​IORP II impact assessment lacking evidence, says European watchdog

first_imgThe European Commission’s impact assessment of the revised IORP Directive has been slammed for lacking balance and evidence, while failing to identify all “reasonable” options for reforming Europe’s pensions sector.The report, prepared by the Ex-Ante Impact Assessment Unit, the European Parliament’s department responsible for scrutinising the Commission’s proposals, said the executive’s initial impact assessment (IA) from 2013 examined only an artificial range of options, negatively affecting the depth of the analysis undertaken.While accepting the IA quoted from a range of sources, it criticised that three of the charts included were based on data provided by a single company and was therefore “lacking the necessary balance”.“Generally speaking, the IA does not seem to identify all reasonable options for addressing the problems,” the report continued. It noted that many areas targeted for reform under IORP II could conceivably be tackled in a different manner – such as allowing pension funds to employ an external auditor rather than insisting schemes build up an internal audit function.“Only in one case – for the safe-keeping and oversight of assets functions and the appointment of a depository – are two alternatives presented and, on the face of it, policymakers are given a tool to choose among competing actions,” it said.Prepared for the Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON), the report remained diplomatic and praised the IA for attempting to tackle “in a logical way some real problems”.“However, the evidence corroborating some statements of the IA is lacking,” it added.“Furthermore, the framing and analysis of the options is rather artificial.”It also said it was “perhaps significant” that the two countries with the largest defined benefit markets – the Netherlands and UK – had raised concerns over the suitability of the Commission’s attempt to regulate a matter best left to member states.“Finally, it should be noted that the Commission appears to have adopted the proposal for this recast Directive without a positive opinion of the Commission’s Impact Assessment Board on the accompanying IA, despite its internal rule that such an opinion is, in principle, necessary before adoption,” it said.The Directive, published in spring this year, has undergone a number of revisions under the Italian presidency of the Council of the EU.Most recently, a compromise draft attempted to strip the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) of its ability to set the standards behind the proposed risk-evaluation for pensions.last_img read more

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Lancashire shuffles management team for LPFA partnership

first_imgMike Jenson continues in his role as CIO of the pension fund and will take this forward developing the fund’s liability-management strategies. Trevor Castledine has been promoted to deputy CIO after previously being a portfolio manager in the in-house asset management team.Andrew Fox becomes head of policy and compliance, in charge of the new overall strategy and governance, shifting away from his previous investment compliance focus, while Diane Lister remains head of the LCPF’s in-house and third-party administration offering.Chief executive of Lancashire County Council, Jo Turton, said the pension fund deserved a dedicated senior management team.“The LCPF provides retirement security for over 150,000 scheme members working for over 270 different organisations,” she said. “It deserves to receive dedicated senior management attention and focus.“The new team will be able to successfully lead the fund into the more complex and collaborative future that faces the LGPS and continue to place Lancashire at the forefront of innovation.”The Lancashire and London funds announced their liability-management merger in December.The Department for Communities and Local Government is shortly expected to announce its decision on whether to force the 89 LGPS funds in England and Wales to invest all assets through two collective investment vehicles – amid a push to encourage collaboration among the separated funds.Lancashire’s neighbour, the Greater Manchester Pension Fund (GMPF), also announced collaboration with the LPFA, creating a £500m infrastructure investment fund outside of government plans.For more on the LCPF’s ALM partnership and future investment strategy, read Carlo Svaluto Moreolo’s interview with CIO Mike Jenson The Lancashire County Pension Fund (LCPF) has appointed its management team as the scheme becomes an independent entity in preparation for its partnership with a London fund.For the first time, the LCPF will be recognised as an entirely separate organisation to Lancashire County Council, a local government organisation in Northwest England.The £5.3bn (€7.1bn) LCPF is to create an asset-liability management (ALM) partnership with the £4.9bn London Pensions Fund Authority (LPFA), which will see the local government pension schemes (LGPS) pool investments and management to reduce costs.George Graham will head the fund as director at the LCPF, having previously been the council’s deputy treasurer, where he managed governance and compliance.last_img read more

