Switzerland’s lower chamber amends AV2020 pension reform plan

first_imgOne of the major points where MPs disagreed with members of the Ständerat was on how to account for the 12% drop in future second-pillar pensions resulting from lowering the conversion rate.While the Ständerat wants to increase first-pillar pensions from the state AHV/AVS system, the conservative majority in the larger chamber voted against this.Conservative politicians referred to the public’s recent rejection of a state pension hike in a referendum on the AHV-plus on Sunday.Instead, conservatives want second-pillar pension cuts to be offset solely within workplace pensions.One change would be to slash the so-called Koordinationsabzug, used to calculate contributions into the second pillar by cross-referencing them with first-pillar pensions.If it is cut, lower-income earners will have to pay into the second pillar, increasing pension spending for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) but also giving more people the opportunity to save.The Nationalrat’s social committee added a new proposal to “de-politicise” technical parameters like the conversion rate or the minimum interest rate.It wants to introduce automatic calculation algorithms rather than have these rates set by commissions and politicians.The Nationalrat also surprised many with a new proposal to help finance the first-pillar AHV.It wants to introduce an automatic mechanism that would increase the pension age to 67 in lock-step with VAT, should the AHV lack the necessary funds.In contrast to the Ständerat and the Swiss government (the Bundesrat), which had drafted the first reform proposal more than two years ago, the Nationalrat only wants to raise VAT by 60 basis points to help fund the AHV.The Ständerat proposed an increase of 100bps, the government, 150bps.The Nationalrat agreed with the Ständerat to raise the statutory retirement age for women to that of men (65), and retirement will be made more flexible between the ages of 62 and 70.The new draft will now be sent back to the Ständerat before it returns to the Nationalrat for the lower chamber’s December session.For more on Swiss pension reform, see the November issue of IPE magazine The minimum conversion rate (Umwandlungssatz) in Switzerland’s mandatory second-pillar pension system is set to be cut from 6.8% to 6% over the next years after the move was approved in the lower house of Parliament on Wednesday.This part of the draft for the Altersvorsorge 2020 (AV2020) pension reform package – presented to the Nationalrat, the larger house of Parliament, by the Ständerat, the upper chamber, a few months ago – enjoyed majority support among MPs.The debate on Wednesday was briefer than many analysts expected, but it brought some amendments to the draft, which the Ständerat must now discuss again.Interior minister Alain Berset, however, said the draft “still needs work”, while Switzerland’s unions have argued that the Nationalrat’s proposal would fail to win a majority, “as workers cannot accept it”.last_img read more

Implementation of renovation and expansion of State House Project to continue

first_img Tweet LocalNews Implementation of renovation and expansion of State House Project to continue by: – June 30, 2011 Share Photo of State House before renovation and expansion works began. Photo credit: Flicker.comPrime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has announced that the implementation of the renovation and expansion of the State House Project will continue.During his 2011/2012 National Budget address on Wednesday Mr. Skerrit described the implementation project as necessary to assist in the hosting of international events, as well as to create a new image for Dominica.According to the Prime Minister construction work is scheduled to begin this fiscal year, and will include the following components;1. Renovation of the Exisiting State House Building,2. Construction of a new residence for the President,3. Construction of a building to provide offices for the Public and Police Service Commissions, and the Integrity Commission,4. Utility Building,5. Beautification and landscaping of the grounds, parking and construction of a new road,6. Conference room with a capacity of 200 personsMr. Skerrit also explained that the implementation project should not be categorized as a luxury as it has been, but rather one of absolute necessity.“Madam Speaker, modern State Houses cannot be seen in the year 2011/2012 as a luxury. They are an absolute necessity and this government has absolutely no apology for moving with speed to bring Dominica into the 21st century in this regard. Those with limited or blurred vision will eventually come around to appreciate the importance and necessity of this project. In the meantime, however, work must continue. We cannot wait on them to finally see the light.”Mr. Skerrit also described the project as one which will create and provide a new image for Dominica, as well as for the convenience of visitors who increasingly find Dominica as an ideal conference and retreat destination, but which, unfortunately has lagged behind over the years in regard to basic amenities.Meantime Citizens Awareness Program (CAP) earlier this year launched a campaign to stop the construction of what they refer to as the “State Malice” referring to the implementation project as a waste of state funds. They have also erected several banners and posters indicating the same.However, the Prime Minister referred to this campaign as “a misguided few who have unsuccessfully attempted to misrepresent the scope of the project. Such irresponsible labeling, reflects a poor recognition of, and appreciation for the need of Dominica, to step forwards and up to the plate, in respect of its capacity to host events of an international nature, improved housing and roads in the city of Roseau and advanced tertiary education.”Dominica Vibes News 236 Views no discussionscenter_img Share Sharing is caring! Sharelast_img read more

