Labor groups pitch alternatives to comply with emission caps law

first_img Full Name* Andrew Cuomogreen buildingslabor unionsLocal Law 97 Tags Share via Shortlink The groups also proposed limiting the number of renewable energy credits that could be purchased, based on a percentage of the building’s greenhouse emissions that are above the annual limit.John Mandyck, CEO of the Urban Green Council, said “renegotiating Local Law 97 in the state budget won’t work,” and the proposal on the table fails to deliver a direct environmental benefit in the city, since the energy credits would go toward maintaining existing renewable energy facilities in other parts of the state. But the groups acknowledge that changes are needed to the local law.“We get it. There are buildings that no matter what they do, can’t comply,” Mandyck said. “The worst thing we can do is just issue fines. Fines are just a lose-lose proposition.”“We don’t need fines; we need carbon reduction,” he added.Building service workers’ union 32BJ SEIU and the construction union umbrella organization, the Building and Construction Trades Council, have also put forward their own compromise, but one that would be part of the state budget. In a February memo, the groups voiced support for the option to buy energy credits elsewhere in the state, citing the lack of credits available within the city.The groups, however, suggest what they see as “sensible amendments” to the governor’s proposal, floating a cap on the number of energy credits that can be used to offset emissions, limiting the application of the credits to building emissions related to electricity or finding other ways to invest in energy efficiency onsite. The groups also suggest only permitting the use of out-of-state credits until an “adequate amount of renewable power” is flowing into the city.“While the grid is on its journey to becoming less carbon intensive, we need to give buildings every incentive that there is to become efficient and [to] electrify,” Kyle Bragg, president of 32BJ, said in a statement. “But it’s very hard to hold them accountable on the grid when buildings cannot control the grid’s efficiency, and need more flexibility.”Gary LaBarbera, president of the BCTC, said the governor’s proposal helps ensure that the goals of Local Law 97 are met.“Good middle-class careers will be central to New York’s sustainable economy and to advancing our climate goals, and these thoughtful and practical amendments to Local Law 97 help ensure just that,” he said.The state Assembly and Senate are working on their own budget proposals. Some state and city elected officials have criticized the governor’s proposal, saying it would wrongfully circumvent city law at the behest of the real estate industry.Contact Kathryn Brenzel Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Message* Email Address* Urban Green Council’s John Mandyck, BCTC’s Gary LaBarbera and 32BJ’s Kyle Bragg (Twitter, Getty, 32BJ SEIU, iStock)Gov. Andrew Cuomo wanted to make it easier for owners to comply with New York City’s building emission caps. But as budget negotiations heat up, labor groups are suggesting tweaks, while others are calling for a completely alternative path.As part of his proposed budget, the governor wants to allow property owners to buy renewable energy credits generated outside New York City to help meet new carbon emission caps put in place by the city’s Local Law 97.But nine groups are instead calling on the city to create another option for compliance, such as the ability for property owners to invest in a fund that would pay for energy efficiency and electrification upgrades in affordable housing. The groups, including the Urban Green Council, the Alliance for a Greater New York and the Regional Plan Association, don’t want this issue handled in the state budget.ADVERTISEMENTRead moreReal estate seeks changes to city’s green buildings billGoing green has some city landlords seeing redFive key real estate proposals in Cuomo’s budgetlast_img read more

Irish baker sells to food processing firm

first_imgLeading Irish artisan bakery My Own bakery in Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary, has been sold by Siobhan Walsh, the woman who started the business five years ago, writes Hugh Oram.Walsh sold the business for an undisclosed sum to a Dublin-based food processing company, CWK Food Processing of Baldoyle, Dublin. The owner of CWK Jim Kilbride said he intends to run the bakery along its present lines,without making major changes. The business was set up by Walsh on her 150-year-old family farm, where she had a bakery built. The bakery employs six full-time and eight part-time workers and has a turnover of approximately E500,000. My Own produces baked goods mainly for the Christmas market, hand-mixing all products. Under the My Own label, four varieties of Christmas puddings are produced, as well as Christmas cakes and brandy butter. The bakery also makes gluten-free and diabetic versions and catering sizes. My Own bakery services the multiple and convenience grocery market as well as deli and health food shops, catering outlets and hamper companies. The firm has won a number of accolades for its products, including five Great Taste awards.last_img read more

