Penalty fear as firms fail to meet pension demand

first_img Comments are closed. Employersare at risk from hefty fines because they are ignorant of their legalcommitments under the new stakeholder regulations, according to research.Morethan 60 per cent of companies do not plan to set up a stakeholder pension schemedespite the fact that the regulations come into on 1 April according to a studyby law firm Punter Southall & Co.Thesurvey, which analysed awareness of stakeholder requirements among 250 of thelargest companies in the UK, also found that many respondents were misinformedabout which employees may be eligible for a stakeholder scheme.Just10 per cent of employers said they would be offering a stakeholder scheme totheir contractors and only 23 per cent intended to offer a scheme to theirtemporary staff.Butunder the new regulations both sets of employees may be entitled to membershipof a stakeholder pension even though they are excluded from many existingoccupational schemes.TheWelfare Reform and Pensions Act 1999 requires employers to provide relevantemployees access to stakeholder pensions schemes unless they are exempt.Ifemployers who are not exempt do not provide access to the scheme by 8 October,the Occupational Pensions Regulatory Authority has the power to fine them up to£50,000.SteveLeake, principal at Punter Southall, said, “It is alarming that such a largeproportion of big business players fails to appreciate or chooses to ignoreeven the most basic legal commitments imposed on them by the new stakeholderregulations.“Stakeholderis not an issue that can be swept under the carpet. Those companies which havenot yet taken serious concerted action to address the new rules must seekprofessional advice immediately. “Ifthey let apathy prevail they can expect to see a stern letter and a hefty finefrom Opra in October when the deadline for implementation expires.”Anew website has been set up by Opra which will show employers if they need tooffer stakeholder pensions to staff.Theywill be asked to answer “yes” or “no” online to a series of simple questionsand will be able to see if they are exempt from having to offer access tostakeholder pensions.Seeour at-a-glance guide to stakeholder pensions at   www.personneltoday.com/lawguides Penalty fear as firms fail to meet pension demandOn 27 Mar 2001 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

Saipem has received from Qatargas an extension of the North Field Production Sustainability Offshore Project

first_imgThe extension comprises the diversion from a trunkline and preliminary works associated to a future additional Compression Project Saipem has received from Qatargas an extension of the North Field Production Sustainability Offshore Project. (Credit: Free-Photos from Pixabay) Saipem has received by Qatargas the confirmation of the exercise of two options for additional scope of work within the North Field Production Sustainability Offshore Project (“EPCO” package), the award of which was communicated on February 22nd, 2021.The additional scope of work of the two options is worth approximately 350 million USD and is related to rerouting of the hydrocarbons from existing wellhead platform through the new facilities, due to existing pipeline being decommissioned.The activities to be carried out comprise the construction of two additional riser platforms, two additional connecting bridges with existing wellhead platforms, two corrosion resistant carbon steel cladded intra-field pipelines with a length of 13 km overall and decommissioning of existing pipeline.Works associated with the exercise of the options will be fully integrated with the project activities of two contract awards announced earlier this year, the North Field Production Sustainability Offshore and the North Field Production Sustainability Pipeline, which are both part of the strategic development of the North Field production plateau.This commercial achievement is a further proof of trust on Saipem by its key client, Qatargas. Saipem is already working actively on project engineering and site preparation activities and it’s looking forward to progress further, by leveraging its competences, assets and technology. Source: Company Press Releaselast_img read more

