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BHS scheme could be first to pay new lifeboat fund levy

first_imgAccording to the PPF, schemes without sponsors “will always pose a higher risk than an otherwise identical scheme with a continuing sponsor, however weak”.The new levy – which is linked to equity market put option pricing – will cover any scheme set up between 1 January 2017 and 31 March 2018.The UK government last week published a wide-ranging discussion paper covering the defined benefit sector, prompted in part by the high-profile BHS case.One element of the paper focused on how to improve the handling of pension schemes with distressed sponsors before bankruptcy becomes imminent. The government wants to explore ways of allowing more schemes to operate independently of their sponsors to avoid pension deficits pulling companies into bankruptcy.Despite the temporary nature of the proposed levy, David Taylor, the PPF’s general counsel said in the consultation that “we do not rule out developing our approach to apply to a wider range of schemes in the future”.A small number of pension funds have successfully separated from their sponsoring employer in the past: Trafalgar House now provides third party administration services for other funds after spinning off from its engineering parent company in 2006. Photography company Kodak’s pension scheme put in place a similar arrangement, known as a “regulated apportionment agreement”, in 2012 when its parent company filed for bankruptcy in the US.BHS settlement reactionWhile TPR chief executive Lesley Titcomb called the settlement with Sir Philip Green “a strong outcome”, other industry commentators have been less positive. The regulator is seen as having settled for a lesser amount in order to avoid a court battle, according to several people.David Everett, partner at consultant LCP, pointed out that a de-risking plan had been discussed before BHS’ sale in 2015 which would have been similar to the arrangement finalised this week – and it would have cost Sir Philip much less.“The winners in all this are the PPF, which is not having to take on two underfunded schemes, and a handful of former BHS employees for whom the PPF’s compensation cap would have bitten very harshly,” Everett added.Darren Redmayne, CEO of Lincoln Pensions, a specialist in covenant advice, said: “While [the BHS settlement] may suggest a ‘third way’, whereby employers can shed their schemes without paying the full buyout liability, in practice the barriers remain high – you only have to look at the select committee investigation, regulatory process and reputational damage Philip Green has suffered, to see this isn’t a path that companies will readily choose unless they absolutely have no other option.”In future, Redmayne added, there were likely to be more sponsorless or “zombie” schemes due to more employers struggling to fund deficits.“As such, it will be for the ‘greater good’ that compromises will be struck,” he said. “These situations remain relatively rare but as the full scale of the defined-benefit deficits issue works through the system in the coming years we will likely see such settlements on a more regular basis.”Rory Murphy, chairman of the Merchant Navy Officers’ Pension Fund, said: “Everyone appears to have won to some degree in this game of high-stakes poker. Each player could have played their hand for more in this negotiation but would have risked losing more – as such, this looks like a decent result for all concerned.”Murphy also questioned the need for greater powers for TPR, which was being discussed in the government’s green paper. He said: “Given TPR with its existing powers can achieve this result, why is there a need to increase them?” The pension scheme for employees of collapsed UK high street chain BHS could be the first to pay a new levy to the Pension Protection Fund (PPF).The Pensions Regulator (TPR) this week confirmed a £363m settlement with Sir Philip Green, whose Arcadia conglomerate sold BHS in 2015, a year before it filed for bankruptcy. The money will pay for a new scheme to be set up, paying better benefits than are available from the PPF.The new scheme will be established in the next few months, according to TPR. This means it will likely become the first – and potentially only – pension fund to pay a new form of levy being introduced by the PPF this year.The lifeboat fund is currently consulting on a new form of levy for funds without a “substantive” sponsoring employer – such as the new BHS scheme. The consultation closes on Monday 6 March.last_img read more

