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Bert Rürup, a long-term adviser to the German government on pensions, has said that hybrid models offer “a good chance” to react to demographic changes and that “hybrid means full funding is never required”. Rürup, who is also president of the Handelsblatt Research Institute, was speaking at the 100th anniversary of the municipal civil servant pension fund – part of the Bayerische Versorgungskammer (BVK) and set up as a hybrid scheme, with pay-as-you-go (PAYG) elements and liabilities that require funding.Rürup said full funding requirements would “massively expose” pension funds to the risk of interest-rate changes. For him, hybrid pension plans offer “more advantages than disadvantages” compared with pure PAYG or pure funded pension plans, given their collective accounting setup. He said the contribution equivalence promised in most funded pension plans allowed for an “inter-temporal shift of assets but no inter-generational redistribution”.Rürup also argued that German chancellor Otto von Bismarck’s original plan 120 years ago had been to establish a funded state pension system, but that the debt crisis after World War II prevented this.He told IPE he would not introduce a funded element to the current first pillar, as the German pension system is facing “not a construction problem but an adjustment problem in existing vehicles”.One of the problems, he said, was the “low interest but not low-yield environment”, something he attributed to interest-rate policies.He cited domestic equities as a possible source of yield for German institutions.“At the moment, more than 55% of the equities in the German DAX are owned by foreign investors, and especially US pension funds are very keen to invest in German companies,” he said.Rürup also proposed making it easier for domestic institutions to invest in foreign equities.In a recent research note, he warned that most calculations and predictions on the future of the German pension system were calibrated to the year 2030.“But the fact we are close to another ageing shift is left out,” he said.“We have another 25 years of increasing dependency ratios ahead of us, and the policies have not yet been adjusted to that.”
Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), the world’s third largest institutional investor, says it is considering adopting a risk-factor based portfolio construction similar to that developed by Denmark’s ATP.Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), which manages the NOK7.5trn (€845bn) fund holding the country’s petroleum wealth, has introduced a new two-year strategy plan that heralds the inclusion of risk factors in its portfolio.NBIM presents the fund’s investments in terms of the traditional asset classes – equities, fixed income, and real estate – but recent statements have indicated more flexible thinking is coming to the fore.Asked if NBIM saw a case for using an ATP-style risk-factor approach, for example, the manager’s chief executive Yngve Slyngstad told IPE in an interview: “This is something we are thinking about. I think the new model of how we are funding real estate is one step in that direction, re-thinking asset allocation. “It is also giving the board the possibility for asset allocation with regard to how we fund real estate.”Some people would consider this a move towards the type of risk-factor approach ATP now uses to build its investment portfolio, he said.“For us it is an adjustment of the current model, just recognising that real estate does not fit to the typical framework of giving a clear reference index,” he said. “Therefore instead of trying to measure it against some other buildings that we didn’t buy, we are measuring the return on real estate against the rest of the fund.”NBIM wrote to the Ministry of Finance last October about changing its mandate to allow for a new framework for property investments, which allows it sell specific parts of its equities and bonds holdings to release funds for new real estate investments.Under the new framework, for example, NBIM may decide to fund a London property purchase with targeted sales of UK equities or sterling-denominated bonds, rather than by selling assets across its whole portfolio.In the October letter, NBIM said the management mandate for the GPFG “should ensure a holistic management approach”.On the last day of February, NBIM published its new strategy document covering the period 2017 to 2019.It stated that it did not expect the fund’s growth of NOK2.5trn seen in 2014 to 2016 to continue.“We will develop the reference portfolio further to improve the total return-risk of the fund,” it said.NBIM also said it would decide the funding for each real estate investment considering its impact on the overall fund.The GPFG already includes systematic risk factors in its reference portfolio to enhance returns, but it said in the new strategy document that it would include value, size, and quality factors in equity market investments, as well as term and carry factors in fixed income.“We will assess additional sources of priced risk,” it said.Øystein Olsen, chairman of NBIM’s executive board, told IPE: “In general terms we think the strategy is sophisticated and robust and solid, and we are going to continue the main elements of the strategies we have used previously, but with a number of new elements which you will find there.”He added that the GPFG would going to have “very important new strategic parameters” for equities in the future. The fund is to be granted a new limit for equity exposure of 70%.Separately, Slyngstad told journalists that some of equity exposure the fund would be used to finance part of the real estate investments, and eventually – if there was a change in the investment mandate – to finance infrastructure investments. NBIM has been lobbying Norway’s government for the ability to invest in the latter asset class for some time.“You shouldn’t expect any action in terms of a large buying programme if the equity is moved to 70%,” Slyngstad added.When it was last granted an increase, in 2007, NBIM phased in new purchases, rather than buying large amounts of shares straight away.“The lesson to be learned from last time is we may well sit around for some time and see when we find a good moment,” Slyngstad said.
