The UK’s Pensions Regulator (TPR) is yet to be convinced that consolidation of defined benefit (DB) schemes into proposed “superfunds” would help the country’s most stressed pension funds.At the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association’s (PLSA) investment conference in Edinburgh last week, Lesley Titcomb, chief executive of TPR, said it was positive that concrete work was being done on options to address issues in the DB sector in the UK, but questioned the benefit of superfunds.In a report released last week the PLSA taskforce argued for consolidation as the best way to address problems in the DB sector, and put forward superfunds as the best solution.Panellists at the conference – including Titcomb and representatives of the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) and the government’s Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) – welcomed the PLSA’s proposal, but questions and challenges associated with the proposal were quick to come to the fore. Titcomb said it was “not yet clear” if superfunds would help the regulator deal with the most stressed DB schemes, and also said that the regulator did not think there were systemic problems in the sector – a view it shares with a recent government report.She said TPR was focused on several hundred pension schemes experiencing issues because the employer was struggling, but she emphasised the regulator did not see this “causing a pile-up on the PPF”.Titcomb added “the supervision of an entity such as a superfund is a very different proposition to the supervision of something like a mastertrust”.“I’m not saying we couldn’t or wouldn’t do it, but it’s an entirely different proposition,” she said. “So, interesting work in progress, but lots more questions to come.”Other panellists also welcomed the work of the task force, but brought up questions and challenges associated with its argument for consolidation and superfunds.David Taylor, general counsel at the PPF, said the lifeboat shared the regulator’s view that “the system isn’t fundamentally broken from the protection side of things” and that “we don’t see a case for dramatic change to the current system”.He said the outcomes for stressed schemes were not as binary as the taskforce had argued. The taskforce said in its report that the current system only allows for members to either get full benefits or PPF-level benefits (with reduced indexation and benefit cuts for non-pensioners) if schemes are transferred to the lifeboat fund. Systemic risk, modelling and moral hazardAshok Gupta, chair of the PLSA’s DB taskforce, said the taskforce’s modelling showed a “significant” number of members would have their benefits cut if action was not taken.He also disagreed with the idea that superfunds posed a “moral hazard” by discharging sponsors of their liabilities. He argued that reducing the amount of people forced to accept lower benefits it would not constitute allowing employers off the hook.“It’s giving members something they didn’t have before, and that’s the result we’re trying to achieve,” he said.Charlotte Clark, director for private pensions and stewardship at the DWP, called for clarity over what consolidation was trying to achieve as this would determine how the framework would have to be designed. Keeping schemes above PPF-level benefits and trying to help employers manage risks and costs were two very different outcomes, she said.Asked whether there was sufficient political will to back a consolidation project, Clark said there was – if the benefits were clear and the idea could be shown to work in practice.
Canje Secondary trounce NA Multilateral 5-1, BEI squeeze past BHS 1-0FOR the second time in the month of June New Amsterdam Multilateral School (NAMS) found themselves on the receiving end of a destructive Canje Secondary unit.On this occasion, they suffered a 5-1 drubbing in the first game of an exciting double-header last Sunday at the Burnham Park – watched by a sprinkling of enthusiastic fans.While it was not the most technically sound game for both sides, clearly Canje Secondary were the stronger team. Tyrese Williams opened the gates for Canje in the 29th minute and at halftime maintained their (1-0) lead.After halftime, it went all downhill for NAMS as #10 Alode Grant penetrated in the 48th minute of the game. NAMS benefited from a goal-scoring error (own goal) from Canje’s Irie Profitt much to the dismay of his teammates.Profitt’s error did not inspire, as NAMS failed to add.Tyrese Williams was in a goal-scoring mood when he pierced the net for his second goal of the match in the 63rd minute. Meanwhile, to add insult to injury, two other goals came in the space of 3 minutes in the 66th and 69th minutes.The second encounter between Berbice Educational Institute (BEI) and Berbice High School (BHS) was highly contested, with both teams battling their way after having multiple goal-scoring opportunities. Both BHS and BEI goalies were outstanding, leaping and effortlessly saving goals.But, on this given day the better team won. A scintillating late-minute goal from #10 Kelly Amsterdam sealed the deal for BEI with a 1-0 win to propel them to the next phase of the competition. (Colin Bynoe)
Accra Great Olympics wants coach David Duncan to return to the club or risk facing legal action. Olympics claim they have a two-year contract with the former Hearts of Oak manager who is likely to join Kotoko in the coming days. The wonder club has made an official complaint to the Ghana Football Association(GFA) player status committee to summon Coach Duncan who according to them has breached an earlier contract signed.“We believe he has breached a contract he has with us so we are asking him to some back and fulfill the contract or pay a compensation of GHS 168,000,” said Oloboi Commodore, general manager of Olympics“We are not thinking of where he wants to move or not but all that we are saying is that he has breached a contract he had with our club.“We have sent the matter to the GFA where we believe we can have justice.” Great Olympics lie three places to the bottom of the league with nine points out of a possible twenty-four points