Gene Sparks, 57, Osgood

first_imgGene Sparks, 57, of Osgood passed away Tuesday, April 28, 2020 at the Christ Hospital in Cincinnati. He was born at the Margaret Mary Hospital in Batesville on September 10, 1962 the son of Fred and Clarice Johnson Sparks. Survivors include his father Fred Sparks of Versailles; one brother Steve (Candy) Feller of Guilford; three sisters Joyce Sutton of New Marion, Sharon (Dean) Bonta of Columbus, and Karen (Tom) Poole of Dillsboro; nieces and nephews Bridget Feller, Holly Leach, Dee Dee McAdams, Jason and Derek Bonta, Crystal Moon, and Tommy, Jeff, and Alex Poole, along with several great and great-great nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his mother Clarice Sparks Elston and his brother-in-law Richard Sutton. Mr. Sparks attended South Ripley and graduated from high school in Wheeling, West Virginia in 1981. He was a former employee of Delta Faucet and was currently employed with Honda in Greensburg. Gene loved to travel and took several vacations with family members who have fond memories of the good times they shared with him. He enjoyed playing cards and outdoor family gatherings. Gene also loved technology, enjoying many happy hours on his computer. Gene’s wishes were to be cremated and funeral services will be held at the convenience of the family with Bro. Tom Holt officiating. Burial will be in the Tanglewood Cemetery. If you would like to have a Hugs from Home card given to Gene’s family to express condolences in your absence, please contact the Stratton-Karsteter Funeral Home in Versailles at 812-689-1171. Memorials may be given to the Hope Baptist Church in care of the funeral home.last_img read more

Phi Beta Psi honored for over $10 million in cancer research grants

first_imgOn behalf of Phi Beta Psi National President; National Editor Chris Fairchild presents the President’s Award to XI Chapter President Rhonda Belter.Batesville, IN — Since 1941, Phi Beta Psi National Sorority has donated over $10M through its National Project toward non-restricted cancer research grants. Although Phi Beta Psi canceled its 2020 National Convention due to Covid-19; the Chapter Presidents voted and approved six grants from applications vetted by the Medical Advisory Board. Each grant recipient received $49,553 benefiting research in Breast, Colon, Endometrial, Epithelial Ovarian, and Prostate Cancer.In addition to the grants, there were officer and chapter awards given. Rhonda Belter, XI Chapter President, was given the Presidents Award.For 2019-2020, the local XI Chapter donated over $20,000 to the National Project, 4th highest of all 65 chapters. XI Chapter continues to support the National Project, local families affected by a cancer diagnosis, and other worthy local charities by selling their famous cheeseballs, locally crafted ornaments, and donors/sponsors.You may donate to Phi Beta Psi at the upcoming roadblock at Walnut and Boehringer Streets on Saturday, October 3 from 8 am to noon or by buying cheeseballs at Schmidt’s Bakery and WaterTek. You may order ornaments through their Facebook Page: “Phi Beta Psi Sorority XI Chapter“.last_img read more

