European Union member states must promote “collective” pension savings vehicles, the European Commission has urged.Releasing its annual growth survey, the European executive also praised efforts by a number of countries in reforming their first-pillar pension systems, arguing that a majority of member states had amended systems to “better withstand” the impact of increased longevity.It noted, however, that the reforms could result in further “challenges” and insisted that, to ensure the success and continued support of state pension reforms, steps needed to be taken to maintain retirement income levels, extend working lives or provide other sources of income through “complementary” pension savings vehicles.“Member states,” the report continues, “need to support the development of collective and individual pension plans to complement public pension schemes, including by removing obstacles at European level.” Social partners, it says, also have an important role to play, depending on the circumstances.The reference to collective and individual pension plans is likely to be an attempt to present both second and third-pillar pension saving as viable ways of increasing income on retirement.Olivier Guersent, the most senior civil servant within the Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union directorate general, recently suggested the pan-European pension product developed by the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) could play an important role in developing pension saving where occupational systems were not in place.At the same event, EIOPA chairman Gabriel Bernardino suggested there was space for a pan-European occupational defined contribution system.The Commission’s report comes only a few months after social affairs commissioner Marianne Thyssen argued in favour of greater supplementary savings, while acknowledging the “limited” ability of many households to contribute to such systems.
An enhanced transfer value exercise – designed to make it more attractive for members to take their full benefits out of the scheme and into another arrangement – was also carried out, with members given access to free financial advice.The two measures helped reduce the final cost of the buyout transaction, according to Aon, which advised PA Consulting on all aspects of the deal.Ben Roe, head of the member options team at Aon, said the deal was “a first in the market and has proved to be a genuine win-win for all parties”.“Members have had the opportunity to take advice on an option that may not be available at this level again in the future,” Roe said. “It was a key element in the process of a successful full buyout.”John Baines, head of bulk annuities at Aon, said: “Securing this transaction at a much lower cost than anticipated at the start of this journey is an outstanding result. The innovative structure to integrate member options within an insurance transaction allowed attractive terms to be locked in much more quickly than normal.“The ability to achieve this in a Solvency II environment is particularly pleasing, and following a relatively quiet year for large full scheme transactions in 2017, looks set to lead the way for many similar deals in a bumper 2018.”Kully Janjuah, director and company secretary of PA Consulting, said the firm had put in “significant time and effort” to secure the pension scheme, aided by private equity firm The Carlyle Group, which owns 51% of the company’s shares.De-risking spike predicted as schemes approach full fundingMeanwhile, Mitul Magudia, head of business development at PIC, said his company had “a strong pipeline of business ahead”.“As things stand, we see it being a record year for the bulk annuity market with more than £20bn worth of buy-ins and buyouts expected in total,” he added.UK schemes have been urged to consider de-risking as they have approached full funding in aggregate, according to new data from JLT Employee Benefits.The pensions consultancy estimated that UK private sector DB schemes were 98% funded at the end of June, with combined assets of £1.57trn and liabilities of £1.61trn.Murray Wright, deputy chief actuary at JLT Employee Benefits, said higher corporate bond yields and “solid” equity markets had boosted funds, but warned: “A bull market that is almost 10 years old can’t be relied upon to keep delivering results.”He estimated that schemes reaching full funding now needed to earn an annual return of less than 3% in order to pay benefits as they fell due.“Pension schemes that are ahead of schedule on their funding plans should actively seek to minimise their reliance on the sponsor through an integrated funding and investment strategy linked to expected scheme cash flows and at the same time de-risk their liabilities,” Wright added. Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC) has backed an £850m (€960.4m) buyout of the pension scheme of UK consultancy group PA Consulting.The specialist insurance group agreed to take on responsibility for the pensions of roughly 2,400 members of the PA Pension Scheme.The full buyout meant PIC insured £3.2bn worth of liabilities from UK defined benefit (DB) pension funds in the first half of this year, an increase of 68% on the first half of 2017.Alongside the buyout, the company also undertook a pension increase exercise, which involves offering members an initial uplift in their annual pension payments at the expense of future inflation-linked increases.