977 admitted to Class of 2019 under Early Action

first_imgHarvard College Thursday night sent admission notifications to 977 prospective students through its Early Action program. The students, who represent a broad range of economic, ethnic, and geographical backgrounds, will have the opportunity to join the Harvard College Class of 2019.“These 977 individuals present an exceptional array of academic, extracurricular, and personal accomplishments,” said William R. Fitzsimmons, dean of admissions and financial aid. “Whatever institution they choose to attend, we are certain they will leave a lasting mark on the world.”Last year, Harvard’s Early Action program admitted 992 students to the Class of 2018. The year before, 892 were admitted, while 774 were admitted the year prior to that, when the program was restored following a four-year hiatus. While the number of students admitted through the program dropped slightly this year, Fitzsimmons said that early admission has become the “new normal” in many communities, and that many of the top students across the nation and around the globe continue to apply to colleges early.First instituted in the mid-’70s, when Harvard and other peer institutions had significantly smaller application pools, Early Action was suspended with the Class of 2012 amid concerns that students were making premature college choices and that the program gave an advantage to students who attended secondary schools with greater resources and better college counseling. The program was restored for the Class of 2016 following the global financial crisis, when it became clear that many students from low-income backgrounds were interested in the certainty its early financial aid awards provided.“Increasing pressure on secondary school students, especially in early admission, has also long concerned us,” said Fitzsimmons. “For this reason, we make it clear that whether a student applies early or regular has no bearing on our ultimate admission decision.“We continue to recommend that students focus on which college would be the best fit and worry less about the timing,” he added. “Under Harvard’s Early Action program, students are not obligated to attend, and they are given the entire senior year to consider all their admissions and financial aid offers before making their final college choice.”Fitzsimmons also pointed to a paper, “Time Out or Burn Out for the Next Generation,” that has been available for more than a decade on the Harvard admissions website. Written by Harvard officials, it offers strategies for coping with these pressures and advocates a gap year before college or taking time off during or after college.This year, 5,919 students applied for early admission, compared with 4,692 last year. Harvard College Connection (HCC), a new initiative announced in October 2013, appears to have played a major role in this year’s early results. Bolstered by Harvard’s enhanced website and video capabilities along with a new social media program and traditional outreach, HCC was cited by many students in their applications.“We are pleased to see such promising results in just the first year of HCC,” said Director of Admissions Marlyn E. McGrath. “We will continue to study the effect of these new recruiting efforts over the next few years.”This year also saw a continued increase in minority admissions, with Asian-Americans making up 22.7 percent of early admits for the Class of 2019, compared with 21 percent last year. The percentage of African-American students also rose, from 9.9 to 10.3 percent, as did the percentage of Latinos, from 10.5 to 11.4 percent; Native Americans, from 0.9 to 1.2 percent; and Native Hawaiians, from 0.2 to 0.3 percent.And women make up 49.7 percent of those admitted early this year, up from 45 percent of the Class of 2018. “We trust that recruiting efforts for women through HCC and other outreach had a significant effect,” said McGrath.“Harvard’s revolutionary financial aid program once again provided the foundation for recruiting the majority of our applicants,” said Sally C. Donahue, Griffin Director of Financial Aid. “While most students have yet to submit financial information, preliminary staff estimates of financial need indicate a higher percentage of students this year come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.”Families with annual incomes of $65,000 or less are not required to contribute to their children’s educational expenses. Those with incomes from $65,000 to $150,000 pay on a sliding scale up to 10 percent of annual income, and need-based aid is also available to families with incomes greater than $150,000. Families with significant assets in all income categories are asked to contribute more. Home equity and retirement funds are not considered in the calculations, and students are no longer required to take out loans. Close to 60 percent of Harvard students receive need-based financial aid, with grants averaging more than $40,000.“Harvard’s new Net Price Calculator, a simple one-page application available on both the admissions and financial aid websites, provides families with an estimate of their eligibility for assistance under Harvard’s generous need-based financial aid program,” said Donahue.In addition to the 977 admitted students, 4,292 were deferred and will be considered again in the Regular Action process, while 541 were denied, 19 withdrew, and 90 were incomplete. The Regular Action process concludes in March, with notification to students on March 31.Over the months ahead, faculty, staff, undergraduate recruiters, and alumni will use personal notes, phone calls, emails, regular mailings, and social media to reach out to admitted students with information about Harvard. Many Harvard clubs will host information sessions during the winter holidays and in April. All admitted students will be invited to Cambridge on April 25-27 for Visitas, a comprehensive program that enables students to experience life at Harvard firsthand.last_img read more

