Germany’s pension fund association (aba) has endorsed government proposals to give Pensionfonds more flexibility. In August, the Labour Ministry (BMAS) called for stakeholder comment on a proposal that would allow the relaxation of minimum guarantees during the payout phase from a Pensionsfonds. In Germany, defined contribution (DC) funds have to be set up with a minimum guarantee, or Beitragszusage mit Mindestleistung, and, if a Pensionsfonds is used as a vehicle, the payout phase has to contain an insurance element.At present, Pensionsfonds are used infrequently on retirement but rather as a financing instrument for pension payouts. The BMAS’s new proposal aims to change the norm by allowing the application of a 0% discount rate on all pensioners’ assets in Pensionsfonds.In a statement, the aba welcomed the changes, as Pensionsfonds with minimum guarantees are considered the “German alternative to international defined contribution plans”, which enjoy greater flexibility.One of the main advantages of the government’s proposal, according to the aba, is that it “makes it possible to have a less restrictive and more flexible asset allocation, which is particularly fitting in light of the low-interest-rate environment.”If the proposal is passed, Pensionsfonds will no longer require separate asset allocations for active and retired members.“This will create opportunities for higher returns,” the aba said.The association, however, did raise a number of concerns, most notably the volatility of pension payouts that people “will have to deal with”.It said German workers had grown accustomed to “very predictable” pension payouts and that the new regulation would guarantee only a minimum, with “volatile top-up elements”.Further, it warned that company liabilities could increase in certain cases under the new regulations compared with the current ones.Overall, however, the new regulation can help “increase acceptance of and participation in the second pillar”, the aba said.Another proposal by the BMAS would allow certain employees to opt out of the protection offered by the insolvency fund PSV.The aba said it had questions regarding taxation on this issue, but it generally welcomed the proposal.
Work to repair the sea defenses for a coastal village in North Wales is underway, according to the Natural Resources Wales (NRW).Contractors for the NRW will install around 20,000 tonnes of rock armor to protect the village of Fairbourne at Friog corner.The project, undertaken by Jones Bros, started in early November 2018 and is due to be completed by the Spring 2019, depending on the weather.Sian Williams, Head of Operations in North Wales for Natural Resources Wales said:“We are committed to maintaining and monitoring Fairboune’s flood defense in the short and medium term to help reduce the risk of flooding. Repairing the defenses at Friog corner is part of this ongoing commitment.”The NRW reported that the work will be done in a way that minimizes disruption to local residents, apologizing in advance for any disruption.For 18 weeks approximately, while lorries are delivering the rocks for the defense, Penrhyn Drive south will be operated as a one way system.
“We got nearer than we’ve ever got to Hurricane Fly (at Leopardstown) over Christmas. We were only half a length behind him. We’ll make a race of it and it will be a great spectacle for everybody that comes racing. “There was never going to be any easy races for him this season. He was always going to be taking on Hurricane Fly and he is a formidable opponent.” While Harrington is delighted with her stable star’s condition, she believes he will not hit his peak until defending his crown at Cheltenham in March. “He’s pretty close to 100 per cent but is always a better horse in the spring. He comes to life then, and better ground certainly helps. March is the day we really want him,” said the trainer. Fiscal Focus is a fascinating participant for trainer Des McDonogh, carrying the colours of leading Flat handler Jim Bolger. The four-year-old struck twice on the level when in Bolger’s care last year and made a most impressive start to his career over jumps for McDonogh when winning a Grade Two juvenile race at Leopardstown over Christmas. He is thrown in at the deep end on his second appearance over hurdles, with Mikey Fogarty keeping the ride. “It’s great to be riding in a race like this. I’m really looking forward to it. You’d have to be impressed with his last run for his first run over hurdles and we’ll see what happens on Sunday,” said Fogarty. “Hurricane Fly is a remarkable horse. He’s a legend and he still looks the best around at the minute.” Last season’s Triumph Hurdle winner Tiger Roll represents Gordon Elliott, Bryan Cooper and Gigginstown House Stud, but was well beaten in the Ryanair Hurdle at the track last month. Aidan O’Brien’s Plinth completes the six-strong field. The prospect of better ground gives Jessica Harrington hope that Jezki can turn the tables on Hurricane Fly in the BHP Insurances Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown on Sunday. Last season’s Champion Hurdle winner has had to play second fiddle to Willie Mullins’ evergreen record-breaker on both his outings this campaign. “He did a nice bit of work on Tuesday and is in good form. It would be great to get nice ground and no rain. I see Willie is looking for rain, so we all want different things! They will have some new ground, which is great,” said Harrington. Press Association