Everton ‘won’t rush Baines talks’

first_img Press Association Baines has just over 18 months remaining on his current deal but Martinez said they were in no rush to tie him down in the long term. “I think the injury doesn’t change anything,” said Martinez. “All our plans have always been the same. We want to have Leighton for the long term and that will never change. “The injury is a setback as you can imagine but we will use it to regenerate him, to give him a bit of a breather as he has been playing week in, week out and has had a lot of big demands on him because he’s been playing international football also. “It is a period we are going to use in our favour but, in terms of his contractual situation, it will never change what our thoughts were and our strategy behind the scenes.” There has been talk of a new deal for full-back Tony Hibbert, who has made just one 66-minute Capital One Cup appearance this season because of a calf injury. However, Martinez said while he wanted to keep the 32-year-old defender, whose contract expires next summer, there had been no developments. “Tony Hibbert and (fellow academy graduate) Leon Osman are unique characters. They are more than players, they represent the club and give direction to the new players coming in, youngsters and foreigners,” said the Spaniard. “Tony is someone I want to have at the club as long as we can. “Another aspect is to see how he is after the injury. All he wants is to focus on his fitness and fight to earn a place in the team. “I didn’t think it is the moment to look any further. He is a gem of a person, a special person to have at a football club.” Martinez received a lift on the injury front this week with centre-back Antolin Alcaraz, who has yet to make his debut following a summer move from Wigan because of injury, improving his match fitness. “Alcaraz is ready now. We had a behind-closed-doors friendly earlier in the week and he came through that,” said the Toffees boss. “Now it is just measuring his match fitness and being able to give him the time he needs to pick up the pace. “He is fully fit, anxious to come back and help the team which is a positive point. “It is important he is fully fit for the Christmas period because we are going to need everyone and Antolin needs to be ready. “What I’m not going to do is push him too early after the spell he had to endure on the sidelines.” The England left-back has been ruled out for up to six weeks with a broken bone in his right foot but the Toffees boss said the focus in that period will be on the defender’s fitness and not his future. Manchester United failed with a bid for the 28-year-old in the summer and speculation remains former Everton manager David Moyes will return with a new offer when the January transfer window opens. Everton will not use Leighton Baines’ injury-enforced lay-off to open talks over a new contract, according to manager Roberto Martinez.last_img read more

US billionaires have become $565 billion richer during the pandemic

first_imgFor most Americans, these past few months have been financially difficult, however, billionaires have become richer since March 18, according to a report published Thursday by the Institute for Policy Studies, a progressive think tank.While 43 million Americans were filing for unemployment, making the rate of unemployment rise to its highest since the Great Depression, the total wealth for billionaires was also rising.Billionaire wealth now stands at $3.5 trillion, up 19% from the low point near the beginning of the pandemic, the report said. Amazon boss Jeff Bezos alone is worth $36.2 billion more than he was on March 18. Experts say, wealth inequality is likely to get even worse because of this crisis.The acceleration of wealth for the richest Americans is being driven by the remarkable recovery of the stock market, which has skyrocketed in large part because of unprecedented action from the Federal Reserve. Billionaires get richer, and lower-income workers, especially in travel and service-sector jobs, got hit the hardest by the pandemic .last_img read more

Tottenham beat Southampton in FA Cup 4th-round replay

first_imgLondon: Tottenham edged Southampton 3-2 in an FA Cup fourth-round replay that was decided on a penalty conversion by Son Heung-min shortly before the start of second-half stoppage time.The teams had to square off in a rematch on Wednesday after their initial fourth-round encounter on January 25 had ended in a 1-1 draw, reports Efe news.Jose Mourinho’s men jumped out to an early lead at the 11-minute mark at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in north London when a shot by French midfielder Tanguy Ndombele ricocheted off defender Jack Stephens and travelled out of the reach of net minder Angus Gunn and into the goal.But the Saints were unfazed by the early deficit and mostly outplayed Tottenham over the remainder of the contest.In the 19th minute, Danny Ings had a golden chance to score the equaliser from just outside the six-yard box, but his shot slammed off the crossbar.The visitors managed to knot the game at 1-1 15 minutes later, however, when a poor block by Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris set up Southampton striker Shane Long for a short-range finish.The Spurs were able to preserve the tie heading into halftime despite a very unconvincing performance, while the Saints’ strong showing was marred by an apparently serious knee injury suffered by midfielder James Ward-Prowse.Ward-Prowse was in visible agony and had to be taken off on a stretcher in the 39th minute after young Tottenham winger Ryan Sessegnon caught him with his studs on a clearance.Both teams had good chances to score early in the second half, with Sofiane Boufal and Lucas Moura failing to convert chances for Southampton and Tottenham, respectively.Finally, the visitors grabbed the lead when Ings scored on a curving strike just inside the post in the 72nd minute.Moura scored the 2-2 equaliser with a right-footed shot in the 78th minute and then Son was brought down in the area by the Saints’ net minder eight minutes later. The South Korean did the honours himself on the penalty try, stepping up to the spot and slotting the ball home for the winner.Tottenham will next square off at home in the first week of March against Norwich City in the fifth round (round of 16) of this annual English knockout football competition.Matches in that round will not be replayed, so if the Spurs-Norwich contest is tied at the end of regulation extra time, penalties will determine who reaches the quarterfinals. IANSAlso Read: Tottenham sink Manchester City; Burnley hold ArsenalAlso Watch: 89th Annual Conference of Srimanta Sankardev Sankar Sangha begins todaylast_img read more