LATEST STORIES With billions of people, increasing investment in facilities and coaching and Olympic ambitions, he says the continent is on the move.“You could argue Japan and China are two of the most improved athletics nations over the last six or seven years,” Coe told the Associated Press during the Asian Games, where China topped the athletics medal standings. “For me, it’s very clear.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’“They’re making very good progress. If we’d been sitting here a decade ago, talking about potential here for a China athlete to run 9.8, you’d have probably taken quite long odds on that.”Su Bingtian ran an Asian Games record 9.92 seconds to win the 100 in Jakarta, one-hundredth outside his continental record of 9.91 He ran that in Spain in June, three days after he’d lost his Chinese national record when Xie Zhenye clocked 9.97. Only three sprinters — all American — have run a faster time in 2018.Su is expecting to go faster, too, because he can be pushed by teammates from the Chinese relay that won the bronze on home soil at the 2015 world championships.He has been working since late last year with Randy Huntington, who was coaching Mike Powell when the American set the long jump world record way back in 1991.Already, Su’s PB has improved. He’s down from 9.99, set in 2015, and this year already he has set the Asian record in the 60 and the 100. Huntington has predicted China will be a track and field force at the 2024 Olympics.Japan took silver in the Olympic men’s 4×100-meter relay at Rio de Janeiro in 2016, and bronze at the world championships last year. The Japanese relay team won the men’s 4×100 on the last night of track at the Asian Games and is targeting a medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ ‘High crimes and misdemeanors’: Trump impeachment trial begins Palace OKs total deployment ban on Kuwait OFWs Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Gov’t in no rush to rescue animals in Taal Judy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ Peza offers relief to ecozone firms Coe said the federations in Japan and China had “greater clarity” around the importance of coaching. Only five Asian sprinters have run 10.00 or faster this year, but the frequency is increasing.Looking abroad for coaching expertise isn’t the sole domain of China and Japan. South Korea has brought in a performance director from the United States, India has drafted in foreign coaches including 72-year-old Galina Bukharina of Romania, who has been working with world junior 400-meter champion Hima Das.Harry Marra, who worked with Olympic champion and decathlon world-record holder Ashton Eaton, has been helping out with Indonesia’s world junior 100-meter champion Lalu Zohri.India placed third, a medal above Japan, in the track and field standings with seven golds, 10 silver and two bronze. It also won a fifth straight title in the women’s 4×400. It was a vast improvement on the 2 gold and 13 overall from the Asian Games in 2014.South Korea finished with five medals on the track, including gold in the women’s 100-meter hurdles, but Randy Behr, the head performance coach, was expecting big improvements in coming seasons.“Asia has been a little bit intimidated about the weight room and off-season training — the myths that the U.S. went through in the 70s and 80s,” said Behr, who worked in fitness for the U.S. military and as a coach in track and American football. “Now they’ve embraced, ‘Hey, it’s OK to get in the weight room and throw some iron around.’ It does transfer. It’s physics.”While the popularity of track and field has dropped in some parts of the world, the sport is growing across the most-populated continent.“China is growing amazingly. Japan is solid. Korea, we have a huge ceiling — we’re onto something good here,” Behr said. “Asia is on the move.“I predict Korea with a sub-10 very soon and, of course, China and Japan — they’re not stopping.”The 18-year-old Zohri placed seventh in the Asian Games 100 final, but was a key runner in the Indonesia relay team that finished as a surprising silver medalist between Japan and China. Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Japan’s men’s 4x400m relay team celebrate after their third place finish during the athletics competition at the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia, Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)JAKARTA, Indonesia— Almost unthinkable to some a decade ago, sprinters from China and Japan are running sub-10 seconds for the 100 meters.There’s plenty more to come from Asia, too, according to international athletics federation president Sebastian Coe.ADVERTISEMENT View comments DepEd’s Taal challenge: 30K students displaced Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Asian Games: PH bets Mangrobang, Kilgore end up 7th, 9th in women’s triathlon “There’s scope for a lot more,” two-time Olympic gold medalist Coe said of the stories like Zohri, who is from the earthquake-ravaged island of Lombok. “Rarely in athletics are there happy accidents. You can look at something that on the surface looks like a rough diamond that suddenly emerges.”In the case of Zohri, Coe said Marra had been “explaining what the next step of the journey is. He’s coaching the coaches, but also has some hands on.“There’s no question at all, the rough diamond is shining. Everything in athletics is about technique and coaching. If you haven’t got world-class coaching, frankly, it’s a rare happy accident that somebody emerges.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next