Update on the latest sports July 29, 2020 Blackhawks ban Native American headdresses at home gamesCHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Blackhawks are banning headdresses at home games as part of their pledge to honor the Native American community. The NHL team says it consulted with Native American partners to establish new policies and initiatives. The Blackhawks will further integrate Native American culture and storytelling into game presentation and community involvement. The team said earlier this month it will continue to use the Blackhawks name because it honors a Native American leader who has been an inspiration to generations. Washington’s NFL team dropped the name Redskins, and Major League Baseball’s Cleveland Indians are considering a change.WOMEN’S SOCCER-EQUAL PAY Associated Press VIRUS OUTBREAK-COLLEGE SPORTSBig West Conference postpones fall sportsUNDATED (AP) — The Big West Conference is postponing all fall sports through the end of the calendar year.The conference’s board of directors said that men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball will be postponed as well as the fall schedules for men’s and women’s golf along with men’s and women’s tennis.The conference will determine later if conducting fall sports in the spring would be feasible. The decision does not impact basketball, which is scheduled to begin on Nov. 10. — The Nationals’ starting lineup lost another middle-of-the-order hitter when Howie Kendrick was scratched three hours before the scheduled first pitch against Toronto on Wednesday because of upper back stiffness. But the teams said Kendrick was available to pinch hit. — St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Miles Mikolas (MY’-koh-las) will have season-ending surgery to repair a tendon in his strained right forearm. The 31-year-old missed spring training with the injury, but he ramped up his activity after the virus shutdown and pitched four innings for the Cardinals in an exhibition game last week. He was supposed to start Wednesday night at Minnesota. Right-hander Daniel Ponce de Leon will take the mound against the Twins instead. — Nick Markakis (mahr-KAY’-kihs) is returning to the Atlanta Braves, three weeks after announcing he was opting out of the season due to his concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. The veteran outfielder said Wednesday he changed his mind about sitting out after watching his teammates play the first five games. The 36-year-old Markakis says he has the full support of his family, including his three children, in his decision to return. NFL-NEWSTagovailoa gets OK to practice without restrictions Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditMLB-NEWSAnother Marlins player and one Phillies employee test positiveNEW YORK (AP) — Another player with the Miami Marlins has tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the team’s total to 16 players, according to a person familiar with the matter. The person tells The Associated Press that Miami underwent another round of tests Tuesday, and only one new player was flagged. Former Illinois, New Mexico St coach Lou Henson dies at 88CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Lou Henson, the basketball coach who led Illinois back into the national spotlight, has died at age 88. The school says Henson died Saturday and was buried on Wednesday. In 21 seasons at Illinois, Henson won a school-record 423 games and took his 1989 Illini team to the Final Four. In all, he was 779-412 and the winningest coach at both Illinois and New Mexico State. Henson was named to the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015. — General manager John Lynch has agreed to a new five-year contract with the San Francisco 49ers that will keep him locked up through the 2024 season. A person familiar with the deal says the sides agreed on Wednesday to replace the original six-year contract Lynch signed in 2017. The new deal for Lynch comes about six weeks after coach Kyle Shanahan replaced his original six-year deal signed in 2017 with a new six-year contract that takes him through 2025. Lynch was named executive of the year last season by the Pro Football Writers Association of America for helping the Niners reach the Super Bowl last season. Lynch and Shanahan took over following a 2-14 campaign under general manager Trent Baalke and coach Chip Kelly. PGA-US OPEN-NO FANSUS Open without qualifying now will be played without fansUNDATED (AP) — Add another layer to what already is a different U.S. Open. The USGA says no fans will be allowed at Winged Foot in New York Sept. 17-20 because of health and safety concerns about COVID-19. The U.S. Open already has been moved from its traditional Father’s Day finish, and because of the pandemic, more than 100 qualifiers had to be scrapped for an all-exempt field. Now it comes down to the Masters in November to see if any of golf’s majors will have fans. The PGA Championship next week will be spectator-free. Major League Baseball has suspended Miami’s season through Sunday and created a patchwork schedule affecting four other teams while the Marlins deal with their outbreak. Two Miami staff members also have tested