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  #361  
Old 09-14-2016, 04:50 PM
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IRELAND
CENTRAL REMEDIAL CLINIC


http://www.irishtimes.com/news/healt...heme-1.2790126

Quote:
CRC staff to strike despite access to public pension scheme
Move by Government after collapse of private plan was expected to avert staff action

Staff at the Central Remedial Clinic (CRC) are to strike over pension entitlements despite the Government’s decision to grant them access to a public service pension scheme following the collapse of the charity’s private plan.

Workers at the care centre for people and children with disabilities threatened industrial action after the board of the CRC unilaterally decided to cease making further contributions to the private pension scheme in place after the deficit grew to €2.3 million plus risk reserves of €2.7 million.


The board of the CRC asked the Government to permit staff to access the Single Public Service Pension Scheme (SPSPS), despite Minister for Health Simon Harris previously insisting it was “not possible” as the 44 individuals concerned were “ineligible”.
......
In a letter to the CRC’s human resources manager, Impact official Ian McDonnell said the industrial action was due to the CRC’s “unilateral decision to terminate the staff contributory pension scheme without any consultation or negotiation with staff”.
The union said the access to the public pension scheme “only represents a partial resolution to the closure of the scheme, and that a number of outstanding issues remain”.
Mr McDonnell said the outstanding issues include the “delivery of full accrued benefits for active and deferred members of the contributory scheme, [AND]addressing the benefits gap between the public service and contributory scheme”.

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  #362  
Old 09-14-2016, 04:51 PM
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TATA STEEL

http://www.theweek.co.uk/brexit/6596...jobs-this-week

Quote:
Tata Steel pension reform plans 'shelved' by ministers
Sep 14, 2016
German group Thyssenkrupp said to be 'considering alternatives' to facilitate a deal

A controversial plan to reform Tata Steel's pension scheme and cut around 2.5bn from future payouts has been "shelved" by ministers, according to insiders briefed on the ongoing talks.

The revelation adds to questions over a proposed rescue of the bulk of Tata's UK steel operations, which it hopes to merge with its German rival Thyssenkrupp.

Like previous would-be suitors for Tata's assets, it is known that Thyssenkrupp is not willing to combine the businesses if they remain liable for a 15bn scheme that is billions of pounds in deficit, says the Financial Times.

A consultation on proposals to hive off the scheme and cut the rate at which future pension payouts are increased each year to the lowest level of inflation closed in June.


http://www.business-standard.com/art...1300994_1.html
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  #363  
Old 09-14-2016, 04:52 PM
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UNITED KINGDOM

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a0cf5e4a-7...#axzz4KG9BnRm8

Quote:
Pension deficits threaten dividend cuts at UK companies

An announcement from a British small-cap plastics manufacturer about a dividend cut would not ordinarily have generated much interest.


But when Carclo issued the warning last month, investors took notice. They feared the group was in a predicament that would soon be shared by some leading UK companies, including defence group BAE Systems, telecoms company BT, engineer GKN , Barclays, and G4S, the security group.
“Carclo could be the canary in the coal mine and the precursor to dividend cuts at other groups,” says Matthew Beesley, head of global equities at Henderson Global Investors. “Companies are diverting more cash for pensions as a black hole is opening up. More money is needed to meet pension benefits, which means there may have to be cuts in dividends.”
Although many countries around the world are facing vast pension shortfalls, it is in the UK where the problem has accelerated in recent months.
Britain’s defined benefit pension schemes make employers offering them liable for paying guaranteed retirement income to members. The UK’s vote to leave the EU in June sparked a sharp fall in bond yields, which propelled pension deficits to all-time highs and means companies need more money to meet their retirement commitments.
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Old 09-14-2016, 05:01 PM
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LUMP SUM

http://www.lifehealthpro.com/2016/09...paign=09132016

Quote:
New IRS rules allow partial annuity payouts on DB pension plans

The Internal Revenue Service published final regulations regarding modifications to minimum present value requirements for partial annuity distribution options under defined benefit pension plans. The rules amend Income Tax Regulations under section 417(e) of the Internal Revenue Code.

The changes outlined in the regulations allow DB plan participants to elect to receive partial annuities rather than single-sum payments. The rules became effective Sept. 9.

“In the case of a defined benefit plan that offers a single-sum distribution or other form of accelerated distribution as an optional form of benefit in addition to the required QJSA, many participants have been reluctant to elect lifetime payments to insure against unexpected longevity, choosing instead an accelerated distribution form in order to maximize their liquidity,” the IRS wrote in the final regulations published in the Federal Register.

“However, participants who elect a single sum or other accelerated form of distribution may face greater challenges in protecting against the risk of outliving their retirement savings," the IRS wrote. "The Treasury Department and the IRS believe that many participants are better served by having the opportunity to elect to receive a portion of their retirement benefits in annuity form (which provides financial protection against unexpected longevity) while receiving accelerated payments for the remainder of their benefits to provide increased liquidity during retirement.”
https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-201...2016-21393.pdf
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  #365  
Old 09-15-2016, 04:59 PM
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CARPENTER TECHNOLOGY

http://www.readingeagle.com/money/ar...s-pension-plan

Quote:
SPRING TOWNSHIP, PA
Carpenter Technology Corp. announced Wednesday that it was freezing its pension plan and will transition about 1,900 employees to its 401(k) retirement plan.

