As these participants legally have a choice, they are allowed to shop around if their own pension fund only has a single option.In practice, almost all pension funds offer only fixed annuities, which means that participants who prefer a drawdown plan must divert to an insurer.For their pensions accrual, SNPS’s 7,660 participants can opt for aggressive, neutral or defensive lifecycle investments, for which four investment portfolios are available.Last year, the most aggressive portfolio – comprising predominantly securities – generated a net return of 11.5%. In contrast, the most defensive portfolio of fixed income holdings delivered no more than 0.2%.The Shell scheme reported administration costs of €616 per participant, with asset management costs totalling 0.51%.In the board’s opinion, these costs are acceptable relative to comparable pension and annuities products in the market.“Costs must be assessed against returns and investment policy,” it argued.The IDC scheme said it would focus on establishing a single-participant portal for both its own pension plan as well as the pension arrangements of SSPF, Shell’s €28bn defined benefit scheme, which closed to new entrants in 2013.It added that a dedicated working group investigated the options for a more focused responsible investment policy.At year-end, funding of SNPS stood at 102.1%. Oil company Shell’s Dutch defined contribution (DC) scheme has introduced variable pension benefits in the wake of new legislation (Wet Verbeterde Premieregeling).In its 2016 annual report SNPS – a relatively new scheme set up in 2013 with individual defined contribution (IDC) arrangements – said it had started to offer members the option of keeping accrued pension capital invested after retirement, while investment risk and longevity risk remain collectively shared.Participants can opt for variable benefits from age 57. People who do not take a drawdown pension have the option of buying fixed annuities from an external pensions provider, according to the €100m scheme.Recently, the €10bn company scheme of telecoms giant KPN announced that it would offer variable benefits to its participants with DC arrangements.
The Guardian (UK) 12 Oct 2012By the age of seven, a child born today in the UK will have spent an entire year of 24 hours a day looking at TV, computer and video game screens. By the age of 18, that will be three whole years. According to a review of studies carried out around the world on the effect of screen time on children, they could be seriously damaging their health.The paper in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood, written by psychologist Dr Aric Sigman following a speech he gave to the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, which co-owns the journal, says that although US, Canadian and Australian doctors have expressed concern, “to date, views of the British and European medical establishments on increasing high levels of child screen time remain conspicuous by their absence”.However, there is plenty of concern about rising obesity and inactivity, in which TV and computer games are implicated. The Department of Health frames it as an inactivity issue, rather than a screen problem. “The chief medical officer published guidance last year on children’s activity levels,” it said in a statement reacting to Sigman’s call for more guidance from the government and doctors. “All under-fives should spend as little time as possible sitting still except when they’re sleeping. Once a child can walk, they should be physically active and mobile for at least three hours a day.”There is plenty of evidence that sitting for hours at a time stores up health problems for the future. Sedentary behaviour is linked to rising risks of obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and stroke. But Sigman’s review also cites studies that show increases in blood pressure in children playing computer games and says that screen time is associated with unhealthy eating behaviour. Children respond to junk food adverts and eat in front of screens, which is such a distraction that it disturbs their memory of what they have consumed and they want to eat again.More concerning to the parent who thought children’s TV was educational and harmless are the studies that suggest screen time has an effect on a baby’s developing brain. A US study cited by the review published in the journal Pediatrics of 2,623 children found that those who watched TV at the ages of one and three years “had a significantly increased risk of developing attentional problems by the time they were seven years old”. Then there is “Facebook depression”, reported by the American Academy of Pediatrics: an increased risk of disengagement and vulnerability to victimisation after high levels of screen time in early childhood, poor social skills and an impaired ability to express empathy. Sigman notes changes in familial interactions, with children too absorbed in their screen world to greet a parent arriving home.http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/oct/09/childrens-health-screen-time?newsfeed=trueChildren ‘spend more time watching TV than at school’Telegraph (UK) 12 Oct 2012By the age of seven, a child born today will have spent a full year glued to screens, according to Dr Aric Sigman. The average 10-year-old has at least five screens readily available to them at home, and over the course of childhood youngsters spend more time watching TV than they spend in school, he said. Limiting the amount of time children spend in front of a screen could have significant advantages for their health and wellbeing, Dr Sigman said.http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/9595317/Children-spend-more-time-watching-TV-than-at-school.htmlLimit children’s screen time, expert urgesBBC News 12 Oct 2012The amount of time children spend in front of screens should be curbed to stave off development and health problems, an expert says.http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-19870199 read more
Congratulations to the following 5 people recently named to the 2016 Ripley County Basketball Hall of Fame Class. This class contains Cindy Lamping from Batesville High School, Bruce Green of Milan, Ricky and Randy Meyer of Jac-Cen-Del, and Roger Castner of Holton.For those of you who are not familiar, Ricky and Randy Meyer were twins and the committee wanted them to go into the Hall at the same time. All 5 will be introduced at the Ripley County Tourney which will be held in Batesville in early January. Their induction will take place the second Saturday of April at a banquet at Milan High School. We invite all to attend this banquet. I will have information about tickets the first of March.