Furthermore, Legal & General said the APP provides the pension scheme with enhanced certainty of reaching full buy-in over a planned timeframe. It locks down investment risk by providing protection against changes in asset yields, interest rates and inflation.The scheme’s asset management relationship with Legal & General Investment Management enabled a smooth asset transition. The fund was advised on the transaction by Mercer and Sackers. The bank was advised on the transaction by Mercer, PWC and CMS.Norbert Bannon, chair of the fund’s trustees, said the transaction always had “the clear objective of improving the security of members’ benefits. This would not have been possible without the constructive input and advice of our advisors”.Laura Mason, chief financial officer of Legal & General Retirement Institutional (LGRI), said: “We are pleased to have been able to help AIB Group UK Pension Scheme in the latest stage of its derisking journey and are proud to showcase our new assured payment policy solution.” The AIB Group UK Pension Scheme has announced the completion of a de-risking transaction worth £1.1bn (€1.3bn), covering more than 1,300 members.The deal was completed by Legal & General Group and makes use of a new solution the insurer has developed and further tailored for the AIB Group scheme in partnership with advisors for the trustee and its sponsor, Allied Irish Banks, a statement disclosed.The transaction is split between a £850m pensioner buy-in and a £250m assured payment policy (APP).Legal & General already offered the pension fund an intermediated longevity insurance agreement covering its pensioner members, which has now been converted into a pensioner buy-in by using the insurer’s extensive restructuring expertise.
Share Tweet Sharing is caring! Cold and flu season is upon us. (Getty Images)With seasonal flu season upon us, the gold standards of flu-prevention such as vigilant hand washing and flu vaccination become increasingly important.In addition to these tried and true techniques, however, research suggests a number of complementary therapies that can help prevent and overcome the cold and flu blues.From listening to good music to beefing up your sex life, there are a number of unexpected ways to boost your immune system and help ward off illness this winter.Gentle Blowing Is the Way to GoA natural reaction to nasal congestion can be to want to “clear it out” with nose-blowing, but hard blowing can only make symptoms worse by pushing virus-laden mucus further into your sinuses, according to doctors.To test this notion, researchers at the University of Virginia conducted CT scans and other measurements while subjects blew their noses, sneezed and coughed. Coughing and sneezing didn’t have much of an effect on nasal cavities, but nose blowing built up enormous pressure, propelling mucus deeper into the sinuses.“Not blowing your nose hard is good advice,” said Dr. Bill Schaffner, chairman of Preventive Medicine at Vanderbilt University. “Pushing the mucus back into the sinuses will lead to more prolonged symptoms. Gentle blowing of the nose, just clearing the front of the nose, seems to work better. If you do it in the shower or under moist, humid conditions when the sinuses are already loosened, even better.”Using nasal decongestants to help drain mucus or rinsing the nasal passages with salt water are other options.Ramp Up the Relaxing TunesListening to relaxing music seems like no-brainer stress-buster, but research shows that 30 minutes of listening to soothing “environmental music” actually boosts the immune system’s production of illness-fighting proteins, immunoglobulin A (IgA). IgA acts as an antibody, binding to pathogens when they first enter the body and calling forth the immune system cells needed to destroy them.In a study from Wilkes University, salivary levels of IgA were significantly higher for test subjects who listened to this type of music when compared to those who listened to the radio or sat in silence for 30 minutes. What is environmental music? It’s often playing in spas and usually intermixes relaxing instrumental music with sounds of nature.Authors cite the ability of music to alter mood and emotional states as a possible explanation for this benefit. A 2003 review of several studies testing this benefit concluded that in general, music listening has a positive impact on IgA and mood.Singing along might also confer a benefit to the immune system: A 2004 study in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine found that singing in a choir boosted IgA levels in the hour after singing.Vitamin D: Good for More Than Bone Health Though vitamin C has notoriously been the go-to vitamin when a cold is coming on, the evidence supporting the supplementation of vitamin C for colds and flu is inconclusive. Surprisingly, vitamin D, usually known for bolstering bone health and preventing rickets in children, has been shown to reduce the risk of catching colds during flu season.A 2009 study published in Archives of Internal Medicine found that those with low vitamin D levels were 40 percent more likely to report respiratory infections. In those with asthma, low vitamin D levels increased likelihood of respiratory infection five-fold.