Te’o controversy moves forward

first_imgEditor’s note: A version of this story appeared on ndsmcobserver.com early Saturday morning. It has been updated with facts that have emerged since then. A tumultuous 48 hours of questions, rumors and speculation temporarily halted early Saturday morning when former Irish linebacker Manti Te’o ended his silence and denied any involvement in concocting the fake life of Lennay Kekua in an interview with ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap. “No, never,” Te’o told Schaap when asked if he was involved in the hoax. “Never, not ever.” In fact, Te’o told Schaap he was not fully convinced he had been hoaxed until Roniah Tuiasosopo, the man accused of perpetrating the scheme, contacted him to admit his involvement in the scheme Wednesday, the same day a report from Deadspin.com broke the story. Schaap said Te’o showed him Twitter messages from Tuiasosopo from two days ago in which he apologized. While he maintained his full innocence in the interview, Te’o did admit he made mistakes along the way, including lying to his parents about meeting Kekua. When the story of Kekua’s death unfolded in the midst of an undefeated Notre Dame season and Heisman Trophy campaign for Te’o, the linebacker said he “kind of tailored my stories to have people think that, yeah, he met her before she passed away.” “That goes back to what I did with my dad,” Te’o said. “I knew that – I even knew that it was crazy that I was with somebody I didn’t meet.” “When [Te’o] described her as the love of his life, he meant it 100 percent, although they had never met,” Schaap said. “He did mislead people by saying he met her. He did so because he knew how crazy it would sound that he felt this deeply about someone he had never met.” Te’o told Schaap the relationship allegedly started on Facebook during Te’o’s sophomore year at Notre Dame, but that it was not until around the Oct. 1, 2011 Purdue game that it grew. He said the relationship started to become more intense in late April 2012, when Te’o was told Kekua was in a car accident. Te’o told Schaap that he began to sleep with the phone on the line with who he believed to be Kekua once she was in the hospital recovering from the fake car accident and leukemia. ESPN also reported Te’o supposedly had attempted to video-chat with Kekua multiple times before she purportedly passed, but each time had been unable to see her face in the chat. Additionally, Te’o told Schaap about a four-way text message conversation before Kekua’s death involving Scripture messages between himself, his parents and the person he believed to have been Kekua. Schaap reported Te’o even showed him the messages during their interview. Te’o said he never doubted Kekua’s existence or death until early December, nearly three months after he believed she had died. Corroborating the statements made by Notre Dame Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick on Wednesday, Te’o said he received communication from the woman whom he believed to be Kekua on Dec. 6, but was not initially convinced it was a hoax. “After he gets this phone call on Dec. 6 … he’s utterly confused,” Schaap said. “He doesn’t know whether to believe this person or not. She tells some story about how she’s been hiding from drug dealers.” Te’o told Schaap he asked the person purporting to be Te’o to provide a photo with a date stamp, but even after receiving that, continued to be suspicious of the conversation. In addition, Te’o said people associated with Tuiasosopo showed up at Notre Dame’s team hotel during preparations for the Jan. 7 BCS National Championship Game. Notre Dame did not arrive in South Florida until Jan. 2. Schaap said Te’o “wanted to get his story out there because he did know what people say to some extent” after a 48-hour period during which he was criticized for his silence. “He disputed the theory out there that he was completely naive about romantic relationships,” Schaap said. “He said he got sucked into this because he thought he was talking to someone who he shared a lot with. Background, Samoan background, she understood the culture, she understood the language, spoke it better than he did. … It was an intense relationship over a couple months.” ESPN publicist Mike Humes said on his Twitter account that ESPN “had no parameters on questions. While no TV cameras were permitted and use of audio was limited, we can use anything from the interview across our outlets.” Schaap said he thought the no-camera setting made Te’o more comfortable, and the arrangement was at the linebacker’s request. On Friday, ESPN’s Shelley Smith published a report in which an unidentified woman close to Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, the alleged mastermind of the operation, claimed Tuiasosopo told her that Te’o is a victim of the hoax. In the report, Smith talked to two California residents who claim Tuiasosopo duped their cousin in 2008. The two claim Tuiasosopo supposedly used the same name and photos in that hoax. Late Friday, USA Today reported that three elements of Kekua’s story parallel that of the Tuiasosopo family: a case of leukemia, a car accident and a quote from Tuiasosopo’s father’s Facebook page that Te’o told the team Kekua said prior to the faked death. The two-and-a-half-hour off-camera interview with Schaap took place in Bradenton, Fla., where Te’o is currently training in anticipation for the NFL Draft. This week, Katie Couric will conduct the first on-camera interview of Te’o, who will be accompanied by his parents. Segments will be shown during Couric’s syndicated television show Thursday. Contact Andrew Owens at [email protected]last_img read more