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Daimler transfers €1.8bn Renault/Nissan stake to pension fund

first_img“Regardless of the share transfer, we will continue the successful strategic alliance with the Renault-Nissan Alliance,” he said.Bodo Uebber, Daimler’s management board member responsible for finance and controlling and financial services, said the transaction improved the funding level of pension obligations significantly, by around 6%, with no effect on cash flow. “In addition, the company value will further benefit from a better interest result and a higher equity ratio of the industrial business,” he said.Zetsche referred to the start of Daimler’s joint production with Nissan of its new premium compact cars in Mexico as “one of the major milestones” in the cooperation between the car manufacturers.Daimler said the shares in Renault/Nissan, valued at €1.8bn and representing a 3.1% stake in the carmaker, were being transferred to the pension assets of Daimler AG.The transfer will result in a one-off positive impact to Daimler’s 2016 EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) of around €500m, the company said.Daimler said the funding level of the pension obligations was falling due to the persistently low interest-rate environment. In December 2015, Daimler announced that it was making an extraordinary pension contribution of €1bn to the German pension fund, and the previous December it said it was contributing an extra €2.5bn to the fund.Daimler and the Renault-Nissan Alliance – a partnership between France’s Renault and Japan’s Nissan – began working together in April 2010 and made an equity exchange as part of their strategic collaboration, giving the Renault-Nissan Alliance a 3.1% stake in Daimler and Daimler a combined 3.1% interest in Renault and Nissan.Last year, companies on Germany’s DAX stock exchange made around €10bn in pension fund contributions in 2015, according to research by Willis Towers Watson, an amount roughly the same as 2014 contributions.Of this, the largest contribution had been Daimler’s €1.9bn, increasing its funding level by 1,200 basis points to 71%, the research showed. Germany’s Daimler has moved to increase the funding level of its employee pension scheme by 6% by transferring its strategic holding in Renault/Nissan valued at around €1.8bn.In recent years, the company has topped up its German pension fund by large amounts but in cash rather in shares.Dieter Zetsche, chairman of Daimler’s management board and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, said: “With this contribution, we are again reinforcing our pension assets.”He said the company’s aim was to safeguard employees’ pension benefits for the long term. last_img read more

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AP7 faces risk probe as Sweden lifts pension age

first_imgWithin government, Bolund is responsible for the AP national pensions buffer funds and the PPM.The main points of the agreement – aside from the PPM reform – were an increase in the basic state guaranteed pension, with an extra amount for pensions in the “toughest” circumstances, and increases in the state pension age for the general and guaranteed pension.Other points agreed include a pledge to improve working life in Sweden to make it more equal, sustainable, flexible and modern; a review of the deduction rules for occupational pensions; measures to make pensions more equal between men and women, and the adoption of modernised investment rules for the AP funds, which have already been published. Annika Strandhäll, chair of the Pensions GroupThe minimum age to receive the income-based general state pension will rise to 62 from 61 in 2019; to 63 in 2023 and to 64 in 2026, according to the pact.For the means-tested guaranteed pension, the age will rise to 66 from 65 in 2023, and then in 2026 it will increase in line with average life expectancy.The Pensions Group said, that as the default provider in the premium pension system, AP7 was responsible for providing cost-effective, safe and stable pensions throughout working life without the need for knowledge on the part of savers, or for them to make active choices.“The objective is a return that exceeds the income index over the long term,” the group said. “The risk level in the default option should be investigated to ensure it is reasonable.”Turning to the long-debated problems that have surfaced recently over fraudulent providers in the PPM’s fund marketplace, the group agreed that savers capital would in future be invested in secure, controlled and professionally-procured funds.The Swedish state would assume more responsibility for any presence of rogue players in the system, the Pensions Group agreed.A 30-point programme is to be introduced by Sweden’s Pension Authority, which oversees the PPM, alongside sustainability requirements for all funds in the marketplace, according to the agreement. As a result, the number of funds would “decrease considerably compared with today”, the group said.As things stand, there are more than 850 funds offered through the PPM fund marketplace platform. Sweden’s cross-party Pensions Group has published its long-awaited pensions reform in a landmark agreement aimed at bringing the country’s proudly-owned 20-year-old system up-to-date and solving problems that have come to light in the past few years.As well as raising the state pension age, the politicians pledged to put the risk level of AP7’s default option in the Premium Pension System (PPM) under scrutiny.The number of funds in the PPM’s fund marketplace were to be reduced “considerably”, the group agreed.In a joint statement, Annika Strandhäll, chair of the Pensions Group, and Per Bolund, minister for financial markets, said: “We are all in agreement and are now taking a holistic approach and renewing the Swedish pension system to raise pensions and increase the security for both pensioners of today and for the future.”last_img read more