Why Nigeria Needs the Bombast of Amaju Pinnick

first_imgIdeally everyone who wants to do business in Africa should first talk to us given our population size, economic potential and the industry of our people. Often you get the feeling that many of us forget how powerful being Nigerian can make you. Not Pinnick, he is bold and dramatic. This showed when he helped unseat the legendary Issa Hayatou as president of CAF and install a man from Madagascar in his place. That was no mean feat, especially when you consider that others in his position would have withdrawn into the shadows and grumbled about the impregnability of the Franco-phone conspiracy.He has also dribbled his way into the good books of the FIFA hierarchy, ensuring that in the high-wire politics of global football Nigeria now enjoys more voice and consideration in Cairo and Zurich. Every head of a sports federation in Nigeria would do well to take a trip to the Glass House to see Pinnick and get a tip or two on how to flex their Nigerian muscles. It would serve them well.Michael Emenalo is a Nigerian legend, please respect thatSomeday I will understand how the Nigerian mind works, not today. Can someone please help me understand how Nigerian fans would say “good riddance” to Michael Emenalo after he resigned his position as the technical director of “their” football club Chelsea FC of London? Even sports writers, who you imagine should know better joined in the silliness for social conversation. Were Emenalo white, South American or Asian, such could never have happened as he would have been upheld as a Nigerian legend. But as they say, Africans have no heroes.I doubt any Nigerian, alive or dead, has managed anything like the profile Emenalo has built for himself in world football. Although it is not in our nature to hero worship anyone that is not a private-jet flying pastor, Emenalo is no ordinary Nigerian. Well educated, he played at the 1994 World Cup as part a team considered the best Super Eagles of all time. He also played for the biggest club in Nigeria, Rangers International, before heading overseas. While in Israel he worked under former Chelsea coach Avram Grant and impressed him so much that the Israeli tactician recommended him to Chelsea’s Russian billionaire boss Roman Abramovich in 2007.He rose to become the technical director just four years later, a position, truth be told, the English press and fans did not enjoy being handed to a Nigerian. At his level he needed to be world-class at his job, and he did enough to win the respect of Abramovich. He could not have earned his promotions because anyone liked his face, and he would have had to work doubly hard as a black man and one from Africa at that. The records showed that he went on to sign some of the best talents the club has known and in his time the club won every trophy on offer, including three league titles and the FA Cup, as well as the UEFA Europa Cup and Champions League titles. He also made the club’s academy one of the most competitive in Europe, winning the UEFA Youth League in 2015 and 2016.Proof of his quality is that French champions Monaco have now snapped him up as their new technical director in a move they said showed their ambition. I bet those guys know a thing or two more about world class football than the Nigerian fans who said “their” club was better off without him. In the words of Monaco vice president Vadim Vasilyev: “I invested a lot in him coming. His know-how in detection and recruitment, as well as the technical experience acquired in one of the most successful clubs in recent years, are the reasons that led us to present this ambitious challenge. This appointment is another sign of our ambition and our desire to be as competitive as possible.’Those guguru and epa sports analysts and fans should go tell Monaco they don’t know what they are doing.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Let me start by admitting that I have not always been a huge fan of the Nigerian Football Federation president, Amaju Pinnick. However the events of 2017 have led me to admire a great quality in the man that I believe Nigerian leaders, not only in the sports sector, should emulate. Much of my problem with him had to do with what I perceived, in the early days of his administration, to be his adulation of the English Premier League. When he publicly declared that he was an Arsenal fan, I felt it bordered on the sacrilegious that the number one man in Nigerian football would become a noncommissioned brand agent for a foreign club and league when he should be totally focused on making a success of the struggling domestic game. Back then, over two years ago, I remember expressing my outrage on this column and advising that given his influential and sensitive position, Pinnick should publicly retract his Arsenal love.I have also not been enthusiastic about his apparent desire to scout almost every Nigerian citizen with dual nationality that has ever kicked a ball in Europe to play for the national team. Instead I believe we will never achieve a balanced national team or make the most economic gains from football commerce, until we turn our local league into a talent minting industry. In more recent times, watching Pinnick strut his stuff on the international stage, and seeing him exploit the strengths of the green-white-green with swaggering braggadocio, I have felt that few Nigerian leaders, if at all, have really understood how powerful the Nigerian brand can be and how to exploit it to their advantage on the world stage like Pinnick does.last_img read more