The Drug Trade And Money Laundering In The Americas

first_img Measures Governments are Taking The term “money laundering” is said to have originated from the Mafia ownership of laundromats in the United States during the 1930s. Today, however, targeting the illicit proceeds of drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) has gained the attention of governments around the world. While money laundering itself is quite complex, it consists of three basic steps: 1. Placement, where the money is most vulnerable to detection because it is considered dirty money. Some of the more prominent examples are making multiple cash deposits less than $10,000, purchasing multiple money orders below the reporting threshold, and using close associates to make multiple bank deposits. 2. Layering is the second stage in which the perpetrators attempt to disassociate the money from its original source. This is where money begins to be transferred to and from multiple accounts in an effort to make these transactions difficult to detect. 3. Finally, integration is the process of using funds for legitimate purposes because the funds essentially have been cleaned. Some of the methods used to further disguise these funds include real estate purchases, investments in front companies, stocks and foreign businesses. While many people unwittingly participate in money laundering, there are also many participants who are fully aware of the crime being committed. In 2007 the Costa Rican National Police dismantled a large drug trafficking organization in a sting titled Operation Border. Costa Rican newspaper reporter Otto Vargas, quotes the Costa Rican National Police as saying, “…behind these people exist a large number of collaborators (…), also pilots, air traffic controllers, owners of clandestine landing strips, drug transporters, laboratory owners, and other people dedicated to money laundering,” he wrote in Costa Rican daily, La Nación. Vargas’ remark is extremely poignant in that it highlights the complexity of money laundering by distinguishing the fact that is it not an individual act. Notable Cash Seizures By Dialogo July 01, 2011 According to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations, the International Monetary Fund believes that money laundering may account for 2% to 5% of the world’s gross domestic product, estimated to be as high as $3.61 trillion. The Tax Justice Network, an independent organization launched in the British Houses of Parliament in 2003 dedicated to analysis and advocacy in the field of tax and regulation, reported that developing countries lose an estimated $858.6 billion – $1.06 trillion annually in illicit financial outflows. Money laundering also has an effect on national policy because of mistakes in measurement errors on national account statistics and it also threatens monetary instability due to unsound asset structures in commodities, according to the United Nations Department of Public Information. The accumulation of wealth by DTOs poses a grave threat to the security of nations in this hemisphere. Antonio Maria Costa, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime stated, “Where crime and corruption reign and drug money perverts the economy, the state no longer has a monopoly on the use of force and its citizens no longer trust their leaders and public institutions.” The BBC reported that Mexican drug cartels have so much cash at their disposal that they have managed to consistently infiltrate police, from the grassroots level to the very top. The U.S. Congressional Research Service reports that according to the United Nations Office of Drug Control, homicide rates have increased in Latin America “from 19.9 per 100,000 people in 2003 to 32.6 per 100,000 people in 2008.” While the exact correlation to drug trafficking is unknown, it is almost certain that the illicit narcotics trade plays a major role in the significant increase in homicides in this hemisphere. It is important to note that Latin America and the Caribbean has some of the highest