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Leppälä appointed to EC high level pensions expert group

first_imgMatti Leppälä, secretary general of PensionsEurope, has been appointed to a new group of pensions experts established by the European Commission.The group’s job will be to provide policy advice and prepare a report “on matters related to ways of improving the provision, safety through prudential rules, intergenerational balance, adequacy and sustainability of supplementary pensions”, the Commission said, particularly relating to “the adequacy of old age incomes and the development of the [EU’s] pension market”.The group would also contribute to the public debate on pensions and “promote the exchange of best practices and mutual learning in member states in relation to the promotion of supplementary pensions, on a cross-border basis”, according to PensionsEurope.Leppälä – who has led PensionsEurope as CEO since 2011 – said: “The group will need to look at innovative ways for further developing and strengthening workplace and personal pensions across Europe and I am confident that concrete results will be achieved. Matti Leppälä, PensionsEurope“It will be important to not only set high-level policy recommendation, but to look at what can concretely be done.”The other members of the group had not been disclosed by the Commission at the time of writing. It previously indicated the group would be composed of up to 10 members, including academics and individuals appointed to represent a common interest among stakeholders, in particular beneficiaries and pension institutions or their associations.The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) and EU-level employer organisations and trade unions were to nominate one representative each.The group’s mandate starts this month and runs for 18 months.Leppälä’s take-up of the role on the Commission’s pensions expert group coincides with his leaving EIOPA’s stakeholder group on occupational pensions after serving the maximum two terms.The launch of the expert group comes as the Commission’s proposal for a pan-European personal pension product is making its way through the EU legislative process with a view to a compromise proposal being agreed in September.last_img read more

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LAPFF chair Ian Greenwood dies

first_imgSource: Bradford CouncilIan Greenwood“He truly believed and demonstrated by his leadership that ensuring ordinary people working in public sector jobs serving their communities get to live out their retirement years with security and dignity is a noble cause, and he brought great energy and significant personal commitment to that purpose.“As Northern Pool chairman at a time of significant change, Ian was instrumental in putting in place simple but effective democratic structures that ensured we continue to deliver low costs and good investment returns for the funds’ members and taxpayers alike.“He will be greatly missed by everyone who had the privilege of knowing him, and we send our deepest condolences to his family and friends.”Kersten England, chief executive of Bradford Council, said in a statement: “Many, many people in the council, the pension fund and across the district in our communities, public services and businesses have worked with Ian over the years and will be sharing a huge sense of loss today.“Ian worked tirelessly on behalf of Bradford bringing a unique and irreplaceable wealth of experience, wisdom and insight to his work.”David Murphy, chief executive of Northern Ireland’s £7.8bn public sector fund, said the LGPS had “lost one of its most active and vocal ambassadors”.Greenwood worked in local politics for more than 30 years, and was awarded an OBE for services to local government in 2013.Imran Hussain, member of parliament for Bradford East, said Greenwood had worked “tirelessly” for the local community. Ian Greenwood, chair of the UK’s Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF), has died, Bradford Council announced.Greenwood was also vice chair – and formerly chair – of the £13.9bn (€16bn) West Yorkshire Pension Fund, one of the largest funds in the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) system. He also chaired the Northern Pool , the collaborative project between the West Yorkshire, Greater Manchester and Merseyside funds, and was twice leader of Bradford Council.Greenwood was elected chair of LAPFF in July, succeeding Kieran Quinn , who died in December 2017. He previously chaired the forum from 2008 to 2013.On its website, the organisation expressed “deep shock and sadness” at Greenwood’s death. In a joint statement, Northern Pool vice-chairs Paul Doughty and Brenda Warrington said: “Ian was an inspirational and visionary leader whose knowledge and experience of local government pension schemes was invaluable.last_img read more

