UK roundup: LGPS returns, Milk Pension Fund, 3i pension buy-in

first_imgLocal government pension schemes (LGPS) generated an average investment return of 21.4% in the 12 months to the end of March, according to Pensions & Investment Research Consultants (PIRC).PIRC’s sample of 60 local authority pension funds – out of 89 in England and Wales – recorded a five-year annual average return of 10.7%. Over 20 years, the average annual gain was 7.4%.Karen Thrumble, head of performance services at PIRC, said: “The strong performance has been driven by the excellent results from equities which returned almost 30% for the year. The outperformance of benchmark indices by alternative assets was the key driver in the unusual statistic that more than three quarters of funds managed to outperform their benchmarks in the latest year.”Thrumble added that LGPS assets were “in good health”.Employer withdraws from Milk Pension FundNational Milk Records (NMR), a service provider for UK dairy farmers, is exiting the Milk Pension Fund, the industry-wide scheme for the milk and dairy industry.As part of the “flexible apportionment arrangement”, NMR will pay just over £10m (€11.4m) to the fund to cover some of its liabilities.The company will also pay £4.7m in cash and NMR shares to Genus, a genetics company and another member of the Milk Pension Fund, to take on other aspects of its pension liabilities. NMR also plans to sell a subsidiary company to Genus.In a statement to the stock exchange this morning, NMR chairman Philip Kirkham said: “Our liabilities to the Milk Pension Fund have been a key issue for the company, restricting its ability to attract new investment. We believe that withdrawal from the fund will facilitate growth, enabling NMR to focus on its cash-generative core business and rebuild its historic strong balance sheet. Furthermore, it will give shareholders and potential investors in the company greater clarity as to the group’s underlying performance, while freeing up valuable resources and management time.”NMR paid £2.7m into the scheme in the five years to 31 March 2016, the company said, and is expected to pay £10.2m in the next nine years. Shareholders will be asked to approve the withdrawal at a meeting later this month.DB deficits hold steady in MayAcross all private sector defined benefit (DB) schemes the shortfall edged slightly higher to £183bn, up from £182bn in April, according to JLT Employee Benefits.A separate estimate from PwC using its Skyval DB index recorded a fall in the aggregate UK deficit to £510bn. However, adjusting for new life expectancy data, the deficit was an estimated £210bn.Charles Cowling, director at JLT employee benefits, said addressing DB shortfalls would continue to be the “single biggest headache” for many companies.The Pensions Regulator recently warned companies to ensure a fair balance between payments to DB schemes and to shareholders, while a proposed change to accounting rules could see companies forced to disclose more information about their pension liabilities on their balance sheets. 3i Group seals £200m buy-inPrivate equity giant 3i Group has agreed a £200m buy-in for its DB scheme with Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC).The transaction covered roughly 40% of the scheme’s liabilities for pensions in payment, according to a statement from PIC. Carol Woodley, chair of trustees for the scheme, said: “The [pension scheme] has been de-risking for a number of years, primarily by moving our asset mix to favour index-linked gilts.“We are very pleased to have been able to complete this logical next step in our long-term de-risking programme. PIC demonstrated significant expertise while helping us to manage a complex project and ultimately deliver the transaction we required.”Michelle Wright, partner at LCP and lead adviser on the deal, said it was “an excellent example of the attractive pricing that persists in the market for well-prepared pension plans”.Scottish National Party supports state pension ‘triple lock’Scotland’s main political party has pledged support for the ‘triple lock’ on the UK’s state pension in its general election manifesto.The Scottish National Party (SNP) said it would maintain the policy, introduced in 2010, which guarantees that payments will increase by the level of inflation, average earnings, or 2.5%, whichever is highest.The party also voiced its opposition to increasing the age at which people can claim the state pension beyond 66.“We will support the establishment of an Independent Savings and Pension Commission, to ensure pensions and savings policies are fit for purpose,” the manifesto said. “The remit of the commission should include consideration of the specific demographic needs of different parts of the UK in relation to [the] state pension age.”The SNP also backed plans to extend auto-enrolment to include lower-paid workers and self-employed people are covered. The Conservative Party, predicted to win an overall majority of read more

