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PLSA conference: No simple solution to UK defined benefit ills


first_imgThis “derisking nudge” is reinforced by other nudges, said Kupta, such as the belief that it is what the regulator wants, but he added that, overall, less investment risk only serves to “lock in the deficit and bake in a longer recovery period”.In the end, risk has just transferred from investment risk to covenant risk, he said.Defined benefit pension schemes are capable of bearing more investment risk, he added.On a different conference panel, Sorca Kelly-Scholte, head of the EMEA Pensions Solutions & Advisory at JP Morgan Asset Management, said deficit headlines were “at best distracting and at worst can drive poor investment decisions”.She said using a broader-based valuation framework than a Gilts-based one could help stabilise balance sheets.One of the remedial actions that the PLSA DB taskforce has proposed is consolidation, saying the current system – with nearly 6,000 DB schemes – is too fragmented.The reform in the local government pension scheme (LGPS), where the 89 funds are forming eight asset pools, was flagged as a possible model for the private sector DB sector.Tim Sharp, policy officer in the economics and social affairs department at trade union TUC, suggested investigating whether “we can replicate in private sector DB some of the work we’ve seen happening in local government pensions” as a means of achieving economies of scale.Different models would need to be explored to see how consolidation might be achievable, he said.It could involve merging schemes or the government’s taking a role in “ensuring schemes have access to large investment pools”.Gupta acknowledged asset consolidation as a possible way forward but said “the real win comes if you can also consolidate liabilities”.This, he added, “takes you down the route of benefit flexibility”.Reacting to the taskforce report in an e-mailed comment, Marcus Fink, pensions partner at Ashurt, said allowing schemes to pay less generous inflation rises could be a way forward as long as the power to do so was tightly controlled.“The DB framework is premised on safeguarding historic benefit entitlements and rightly so,” he said.“However, allowing some flexibility to alter the level of inflationary increases when pensions come into payments could mean the difference between a distressed company failing or securing a future for itself and its employees.”Janet Brown, partner at Sackers and a member of the PLSA DB Council, said the taskforce’s “diagnosis” showed that DB schemes were under pressure for a number of complex reasons.“Questions abound, and it may be that, while RPI/CPI gets a lot of attention, there are different solutions for different schemes,” she said.“All involved need to be prepared to think more widely about DB schemes, including in the context of the economy, in a given employer’s remuneration package – noting the tension with employees with DC benefits – as well as how the industry is regulated.” Deficit figures – “as big and scary as they may be” – are not a good guide to understanding the problems facing the UK defined benefit (DB) pensions sector, according to the chair of a taskforce created by the country’s pensions association to untie the “Gordian knot” of challenges in the system. Presenting the interim report of the taskforce yesterday at the annual conference of the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA), Ashok Gupta (pictured) said “the DB sector has a problem” but that it is “not a problem you can understand just by looking at deficit numbers – big and scary, and wildly fluctuating, as they may be”.A better starting point, he said, was to understand the risk that “really matters” – namely, the risk to members’ benefits. He later highlighted the volatility of scheme deficits as problematic in that a desire to reduce the volatility encourages sponsors to try to match assets and liabilities and to “take investment risk off the table”.last_img read more


Rivaldo urges Barcelona to focus on ending season


first_img Promoted Content7 Reasons Why You Might Want To Become A Vegetarian9 Facts You Should Know Before Getting A Tattoo10 Absolutely Unique Facts About KanyeBirds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For Them7 Universities In The World Where Education Costs Too MuchWhat Are The Most Delicious Foods Out There?11 Most Immersive Game To Play On Your Table TopCan You Recognize These Cute Celeb Baby Faces?The 10 Best Secondary Education Systems In The World10 Risky Jobs Some Women Do20 “The Big Bang Theory” Moments Only A Few Fans Knew About12 Iconic Actors Whose Careers Were Stunted By A Single Movie Rivaldo has urged Barcelona to shelve their market plans and focus on the season. Rivaldo gave his view on Kylian Mbappe. He recommends that Barcelona focus on the here and now and not on transfers. “The club should focus more on the present and on what is left to play in La Liga, there will be time later to talk about transfers,” said Rivaldo.Advertisement On the move for Juventus midfielder Pjanic, he said: “He seems a great player, the same as Arthur Melo, who would be a great signing for Juventus because he’s a world-class star. read also:Ronaldo reveals what he admires about long-time rival Messi “He should stay at Barca, he’s young and only arrived recently.” FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 center_img Loading… last_img read more