US MSC awards Bob Hope class vessel operation contract

first_img View post tag: US Navy MSC contracts U.S. Marine Management for Army prepositioning ship operation View post tag: US Army View post tag: US MSC Share this article September 19, 2017 Authorities The U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command has awarded Norfolk-based U.S. Marine Management a $36 million contract to operate and maintain Bob Hope-class vessels.The seven Bob Hope-class surge large, medium-speed roll-on/roll-off vessels are used for prepositioning of Army vehicles and were built between 1993 and 2001 by Avondale Shipyards.The contract awarded to U.S. Marine Management includes a 12-month base period, four 12-month option periods and a six-month option, which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to over $196 million.Under the initial contract, U.S. Marine Management will be operating the ships worldwide until September 2018. If all options are exercised, work will continue through March 2023. Back to overview,Home naval-today MSC contracts U.S. Marine Management for Army prepositioning ship operation View post tag: USNS Bob Hope View post tag: U.S. Marine Managementlast_img read more


first_img× STUDENT COUNCIL INSTALLATION — Congratulations to the newly appointed 2018-2019 Student Council at Mary J. Donohoe Community School.last_img

“Watermark Ink” device identifies unknown liquids instantly

first_imgMaterials scientists and applied physicists collaborating at Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have invented a new device that can instantly identify an unknown liquid.The device, which fits in the palm of a hand and requires no power source, exploits the chemical and optical properties of precisely nanostructured materials to distinguish liquids by their surface tension.The finding, published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS), offers a cheap, fast, and portable way to perform quality control tests and diagnose liquid contaminants in the field.“Digital encryption and sensors have become extremely sophisticated these days, but this is a tool that will work anywhere, without extra equipment, and with a very wide range of potential applications,” says co-principal investigator Marko Lončar, associate professor of electrical engineering at SEAS.Akin to the litmus paper used in chemistry labs around the world to detect the pH of a liquid, the new device changes color when it encounters a liquid with a particular surface tension. A single chip can react differently to a wide range of substances; it is also sensitive enough to distinguish between two very closely related liquids.Watch a video of the new process. Read Full Storylast_img read more

Sunbelt Expo

first_imgThousands of high school and college students visited the University of Georgia building at the Sunbelt Ag Expo in Moultrie, Ga. last week.Brice Nelson and his group of student ambassadors from the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences were there to greet them. Nelson, a student recruitment coordinator on the UGA campus in Athens, is hopeful something he or one of the college students said during the three-day event swayed the thought process of a prospective student.“It’s more of a visibility, public relations type of thing and an awareness event for our potential students,” Nelson said. “I think we’ve been able to give out some information that they can use, either through the freshman process or transfer process, and hopefully it can make the application process to the University of Georgia a little bit easier.”The recruiting tools at Nelson’s disposal were the CAES Student Ambassadors at the Expo. Potential students talked with the current UGA students to get first hand advice.“Certainly having the CAES Ambassadors here is a highlight of our exhibit, with them interacting with potential students and potential students being able to ask our current students questions that are relevant to the campus, student life and academics,” Nelson said. “We hope they can get it from a first-person prospective. Our students enjoy coming here and providing information to the public.”One of those students is Sarah Harrison, a CAES junior from Tifton. Though Thursday wasn’t her first visit to the Expo, it did mark her first time as a Student Ambassador from Athens. “Some people around here, they might not know about the (college). We’re making sure everyone is just aware of what we have to offer them,” Harrison said. To learn more about CAES undergraduate program, visit the website students.caes.uga.edu.Cooperative ExtensionAcademics is just one aspect the college tried to showcase during the event, which attracts about 100,000 people annually. Another program on display was UGA Cooperative Extension. Thomas County Extension agent Andrew Sawyer attended the Expo and still finds there are those that aren’t fully informed about Extension’s existence. Weeks like this allow Sawyer and other agents to get the word out about the program.“This is a super-educational opportunity for us, just to let folks know that we’re there. No matter where they’re at, in whatever county, they can call somebody,” Sawyer said.For more information about UGA Extension, see extension.uga.edu.Forages and ForagersUGA’s Expo theme this year was Forages and Foragers. The college used the three days to highlight its forage research programs, the beef cattle industry and dairy program. UGA beef cattle specialist Jacob Segers and his colleagues talked about how cattle digest forages and animal by-products like shampoos, conditioners and nail polish.“Interactions with people at the Sunbelt are usually brief so you try to cram as much information as possible into as few minutes,” Segers said. “It’s a great way to connect with the public. A lot of it is very foreign to a lot of people that come through here. It’s good to get them exposed to it.”To learn more about the UGA beef program, see ugabeef.caes.uga.edu. Information on UGA’s forage program can be found at georgiaforages.com.Cotton pickingUGA faculty members were also in the Expo fields manning demonstration areas. Glen Harris, an Extension agronomist and expert in environmental soils and fertility, assisted with cotton-picking demonstrations and shared cotton research trial results.“Cotton is a huge crop for us, of course. We actually get a lot of people that have never seen cotton harvested,” Harris said. “I’ve got a lot of research plots. The Expo staff is really good to me, helping me all year with my research plots. In return, I help direct the picking demonstrations where to go. It’s a lot of fun for me.”The Expo included information for farmers of all ages.“You get somebody that’s a little older, they like to talk about how they used to do it,” Harris said. “In fact, my research plots, I use a one-row Case machine that’s a 1952 model. You compare that to the six-row pickers, it’s a huge change.”last_img read more