positive in recent days. Philadelphia Phillies general manager Matt Klentak says one team employee who works in the visiting clubhouse has tested positive for the coronavirus. But he says all Phillies players and on-field staff tested negative for a second straight day. The Phillies’ four-game, home-and-home series against the New York Yankees was postponed this week following a coronavirus outbreak among the Miami Marlins, who played in Philadelphia last weekend. The Phillies are scheduled to host Toronto this weekend in a series that was supposed to be on the road but switched because the Blue Jays’ temporary ballpark in Buffalo isn’t ready. The teams won’t play Friday and instead will have a doubleheader on Saturday.In other MLB news:— Washington Nationals outfielder Juan Soto was still waiting on Wednesday to be cleared to play by the city government after getting the OK from Major League Baseball to return from the COVID-19 injured list. Manager Dave Martinez said the Nationals hope their 21-year-old slugger will be allowed to work out with the team starting Saturday and play in their first game after that — which is next Tuesday at home against the New York Mets. Soto had 34 homers and 110 RBIs during the 2019 regular season and was a breakout star of October. He tested positive for the coronavirus and was sidelined on opening day last week. The Division I conference has 11 members, with all but one based in California.In other news related to the COVID-19 pandemic:— The University of Texas is now exploring how it can host football games at 25% percent stadium capacity instead of the previously announced 50% as the return to campus and the planned start of the season rapidly approaches. Texas officials had told season ticket holders earlier this month they were planning for 50 percent capacity, which would be allowed under statewide orders from Gov. Greg Abbott. That would include nearly 50,000 fans. But Austin’s health authority said Tuesday the 50% plan caught the city off guard and he questioned whether the school should host any fans at games. Texas is scheduled to host South Florida on Sept. 5 and the Big 12 has held out hope it can play a 12-game regular season. The state of Texas has seen record numbers of new coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths in the month of July.— Athletic director Greg Byrne says the University of Alabama has taken cost-cutting measures for each department and sport with the coronavirus threatening fall sports. In a letter to fans posted Wednesday on the Crimson Tide’s website, Byrne says the athletic department placed a freeze on hiring for non-coaching jobs because of potential revenue shortfalls during the COVID-19 pandemic. He says Alabama also is finding ways to save on energy and facility operating costs and is reviewing other steps. The Southeastern Conference hasn’t announced plans for fall sports, including football, which could ultimately mean a limited number of fans at Bryant-Denny Stadium.NHL-BLACKHAWKS MIAMI (AP) — The Miami Dolphins say rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (TOO’-ah tuhng-ah-vy-LOH’-ah) passed his physical when he reported to training camp and will practice without restrictions as he begins his bid to overtake veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick for the starting job. The all-clear will allow Tagovailoa to practice for the first time since a career-threatening hip injury ended his Alabama career in mid-November. Dolphins practices begin in mid-August, after a couple of weeks of strength and conditioning workouts and walk-throughs. The usual training camp regimen has been altered because of the coronavirus pandemic, which also forced the cancellation of offseason drills throughout the NFL.In other NFL news:— New York Giants left tackle Nate Solder has opted out of the 2020 NFL season because of the coronavirus pandemic.Solder, who started every game for the Giants the past two seasons, announced his decision on Twitter on Wednesday, citing his son’s ongoing fight with cancer, the recent birth of a baby boy and his own history with cancer. US women’s soccer told to wait until 2021 for jury trialLOS ANGELES (AP) — If American women’s soccer players want a jury trial on their claim of discriminatory working conditions, they must wait until next year.U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner told the players and the U.S. Soccer Federation on Wednesday that jurors were not available during the coronavirus pandemic. He informed the sides if they wanted to stick with their Sept. 15 trial date, they would have to agree by Aug. 6 to a bench trial in which he would decide the verdict.If they want a jury trial, he would postpone the start until Jan. 26. Players sued in March 2019 under the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and they sought more than $66 million in damages.COLLEGE BASKETBALL-OBIT-HENSON
There’s a strong Irish contingent in the field for the PGA Championship which gets underway today at Wentworth.The tournament is the first tournament in the new Rolex Series.Padraig Harrington and Shane Lowry are joined by the likes of Paul Dunne, Gary Hurley and Neil O’Briain. Lowry is the first Irish golfer out on course, when he tees off after 8.30 this morning alongside Ross Fisher and Thorbjorn Olesen Photo © – Tipp FM