USG considers bylaw changes for next year

first_imgAt its weekly meeting Tuesday night, the Undergraduate Student Government Senate considered a corrective change to the USG bylaws and hearings to address complaints regarding appointments to positions throughout the organization.After restructuring and streamlining USG for the next academic year, some officers realized that, in the new organization, they would not receive proper compensation. The Senate considered changing the bylaws to allow an increase in USG members’ stipends. A vote on these changes will take place during the next USG meeting.Vice President Austin Dunn and Sen. Sabrina Enriquez described modifying the bylaws as a “loophole” to correct the error with compensation.“This is meant as a Band-Aid because we did a restructure. [In the previous Senate], we didn’t anticipate that we would need a bylaw like this,” Enriquez said.Other senators expressed concern about setting a poor precedent. Sen. Tyler Matheson asked about the amount of funding that would need to be increased to address stipend errors. Dunn and Enriquez dismissed those concerns.“The budget is totally different this year than years past,” Dunn said. Dunn also said that budget hearings will be held over the weekend to determine how USG will allocate funding.A move by Enriquez to limit the bylaw change only to the 2016-2017 school year passed unanimously. Sen. Daniel Newman’s move to vote on the bylaw change at this week’s meeting failed. The Senate will consider the matter again at next week’s meeting.A large portion of the Senate meeting was spent discussing complaints regarding students who were appointed to Funding Board and other divisions of USG. They received emails from three different USG members who were upset with the appointment process.“All the complaints have been … that the qualified person was not hired,” Lurie said. “The executive team is talking about how they can handle it and meet with those people and deal with all the complaints.”Newman accepted the mistakes that were made with the appointments by USG and hopes to amend them for the future.“I wanted to express my disappointment in the way that this was handled,” Newman said. “I know we can’t do anything now, but I hope that we can all learn from this.”Some senators, including Lurie, expressed interest in attending the executives’ hearings with those who filed complaints. Dunn and USG Chief of Staff Jenny Di agreed to allow senators to sit in.Lurie proposed that other USG members be allowed to sit in on the hearings so that senators could have “context” for what a good candidate for the position would be like, but Di said that letting other USG members attend the hearings would put them in an “uncomfortable position.”“The priority is to address specific people who have specific complaints. … After these preliminary conversations are had, … I’m totally fine with looping in as many people as we need to,” Di said.Dunn reiterated that although the executive board supported their appointments, they could have been more transparent with their appointments.“Our executive team firmly and with totality stands behind the decisions that we made, with one exception, and that was the way it was presented to all of you,” Dunn said. “It made it seem like there was something to hide, and there wasn’t necessarily complete and total transparency. And the same way that you can’t take back your vote, we can’t take back the decision we made in that moment.”last_img read more

