The Belgian government has indicated that it wants to tie second-pillar retirement to the official retirement age for the state pension. It also wants to raise the minimum age for receiving an additional pension from 60 to 63 by 2018, the Belgian business daily De Tijd reported.It said that the plans were part of the budget agreements which were concluded in July.The measure must ensure that a planned increase of the retirement age for the state pension also actually leads to workers retiring later, the paper quoted the government as saying. The cabinet stressed that it didn’t want people to stop working before they had reached the minimum retirement age for the state pension. The state pension is to rise to 67 in 2030.The new proposal would level up the retirement age for the second pillar with the first pillar.The government further made clear that it wanted to outlaw provisions in pension funds regulations that encourage early retirement.That said, the proposed measures still need to be discussed with Belgian social partners.
Three months after improper contact between USC freshman tailback Dillon Baxter and another USC student resulted in Baxter’s suspension from a Nov. 20 game at Oregon State, USC’s Office of Athletic Compliance released a statement Tuesday outlining a new “Athletes and Agents” policy.Crucial · Since Pat Haden took over as athletic director, the university’s compliance staff has increased in size and prominence. The newly released “Agents and Athletes” policy is intended to further help USC student-athletes remain in good standing with the NCAA. – Anna Wierzbowska | Daily Trojan The statement, sent via e-mail Tuesday morning to students, staff and faculty noted that USC, in an effort to remain in compliance with NCAA rules, stresses that students and staff members refrain from impermissible conduct with student-athletes.“We are committed to protecting our student-athletes from any contact, communication or conduct with individuals who seek to inappropriately contact or represent student-athletes before their eligibility is exhausted or voluntarily terminated,” wrote Elizabeth Garrett, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, and Todd Dickey, senior vice president for administration.According to the university’s compliance office, the policy is the first of its kind.“I’m unaware of other universities adopting such a policy,” said Dave Roberts, USC’s vice president for athletic compliance. “With all the press we’ve been getting, you’d think someone would have said they’d had seen a similar policy before.”Under the policy, students, staff and other third parties are required to notify USC’s compliance office of their involvement with a sports agency before any interaction with student-athletes.“We’re publishing this to the student body, so they can be aware,” Roberts said. “Of course, somebody could choose to ignore it, but we have to at least be proactive by putting the policy in place.”Specifically, the new regulations stipulate that all such parties provide written notification to the school’s compliance office within 24 hours of their involvement with a sports agency or similar marketing agency.Those found to be in violation of the policy would then be subject to remedial action and/or discipline, according to the release.“I don’t think it’ll force a divide between students and student-athletes,” Roberts said. “It should only be an issue for certified agents.”Last November, Baxter accepted a ride in a golf cart from a student, Teague Egan, who at the time was a National Football League Players Association-certified agent, in addition to founder and CEO of 1st Round Enterprises, a marketing agency that seeks to represent athletes and musicians.“We have been exploring agent issues since June,” Roberts said. “1st Round accelerated the process and was the driving force behind the policy, but we had been looking at this before.”Eventually, Baxter was declared eligible for USC’s final two games of the season after donating $5 to a local charity as repayment for the ride.“The idea of a student-agent had not crossed anyone’s mind,” Roberts said.Although USC met with the NCAA Infractions Appeals Committee last month in Indianapolis, the recently announced policy is said to be entirely unrelated to the athletic department’s efforts to have NCAA-levied sanctions lessened.“It’s completely, 100 percent separate,” Roberts said. “What the appeals committee sees is what we did in the past. The policy does not touch the appeal. It is forward-looking, and hopefully we can show the NCAA that we’re doing everything we can to police.”The idea for the policy did come at least partially from USC’s athletic department, which is separate from compliance.“We do work closely with athletics,” Roberts said. “They’re supportive of it. At request of their office, we were able to put this in place.”
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Wednesday announced a $50,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case. A $70,000 dollar reward was announced earlier, bringing the total to $120,000. In San Bernardino County, a motorcyclist who authorities say set a small fire in a rural foothill area of the San Bernardino Mountains has been booked for investigation of arson.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! INVESTIGATION: Also, a man is shot and one arrested in San Bernardino County. By Jeremiah Marquez THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Federal agents joined the search for evidence Wednesday in brush-covered Orange County hills where an arsonist is believed to have ignited one of the wildfires devastating Southern California. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.In San Bernardino County, a man suspected of starting a small fire was arrested and another man was shot to death by police after he fled officers who approached to see if he was trying to set a fire. Wildfires, burning in seven counties, had destroyed about 1,500 homes and caused more than a half-million people to flee since the first blaze began late Saturday. At least two – in Orange and Riverside counties – have been attributed to arson. Throughout the region, authorities stepped up patrols in hopes of preventing copycat fires and looting. Orange County officials converged on a remote area of bone-dry brush where a 19,200-acre wildfire has destroyed nine homes. They were aided by special teams from the FBI and federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The federal government planned to send more agents from around the country to help with the probe. Investigators taped off an area they called a crime scene, took photos, collected evidence and recorded map coordinates, according to ATF Special Agent Susan Raichel. Authorities believe the fire had been set because they found three different ignition points within a short distance – a common sign of arson.