A couple of Saturdays ago, TV actually showed part of a halftime band show. In the old days these were always part of television’s broadcast protocol. After all, the band members practice hard all week just like the players do. If you don’t believe this, ask my wife who was a member of Ball State’s Marching Band.I know true football fans are interested in all the game analysis that goes on during halftime. Personally, I don’t need all of their opinions and all of those statistics. They will give all of them in their post-game show or they will be repeated by ESPN later that night or the following day. If you want to see all of those stats, go on the Internet. I doubt if TV producers will follow this idea. After all, just look at some of the network shows you have to endure if you watch TV during the week. read more
The University of Wisconsin volleyball team scheduled three high-quality opponents for their spring schedule — dropping only one set in the three matches combined. Each of the three teams — Green Bay, Marquette and Purdue — made the NCAA Tournament last December and posed major threats to the maturing Badgers this spring.But Wisconsin rolled through their opponents this spring season, including their most recent win over the Purdue Boilermakers. The Badgers swept the Boilermakers in straight sets and snagged another set win in a bonus fourth set. Redshirt junior Molly Haggerty once again led the team with 13 kills along with 10 digs. Wisconsin has won nine of the last 10 regular season matchups against the Boilermakers and didn’t blink in their return to West Lafayette.Volleyball: Badgers overcome Marquette, seek win against Purdue in last spring season matchThe University of Wisconsin volleyball team has never lost to the Marquette University Golden Eagles. That didn’t change Friday night. Read…Sophomore Danielle Hart and senior Madison Duello also added double-figure kills. Hart’s performance all but sealed her a starting spot next fall. With the departure of Tionna Williams at middle blocker, Hart seems to be Williams’ successor. She played in 21 matches last season, giving her the experience that her fellow teammates lack. This performance against Purdue combined with her stellar showing against Marquette might make Head Coach Kelly Sheffield’s job much easier in the decision process. Hart hit .431 throughout the three matches. The Badgers hit a .295 clip as a team, but their defense won the match. The Boilermakers managed only 33 kills at a .056 hitting percentage. The Badger defense out-blocked Purdue 9-3 and dug out 24 more attacks than the Boilermakers. Throughout the spring, Wisconsin has held its opponents to a staggering .063 hitting percentage. For perspective, No. 4 Brigham Young University recorded the lowest opponent hitting percentage in the NCAA last season with a .143. Wisconsin ranked 50th in the nation last season with a .173 opponent hitting percentage.Softball: After overpowering Hoosiers, Badgers set to face No. 16 Gophers in doubleheaderThe University of Wisconsin softball team (33-8, 10-5 Big Ten) swept the Indiana Hoosiers (31-18, 6-11) at Goodman Diamond in Read…An improved defense coupled with the offensive All-American duo of setter Sydney Hilley and middle blocker Dana Rettke could spell success for the Badgers come fall. Rettke recorded 24 kills this spring at a 564 hitting percentage. The Badgers start practice for their 12-day European tour May 20. The team will then leave June 5 for the trip to gain valuable experience playing against professional teams across Europe. This tour gives an already experienced roster even more time to gel on and off the court. Coming up one win shy of the NCAA Tournament Final Four last season, the Badgers have plenty motivational firepower to be successful come fall. read more
<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span><span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span>Staff writer Keith Demolder recaps USC’s first two games of the season and looks ahead to thier big tilt against Vanderbilt on Sunday.,Staff writer Keith Demolder recaps USC’s first two games of the season and looks ahead to thier big tilt against Vanderbilt on Sunday.