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Update on the latest sports

first_imgThe Ducks also signed forward Sam Carrick to a one-year extension worth $700,000.SOCCER-MORGAN-BABYUS soccer star has babyUNDATED (AP) — U.S. national soccer team star Alex Morgan has become a mom just in time for Mother’s Day.Morgan announced Saturday on social media that she gave birth to daughter Charlie Elena Carrasco at 11:30 a.m. Thursday. Morgan was on the U.S. team that won the World Cup last summer in France. She hopes to return to the team following her maternity leave in time for the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 The 85-year-old Bess fought health problems the last few seasons and said he didn’t have the energy level to do what he needs to do to excel as a coach.Bess was 1,300-416 in 50 seasons at Three Rivers – 143 more victories than NCAA Division I leader Mike Krzyzewski (shuh-SHEHF’-skee) of Duke. Bess led the junior college team to national titles in 1979 and 1992.NHL-DUCKS-CONTRACT EXTENSIONSDucks extend Guhle, CarrickANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The Anaheim Ducks have signed defenseman Brendan Guhle (GOO’-lee) to a two-year, $1.6 million contract extension. Guhle has four goals and eight points in 30 games this season for the Ducks this season. He was acquired by Anaheim from the Sabres in February 2019. May 11, 2020 Just 0.7% of MLB employees tested positive for antibodies to COVID-19. Results were based on about 5,600 completed records from employees of 26 clubs. Samples were obtained on April 14 and 15.The start of the baseball season has been delayed because of the virus outbreak. There’s no timetable for when the season might begin.Sixty people tested positive in the raw data, and adjustments were made for false positives and false negatives.One of the study’s leaders says the survey had a 0.5% false positive rate and demonstrates MLB employees have been less affected than their surrounding communities have been.In other developments related to the coronavirus pandemic: — Chinese Basketball Association president and former Houston Rockets star Yao Ming says his league has three options for resuming a season that has been on hold since Feb. 1 over the pandemic. Yao says the league might play out the full schedule, play a shortened season with some games dropped, or end the regular season and go straight to the playoffs based on teams’ current rankings. Yao told state broadcaster CCTV that he hopes as much as the season can be played as possible, but that public health and fairness are the key considerations.— The president of the French Tennis Federation says holding the French Open without fans later this year is an option. The clay-court tournament at Roland Garros was initially slated to be held May 24-June 7 but has been rescheduled for Sept. 20-Oct. 4. Bernard Giudicelli tells a French newspaper (Le Journal du Dimanche) that organizing it without fans would allow a part of the economy to keep turning.COLLEGE BASKETBALL-THREE RIVERS-BESSCollege hoops’ all-time coaching leader retires.POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. (AP) — College basketball victory leader Gene Bess of Three Rivers College has retired and has been replaced by his son, Brian.center_img Associated Press — The president of the University of Virginia says he hopes college football can be played this fall, but he doesn’t expect it to seem like “normal football seasons.” James Ryan told CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday that athletic director Carla Williams and football coach Bronco Mendenhall are committed to a safe return to play. But Ryan says nothing will proceed until medical officials say it’s safe to resume workouts. Ryan says school officials are taking things day by day. He says students need to be back on campus before football can begin.— The British government says tennis courts and golf courses in England can reopen starting Wednesday, but people can only play with members of their own household. Gyms and swimming pools remain closed, although swimming in the sea or lakes will be allowed. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave no indication when professional sports can resume competition. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can set their own stance on tennis courts and golf courses, and they have already indicated a more stringent version of the lockdown will be maintained.— The Spanish soccer league isn’t changing its plan to resume competing after five players from clubs in the first and second divisions tested positive for COVID-19. The league confirmed the positive tests on Sunday but said it was not going to alter the practice protocol that got underway last week. Players from most clubs began individual training sessions on Friday after nearly two months of confinement because of the coronavirus pandemic.— A player for English Premier League team Brighton has tested positive for the coronavirus as clubs prepare for talks on how to resume competition during the pandemic. The southern England club told The Associated Press there is no need for other members of the squad or coaches to self-isolate since players have only worked in isolation when at the training base. The Premier League has government support for “Project Restart” and will try to secure agreement among the 20 clubs on the plans during a conference call with them on Monday.— America’s Cup teams are returning to the water in varying degrees nearly two months after the coronavirus pandemic forced the shutdown of what would have been an impressive global road show for sailing. Defending champion Emirates Team New Zealand has returned to training on Auckland’s Waitemata Harbor with its half-size test boat after a mandatory lockdown was lifted. By Monday or Tuesday, the New York Yacht Club’s yacht Defiant will be headed from Pensacola, Florida, to Auckland on a 500-foot ship. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditVIRUS OUTBREAK-SPORTSMLB has low percentage of employees test positive for coronavirus antibodiesUNDATED (AP) — Major League Baseball appears to have successfully handled the first wave of the new coronavirus. Update on the latest sportslast_img read more

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