The freeze will be effective Dec. 31 for current salaried and hourly employees, including 1,500 in Reading, according to William J. Rudolph Jr., director of corporate communications.
Employees of the Spring Township-based specialty metals manufacturer will be transitioned to the company's 401(k) plan that has been open to eligible employees since 2012, when the pension plan was closed to new entrants.


The company also announced plans to voluntarily contribute $100 million to the pension plan within the next 60 days, which will further bolster the funded position of the plan.
The company expects to save $40 million to $45 million per year in pension costs. The savings estimates are based on the company's June 30 valuation and could change as it recalculates the plan's assets.
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  #366  
Old 09-20-2016, 11:57 AM
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PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES

http://www.ai-cio.com/channel/NEWSMA...delined-by-35/

Quote:
Sidelined by 35
Professional athletes’ retirement conundrum.

.....
Miki Yaras-Davis, senior director of benefits at the NFL Players Association (NFLPA), seconds Miller’s concern. “A higher salary means a bigger cliff to fall off,” she says. “You get an injury and you’re done playing at all of 28-years-old—but you were making millions. That’s a very big cliff to fall off—not the normal model by any means for planning for retirement.”

At the football players’ association, Yaras-Davis’ job is to ensure athletes are well provided for once their playtime is over. She tackles the challenge all sports league plan sponsors face: how do you design a retirement plan for employees with career spans well below the average?

Over the years, American sports leagues have made numerous attempts at solving that puzzle—with varying degrees of success. Each round of collective bargaining between the players’ associations and the leagues is another opportunity to get it right: to increase league contributions, to add a 401(k) plan, to change the age at which retired players can begin collecting benefits.

“We address players’ needs as they come across,” Yaras-Davis explains.

Today the NFL’s retirement plan is considered among the best in any industry. Miller, for one, calls the league benefits “amazing,” while defined contribution ratings provider BrightScope puts the NFL’s 401(k) provision at the top of its rankings. But the multi-tiered pension package football players receive today is not the same retirement plan that was available in Scott Hunter’s day.
......
But professional athletes are not most people. In 2013, following a four-month lockout, National Hockey League players won a new DB pension, which provides retirement benefits based on the number of seasons played while the current collective bargaining agreement (CBA) remains in effect. The maximum annual payout, available to athletes who play a minimum of 82 games each year between 2012 and 2022, is $255,000.

“A defined benefit pension plan is a great for hockey players who have short and uncertain careers,” says John Weatherdon, spokesperson for the NHL Players Association. “The players placed a high priority in negotiating a defined benefit plan during CBA negotiations in 2012 and 2013 to provide retirement security given their short career span.”

Previously, hockey players only had a defined contribution plan: the Canada-based NHL Club Pension Plan and Trust launched in 1986, or the National Hockey League Retirement Plan, implemented in 2001 for American players. The Canadian plan has since been frozen, but the US version still exists today as a voluntary 401(k), sans league contributions.

An earlier DB pension existed beginning in 1947—but the benefits were “not very good,” says Grant Mulvey, a former right wing for the Chicago Blackhawks who played professional hockey from 1974 to 1984. “The incomes we made back then were not high enough to live on after you stopped playing. If you only depended on your pension—it really wasn’t enough money to support yourself and your family at that time.”

Like ex-footballer Scott Hunter, Mulvey is currently choosing to defer his pension in order to compound his future earnings. “Frankly, it’s not worth taking out right now,” he says, estimating that the value of his pension—currently held in Canadian funds, as all pensions were for NHL players in Mulvey’s day—would fall by more than half after being exchanged into American dollars and taxed.
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  #367  
Old 09-21-2016, 09:30 AM
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AUTO UNIONS

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/pens...tors-1.3770836

On Tuesday, GM's biggest union announced a tentative contract agreement in which it agreed to switch new employees to a defined-contribution pension plan.
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  #368  
Old 09-21-2016, 07:57 PM
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UNITED KINGDOM

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/pensions-...pension-boost/

Quote:
long-promised benefit for members of failed pension schemes who have had their incomes capped will be introduced next year, the Government has said.

The "long service" cap, which adds 3pc to the income of some pensioners whose income was capped under the rules of the Pension Protection Fund, was introduced in 2014 as part of the Pensions Act.

However, it has not yet been brought into force, leaving many pensioners thousands of pounds out of pocket.

Richard Harrington, under-secretary of state for pensions, has launched an eight-week consultation over the new law, and said he expects it to be brought in next April.

The cap affects pensioners whose schemes have entered the Pension Protection Fund, which provides compensation to members of defined benefit schemes which have collapsed.