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Old photos show how homes have changed

first_imgThe living space in one of the earlier AVJennings house designs.Historical photographs from one of Australia’s oldest residential developers show just how far home design has come over the decades.To mark the induction of its founder, Sir Albert Victor Jennings, into the Australian Property Hall of Fame last week, the company has opened its archives, revealing how trends and technology have changed how we live.Sir Albert, or AV, launched the company during the Great Depression, mortgaging and later selling his own home for his first build.He went on to launch Australia’s first display home, and was behind the introduction of curved roads and cul-de-sacs in housing estates. However, it was the house designs that really changed, with block sizes shrinking significantly over the decades. But where back yards have been shrinking, company records show that interiors have been increasing. Average house sizes have grown by about 25-30sq m every decade. THEN: A model of a 1948 AVJennings home. NOW: The kitchen is no longer tucked away, taking a prominent spot in open plan homes.But Mr Baker, who has worked in the industry for three decades, said the seamless flow between indoor and outdoor spaces was the biggest gamechanger. THEN: A ‘modern kitchen’ inside a 1950’s AVJennings home.The 1960s kitchen depicts an island-style bench – a key item on most buyers’ wishlists today. Mr Baker said the linoleum floor, however, would likely be ripped up to expose the hardwood floors – a luxury feature in new homes today. NOW: The spacious and light kitchen in one of the homes at the AVJennings Kersley Lane community in Kenmore.center_img NOW: Kersley Lane by AVJennings is a townhouse development. Townhouses are springing up across the southeast, with many developers jumping on infill sites close to the city.AVJennings national design manager Richard Baker said the changes were “all relative”, and reflected the availability of land and the needs and finances of the buyer.“Some of the photographs appear to be from the austere fifties,” he said. “People had come out of two wars, the Depression, and extravagant adornments were considered, by many, to be unnecessary.”More from newsNew apartments released at idyllic retirement community Samford Grove Presented by Parks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus18 hours agoOne of the images depicts a “modern kitchen” in a 1950s home. There is no sign of a butlers pantry, stone top island bench or fancy splashback. Mr Baker said that particular kitchen would likely have been found in a middle class home.“Back then, the kitchen was tucked away, out of sight, and used only for food preparation,” he said. “Today, the kitchen is the heart of the home. They are still functional but they have become a statement piece.”He noted that the butlers pantry was not unlike the kitchens of the past, saying they had become “like a hidden sub-kitchen within the statement kitchen”. THEN: The kitchen space in one of the earlier AVJennings house designs in the sixties shows the emergence of the breakfast bar/island bench.The 1950/60’s living room (bottom left) was anything but spacious. “Back then, homes would have had very clear lounge, dining and kitchen spaces,” Mr Baker said.“Construction costs, heating and cooling, would have been factors, but also the Aussie home evolved from that British colonial style.“It really wasn’t until the late eighties or early nineties that we saw the move towards extra living spaces, rumpus rooms, media rooms, and extra dining spaces. I remember the ensuite being a luxury when I was a kid but now it is a requirement.” NOW: Home designs now focus on seamless flow from the indoors to the outdoors.“It is surprising, really, that it has taken us as long as it has (to open up our homes to the great outdoors),” he said.“In these early photographs, there was probably a single door with a flyscreen … now it’s double sliding doors or stackers leading to alfresco dining and outdoor living spaces.” AVJennings has seven new communities in Queensland – Creekwood, Enclave, Essington Rise, Kersley Lane, Parkside, Riverton and Villaggio.last_img read more

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Sunnybank Hills property nets $500k above suburb median

