wild Atlantic Big Swim challenge? was last modified: August 26th, 2016 by Elaine McCalligShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:arranmore to burtonportSWIMMINGwild atlantic big swim