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Old 09-26-2016, 05:37 PM
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http://www.economist.com/news/briefi...e-not?frsc=dgd

Quote:
Actuaries and financial economists started to think more deeply about how to account for pension costs in the 1990s. Using investment returns is theoretically dubious. A company is required to pay pensions whether or not high investment returns are achieved. A pension promise is like a bond; a promise to pay a series of cashflows in future. That suggests the yield on long-term debt is the appropriate discount rate. In the early 2000s accounting regulations began to require companies to use a corporate-bond yield as the discount rate. Since the bond yield was much lower than the assumed investment return, the effect was to increase the stated level of pension liabilities.

You’re a liability
Bond yields have fallen steadily and so liabilities have risen significantly. In Britain the fall in yields following the unexpected Brexit vote (and a renewal of quantitative easing by the Bank of England) has made matters considerably worse. PwC estimates that the total deficit of all British DB pension funds rose by 100 billion in August alone. The Bank of England, which matches its pension liability by buying inflation-linked government bonds (as theory suggests), was forced to pay 55% of its payroll on pensions last year.

Finance directors must feel like Sisyphus, doomed to push a rock uphill for eternity. In America, the estimated deficit of large firms at the end of last year was $570 billion, according to Mercer, a consultancy. The average funding level was 77%. In Britain publicly quoted companies in the FTSE 350 paid 75 billion into their schemes between 2010 and 2015, according to Mercer, but their collective deficit still grew by 34 billion over the same period.

Stirring the pension pot
The struggles of the private sector create a public-policy problem. A 20-year-old worker may still be receiving a pension 70 years hence. Few companies can be relied on to last that long. If a company goes bust while its pension scheme is underfunded, the result could be an unhappy retirement. To safeguard pensions the American and British governments set up insurance schemes that stand behind corporate plans; the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) in the former and the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) in the latter. Both fund themselves through levies on the corporate-sector plans they insure; both cap the amount of pension protection that individual workers receive.

Creating the PBGC and PPF has recast the problem of more expensive pensions in a different form. Regulators try to protect schemes by ensuring they are well-funded and that companies do not take advantage of the potential “moral hazard”—underfunding their plans because of the insurance protection. But make funding of the schemes too strict and firms will complain; some may even be forced to the wall.

So the temptation is to allow a lot of flexibility and hope that funding levels recover. BHS went into administration (the British equivalent of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection) with a pension deficit of 571m. The company has been struggling for years; it had a recovery plan for its pension scheme that was scheduled to take 23 years. Should the regulator have allowed the company such latitude? The regulator is negotiating with the business’s previous owner, Sir Philip Green, about his making payments that will reduce the deficit. The saga has triggered a fierce debate about the moral and legal responsibility of business owners to ensure pension schemes are fully funded.

lots more at the link

I'll put some of the public pensions stuff in that thread
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Old 09-27-2016, 08:21 AM
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TATA

BRITISH STEEL

https://www.ft.com/content/ba75a6ba-...0-8ec15fb462f4

Quote:
Government warned on flaws in Port Talbot pension fund ‘fix’
Multibillion pound risks of proposals for Tata plant scheme raised by state actuary

The government was warned by its own advisers about the multibillion-pound flaws of controversial pension “quick fix” to protect Tata steelworkers’ jobs at Port Talbot.

Confidential analysis prepared in June by the Government Actuary’s Department for ministers suggested proposals to hive off Tata’s pension scheme, in order to make the UK business more attractive to a buyer, were riskier than the plan’s proponents had asserted.

In May the government had launched a consultation on proposals to allow Tata’s pension scheme, in deficit at the time, to be run on a “standalone” basis, or without an employer sponsor — an unusual arrangement.

David Cameron, prime minister at the time, was unwilling to watch one of Britain’s totemic manufacturing industries go under and Sajid Javid, former business secretary, had been encouraged to find a solution to the crisis, however unconventional.

To enable this arrangement, the government proposed changing pension law. This would allow the British Steel Pension Scheme, which Tata had inherited, to make the 2.5bn in savings said to be needed for it to run on a self-sufficient basis, by cutting back on future pension increases for members.

....
The 16-page report — prepared for the Department for Work and Pensions — also said that without a “viable sponsor” the BSPS could pose “significant risk” of falling into the pensions lifeboat fund, “with a materially larger deficit than at the current time”.

The analysis concluded that the proposal was “broadly consistent” with a “50:50 expectation” of being able to pay members’ benefits in full, with “no additional reserves to manage materialisation of risks in future”.

The BSPS, which encouraged its 130,000 members to support the proposal, told the FT that it had presented “updated” figures to government in July, after the consultation closed in June.

“We can categorically say that the Trustee of the British Steel Pension Scheme did not mislead members when stating that the proposal put to them was low risk,” said a spokesman for the Trustees.

“The Trustee has always had a high level of confidence that BSPS assets can be invested in a low-risk manner to deliver modified benefits as originally proposed, that this would present much lower risk to the PPF than many other schemes, and that this would be the best and fairest outcome for members. Nothing has happened to change that view.”


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