Schemes, insurers and unions call for independent pensions commission

first_img“We need to relentlessly pursue that vision,” Segars said.“We need to advocate policies that take us toward that vision and challenge those that distract us.“[A commission] would create that long-term view of the retirement savings system, build consensus around it and hold the government to account for delivering it.“[It] will help to ensure we can put the long-term interests of savers, not the short-term interests of politicians, at the heart of pensions policy.”The NAPF said its envisaged commission would be a “small group” with expertise to represent the interests of savers, employers, the industry and the wider economy.It would undertake detailed research and report to the government and Parliament annually, providing an assessment of the market with recommendations for change where necessary.The independent Turner Commission first suggested the policy of auto-enrolment after being set up in 2002 by the then Labour government.The NAPF, which is calling for a permanent commission, said Turner’s success was built on shared policy building and vision on what needed to change.“[The Turner Commission’s] process of decision making – thoughtful, evidence-based and inclusive – laid the foundations for a consensus that has delivered one of the most far-reaching public policy interventions in recent decades,” Segars said.In March, the Parliamentary body charged with scrutinising pensions policy called for a new commission to review several aspects of policy, including changes to the defined contribution (DC) market and auto-enrolment.However, it fell short of calling for a permanent stature.Outgoing pensions minister Steve Webb has admitted the structure of government was ill-suited for pensions policy but outlined a wider idea of creating a new government department focused on pensions and the ageing society.Webb faces re-election as a Liberal Democrat MP on 7 May with the outcome of whether he will remain in his seat, or his party in government, difficult to call.At an event in March hosted by the Society of Pensions Professionals, Webb said he disagreed with the notion an independent commission could remove “the politics from pensions”.While praising the work of the Turner Commission, Webb said removing politics from pensions was unattainable given the sensitivities around pensions policy and retirement ages.Any independent commission would only provide recommendations to government departments, leaving MPs to agree or disagree with implementation.Last year, the Danish government said the country’s pension system needed to be analysed and was considering the creation of a pensions commission to look at tax and insufficient coverage. The UK should create a permanent independent commission to create a long-term view of the pensions system and help build consensus around government policy and scrutiny over its delivery, a report has said.The report, published by the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF), said the commission was not about taking decisions away from politicians but moving away from short-term opportunistic decision making.The call for an independent commission has been made many times; however, the new report has received backing from a wide spectrum of organisations the Association of British Insures (ABI), the Trades Union Congress (TUC), the Federation of Small Businesses, pension schemes and providers and the International Longevity Centre (ILC).Joanne Segars, chief executive of the NAPF, said the industry needed collectivism to agree on definitions for “good retirement outcomes”, ensuring savers reached targets and deciding what role pensions play and how much intervention into people’s decision making should be made.last_img read more

England to take on Europe’s finest at Fulford

first_img26 Apr 2013 England to take on Europe’s finest at Fulford Teams of the best women golfers from 20 countries will head to Fulford Golf Club, York, this summer when England Golf hosts the European Ladies’ Amateur Team Championship from July 9-13.Spectators are welcome – admission will be free – and England will draw on home advantage and support as the team bids to end a 20-year drought and win the gold medal.Yorkshire grit will figure strongly in their preparation, as was revealed at a media day at Fulford to promote the championship. Both the team captain, Emma Brown, and coach, Steve Robinson,(Image © Leaderboard Photography) are from the county and the event is supported by the City of York Council.Steve Robinson, who is based at Sandburn Hall, commented: “You can’t ever control the winning but you can control the preparation and we will prepare to the best of our abilities.”He’s just taken a practice session at Fulford with member of the England Performance Squad which includes European number one Georgia Hall, Curtis Cup player Bronte Law, British stroke play champion Sarah-Jane Boyd and English stroke play champion Alex Peters.Also present was team captain Emma Brown, one of the finest amateurs of her generation, and a member at Malton & Norton Golf Club. She played in three Curtis Cup teams and in six European ladies’ team championships – helping to win three silver medals and two bronzes. Her individual achievements include winning British, English, European, South African and Scottish championships.She commented: “I’m really looking forward to the championship. As a player you know what you expect from a captain so hopefully I will be able to help the girls as much as I can. It will be nice to be on the other side of the fence!” The England team of six will be selected in June.The championship has been welcomed by Sonja Crisp, City of York Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism. She said: “We welcome this important championship to York’s rich sporting calendar which we are delighted to support. We also offer young people golf starter courses in the city to set them on course for a lifelong habit – let’s hope they aspire to a tournament like this!”All the action will unfold on Fulford’s wonderful heathland and woodland course, which has tested some of the world’s finest players over the years. It hosted 23 consecutive European Tour events and the list of winners includes an array of Ryder Cup players and captains and many Major winners, including Tony Jacklin, Lee Trevino, Greg Norman and Sandy Lyle.The championship starts with all teams playing two stroke play qualifying rounds. The best eight teams will qualify for the quarter finals and play head to head, match play golf, to decide the medals. Meanwhile, the remaining teams play in the second flight to decide their overall place.Team entered for the championship, in addition to England, are: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Scotland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Wales.The defending champions are Sweden, who will be seeking their third consecutive win.last_img read more

