Taha Lokhandwala considers how the new rules around DC decumulation might pan out in futureIn the midst of a quiet bank holiday in the UK, the defined contribution (DC) pensions market awoke on Monday to see itself in a new light. Last year, chancellor George Osborne famously bellowed from the House of Commons dispatch box that no one would have to buy an annuity and in one fell swoop changed the way the British looked at DC pensions decumulation, and pensions in general.As the clocks turned 0900 this morning, DC pension providers could have been inundated, as they recently predicted, with calls from those over 55 wanting to access their pension savings and run riot over the notion that pensions savings should eventually become retirement income. We shall learn down the line whether they were inundated or not. But it leads to an interesting discussion. Whether you agree with the reforms or not, they are here. What happens henceforth is what is important – whether you believe in ‘paternalism’ or liberalism, market forces or intervention. The gates of pensions freedoms have been opened, and it is likely savers will come flooding through.So, what next? No one really knows. No one has been able to predict how savers will react. The pensions minister Steve Webb spent his Easter weekend entreating savers not to wake up today and splurge their savings before even considering retirement. Webb, true to his Liberal Democrat colours, stands by the view that savers should have the right to do so – and this, really, is the core matter. Liberalism always comes at a cost, and that cost is bad decisions – sometimes bad decisions created by coercion. The policy of forcing people to buy an annuity is based on the notion that they cannot be trusted to make the ‘right’ decisions. This government argues that only the people themselves know what is right.The abandonment of the so-called nanny state in pensions, however, exposes savers to a new and potentially bigger predator – the pensions and insurance industry. With freedom and choice to select retirement solutions comes just that – choice. The UK industry is already complex enough to the general public, with splits among defined benefit and DC, trust-based options and insurance contract-based arrangements. It’s complex enough to see pensions saving continuously fall until state intervention in the form of auto-enrolment. Adding choices, while giving people freedom, merely increases complexity, not to mention opportunistic sales tactics from shareholder-bound, return-driven firms.To its credit, the government has provided free guidance, but the question of whether enough resource and emphasis on this guidance has been provided is debatable, as the entire policy hinges on the ability of a saver to select the right product, at the right time and at the right price.The policy is difficult to argue against and, more important, difficult to redact. Freedoms are popular. Webb himself, in a debate with his opposite number in the Labour Party, said the polls spoke for themselves. However, there is the bigger concern. Liberalism, even with its costs, can be welcomed, but one should always look at the motives. The freedom to spend one’s DC savings is one of the biggest, and certainly most popular, policies of this government – and it comes into force weeks before a general election. Short-term electioneering over long-term concerns for the electorate? Perhaps.The next government, whatever its form, has much to contemplate. More intervention to fix its freedoms? Rules around targeting customers? Cost caps for new products? Extending the freedoms to those already with annuities? All of these have been discussed. Momentum behind the notion of having a default decumulation option is building. The idea is to help those who just do not know what to do while still providing freedoms to those who want to exercise them. MPs scrutinising pensions policy, the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF), the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) and a think tank all support this idea. However, the current pensions minister is strongly against it.After much talk over the last 13 months, the day has arrived. Pension providers opened themselves up to a raft of enquiries this morning. The reforms can help create a more active, fluid and beneficial pensions industry where people get out of it what they desire. But only time will tell if freedom and choice was truly the right way, or whether the UK government merely replaced a nanny with a shark.