Amid doubts, Barkley shows fire at combine

first_imgSimply put, Sept. 15, 2012 was a rough day for a journalist intent on covering a potential national title run for USC.Weaving my way through the horde of fans mobbing the 50-yard line of Stanford Stadium after USC’s then-shocking 21-14 upset loss to Stanford, I forged ahead down a tunnel in disbelief to a makeshift media tent with eight fold-up chairs — hardly enough for the reporters on hand to cover the early-season clash.Such a site seemed apropos, I figured, of what might be the most disappointing post-game press conference I would see in my lifetime.Given ever-optimistic senior quarterback Matt Barkley’s knack for putting disappointing on-field results in context, I strangely looked to the signal-caller to help me rally and forget the most deflating USC loss of my college tenure. After all, Barkley’s candor and poise often made me forget that I was covering a kid my own age.But that night, that’s how Barkley appeared: kid-like and broken by a deluge of Cardinal blitzes, with the sense he had disappointed the Trojan faithful. With his pads still on as if he could retake the field, he slumped in his chair with his eyes downcast, struggling to manage even 10-word replies.The subsequent losses and questions about interceptions and his unwise decision to return for his senior season undoubtedly snowballed on Barkley, robbing him of his patented Hollywood smile.Friday’s press conference at the NFL Combine was Barkley’s first public media appearance since the Trojans dismantled Arizona State 38-17 at the Coliseum on Nov. 10, and the Mater Dei High School product finally resembled what USC fans have come to expect.Standing resolutely at the podium for 17 minutes, he commanded the room with a ferocity unexpected from someone who has started at quarterback for the last eight seasons at powerhouse programs and never had anyone seriously challenge his credentials. The NFL Combine is a place where desperation can take hold, as players’ professional dreams can be dashed if they run the 40-yard dash a tick too slow or check in a quarter of an inch below 6-foot. Not immune to this fact, Barkley clearly didn’t appreciate having his college career scrutinized for faults.Not trying to disguise the massive chip on his shoulder at all, Barkley set out to allay any fears that he wasn’t the same player who threw 39 touchdowns and seven interceptions as a junior. Barkley unapologetically cut off reporters who rambled when asking the predictable questions.As for the first question pertaining to his health, Barkley insisted that his shoulder will be completely healed by USC’s pro day on March 27.“I’ve thrown — with great velocity — deep balls already,” Barkley said.Staring almost defiantly at the crowd of reporters, Barkley knew the drill. He fielded the questions with a measured grin before answering sternly. When asked if he could tolerate initially serving as a back-up after his years of starting, Barkley said that he will do whatever it takes, but added in no uncertain terms, “My plan is to start right away and to make an impact right away.”For those who questioned his 2012 drop-off in production, he basically responded that talent evaluators who review his game film will note that he made incremental improvements to his game even though his statistics, for a confluence of reasons (read: offensive line play) worsened. He ultimately admitted that it’s “physically impossible” to always improve upon previous seasons’ statistics, especially when those statistics break longstanding Pac-12 records.Though he did not throw at this week’s combine, Barkley made other gains, as he measured in at 6-foot-2 1/2 — at least half an inch taller than expected — and measured bigger hands than all of his chief quarterback competitors, important for talent evaluators who are concerned about ball security at the next level. Assuming Barkley displayed the same confident demeanor in his interviews with NFL personnel, it’s safe to assume that he helped his draft stock this week as much as he could without throwing darts to receivers.If he wishes to secure a first-round selection and regain his status as the No. 1 quarterback prospect, however, Barkley must exhibit an ability to complete all of the necessary throws at USC’s upcoming pro day, backing up his words with shoulder strength. Thankfully for Barkley, old friend and junior wide receiver Robert Woods, the Pac-12 all-time leading receiver, will be there running routes for him, also with an eye toward improving his own draft position.It’s a little foreign to see Barkley — not just his team — cast in an underdog role. But if Friday’s press conference is any indication, the frustrated and sometimes despondent in-season Barkley looks to have been replaced by a much more dangerous person: a talented player with something to prove while his livelihood and reputation are at stake. “Leveling the Playing Field” runs Mondays. To comment on this story, email Sean at swmccorm@usc.edu or visit dailytrojan.com.last_img read more