“There’s several randomized controlled trials demonstrating that vitamin D supplementation, especially in children, reduces the risk of influenza,” says Dr. Greg Plotnikoff, medical director of the Institute for Health and Healing at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis.And vitamin D deficiency can be more prevalent than expected. In his study of 10,000 employees in the Atlanta Health Care system in Minneapolis, Plotnikoff found that 63 percent had low levels of vitamin D in their blood. Supplementing with 2000 IU of vitamin D a day would have been enough to bring 99 percent of those employees up to proper vitamin D levels.Plotnikoff also notes that the 400 IUs that current serves as the recommended guideline for daily vitamin D consumption is an outdated, one-size-fits-all recommendation established in the 1940s by a study on children. In his expert opinion, 2000 IU a day during flu season would be the best way to reduce risk of cold and flu.Frequent Romps and a Good Rub Down Rev ImmunityAnother well-known stress buster, sex has also been shown to have immune-boosting effects when had regularly. A study done at Wilkes University found that those who had sex one to two times a week had elevated levels of IgA, while those who abstained or those who had sex more frequently had significantly lower concentrations of the protein in their system.Researchers were puzzled by the fact that having sex three or more times a week did not have the same positive effect on the immune system, but thought the evidence supported moderately frequent sexual activity as a way to boost levels of IgA by as much as 30 percent.Non-sexual touch also confers healthful benefits for a dampened immune system. Though getting a massage is often thought of as a good treatment for sore muscles or a bad back, researcher from the University of Miami School of Medicine finds that regular massage treatments boost immunity as well.Massage increases the activity level and number of the body’s natural “killer cells,” which fight off pathogens, and decreases the amount of cortisol (the stress hormone) in the blood.The Gold Standard — Don’t Leave Hand Washing BehindWhile some of the above tips may be particularly fun ways to ward off illness this flu season, doctors emphasize that these methods should only complement the standard flu-fighting efforts of vaccination, hand washing and dodging contamination.“When it comes to preventing colds and boosting the immune system, it is really important to know what is proven to be effective, what has no proof but isn’t dangerous and what has no proof and might be even harmful,” says Dr. Richard Besser, ABC News Chief Health and Medical editor. “Colds are caused by viruses and most are spread by contaminated hands. So … hand wash, hand wash, hand wash.”As for complementary methods, “as long as you don’t give up on keeping your hands clean and staying home when you are sick, go for it,” he adds.Given that seasonal flu vaccination is now recommended for everyone over the age of six months, Schaffner also urges patients to “run, don’t walk to the local pharmacy for vaccination” if they haven’t already.“Real flu is just now taking off around the country,” he says. “February is usually the flu’s biggest month, so I would remind people that it’s not too late to get vaccinated against influenza.”By COURTNEY HUTCHISON , ABC News Share HealthLifestyle 5 Flu Fixes: Sex, Gentle Blowing, Massages and More by: – November 22, 2012 Share 86 Views no discussions
Roseau market. Photo credit: Dominica WeeklyPersons caught buying agricultural produce from vendors outside the Roseau Market can be finned.Authorities say they are taken a zero tolerance policy on illegal vending in the City.Superintendent of the Roseau Market Julius Carbon said consumers will also be charged for purchasing items from these vendors.“If the persons were not buying, the vendors would not have been there and we need to remember that. A lot of time I go out there and I speak to the buyers and they know what they are doing is illegal.It’s not only the vendors, but those who chose to purchase from vendors are condoning and illegal activity ad they can be charged as well,” Carbon said. Dominica Vibes News LocalNews The illegal vending issue has taken a new twist. by: – April 7, 2011 Share Sharing is caring! Share Tweet 17 Views no discussions Share
LocalNews Dominican fishermen benefitting from filling stations by: – April 2, 2012 18 Views no discussions Parliamentary representative for the Portsmouth constituency Ian Douglas alongside Her Excellency Carmen Martinez de Grijalva with members of PDV Caribe, Portsmouth Fisheries Cooperative and other members of the diplomatic mission at the Portsmouth Filling Station last week.Dominican fishermen are said to be benefitting from five filling stations which were constructed by Petro Caribe under the ALBA Fund in various fishing communities.Sales and Marketing Leader at PDV Caribe Dominica Limited Ian Pinard reported during a diplomatic mission last week that five have been erected out of the 10 which were approved.