homicide rates in the entire world. These regions serve as transit zones for drugs bound for North America. A further analysis indicates homicide rates are extreme in the transit zone countries. In the United States, the Bank Secrecy Act of 1970 is the cornerstone of the nation’s effort to combat money laundering. It requires U.S. financial institutions to maintain records of cash purchases of negotiable instruments, file reports of cash transactions exceeding $10,000, and also report other suspicious activities that may signify money laundering, tax evasion, or other criminal activities. Mexico has made significant progress in the past year in its efforts to combat illicit financial flows by implementing tough anti-money laundering laws. As a result of these stringent new laws, Mexico has seen an astonishing 75% reduction in U.S. currency deposits. Some of the key provisions of the new law impose a limit on cash deposits by Mexican individuals of $4,000 per month; foreign tourists are allowed to exchange only up to $1,500 per month; no more than $7,700 may be used as cash towards the purchase of vehicles, boats or planes; and making it illegal to purchase real estate in cash, reported The Washington Post. What are the results when governments undertake similar measures? A telling example is the case of Pablo Escobar, one of the most well-known drug traffickers in history, who at one point had an estimated net worth of $25 billion. In a documentary about his life, “Sins of my Father,” his son, Sebastian Marroquín, formerly Juan Pablo Escobar, stated the following: “Why am I not a drug trafficker? Because I was with my father, hiding next to him surrounded by millions of dollars and we were starving, where we’d been hiding for a week and ran out of food. That’s when I understood that the money from drug trafficking is absolutely worthless.” *Anthony Williams is a Doctoral candidate in Homeland Security and Defense at the National Graduate School, Falmouth, MA, and is a member of a Joint Staff within the U.S. Department of Defense. In March, 2007, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration and Mexican law enforcement made the largest single drug cash seizure in history, totaling $207 million dollars, in what was a front for a Mexican pharmaceutical company. In September, 2009, United States Immigration Customs and Enforcements (ICE) agents along with Colombian and Mexican authorities seized over $41 million in shipping containers. “We recognize both the U.S. government and Mexican authorities as our best allies in the fight against organized crime and thank and congratulate ICE for their support and collaboration,” said General Oscar Naranjo Trujillo, director general of the Colombian National Police. The Impact of Money Laundering Future Efforts to Curtail Money Laundering The United States National Drug Control Strategy states, “undermining the financial infrastructure of trafficking organizations has proven to be one of the most effective means to disrupt the market for illegal drugs.” This statement is significant because when a government captures a high value target or head of a DTO, that individual is quickly replaced by the next in line and so the cycle of organized crime will continue to function. However, if the funding stream is broken, these organizations lack the means to purchase materials necessary to produce and distribute illicit narcotics. By dismantling the financial infrastructure, the capability exists to bankrupt these criminal organizations. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and its associated nation-states set the year 2019 as their target date to significantly reduce or eliminate money laundering related to illicit drugs. To tackle the growing threats posed by the transfers of funds from illicit proceeds, the Financial Action Task Force, an inter-governmental policy-making body on financial crimes, urges transnational cooperation to meet the objectives established by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. last_img read more