Classy Plumb wins by two in South Africa

first_img7 Mar 2019 Classy Plumb wins by two in South Africa Tags: elite golf, England squads, performance England international Tom Plumb played outstanding golf to shoot 18-under par and win the Sanlam Cape Province Open in South Africa by two shots.It was the lowest tournament score so far from the 19-year-old and in his final, bogey-free, round of seven-under 65 he hit every green in regulation.Plumb, from Yeovil Golf Club in Somerset, shared eighth place after his first round of two-under at George Golf Club. He moved into the lead when he scored six-under 66 at Kingswood Golf Estate, shared top spot after his third round 69 and claimed the trophy with his closing 65.Another English player, Joe Harvey of The Kendleshire, Gloucestershire, tied fourth on ten-under.“It was fun” said Plumb, who is a member of the England Men’s Squad. Going into the third day and the last two rounds, he knew he’d have to put his foot down: “There were so many birdies being made, it was ridiculous. I knew what I had to do and I knew it was possible.”He didn’t have it all his own way though. He started the third round with an eight after two drives went out of bounds. But he wasn’t fazed. “They were really good drives, they just went too far,” he said. “I told myself it was just one hole and that there were plenty of birdies out there and I had to keep hitting greens and making them.”He did exactly that and went on to hit tip-top form in the final round. “I hit all the greens in regulation on the front nine and said if I could do that again I would win – and that’s what I did, hit all 18 greens in regulation. I’ve never done that before in a situation like that and it gave me great confidence.”Plumb also drew on his experiences in the South American Amateur in Chile in January, where he was in contention until a final hole bogey ended his chances. “That gave me a big kick in the teeth, it was the worst I have felt finishing in a golf tournament. But it helped me here – and I didn’t want to let two go.”Plumb’s victory came in the final event of a month long tour of South Africa, representing England Golf alongside David Langley of Castle Royle, BB&O, Joe Long of Lansdown, Gloucestershire, and Billy McKenzie of Rowlands Castle, Hampshire. “Every minute we have had has been an unbelievable experience,” he said.Click here for full scoresImage © Pieter Elslast_img read more

Saga at ‘Wounded Knee’