Portmore United’s early spark in the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL), after returning to the top flight following a season this year, has raised a few eyebrows.However, the return of a former fan favourite and ex-national player, Omar Daley, to the St Catherine club’s set-up has certainly been one factor behind the former winners’ excellent start to the campaign, which has seen them perfect after three starts.But Daley’s purpose for coming back is not necessarily to win titles. He thought it was time to quit overseas and assist the local club’s young players understand and make the transition into professional footballers.”I came back home because I chose to,” Daley told The Gleaner. “Portmore’s season was about to start, so I cancelled my contract and took the opportunity to come back and start the season with Portmore,” he explained.”I was happy with the team (Oklahoma City Energy FC) I was playing for. We cancelled by mutual consent, so there was no bad blood. But I just decided to come home and start the season with Portmore.”Everything was fine [at Oklahoma] and that’s why I felt the time was right [to leave] and I needed to take a little break and come home. They (Portmore) said they were going to start fresh with the youths, and I wanted to be a part of that,” he stated.The former Glenmuir star believes the club’s good start to the RSPL season has already started to repair damage done to the club’s reputation after they were relegated in 2013-2014 season.”Portmore needed rebuilding, and that’s what they are doing, and I can personally say that Portmore is back. The Portmore United brand is back,” hecontinued.”My target is to help the youths at Portmore. The fact of the matter is they look up to me as an elder. I give them advice and they can get a contract and help their families buy a nice house. so my personal target is to help Portmore United players,” he insisted.successful teamThe 34-year-old says the current team is nothing compared to the Portmore teams he was part of in the early 2000s. But he thinks they have the potential to be a successful team. He also promises to show his best football as the season progresses.”It’s a young group, but if they play without being naÔve and give energy and effort. I guarantee that nobody in this league can stop them. I wouldn’t say they are championship material yet, but (championship) potential,’ he commented.Daley had a solid performance in the come-from-behind 2-1 win over Waterhouse, first on the wing, before moving into midfield in the second email@example.com read more
LONDON (AP):Maria Sharapova will be eligible to return to competitive tennis in April after her two-year doping ban was reduced to 15 months yesterday by a sports court that found the Russian star did not bear “significant fault” for her positive drug test.The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) cut nine months off the suspension imposed on Sharapova, who tested positive for the banned heart medication meldonium at the Australian Open in January.Sharapova, a five-time Grand Slam champion and former No. 1-ranked player, appealed to CAS in June, seeking to overturn or reduce the two-year penalty imposed by the International Tennis Federation (ITF).In a 28-page ruling, the CAS panel found that Sharapova bore “some degree of fault” but “less than significant fault” in the case that has sidelined one of the world’s most prominent and wealthy female athletes.”The panel has determined, under the totality of the circumstances, that a sanction of 15 months is appropriate here given her degree of fault,” the three-man arbitration body ruled.NOT INTENTIONALWhile Sharapova did commit a doping violation, “under no circumstances … can the player be considered to be an ‘intentional doper,'” the panel said.Sharapova’s ban, which took effect on January 26, was originally due to run until January 25, 2018. Now she can return on April 26, 2017, a month ahead of the French Open, a Grand Slam tournament she has won twice.”I’ve gone from one of the toughest days of my career last March when I learned about my suspension to now, one of my happiest days, as I found out I can return to tennis in April,” Sharapova said in a statement.”In so many ways, I feel like something I love was taken away from me and it will feel really good to have it back,” she added. “Tennis is my passion and I have missed it. I am counting the days until I can return to the court.”The doping suspension kept the 29-year-old Sharapova out of this year’s French Open, Wimbledon and US Open, as well as the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. She will also miss the 2017 Australian Open in January.LOOKING FORWARDSteve Simon, CEO of the WTA tour, welcomed Tuesday’s ruling.”We are pleased that the process is now at completion and can look forward