WE RECOMMEND 11 months ago PKL 2019: Top four raiders in Pro Kabaddi League 2019 so far SUBSCRIBE TO US Written By First Published: 30th September, 2019 14:53 IST WATCH US LIVE The top spot of PKL will be up for grabs when Bengal Warriors will face Dabang Delhi in the 116th match of ongoing Pro Kabaddi League at the Tau Devilal Sports Complex in Panchkula. Bengal are currently in the second spot of the points table with 73 points from 19 games. They will hope to keep their winning streak alive when they face the defending champions. Bengal Warriors skipper Maninder Singh and Sukesh Hegde have shown a good performance throughout the season. However, K Prapanjan and Esmaeil Nabibakhsh have to step up their game. The defence department, on the other hand, has to be extra careful as Delhi’s raiders have a habit of picking up touchpoints. Baldev Singh and Rinku Narwal both have shown some solid tackling skills in the past and Jeeva Kumar’s support will be crucial at the game.Also Read l PKL: Top five raiders in the history of Vivo Pro Kabaddi LeagueDabang Delhi was on a roll in their last match as they picked up 34 raid points against Puneri Paltan. Their star raider Naveen Kumar picked 19 raid points, who now has 17 Super 10s to his name. However, credits should also be given to Chandran Ranjit who helped Delhi win that match. The duo of Ravinder Pahal and Anil Kumar also shined in the match as they claimed scored six, three points respectively. The team will arrive in Panchkula to save their top spot of PKL.Also Read l PKL | Bengal Warriors vs Dabang Delhi KC: Match preview and team newsWhen and where is the match?Bengal Warriors vs Dabang Delhi is on Monday, September 30, 2019. The match will be played at the Tau Devilal Sports Complex in Panchkula.Also Read l PKL 2019: Haryana Steelers qualify for playoffs with a stellar winWhere to watch Bengal Warriors vs Dabang Delhi?Bengal Warriors vs Dabang Delhi will be broadcast on the Star Sports network. You can also watch the live streaming of the match on Hotstar.Bengal Warriors vs Dabang Delhi match timeThe match between Bengal Warriors and Dabang Delhi is scheduled to start at 7:30 pm IST on Monday.Also Read l PKL | TAM vs GUJ: Thalaivas vs Fortunegiants match prediction LIVE TV Last Updated: 30th September, 2019 14:53 IST PKL: Bengal Warriors Vs Dabang Delhi Live Streaming And Schedule The top spot of PKL will be up for grabs when Bengal Warriors will face Dabang Delhi in the 116th match of ongoing Pro Kabaddi League at the Tau Devilal Sports. Adil Khan FOLLOW US COMMENT
The management of the Premier Milling Company, producers of wheat flour on the Liberian market plans to increase its production capacity to the Mano River sub-region.Making the disclosure over the weekend in Monrovia, Mr. Elie Saleeby, President of the company, said the expansion is aimed at meeting the demands of the Mano River Union countries with the hope of supplying wheat flour beyond the West African regional market.“We have to erase the notion that Liberians cannot export especially wheat flour to other countries in the sub-region,” Mr. Saleeby asserted.Saleeby, a former Minister of Finance, said the expansion will not only ensure that Liberia is reemerging in the regional market but also maximize its production capacity and create more job opportunities for ordinary Liberians.Mr. Saleeby named poor infrastructure, bad roads, poor human resource and electricity supply as some of the challenges that are impeding the supply of wheat flour to rural communities.“Infrastructure conditions are so terrible and as such, one cannot easily access land transport to rural communities across the country,” Mr. Saleeby indicated.He also claimed that local workers, water and sewer are some challenges the company is faced with.“Electricity is unreliable and very costly, so we have to rely on power generation from 750 kva Caterpillar engines for electricity supply,” Mr. Saleeby emphasized.He further disclosed that presently the company has two Chinese technicians who are training Liberians to take over from them when their time of service expires.Mr. Saleeby, who did not reveal the cost of new mill, said everything has been put into place to facilitate the construction of the facility in a location different from the company’s original site.“The mill, when completed, will provide animal feed for livestock, including feed for fish that will be mixed with sea shells to provide calcium which is good for human bone tissues,” Mr. Saleeby noted.“Our workforce, including laborers, has significantly increased up to 125 persons,” he added.He dispelled rumors that the location of the current flour mill is not environmentally conducive for the production of flour for consumption because of its proximity to the CEMENCO cement factory.Mr. Saleeby said that before the facility was constructed, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) together with an environmental consultant conducted a feasibility study. “The EPA was involved in the process leading to the establishment of the mill,” Mr. Saleeby maintained.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)