Great American Beer Fest Winners

first_imgThe Great American Beer Festival took place in Denver over the weekend. It’s the largest beer festival in the country, with the most widely respected competitions in the world. Breweries from coast to coast converge on the Mile High City to see who has the best IPA, best amber, best fruit beer…And the Southern Appalachians had a strong showing in that competition.Hi-Wire Brewing, out of Asheville, pulled down gold for their Zirkusfest Oktoberfest, a malt-forward lager with a crisp finish. NoDa won a medal for their Nodajito, an herbal/spiced beer, and there was plenty of hardware to pass around for the Virginia breweries too, with Devils Backbone landing two golds, and Ornery and Ocelot Brewing each winning a gold.zirkusfest-oktoberfest-lager-pBut the biggest winner from our region has to be the tiny Brown Truck Brewing out of High Point, which won a gold for their #10 American Lager and two silvers in the saison categories. They even walked away with the honor of being Champion Brewery in the “Very Small Brewing Company” category.You can see the full list of winners here. You’re going to have to make the trip to High Point to drink one of Brown Truck’s lagers or saisons, but bottles and cans of Hi-Wire’s marzen and Devils Backbone are around. And it just so happens to be prime marzen season, so Zirkusfest should be at the top of your beer hunting list. The beer is rich without being heavy, and packs all kinds of biscuit notes before finishing rather dry. Consider this a “bridge beer” to get your palate warmed up for the maltier, heavier beers of winter. Related:last_img read more

Medford Man Killed in Car Crash

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A 44-year-old Medford man was killed in a car crash on the Southern State Parkway in Islip Terrace on Friday afternoon.New York State police said Mark A. Verrelli was driving a Toyota Scion westbound when his vehicle exited the roadway, drove onto the center median and struck a tree west of exit 43N at 3:45 p.m.The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.Troopers are continuing the investigation into the cause of the crash.last_img read more