first_imgby Aubrey BruceFor New Pittsburgh CourierHey, I don’t know about “you’s” guys but when I think of Wounded Knee it is not the left knee that I injured falling on the ice on New Year’s Day 2013. Do not let your imaginations run wild because no, my slip and fall was not because of too much merlot; it was because of not enough salt in my walkway. However contrary to popular belief, life may in many cases imitate art; in my case my “distressed” knee did not cause distress for anyone but me. But that was not the case for the Washington Redskins this past weekend.There are all sorts of unacceptable caricatures of native Americans with sports franchises being named the “Redskins” and “Indians.” However, when the Seattle Seahawks faced the Redskins in an NFC wildcard round in Washington, D.C. it was a “wounded knee” that disarmed the “Skins” and was pivotal in the outcome. This game was filled with so many social variables and contrasts that it would take a lot more space than I have here so please bear with me. First, the “Skins”All-Galaxy rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III was poised to face off against the now All-Universe rookie quarterback for the “Hawks,” Russell Wilson. Wilson was drafted two rungs lower than Andrew Luck, the first overall pick of the 2012 draft, and second pick RG III. Regardless, there were no “tomahawk chops” or any other signs that could have stopped the “little big man” from Seattle from climbing the ladder of legend. First and foremost there were many opinions as to why RG III should not have been starting the game in the first place. Doctor James Andrews, the knee specialist who also helped Adrian Peterson’s return to the gridiron for the 2012 season is not quite seeing eye to eye with Redskins head Coach Mike Shanahan’s assertion that he had Andrews’ okay to put Griffin back in the game after he was injured against the Baltimore Ravens on Dec. 9. “He’s on the sidelines with Dr. Andrews. He had a chance to look at him and he said he could go back in,” Shanahan said the day after the Ravens game. “(I said) ‘Hey, Dr. Andrews, can Robert go back in?’ Yeah, he can go back in.  ‘Robert, go back in.’ That was it,” Shanahan said. Dr. Andrews did not quite agree with coach Shanahan’s observation. “[Griffin] didn’t even let us look at him,” Andrews said. “He came off the field, walked through the sidelines, circled back through the players, and took off back to the field. It wasn’t our opinion. We didn’t even get to touch him or talk to him. Scared the hell out of me.”Mr. Wilson performed as though he was the one who should have gotten the serious “cheese.” Wilson was the first rookie quarterback to win a playoff game after his team trailed by as many as 14 points, leading the Seahawks to a 24-14 victory over the Redskins. RG III also played a gutsy game. Did you guys and gals know that this was the first time that two “rookie” quarterbacks of “color” faced off in a playoff game? The NFL has come a long ways in regards to the skill positions but there seems to be a long way to go before there is a resolution in regards to folks being comfortable with “colored” field generals. When it comes to quarterbacks, they should just be quarterbacks. A few weeks ago I severely criticized Ben Roethlisberger for his horrendous performance against the Cincy Bengals that knocked the Steelers out of the postseason. I received a caustic anti-minority email from [email protected] that said, “Translation: I don’t like the 6’-5” cracker with two Super Bowl rings. What a load of garbage your article is. How many turnovers did the Steelers offense have in three games WITHOUT Ben? Funny, how those games didn’t get mentioned. Including the game when Byron Leftwich sucked or the three pick game that Charlie Batch threw in a 6 point loss to the Browns. We both know why those games were omitted don’t we? Funny how the defense crapping the bed in Oakland and Tennessee didn’t get mentioned either. It’s OK Aubrey, we both know why.”  Hey Keith J. Fro, translation: you don’t know what the he-l you’re talking about. Did you ever read any of the articles I wrote criticizing the Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin? Did you glance across the piece I penned several weeks ago in which I said that Charlie Batch did not deserve an NFL paycheck as a result of his terrible performance against the Browns in Cleveland?  Or that as a result of his many injuries that back up QB Byron Leftwich should have been cut long ago? Get a life, Keith. Translation: it’s okay to beat up on the Black guy that many “folks” in the Steelers nation chop up on a daily basis as an example of the “Rooney Rule” gone terribly, terribly wrong. Secondly, Mr. “Fro” mostly all of my media and sports journalism buddies are White (I don’t care they are still my brothers and I love them and their families dearly) but less than 5 percent of Black journalist’s cover the NFL for AP and the other dailies, yet more than 75 percent of the players are Black. Does that make sense, Brother “Fro”? Just because an athlete is White does not mean that he is right and just because he is Black does not mean that he has to step back…peace, I’m out.(Aubrey Bruce can be reached at:   [email protected] or 412-583-6741.) AUBREY BRUCElast_img read more