to seeing Maria back on court in 2017,” he said.Sharapova acknowledged taking meldonium before each match at last year’s Australian Open, where she lost in the quarter-finals to Serena Williams.But Sharapova said she was not aware that meldonium, also known as mildronate, had been included on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of banned substances from January 1, 2016.Sharapova’s lawyer, John Haggerty, called Tuesday’s ruling a “stunning repudiation” of the ITF, which he said failed to properly notify players of the meldonium ban.Sharapova said she was first prescribed the Latvian-made drug, typically used for heart conditions, by her family doctor for various medical issues in 2006. She said she took the drug for regular bouts of the flu, possible onset of diabetes and a magnesium deficiency.Meldonium increases blood flow, which improves exercise capacity by carrying more oxygen to the muscles.More than 100 athletes, including many Russians and other eastern Europeans, tested positive for meldonium early in the year. Some escaped with no sanctions because they argued successfully that they stopped taking the drug before January 1, and that traces had lingered in their system. Sharapova, however, acknowledged that she used meldonium after January 1. read more
The head of the Disaster Risk Reduction Division of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has reconfirmed the organization’s commitment to social and economic development in West Africa.Speaking yesterday at the opening of a two-day workshop on the establishment of the National Platform for Disaster and Risk Reduction in Liberia, Mr. Mohammed Ibrahim said ECOWAS will encourage and promote national platforms integrating disaster risk reduction, emergency response and climate change adaptation in the sub-region.The workshop is organized by the Ministry of Internal Affairs-National Disaster Relief Commission, with support from ECOWAS and the United Nation Development Program (UNDP).Mr. Ibrahim said the rationale for establishing and strengthening national platforms in West Africa is based on the need to make substantial progress in implementing the ECOWAS Policy for disaster risk reduction in line with the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) and the African Regional Programme.According to him, there should be increased commitment and engagement by all ECOWAS member states to required more and effective partnerships between countries under the coordination of the commission for building a stronger, more systematic and coherent sub-regional effort to support national disaster reduction activities in the sub-region.Mr. Ibrahim disclosed that disasters caused by natural and man-made events amount to limitation on development and the achievement of the goals of human security and welfare.In West Africa, he said, the occurrence of natural and man-made disasters over the last three decades has continued to threaten the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGS).To minimize these negative impacts and to attain the strategic objectives of ECOWAS, the policy for Disaster Risk Reduction was developed and adopted by authorities and head of state at the thirty first ordinary summit in Ouagadougou on January 19th 2007, he declared.For his part, Internal Affairs Minister, Morris Dukuly acknowledged ECOWAS and said that the national platforms on disasters management are issues that African region needs to respond to.Minister Dukuly recalled that those who have lived in Monrovia for the past 25 years will not deny that “we have more than climate change here.”Monrovia, he said, never hardly got flooded but today everywhere is being flooded. This also the case in all of the counties.According to him, climate change is not a science fiction but it is real and is incumbent upon us to act quickly to this disaster.Meanwhile, the Executive Director of Liberia Refugee Repatriation and Resettlement Commission (LRRRC), Cllr. Abla Gadegbeku Williams, said climate change is an evitable phenomenon which “we must watch closely and, at all times, be prepared to formulate and apply appropriate solutions for the control of our environment.””Today, we have gathered to establish a national platform which would reduce the risk of disaster in the wake of imminent climate change which is taking place in Liberia. Such change often affects poor people who eventually become internally displaced and there is need to find a durable solution to their plight,” Madam Williams declared.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) read more
