Members of three unions representing steelworkers have voted in favour of closing the British Steel Pension Scheme to future accrual.The vote was the first step in what the scheme’s trustees hope is a restructuring of benefits in order to stay out of the Pension Protection Fund (PPF).Roy Rickhuss, general secretary of the Community union, said: “This result provides a clear mandate from our members to move forward in our discussions with Tata and find a sustainable solution for the British Steel Pension Scheme.“Steelworkers have taken a tough decision and have shown they are determined to safeguard jobs and secure the long-term future of steelmaking. Nobody wanted to be in this situation, but as we have always said, it is vital that we now work together to protect the benefits already accrued and prevent the BSPS from free-falling into the PPF.” In other news, researchers have claimed a post-Brexit fall in immigration could require a significant increase in the UK’s state pension age for younger workers.Consultancy firm Hymans Robertson calculated that workers under the age of 40 could see their state pension age increase by 18 months if the UK’s exit from the European Union led to a decline in non-UK workers arriving in the country.Currently, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) estimates that there are 305 pensioners for every 1,000 workers. This is expected to reach 360 by 2050 under current (pre-referendum) estimations.Jon Hatchett, partner and head of corporate consulting at Hymans Robertson, said: “If migration does fall, so too will the number of workers to support the increasing numbers of people of pensionable age. Undoubtedly this will put pressure on the affordability of the state pension, and as a result the age at which you can claim it.”Starting in December next year, the government will begin gradually raising the age at which men and women can claim the state pension, with a view to reaching 67 by 2028.Meanwhile, the Pensions Regulator (TPR) and the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) have called for a range of measures to protect individual savers from pension scams.Since former chancellor George Osborne scrapped the requirement for all retirees to buy an annuity with their defined contribution pensions, there has been a surge in scams such as so-called ‘pension liberation’ fraud. The government is now consulting on how best to protect consumers from being swindled.Andrew Warwick-Thompson, executive director at TPR, said unsolicited calls should be banned outright, as should email and text message campaigns.“An outright ban on pension cold calls would send a powerful message to all pension savers – ‘A cold call about your pension will be from a criminal. Just hang up!’” he wrote in a blog post.Warwick-Thompson also recommended limiting the types of schemes that savers can transfer their money to.“I favour a restriction of a member’s right to a statutory transfer to transfer requests to either an authorised master trust or an FCA regulated product,” he said.This would include a ban on transfers to small self-administered schemes (SSAS), which are largely unregulated and often have fewer than 10 members.The PLSA largely agreed with Warwick-Thompson. It proposed an authorisation regime for schemes with fewer than 100 members requiring them to appoint an independent professional trustee.Elsewhere, the Northern Ireland Local Government Officers’ Superannuation Committee has signed the “Global Statement on Investor Obligations and Duties” set out by the United Nations’ (UN) Principles for Responsible Investment and the UN Environment Programme’s Finance Initiative. It is also backed by Generation Investment Management, an initiative launched by former US vice president Al Gore.The £5.8bn (€6.8bn) fund for local government workers joins 116 other investor signatories from 18 countries, including AP3 and AP4 from Sweden, Germany’s BVK, and the New Zealand Superannuation fund.On the corporate side, the PPF reported that the combined deficit of UK defined benefit schemes fell to £196.5bn at the end of January, from £223.9bn at the end of December 2016.Compared with a year ago, the aggregate funding ratio has improved from 82% to 88%. This includes a change to the PPF’s calculations, which came into effect in December.Finally, members of workers’ union Unite have voted in favour of reforms to the pension fund for employees of the Isle of Man government.Members of the Government Unified Pension Scheme, established in 2011, will see contributions increase by 2.5 percentage points to 7.5%, while benefits will be reduced by 6%. The changes will take effect from March 1.