UK reports H5 flu outbreak in turkeys

first_imgNov 12, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Veterinary officials in England today announced an avian influenza outbreak in turkeys at a farm in Norfolk, after initial tests showed that the birds were positive for an H5 strain of the virus.Officials are awaiting full test results to determine if the turkeys have the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain of the virus, according to a press release from England’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). Fred Landeg, acting chief veterinary officer, told BBC News today that he expects test results in the next 24 hours.To date, the deadly H5N1 strain has been identified in British poultry just once, at a turkey farm in February of this year.The site of the new outbreak is a farm 107 miles northeast of London, near the town of Diss, that also has ducks and geese, DEFRA said. All of the birds will be slaughtered. The number of birds slated for culling is about 5,000, according to the BBC report.Authorities have established a 3-km protection zone around the farm, along with a 10-km surveillance zone. “We are also urgently considering with ornithological and other experts what wider measures may be needed,” DEFRA said.Landeg said the disease was discovered yesterday when a veterinarian noted an increasing number of turkey deaths in one of the farm’s five barns, according to the BBC report. He said the affected birds had access to the outdoors and may have been at increased risk of contracting the disease from wild birds, which migrate in autumn.A few weeks ago, the chief veterinarian for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization warned that apparently healthy geese and ducks in Europe could be harboring the H5N1 virus. He advised authorities in regions that have significant duck and geese production to reinforce their monitoring and surveillance systems.In the UK’s February outbreak, the lethal H5N1 virus was found at the Bernard Matthews turkey operation in Suffolk, about 70 miles northeast of London. The source of the virus, which led to the culling of 152,000 birds, was never conclusively identified, but authorities said it was probably contaminated turkey meat imported from Hungary.The UK had an outbreak of a different avian flu type in March. In that case, a low-pathogenic H7N2 virus was detected at two small farms, one in northern Wales and one in northwest England. The outbreaks were linked to a handful of mild cases in humans.The lethal H5N1 virus has turned up in wild birds in Britain once, in a swan found dead on the coast of Scotland in March 2006. Also, the virus was identified in October 2005 in a parrot that had been imported from Suriname and quarantined in Essex with birds imported from Taiwan.See also:Feb 5 CIDRAP News story “England reports first H5N1 poultry outbreak”May 29 CIDRAP News story “Welsh officials announce four H7N2 flu cases, suspect human-to-human transmission”Oct 26 CIDRAP News story “FAO warns H5N1 may be lurking in Europe”Apr 6, 2006, CIDRAP News story “Avian flu reaches Scotland as FAO reports progress”last_img read more

Swiss pension funds cautious of ‘captive’ relationship with local banks

first_imgSwiss pension funds are increasingly aware they must not be seen as captive clients of the country’s largest banks, a locally active currency manager has argued.James Wood-Collins, chief executive at Record Currency Management, attributed some of his company’s growth in Swiss hedging mandates to an increasing awareness of the counterparty risk inherent in employing the custodian bank to safeguard against currency fluctuations.According to IPE’s annual survey of managers of Swiss institutional assets, the company has seen local institutional assets increase from €14bn to €25.4bn, while assets managed on behalf of pension clients more than doubled to €22bn in the nine months to the end of June.“One of the many changes that has taken place throughout the financial crisis is the standing of at least some of the Swiss banks in their local community has taken quite a hit,” said Wood-Collins, noting that the institutions were no longer as well regarded as they used to be.  “As a result of that, pension funds are increasingly aware they can no longer be seen to be captive clients of any one bank relationship – and that goes both to the prices they receive for the hedging and the concentration of counterparty risk that arises if they only have one bank relationship.”Despite such concerns, asset managers associated with two of Switzerland’s largest banks – UBS Global Asset Management and Credit Suisse Asset Management – have seen their assets under management increase in the nine months since September 2013.The IPE survey showed that UBS Global AM had seen its share of Swiss pension assets increase from €38.6bn to €52.7bn over the period.Assets disclosed by Credit Suisse AM were harder to compare across 2014 and 2013’s surveys, as the company did not disclose like-for-like data.However, it said corporate and institutional Swiss clients entrusted it with €215bn at the end of June 2014.Wood-Collins predicted his company would continue to see interest in hedging, but not only due to the requirement of Swiss funds to ensure they protected themselves against rate changes.He questioned how long Switzerland’s central bank (SNB) would be able to maintain its “loss-making” cap to the euro, which pension funds initially welcomed, despite concerns over inflation.“If the SNB were to change that policy, the market would immediately price it in, almost instantaneously – far more quickly, certainly, than anyone could react,” he said.“All our clients are maintaining their hedge on the euro.”For more on the Swiss pensions sector and the 2014 IPE survey of Swiss institutional managers, see the current issue of IPElast_img read more