first_imgThe property at 47 Callendar St, Sunnybanks Hills, sold for $1.195 million.THIS modern two-level house at Sunnybank Hills sold for more than $500,000 over the suburb median.Although the 47 Callendar St home passed in at auction, it still received at least four offers, before the house sold for $1.195 million. A room perfect for booklovers.The home was on a 986sq m block, and was only two years old, a factor that attracted about 50 groups to inspect at open homes.Mr Leong said the market in Sunnybank Hills was “patchy” and buyers weren’t afraid to use that to their advantage. The living spaces are open plan.“Buyers I feel know that, so they’re playing the game,” he said.“They’re making an offer, and if it’s not expected, they move on to the next property.“There’s no mucking around at the moment.” Inside 47 Callendar St, Sunnybanks Hills.According to CoreLogic data, the median house sale price in Sunnybank Hills was $684,000.LJ Hooker Sunnybanks Hills agent Ben Leong said the new owners were a young family with children.“They liked that it was new and close to their kids’ school at MacGregor,” Mr Leong said.More from newsCrowd expected as mega estate goes under the hammer7 Aug 2020Hard work, resourcefulness and $17k bring old Ipswich home back to life20 Apr 2020“They also liked the size of the land and the potential for a swimming pool, as that was something they really wanted.” Outside is a tranquil garden.Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:57Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:57 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD432p432p216p216p180p180pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenAndrew Winter: How to sell in a changing market 00:58last_img read more

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Cassar-Daley farm sells for a steal

first_imgThe farm sold for $550,000A local couple has snapped up the Cassar-Daley family farm escape for a bargain, paying $80,000 less than the country crooner and his presenter wife.The Courier Mail can reveal that the riverfront country home of Troy Cassar-Daley and Laurel Edwards sold for $550,000, according to CoreLogic. At the time, Ray White Ipswich agent Jackson Wales said the successful party was a young local couple, who he described as “awesome, laid-back, typical Aussies.”“They are keen to use it for farming and maybe rent the house out to friends who are moving down from the north,” he said.Prior to the auction, Cassar-Daley said his family had many fond memories at the farm.“It’s that time of our lives where we have two adult kids and we have to move on to the next part of our lives that doesn’t involve riding and caring for horses or slashing paddocks,” he said. MORE REAL ESTATE NEWS More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus13 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market13 hours agoThe farm at 142 Fielding Rd, VernorThe homestead has four bedrooms, two bathrooms and parking for six vehicles.It has landscaped gardens and stunning river views, a country-style kitchen plus a number of living areas. RELATED: Country music star’s farm ‘escape’ under offer There is also a huge powered shed, two main paddocks, cattle yards and multiple day shelters, a water allocation from the Brisbane River, town and tank water.The property went to auction on March 29 but was passed in, with an offer secured the following day. CMC AWARDS Troy Cassar-Daley and Laurel Edwards .Picture Mike BatterhamProperty records show that the couple bought the lifestyle property for $630,000 in 2007.Known as Carinya, the homestead featured in Cassar-Daley’s hit song, I Love This Place.The lifestyle property at Vernor spans 4.1 hectares. last_img read more

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Hamptons beach house ticks all the boxes

first_img 28 Wyuna Rd, Tweed Heads West. 28 Wyuna Rd, Tweed Heads West. 28 Wyuna Rd, Tweed Heads West.STYLE, sophistication and functionality.Welcome to White on Wyuna – a luxurious three-bedroom Hamptons-style home on the waterfront in Tweed Heads West. Vendor Jade Golar knocked down the original residence to make way for his dream house.He said he had a clear vision from the start but conceded the house turned out better than expected.“I wanted a cross between a beach home and a Hamptons home and wanted elements of those two styles tied together,” he said.“The house is designed around entertaining, cooking, pool days, boating, wakeboarding and fishing.” 28 Wyuna Rd, Tweed Heads West. 28 Wyuna Rd, Tweed Heads West. 28 Wyuna Rd, Tweed Heads West. ON THE MARKETcenter_img The residence features traditional Hamptons styling including crisp white paint, weatherboard cladding, plantation shutters and natural light.More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa8 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag1 day agoThe two-level home offers plenty of different living areas – the ground floor, including a bar and wine cellar, opens via bi-fold doors to the sparkling pool and Terranora Creek while the second level, including a saltwater aquarium and open-plan kitchen, dining and living area, opens to a deck overlooking the pool. Address: 28 Wyuna Rd, Tweed Heads West Agent: Ben Tribolet, LJ Hooker Palm Beach – Coolangatta – TweedFeatures: Bose sound system, boat shed, poolside deck, aquarium, outdoor shower Area: 607sq m Auction: February 2, noon, on-site MORE NEWS: Top three houses for sale on the Gold Coast with tennis courts MORE NEWS: Gold Coast’s most popular property sells in multimillion-dollar deallast_img read more

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