– as Broomes denies knowledge of parking lot fiascoHeavyweights of the People’s National Congress (PNC) have added their views on the matter involving Junior Natural Resources Minister Simona Broomes, her driver and two security guards at a private business establishment, stating that they were against ministerial misconduct.PNC Reform (PNCR) General Secretary Amna Ally has said that if the reported account of the dispute was factual, then the incident would be extremely unfortunate.“If it is that something took place as is reported, it’s unfortunate, very unfortunate. Something like that shouldn’t happen, because we have to be able to follow rules and so on,” Ally said.Nevertheless, the veteran PNC politician also went on to state that everyone mustJunior Natural Resource Minister Simona Broomesobserve the rule of law whether “you are a minister, you are an ordinary person; that is what is expected.”Asked whether she was able to view the video footage which tells a different story from the one being related by Broomes, Ally said she had more important things to do.Ally, who also serves as a senior minister in the coalition Administration, said while she has not spoken to Broomes about the incident, she may seek an explanation from her at some point.Another senior executive of the party, Volda Lawrence told the media that she was surprised by what was told to her by one of the security guards involved in the incident.When questioned further whether she thought Broomes should apologise, she said that the Minister would make her own personal decision on whether to apologise or not.Lawrence, the PNC Vice Chairperson, on Tuesday had apologised to one of the security guards who were locked up by Police for 16 hours for allegedly abusing the Junior Natural Resources Minister.She explained that she was having dinner at the New Thriving Restaurant when the security guard approached her and recounted what had transpired. After hearing his side, she apologised.“We didn’t come into Government for issues like this. We came in to make changes,” Lawrence said, while explaining that she felt compelled to apologise on behalf of the PNCR.Meanwhile, Minister of State, Joseph Harmon said that it would be unprofessional for Broomes to comment on the matter when it was still being investigated by thePublic Health MinsterVolda LawrencePolice.However, Broomes is campaigning with and for Harmon, who is contesting for the chairmanship of the PNCR. He will be challenging incumbent Chairman Basil Williams and Lawrence.Although the Minister had called the Police and had the two security guards arrested, she on Thursday denied any knowledge of the incident, stating “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”On her arrival at Parliament, Broomes was flocked by members of the local press who asked the Minister for a comment on the matter, but she refused and eventually walked away.When told about the incident at the Massy Stores parking lot, she maintained that “I don’t know what you’re talking about” and proceeded to walk towards the Parliament Chambers.Broomes had claimed that she and her driver, whose name has not been officially released to the media to date, were the victims of verbal assaults and threats by the two security guards, who were attempting to bar her from parking in a specific section of the establishment.The Minister within the Natural Resources Ministry, who is no stranger to controversy, had even alleged that one of the guards had pointed and “crocked” a firearm at her and the driver of her SUV vehicle at some point during the incident.She claimed that she was fearful for her life and safety as a result of the actions of the guards, who were arrested and detained by Police ranks following the incident before being released on their own recognisance.However, since the release of CCTV footage on Tuesday, it became clear that the version of the story told by Minister Broomes was different from what was depicted thereby forcing a tidal wave of criticisms and attacks against the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) official on social media, with Guyanese accusing her of high-handedness and dishonesty.There have also been attacks on her integrity as more support and sympathy poured in on Wednesday for the guards, who it is being argued were “simply doing their jobs”.Asked whether the Police have found any proof to substantiate the claims made by Minister Broomes that a gun was aimed at her during the ordeal, Crime Chief Paul Williams has declined to make any definitive pronouncement as he dodged the issue.Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo believes that the Minister’s behaviour if true was atrocious and should not be allowed to continue.He said that the incident also pointed to the fact that sometimes people rush to judgement, referring to the unwarranted arrests of the two security guards at the Massy Store over the incident without properly investigating the issue thoroughly. He believes that the Police should be held responsible, given that they acted unprofessionally. read more