Top five Dutch schemes ride equity rally to boost funding levels

first_imgThe latest figures became evident as industry schemes PFZW, ABP (civil service), PMT, PME (both metal) and BpfBouw (construction) published their annual and quarterly reports. Not only did the funds generally benefit from higher share prices, they also benefited from interest rates rising. Although the interest rate fell slightly in the last quarter of 2017, the discount rate for liabilities rose from 1.3% to 1.5%.Despite the boost to funding levels, only BpfBouw was able to increase its pensions for this year, as its funding level was above the required 110%. The scheme decided to index pensions by 0.59%. The other funds are damping expectations when it comes to indexing or averting cuts.“In all likelihood we will not be able to increase pensions much, if at all, in the coming five years,” ABP chair Corien Wortmann wrote in a press statement.“At the end of 2019 our scheme’s policy funding ratio has to reach at least 104.3%,” PME chairman Eric Uijen said. “We are not there yet. For this reason we cannot rule out pension reductions in 2020.”PFZW also warned of possible cuts if their policy funding ratio remained below 104.2% until the end of 2020.The differences in investment returns appeared to be large, with the lowest return almost half the amount of the reported highest return.With a 4.1% return PMT achieved the lowest result. ABP saw its assets grow by 7.6%. Interest rate and currency hedges have been included in these figures.ABPThe civil service scheme – the largest pension fund in Europe – showed the biggest increase in its policy funding ratio. It rose by almost 10 percentage points to 101.5%, mainly due to the returns on shares and real estate. Its total assets were worth €409bn at the end of 2017.PFZWThe healthcare workers fund booked a return of 5.1%. PFZW suffered losses on its insurance portfolio (-13.3%) due to the severe hurricanes hitting the US last year. The scheme also had to write off millions on structured loans, following an adjustment of the valuation model.BpfBouwBpfBouw’s assets increased by €3bn due to a return of 6.4%. Equities accounted for 10.9% and real estate for 9.9%. BpfBouw invests a relatively large portion of its capital (17%) in real estate. The scheme lost 1.2% on its interest rate hedge. The policy funding ratios of the Dutch pension schemes for metal workers PMT and PME have risen above 100% for the first time in years.Other large pension funds in the Netherlands also reported a boost to their policy funding ratios, mainly due to rising equity markets.The policy funding ratio is the 12-month average funding level upon which Dutch pension funds must base their policy decisions – in particular whether they can grant inflation-linked uplifts. Healthcare sector scheme PFZW was the only one of the Netherlands’ top five with a policy funding ratio below 100%, recording 98.6% at the end of December. Metal industry schemes PME and PMT hit 100% funding in 2017PMEPME recorded a return of 4.7%. The scheme achieved a 15.3% return on shares, and 7.3% on real state. The matching portfolio, which accounts for almost half PME’s assets, lost 2.8% of its value.PMTPMT showed an outcome comparable to that of PME, although this pension fund achieved somewhat lower returns on equity and real estate. On the other hand, the losses on its matching portfolio were as high as PME’s, resulting in a lower return overall (4.1%).last_img read more

Looks like Norco, Lakewood for Showtime title

first_img2:25 p.m. It looks like Norco and Lakewood high schools will play for the 5th Showtime Tournament championship Saturday at La Mirada Regional County Park. They are the only unbeaten teams (2-0) after last Saturday’s first two rounds of pool play. And both will be favored in their final round of pool play Saturday morning, meaning they should meet for the title in the 1 p.m. championship game. The morning schedule: 9 a.m. (Field 1) — La Habra vs. La Mirada; (Field 2) — El Rancho vs. Norco. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! 11 a.m. (Field 1) — Lakewood vs. Cerritos Valley Christian; (Field 2) — Long Beach Poly vs. St. Paul. The afternoon schedule: 1 p.m. (Field 1) — Championship; (Field 2) — 3rd/4th places. 3 p.m. (Field 10 — 5th/6th places; (Field 2) — 7th/8th places. Lakewood is the defending champion.last_img read more

SURVEY FINDS DONEGAL COMPANIES FAILURE TO EMBRACE CLOUD TECHNOLOGY PROVING COSTLY

first_imgMark Kellet, CEO of Magnet.A survey conducted by Amarach on six-hundred Donegal SMEs has found that their collective failure to embrace cloud technology is putting them at a competitive disadvantage.Research by Amarach of 600 SMEs conducted on behalf of telecoms provider Magnet shows that just 14pc of small firms in Donegal and the Border counties say they have implemented a cloud solution of some kind for their business, compared to 45pc in Dublin.Over 90pc of SMEs in Donegal are still using and paying for a conventional phone system, which according to Amarach Research could be costing small business in Ireland over €266 million per year, much of which could be taken out of the sector’s cost base. By contrast, a quarter of Dublin SMEs have moved to VoIP (voice over internet telephony) or a cloud phone system.43pc of employees of small firms in the Capital have access to company data via their smartphone, while this falls to just 14pc in the case of firms in the Border counties, despite the fact that more staff there regularly work outside the office.Mark Kellet CEO of Magnet said, “Staff in companies outside Dublin tend to work from home more and spend more time in their cars, so they are missing an obvious opportunity to work smarter.“The very companies that need the technology aren’t availing of it. Kellett was addressing over 250 local business people as part of a Magnet roadshow across the country.Only 3pc of eligible SMEs have accessed the technology and business grants available, such as the Enterprise Ireland voucher and the Government’s Online Trading Voucher, according to the research.The latter subsidises 50pc of the cost of going online up to a maximum of €2,500 for firms of up to 10 people and €2m turnover.“Our research shows that 90pc of SMEs are unaware of or misunderstand the Online Trading Voucher Scheme as a support to engaging in e-commerce,” says Kellett.“We are encouraging more firms to take advantage of it and improve their competitiveness in the process. “Used with our own package offering for SMEs it can equate to six months of totally free telecoms.”Magnet’s Office-in-a-Box solution for SMEs provides unlimited broadband; hosting; web domain, phone calls and even a promotional video from €149.99 per month.In conjunction with the Online Trading Voucher through Local Enterprise Offices, eligible SMEs can reduce this cost to just €75.Magnet’s innovative cloud phone system is low bandwidth intensive, meaning it is suitable even for areas where basic wired or wireless connectivity is available and can be delivered over any broadband connection, not just Magnet’s. SURVEY FINDS DONEGAL COMPANIES FAILURE TO EMBRACE CLOUD TECHNOLOGY PROVING COSTLY was last modified: April 8th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:BusinessCloud TechnologyFeaturesMagnetnewslast_img read more