Want to take care of others? Take care of yourself!

first_imgOne of the struggles we’re hearing from our CU leaders, and leaders everywhere, is that this COVID thing is getting old. You’re tired of it. Me too.There seems to be no real end in sight. Even as we open businesses there are concerns about a second round of shut-downs and stay-at-home orders if we see another spike. And we’re only beginning to see the true financial damage this has done to members who have lost jobs and businesses, and those who are still on the edge.We have a lot of CU leaders in our SENSEI LEADER MOVEMENT membership. I’m hearing your concerns and your stresses every day. And I do mean leaders at all levels.Before I talk about some responses, I want to share something from the heart. You are going to feel the pain. You’re going to feel the pain and stress of the people on your team as you continue to adjust. You’re going to feel the pain and stress of your members as they bring you their challenges.You’re going to feel it because you care. It’s the nature of CU people to care. Ever since we started working with the CU community I’ve seen some of the most caring people in the world and certainly the most caring people in the financial world. You cannot help but feel the pain.Ever since this COVID thing started I’ve been nothing but impressed with how responsive CU leaders have been. I mean from the front line leaders dealing with long lines of sometimes frustrated and impatient people at the drive-through, leaders in maintenance adjusting to new protocols, managers, executives and board members who are squeezing two-year rollouts of new systems into weeks while also trying to keep yourself and your staff healthy, physically and mentally.And you’ve got to keep yourself healthy!Now one of the greatest challenges I hear from leaders in this area is just the fact that you tend to put other people first. Again…Because you care.What we always need to keep in mind is that if we want to really take care of others, we’ve got to take care of ourselves. Once in a while someone challenges me on that point. They’ll say they just can’t take the time right now, or that there are just higher priorities. After all, Simon Sinek discovered that the best “leaders eat last.” Right?You might eat last––but he didn’t say you’re not supposed to eat!The least selfish thing you can do for others is to take care of yourself. When you’re at your best, mentally, physically and spiritually, you are much more valuable and helpful to the people you serve.Now I’m usually talking about this in the context of making sure you’re taking care of your own development––that you keep learning and growing. At times like this, it also means making sure you’re taking care of your health. You can’t give your best when you’re sick, stressed out or cracking up.You’ve heard this before. Nothing new. I’m just going to approach it from a different, maybe a more hard-core angle. From the angle of “discipline.”Discipline is the cultivation and practice of meaningful and purposeful habits. These are not one-offs and they’re not “to-do list” items. Those can be too easily scratched out and postponed.These are things you embed in your life and in your leadership practice.#1 Exercise. I told you you’ve heard this before. Are you DOING it?I can’t tell you how many times I hear someone say, “I haven’t worked out in two weeks.” I’m not going to throw rocks at that house, but we’ve got to carve time into our schedule to make exercise a habit.Right now that’s doubly important. Exercise and proper nutrition are two of the most important factors in building immunity to this or any other virus. Do it.#2 Take a break.Again, you’ve heard it before. But again––are you doing it?This means carving in time to just sit and think. Sometimes to review and reconsider strategy and decisions. Sometimes to study and learn.Sometimes to do nothing but rest and recharge.(If you need some help with this one, visit this link for free access to “Sit Still, Shut Up and Breathe.”)#3 Share the burden.This doesn’t mean emotional dumping. It means truly reaching out and asking for help when you need it. It means spending some time with peers and talking about challenges, stresses––and opportunities.Most of all, it means soliciting input––from all levels.I’m still amazed at how many leaders still think they’ve got to do it all themselves––take the world on their shoulders. Yes, you’ve got to embrace responsibility, but you are not doing it alone no matter what you might think or feel.By the very nature of the job, a leader is someone who brings people together. One of the biggest mistakes I’m seeing amplified during this crisis is leaders who try to act alone, then find themselves trying to sell their ideas and directives to people who likely resist.Involve people. At all levels. Early and often. You may be surprised that some of the best ideas and solutions come from the most unexpected sources. And of course there’s always the reality that the people who do the work are usually in the best position to know what works––and what doesn’t.General Patton famously said, “Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise with their ingenuity.”That’s not shirking responsibility. It’s making sure you’re fully leveraging the skills, talents and abilities of everyone on your team. Everyone.These disciplines are simple. Not easy.Don’t put them on a list, carve them into your calendar, in ink! If you know the story of putting the big rocks in the vessel first, these are the big rocks. Don’t let the sand and gravel displace them. Put the big rocks in first and let the sand fill in the gaps. Then there’s room for everything.Your people need your “best you”. If you really want to take best care of your people, take care of yourself! 5SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Jim Bouchard “THE SENSEI LEADER is not just another leadership development program. It is a movement.”Our programs support this movement and help us fulfill our vision and mission…                                                                     Vision: To promote … Web: TheSenseiLeader.com Detailslast_img read more