Clarke defends Baggies record


first_imgSteve Clarke has expressed “deep regret” at his sacking by West Brom, claiming he had “unfinished business” at the Hawthorns. In a statement released by the League Managers Association, Clarke said: “I believe I have unfinished business at West Bromwich Albion Football Club so it is with deep regret that I was relieved of duties as head coach last night. “I could not have been better prepared for my first job in management after over 14 years coaching experience learning from some of the great managers in the modern era. It was certainly a challenge to succeed Roy Hodgson, having been appointed England manager, after he successfully guided the club to a 10th place finish in 2011/12, after only securing their Barclays Premier League status the year before. “It goes without saying that I was extremely proud to have built on that achievement by securing the club’s highest ever finish in the Barclays Premier League and for over 30 years in the top flight by finishing eighth in 2012/13. “Going into this season expectations were high, perhaps unrealistically so, but with it still being only our fourth consecutive season in the top flight, our primary objective had to be establishing our status in the Barclays Premier League. I was, and remain convinced, that we were well placed to achieve this aim. “It has been an honour to manage this club and I would like to thank the staff who have assisted me in every possible way as well as the fans who have been tremendous throughout. Now, I wish everyone connected with the club the very best for the future.” The prospect of Di Matteo or Jol taking over has not gone down well with West Brom supporters’ club secretary Alan Cleverley. Di Matteo guided West Brom into the top flight in 2010 but was relieved of his duties in February 2011, while ex-Albion player Jol was recently dismissed as manager of Fulham. Cleverley told Press Association Sport: “If it’s Jol, it is someone else’s cast-off, while Di Matteo has done it before and wasn’t a great success in the Premier League with us. Baggies head coach Clarke was dismissed on Saturday following a 1-0 Barclays Premier League defeat at Cardiff, the midlands outfit’s fourth straight loss, with Roberto Di Matteo and Martin Jol the early favourites to succeed him. Scotsman Clarke had just one full season in charge after a coaching career spent working under the likes of Jose Mourinho and Sir Bobby Robson and felt he deserved more time. ”I haven’t seen a name yet where I think to myself ‘yes, that would be fine’.” After losing his job at West Brom, Di Matteo had a spell in charge at Chelsea that lasted from March to November 2012, during which the Blues won the Champions League and the FA Cup. When it was put to him that Di Matteo had enjoyed considerable success since his stint with Albion, Cleverley said: ”He has, but I wonder why nobody else has gone for him since then? ”He might be favourite, but that one would surprise me more than anything.” Also being tipped as contenders are the likes of Molde boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, former Schalke manager Ralf Rangnick and Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes, another ex-West Brom player. Asked about Solskjaer – who, like Clarke was at West Brom, is in his first senior managerial job – Cleverley said: ”I wouldn’t want an inexperienced manager coming in. ”Derek McInnes could be interesting. But I’d really like someone who has managed at a high level, even if he comes in from abroad. ”If you are trying someone out at this level you might as well stay with Steve Clarke, because if they are new to it they could make a few mistakes and before you know it you are bottom of the league. ”If you get someone who has managed in the top leagues abroad they are going to be used to the pressure.” Clarke departed with West Brom 16th in the table, two points above the relegation zone and having won only seven of their 34 top-flight matches in 2013. The 50-year-old Scot – under whom Albion achieved their highest-ever Premier League finish of eighth last term – was appointed as their boss in the summer of 2012. His deal with the club was due to run out at the end of this season and only late last month West Brom announced they planned to hold contract talks with him in the new year. Cleverley said: ”Personally, I would have given him a little bit longer, but coming back from Cardiff on Saturday I would have said the coach was split about 50-50 on that. ”Some were for sacking him straight away. It really is a mixed one. ”I would have certainly seen it through to the end of the calendar year. ”It is not like we’re adrift at the bottom, and the guy took us to eighth last year, which is overachieving.” West Brom defender Steven Reid said the news of Clarke’s dismissal had created a sense of “complete shock” in the Albion dressing room, and that the players had to take responsibility for the way results had gone. Reid told the BBC’s Match of the Day 2 Extra: “The first half of last season, especially, showed what we are capable of. “To have such a disappointing 2013 – us as players have got to take responsibility for that. “It’s the same squad, if not stronger now, so we are really disappointed in how it has gone.” He added: “We are in one of those runs we are finding it difficult to get out of, but with the squad we’ve got, and the experience and the quality we have in the dressing room, we are more than confident we can get out of it. “If the manager goes, you look at yourself and whether you could have done any more as a squad. The first person you have got to look at is yourself and not the manager.” Baggies assistant Kevin Keen was placed on gardening leave at the same time as Clarke, and joint-assistant head coach Keith Downing will assume control of first-team affairs while the club search for a new permanent boss. Press Associationlast_img read more