“We realize that what we can do to make fishing easier for the fishermen is to build filling stations all over Dominica and we have now approved ten filling stations. Five of them are in use right now in Marigot, Sans Sauver, Fond St. Jean, Portsmouth and Roseau. One is now under construction in Scotts Head and four more will be erected”. He also reported that his organization is “very, very happy” with the completed filling stations as they have relieved the fishermen of travelling long distances for fuel. “We are very, very happy because so far the 5 filling stations are working very, very well. The fishermen are very happy because what they have realized now is that they don’t have to spend one day going 5, 10, even 30 miles to get fuel; the fuel is right next to them so when they are ready to fish they come, get their fuel and go out”. According to Pinard, his company also created a rebate system which they advise the fisheries cooperatives across the island to implement so that the fishermen can benefit from.The fuel is being sold to the fisheries cooperatives at wholesale price and then at retail price to the fishermen.That rebate system he explained will give every fisherman $0.50 on every gallon of fuel purchased. “We have made a recommendation to all the cooperatives that they can use this rebate to create a social security pension fund for the fishermen so that when they retire they can get benefits. If their equipments have problems they can use it to repair their equipment and also if they have problems in terms of their families they can also assist”.He said so far the cooperatives have implemented the fund and are also offering a bonus to their members at the end of the year.Meanwhile Parliamentary Representative for the Portsmouth Constituency Ian Douglas described the filling station project as “another example of the tangible benefits” stemming from the “friendly relations” which exists between the governments of Dominica and Venezuela.A relationship he said “is proving to be of benefit to the grassroots people of Dominica”. He explained that the newly created St John’s Fisherfolk Cooperative in Portsmouth, one of the largest on the island, “has been handed over to the fishermen and will empower the fishermen and make them masters of their own destiny”.He further stated that yachters who come to Portsmouth can source their fuel from the St. John’s Fisherfolk Cooperative and provide another source of income.Dominica Vibes News Sharing is caring! Tweet Share Share Share
Pulisic, 21, has made a good start to life at Stamford Bridge with six goals and six assists in 23 appearances – including a brilliant hat-trick against Burnley.And Chelsea have sorely missed his expertise on the wings as they cling to fourth in the table.However, Frank Lampard could be able to call upon Pulisic before the end of the month.The former Borussia Dortmund ace took to Instagram declaring he is close to full fitness.It is unlikely Pulisic will be ready to take on Everton this weekend.But fans will be hoping he can take to the pitch against Bayern Munich as Chelsea chase a three-goal deficit in their Champions League last-16 tie.Pulisic wrote on Instagram: “Very thankful for your support.“Working so hard and super close to a return.”#Football Christian Pulisic hands Frank Lampard huge injury boost as Chelsea midfielder says he is ‘super close’ to return https://t.co/OOU5rMh9df— Football News (@soccerMeraki) March 5, 2020Read Also: Abrahmovic never contacted me for Chelsea coaching job; MikelChelsea have been hit by a number of injuries this season.Ruben Loftus-Cheek, N’Golo Kante and Callum Hudson-Odoi are also out at the moment.And there are doubts over Mateo Kovacic and Willian after they both suffered problems in the 2-0 FA Cup fifth round win against Liverpool.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Christian Pulisic has given Chelsea a huge boost after claiming he is “super close” to a return from injury.Advertisement The USA star has been out since New Year’s Day with a groin injury. Loading… Promoted ContentWhich Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?Who Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?You’ve Only Seen Such Colorful Hairdos In A Handful Of Anime8 Amazing Facts About Ancient EgyptHere Are The Top 10 Tiniest Mobile Phones On The Planet!A Soviet Shot Put Thrower’s Record Hasn’t Been Beaten To This Day7 Worst Things To Do To Your Phone2020 Tattoo Trends: Here’s What You’ll See This Year7 Black Hole Facts That Will Change Your View Of The Universe10 Phones That Can Easily Fit In The Smallest PocketInsane 3D Spraying Skills Turn In Incredible Street Art7 Universities In The World Where Education Costs Too Much
When the Miami Heat failed to win last year’s NBA championship, several of their star players bolted. The main one, of course, was LeBron James who went back to the Cleveland Cavaliers. This has been a feel-good story for all of sports. Most writers feel that James’s relationship with northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball. No Cleveland pro team has won a championship in the past 50 years.With James the Cavaliers were expected to compete for a championship, especially after they added several players from other teams to help LeBron. So far, there have been two problems with this story. For the first part, it has taken these new players longer to gel than was expected. So, the Cavaliers did not jump out to a quick lead. The second drawback has been the injury to James’s balky knee. The team is 1 – 7 without LeBron playing.Nevertheless, we still have the second half of the season to go, and with James and the other additions, the Cavaliers are much more reliable, more likeable, and more human. Thy human part comes from LeBron spending a lot of time away from basketball doing charitable work in the entire Cleveland area.