SDG shift at Spitalfields

first_imgWould you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.last_img

Mid-sized pension funds to ‘disappear’, former ABP director predicts

first_imgThe current consolidation trend, with hundreds of smaller schemes throwing in the towel, is merely the start, he said. Berendsen, currently a senior partner at consultant Deloitte, said pension funds with less than €10bn in asset under management were unlikely to survive over the long term.“In addition, pension providers that carry out the administration for less than 100,000 participants lack the scale to keep on investing in new systems,” he said. According to Berendsen, who was involved in the division of the old-style ABP into the current pension fund and its provider APG in 2008, small improvements in the system will merely increase complexity, thereby hindering proper governance at pension funds.“We need to design a couple of basic pension plans, also accommodating the AOW, for the large sectors,” he said. “This way, the AOW could gradually be changed from pay-as-you-go to capital-funded, and would remain affordable despite the population ageing.”Berendsen said he also expected that politics would take the initiative.“The pensions sector is too busy implementing a deluge of new legislation,” he said. “Compare it with the review of the care system – that was also an initiave from politics. Although it took longer than one four-year term of Parliament, it has been completed.”Berendsen recommended a basic scheme that would be mandatory for all working people.“This would also serve the increasing number of self-employed, who are hardly accruing a pension,” he said.“For earnings of more than 150% of the average income, people should take care of a pension themselves.”The big advantage of a simple pension plan is that it is more sustainable than the current system, with its hundreds of different pension arrangements, Berendsen said.“It would cause an enormous drop in costs,” he added. “In the current system, it is very difficult to cut costs further. It would be only possible with the large-scale introduction of standardised schemes.” Average-sized pension funds are destined to disappear in the Netherlands once the smaller ones have been liquidated, according to Ton Berendsen, former member of the executive board at the €309bn civil service scheme ABP and its provider APG.Berendsen predicted only “a handful” of pension funds, including the state pension AOW, would remain, carrying out basic, mandatory pension arrangements.In an interview in financial news daily FD, he argued that the Dutch pension system’s current problems could not be solved with minor improvements.“The system must be changed to tackle problems such as the financing of the AOW, as well as the growing group of self-employed without a pension,” he said.last_img read more

When you just want to live on the couch

first_img>>FOLLOW THE COURIER-MAIL REAL ESTATE TEAM ON FACEBOOK<< A hardy native garden fringes 3 Mabel Street, Margate.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus16 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market16 hours agoThe first floor is open-plan living with kitchen, dining and living spaces framed on two sides by floor to ceiling glass windows and sliding doors which open onto a 7m long balcony. The master bedroom is off to one side. The ground floor features two bedrooms, a laundry room that at 3.7sq m is larger than the smallest bedroom, bathroom with separate toilet, living area with balcony and a carport and garage. Unrestricted views to Moreton Bay from 3 Mabel Street, MargateYOU don’t need walls to hang artwork when you can have a living panorama of Moreton Bay that only needs airbrushing when the sea breeze rustles the pine trees along Margate Beach.Claudine Sotiau and Placide Masse have built timber houses in Canada, and limestone houses in France (where they are currently visiting).They had been living at Woody Point when a termite ridden house, high on a hill in Margate, caught their attention. It was beyond renovation so they began again, employing Push Architect’s Paul Curran to design their new home in 2008.“We like minimalist, industrial looking buildings and this gave us the opportunity to build such: a breeze swept playground with wide views for two grey nomads, which is why we sell now, ten years later, being even older,’’ Ms Sotiau said.center_img From the back deck, Moreton Bay touches the clouds.From the outside, the steel and glass effect is very dramatic with sharp angles and Aztec designs in black, white and yellow. Striking exterior accents make 3 Mabel Street, Margate a house of distinction.“The house itself is designed to park toys,” she said. “A camper van in the garage, a boat under the carport and tools in the workshop.“My favourite part is the garden entirely planted with natives. They fiercely resist the sea salt and tolerate our absences without complaints.”last_img read more

PRCI Forms New Subsea Technical Committee

first_imgPipeline Research Council International’s (PRCI) executive assembly has approved a motion to form a subsea technical committee. The newly created technical committee (TC) will be dedicated to solving the challenges faced by subsea pipeline operators related to the design, construction, and integrity management of risers, flowlines and umbilicals.PRCI president Cliff Johnson said that, “the addition of the Subsea TC will enable PRCI to more fully support our members as the industry sees a continued growth in offshore oil and gas. We are excited by the leadership of ExxonMobil, Total, and Chevron in bringing this important area into PRCI.”The Subsea TC recently held their first meeting and confirmed their leadership team, which will be chaired by Jamey Fenske of ExxonMobil, with vice-chair support from Ludovic Assier of Total and Farzan Parsinejad of Chevron.With the creation of the Subsea TC, PRCI now has eight specific areas of research that include: compressor and pump station; corrosion; design, materials and construction; integrity and inspection; measurement; surveillance, operations and monitoring; and underground storage.last_img read more