Syracuse records 15 steals in 65-49 win over Jacksonville

first_img Published on December 21, 2015 at 10:05 pm Contact Connor: [email protected] | @connorgrossman Facebook Twitter Google+ With the game already in hand, Cornelia Fondren pressed up against Jacksonville forward Briona Brown as she dribbled the ball past half court.Fondren extended her arms out wide to play defense as Brown froze. She tried passing to her right, but Fondren’s left hand nicked the ball away and set off a foot race. The Syracuse guard swooped up the ball off the ground to notch her fifth steal of the game and was fouled before reaching the basket.She sank both free throws to extend the Orange’s lead to 65-44 with under two minutes to play, and recorded the last of SU’s 15 steals against the Dolphins.Syracuse (7-3) beat Jacksonville (6-6), 65-49, and reestablished its aggressive defensive style to generate more offense on Monday night in the Carrier Dome. The Orange was hamstrung in its last game, scoring a season-low 54 points against Arizona State and recording just six points off fast breaks.Because of plays like Fondren’s near the end of the game, SU caused 26 turnovers and scored 14 of its points on fast breaks. Fondren led the Orange in steals, but Brittney Sykes, Briana Day and Julia Chandler all recorded multiple takeaways.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textGoing into Monday’s game, SU led the Atlantic Coast Conference with an average of 13 steals per game through nine contests this season.But Syracuse leaned on the long ball to initially build up a cushion on the scoreboard. All five of SU’s shots from behind the arc swished through the net in the first quarter, including all three of Brianna Butler’s tries.The Orange’s perimeter-heavy offense only netted six 3s against the Sun Devils nine days prior.Senior guard Maggie Morrison kept SU’s hot streak going by sinking an open 3 to start the second quarter and draw out her team’s lead to 24-11. It kicked off a 7-0 Syracuse run that kept the Dolphins from scoring for nearly seven minutes leaking back to the first quarter.The Orange entered halftime with a 16-point lead, and scored its first basket of the second half when Briana Day weaved between Kimberly Dawkins and Christin Mercer en route to an and-one layup.Sykes shouldered much of Syracuse’s offense and defensive load in the second half, and finished the night with 10 points and 11 rebounds to record her first double-double of the year.On an inbound play midway through the third quarter, Sykes caught her defender off guard and stood flat-footed before leaping high up to tap in Alex Peterson’s lob pass toward the 5-foot-9 guard.They ran the same play again in the fourth quarter, but Brandi Buie fouled Sykes on her way up so she wasn’t able to cleanly grab the ball. Sykes sank 1-of-2 free throws before driving to the basket on SU’s ensuing possession to stretch the lead out to 20.Sykes and the Orange never relented, leading the entirety of the 40-minute contest and burying the “funeral” mood felt by head coach Quentin Hillsman after his team’s worst loss of the season against Arizona State. Commentslast_img

Video: Vuvuzela, Africa’s call

first_imgAnchoring the Brand South Africa campaign for the 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup is a stunning television advert featuring the vuvuzela – the trumpet that has come to symbolise South African football – and nine of Africa’s most famous locations.Click arrow to play video.Posted on SouthAfrica.info on 11 May 2009.last_img

Football player settles suit with Quebec university over head injury

first_imgMONTREAL – A former student athlete who suffered severe brain injuries during a football game has reached an out of court settlement with a Quebec university.Kevin Kwasny’s family and Bishop’s University announced the settlement in a joint news release.It was made without any admission of liability and the financial terms were not revealed.The former defensive end had been seeking millions in damages from Bishop’s, alleging the team’s coaches demanded Kwasny return to the field in September 2011 after he’d suffered a head injury earlier in the same game.The lawsuit claimed that Kwasny was taken to hospital later in the game in critical condition after a second hit to the head.The family’s lawyers said in the statement they were pleased with the settlement, which would allow them to pursue additional treatment for Kwasny.“They are eager to obtain additional therapy for Kevin in an attempt to improve his condition as much as possible,” read a statement attributed to Kwasny’s lawyers.“The Kwasny family is eternally grateful for all of the support they have received from so many people since Kevin suffered his injuries.”University president Michael Goldbloom said in the joint statement that Bishop’s was “pleased that Kevin will have the necessary resources to support him.”last_img

MMIW meeting in Winnipeg searches for solutions

first_imgAPTN National NewsHundreds of delegates made up of First Nation leadership, premiers and families of missing and murdered Indigenous women are gathered in Winnipeg this week.Workshops, sharing circles and face to face conversations are on the agenda at the second National Roundtable on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.APTN’s Shaneen Robinson was at the event and brings this story.last_img