Jim Boeheim described C.J. Fair as ‘smart.’ Scoop Jardine referred to Fair’s playing style and performance as ‘pretty.’ And after the Syracuse freshman tied for the team-high in points with 14 in his debut Tuesday, Jardine had some words for those unfamiliar with the name of his rookie counterpart. ‘He is going to be good,’ Jardine said. ‘I’m telling you all. ‘Watch.’ Coming off the bench, Fair, a 6-foot-8 forward out of Baltimore, was one of five double-figure scorers for Syracuse in its 96-60 exhibition win over Kutztown in front of 7,371 fans inside the Carrier Dome. In the first of SU’s two tune-up contests prior to the start of its regular season, Fair and his freshman teammates made the most of their first time officially playing on Jim Boeheim Court.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text But Fair was the newcomer from whom Jardine saw intelligence throughout the game — especially on a spin dribble, while posting up, against a smaller opponent in the first half. Fair was the pretty player who got around his opponent swiftly with the spin dribble. And he was one of the highlights of SU’s night with repeated put-back dunks. The freshman forward was second on the team in field-goal percentage, going 5-for-7 from the field for a 71 percent mark. On a night when the Orange was a perfect 13-for-13 from the free-throw line, Fair converted on all four of his attempts. And in the first half, it was a display of that pretty and smart player Fair’s coaches and elders described. For Boeheim, it was an exhibition of Fair being in the right place at the right time. That is what an intelligent freshman will bring to the table. ‘C.J. is a smart player,’ Boeheim said. ‘He does get in the right places, and he is a good finisher. A good rebounder. I thought he played well.’ Although Fair shared the court most of the night with what could be his main competition for playing time in Boeheim’s rotation — sophomore forwards Mookie Jones and James Southerland — Fair was the showstopper. All because of two things. First, his solid, mature body for a freshman — one Jardine described as more of an upperclassman’s than a freshman’s. And because of those smarts. To junior forward Kris Joseph, the intelligence Fair brings to the team and Boeheim is cognizant of what was most apparent on the spin dribble. ‘That is not something he works on every day,’ Joseph said of Fair’s play. ‘That is something that is just instinct in the game. He knew he had a smaller guy on him, and he spun baseline and had the height advantage and went up with the ball. ‘(Fair is a) smart player. Very smart player. His IQ is very high.’ Sitting in the SU locker room postgame, Fair hinted at that intelligence. It was intelligence that he had accrued thanks to studying a specific play from a specific player in practice. That player — Jones — also happened to be his competition. The breakdown: Every time Jones shoots the ball, Fair knows he misses soft off the rim. It is a good opportunity to crash the boards. In his debut, Fair didn’t put back a Jones-missed 3-pointer with a dunk — Southerland did. It was just another example of the competition that is sure to be there for minutes come the regular season. But Fair did put back his share of dunks off SU misses. After one game, the smarts for the pretty player appear to be there. And after one game that was just an exhibition, he has the head start in a competition that Fair doesn’t even feel exists. ‘It is no competition between us,’ Fair said. ‘I am just out here to play my game and whatever coach needs at the time he needs, and I’ll just be waiting for him to call my number.’ [email protected] Published on November 1, 2010 at 12:00 pm Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments
Saint Ann, Jamaica-born singer, Romain Virgo, has come a long way since winning the 2007 Digicel Rising Stars competition. The singer has since released three albums on the VP label and has seen his cover version of Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me,” topped many Caribbean music charts.But it is Virgo’s decision to use his talent and voice to give back that has him making the pages of CNW.Helping athletes going to Penn RelaysThe 28-year-old singer has decided to help young high school athletes from the Caribbean, who will be participating at the Penn Relays later this month.Based on an arrangement with VP Records and Team Jamaica Bickle (TJB), the not-for-profit organization that assists Caribbean athletes who travel to Pennsylvania for the annual Penn Relays, every download of Virgo’s song, ‘Still,’ from his album ‘Lovesick,’ will see part proceeds going to assist athletes at the relay carnival this year.“People like Romaine Virgo embody the imagery that is important to carry forth the brand,” commented TJB Founder, Irwine Clare, Sr., O.D. “He is a young man, and he produces the type of music that resonates well and sells well.”TJB ambassadorClare added that Virgo will be one of TJB’s special ambassadors at the Penn Relays this year from April 26-28 in Philadelphia.“We hope to have him there with us,” Clare added. “It creates an opportunity for him because he will be exposed to the college campuses, and there are many Caribbean students at various campuses in the north, east. We hope that it becomes a win-win.”Virgo for his part said he will be performing at an event for TJB also in April at Penn in addition to donating part of the sale of the single to the cause.Performing at Best of the BestNext month, will also be performing at The Best of the Best Concert in Miami and Sierra Nevada World Music Festival and Groovin in the Park in Queens, NY this June.Since 1994, Team Jamaica Bickle has played an active role in the development and care of Caribbean athletes through its hospitality initiative. The non-profit raises money annually to provide meals and other refreshments, physical therapy, chiropractic, mentorship and medical services, ground transportation: daily hotel to stadium shuttle and airport transfers for arrival & departure and subsidized hotel rates to runners at the Penn Relays. A stellar crop of athletes have benefited from TJB, including Olympians Veronica Browne-Campbell and Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce.