The pensions industry has been cautioned not to offer a “knee-jerk” reaction to government proposals for the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) to offer drawdown products, amid concerns the provider could distort the decumulation market. Reacting to a consultation on the future of the defined contribution (DC) scheme set-up in parallel with the rollout of the UK’s auto-enrolment reform, the pensions industry warned against allowing NEST to compete with, or replace, private sector providers.The largest master trust, the nearly £1.2bn (€1.4bn) People’s Pension, argued that the government “can’t have its cake and eat it”, with its director of policy Darren Philp insisting that, if NEST wished to compete with other drawdown providers, the cost should not be met by further drawing on its government loan, which at the end of March stood at £460m.“Given how the market has responded to the challenge of auto-enrolment,” Philp said, “it is far from clear why we should be using a heavily subsidised government-backed scheme to provide services and products the market is well-equipped to provide in its own right.” Morten Nilsson, chief executive of the £192m fellow master trust Now Pensions, warned that NEST’s entry into the decumulation market risked “significantly [distorting] competition in an already distorted market”.“Its role was to be a provider of last resort with the intention that it should complement, not compete or replace, private sector providers,” Nilsson added.NEST has been successful in attracting more than 3.3m members to date, reporting assets under management of £970m as of the beginning of June.While some of its costs are met through a 0.3% annual management charge, additional costs are met by drawing on the loan.Immature decumulation marketGregg McClymont, head of retirement savings at Aberdeen Asset Management, insisted the decumulation market remained “very immature” one year after the end of forced annuitisation and the UK’s pension freedom reforms.Responding to those critical of NEST’s potential entry into the decumulation market, which the Department for Work and Pensions said would only see it offer drawdown solutions to existing NEST members – thereby ruling out the provider’s directly competing with market participants at retirement – McGlymont said he was “very sensitive” to the arguments put forward.However, he also questioned how long it would take the industry to develop a drawdown product suited to NEST’s target market, with its stated goal of attracting largely lower-income earners less likely to be financially literate.“Given NEST’s track record in the accumulation space,” McGlymont said, “given the characteristics of the immature decumulation market, and given NEST’s need to serve its target market more widely, a knee-jerk reaction is probably not the right way to proceed.”In the wake of the pensions freedom reforms, NEST has been working within its current statutory framework, allowing those members wishing to access savings to take one or more lump-sum payments.In 2015, the scheme outlined how its future retirement offerings could evolve to blend deferred annuities and income drawdown – allowing for income certainty and members to benefit from future returns.McClymont, previously the Labour party’s opposition spokesman on pensions, praised NEST’s work on drawdown products.“This is a market crying out for some sort of innovation, and we’re all trying to provide it,” he said.“But, actually, it’s difficult because usually you respond to consumer demand in the market – and it’s unclear what the demand is.”The government consultation is set to close in late September.
“But I didn’t make any fatal errors and I putted well,” he remarked. “The greens are very difficult but I got the pace.” He was the only competitor to beat par in the first round of the English men’s open mid-amateur championship, as the demanding heathland course kept its defences firmly in place with fiery fairways and undulating greens. Woburn’s Steve Jensen shot two-under par 68 to take the first round lead in the Logan Trophy at Beau Desert Golf Club in Staffordshire. He was the only competitor to beat par in the first round of the English men’s open mid-amateur championship, as the demanding heathland course kept its defences firmly in place with fiery fairways and undulating greens. Defending champion Jorg Paulus is nursing a bad back which makes him loth to hit out and he returned an opening 81. However, he noted that Beau Desert is the 492nd course he has played, as he works his way towards his target of 1000. In the year since he won the championship he has added 48 to his tally. Jensen worked for his score: “This is a very, very unforgiving golf course, anything which is not on line, whether it’s a putt or a drive or an iron shot is severely punished. It’s very bouncy out there it’s like playing links golf,” he said. He holds a two shot lead over the field. Matt Wilcox (North Hants) is his closest challenger with his round of level par 70, which also included six birdies. Anthony Harwood (Blackburn) lies third on one-over while Andrew Francis (Bearsted) is a further stroke back. Behind them is a group of 10 players on 73 with a further 11 on 74. “I fought hard to keep the score going,” he said – revealing that he was motivated by the sight of his name at the top of the on-course leaderboards. Jensen, a past club champion at Woburn, started and finished with a birdie and managed to add four more during the round, alongside four bogeys. Defending champion Jorg Paulus is nursing a bad back which makes him loth to hit out and he returned an opening 81. However, he noted that Beau Desert is the 492nd course he has played, as he works his way towards his target of 1000. In the year since he won the championship he has added 48 to his tally. He’d enjoyed the experience once before, when he was leading after the first 15 holes of final qualifying for the European senior tour … but it didn’t last. The most spectacular shot of the day was played by Tony Lord of Northamptonshire County (right) who had a hole-in-one on the 167-yard third. It was his sixth ace, all scored in competition. Click here for full scores He’d enjoyed the experience once before, when he was leading after the first 15 holes of final qualifying for the European senior tour … but it didn’t last. Woburn’s Steve Jensen shot two-under par 68 to take the first round lead in the Logan Trophy at Beau Desert Golf Club in Staffordshire. He used a seven-iron – and almost repeated the feat with the same club on the short 16th where the ball stopped within three inches of the cup. Lord returned 75 for the round remarking: “It’s a beautiful golf course, lovely, but it’s a tough test.” Jensen (pictured top) worked for his score: “This is a very, very unforgiving golf course, anything which is not on line, whether it’s a putt or a drive or an iron shot, is severely punished. It’s very bouncy out there, it’s like playing links golf,” he said. “I fought hard to keep the score going,” he said – revealing that he was motivated by the sight of his name at the top of the on-course leaderboards. Images copyright Leaderboard Photography Click here for full scores Jensen beats par to top the leadboard “This time I was determined to stay there, that was my motivation, to keep looking at my name,” he laughed. “That was my mind set.” Click here for full scores The most spectacular shot of the day was played by Tony Lord of Northamptonshire County who had a hole-in-one on the 167-yard third. It was his sixth ace, all scored in competition. He used a seven-iron – and almost repeated the feat with the same club on the short 16th where the ball stopped within three inches of the cup. Lord returned 75 for the round remarking: “It’s a beautiful golf course, lovely, but it’s a tough test.” “This time I was determined to stay there, that was my motivation, to keep looking at my name,” he laughed. “That was my mind set.” He holds an two shot lead over the field. Matt Wilcox (North Hants) is his closest challenger with his round of level par 70, which also included six birdies. Anthony Harwood (Blackburn) lies third on one-over while Andrew Francis (Bearsted) is a further stroke back. Behind them is a group of 10 players on 73 with a further 10 on 74. 7 Jul 2017 Jensen beats par to top the leaderboard “But I didn’t make any fatal errors and I putted well,” he remarked. “The greens are very difficult but I got the pace.” Jensen, a past club champion at Woburn, started and finished with a birdie and managed to add four more during the round, alongside four bogeys.
Serena Williams returns the ball to Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka during their final match at the Italian Open tennis tournament in Rome, May 19. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)by Andrew DampfROME (AP) — Serena Williams won her fourth consecutive title of the year in dominating fashion Sunday, beating third-seeded Victoria Azarenka 6-1, 6-3 in the Italian Open final.The top-ranked American will enter the French Open, which starts next Sunday, on a career-best 24-match winning streak.Williams was coming off consecutive titles in Miami; Charleston, South Carolina; and Madrid last week.She didn’t drop a set while winning this title.Williams’ only previous title at this clay-court event came in 2002, when she beat Justine Henin in the final.That was also the year she won her only title at Roland Garros. Last year in Paris, Williams lost in the opening round of a major for the first time, falling to 111th-ranked Virginie Razzano of France.Later, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal were renewing their rivalry in the men’s final at the Foro Italico.On a pleasant spring day, Williams immediately took control by breaking Azarenka’s serve twice to take a 3-0 lead in the opening set.The 15-time Grand Slam winner slugged winners at will off both Azarenka’s first and second serves, stepping into the court to dictate play at every opportunity.Azarenka grew distraught at the end of the first set, twice slamming her racket on the court in desperation.After trading breaks midway through the second set, Williams took control again when Azarenka double faulted to hand her a 5-3 lead. Williams then served out the match at love and let out a big scream when she unleashed a backhand winner down the line to close it out.Williams held a massive 41-12 edge in winners and served nine aces to Azarenka’s none.Williams improved to 12-2 in her career against Azarenka, who spent 51 weeks at No. 1 before Williams reclaimed the top spot in February.Williams had twice won 21 matches in a row before, although both of those runs came more than a decade ago, in 2002 and the beginning of 2003.Martina Navratilova established the longest women’s winning run in the Open Era at 74 matches in 1984.At 31, Williams is back at the top of her game after missing 11 months in 2010 and 2011 with a right foot injury and a pulmonary embolism.It was Azarenka’s first final since beating Williams for the title in February at Doha, Qatar. That followed the Belarussian’s Australian Open victory. Since then, Azarenka has been slowed by right ankle and left foot injuries.It was the 51st title of Williams’ career. Navratilova also holds the record in that category with a seemingly insurmountable 167 titles. Williams moved within two titles of matching Monica Seles for ninth on the all-time list.Wiilliams was already first among active players and now has seven more titles than her sister Venus, who is second on the list and watched the final from the stands.Earlier in the women’s doubles final, Su-Wei Hsieh of Taiwan and Peng Shuai of China upset the top-ranked Italian pair of Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci 4-6, 6-3, 10-8. Your comments are welcome.Follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/NewPghCourierJoin us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/New-Pittsburgh-Courier/143866755628836?ref=hlDownload our mobile app at http://www.appshopper.com/news/new-pittsburgh-courier
McKinleyville >> There were plenty of runs scored. There was plenty of rain. They were playing on a foreign field. In essence, the College of the Redwoods softball team’s regular-season finale, a doubleheader against Siskiyous at McKinleyville High School, was a microcosm of their peculiar season — an offensively gifted team dealing with more wet weather and playing on a field that is not their own, again. On Tuesday, Siskiyous completed a season-sweep over Redwoods, getting five runs in the …
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But shortly after James returned with some stiches and puffiness around his mouth, Cleveland went on an 8-0 run and headed to the fourth quarter tied at 77-all.James took over from there, delivering another tour de force performance that didn’t seem likely when he was being treated by the medical staff and the Cavs playing sluggishly.Cleveland built a nine-point lead in the first quarter and seemed ready to build on it when James made a surprising mistake.Alone in the frontcourt for an uncontested dunk, James tried to showboat and rocketed the ball off the back of the rim, a miss that stunned the three-time champion and the crowd of 20,000-plus fans. James then forced a long 3-pointer on Cleveland’s next possession and before long the Nets were even at 20-all when Zeller made his first 3 of the season.The Isaiah Thomas comeback is getting closer.ADVERTISEMENT Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James (23) drives against Brooklyn Nets’ DeMarre Carroll (9) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)CLEVELAND, Ohio—LeBron James shook off a blow to the face and scored 23 points in the fourth quarter — including 18 straight for Cleveland — as the Cavaliers won their sixth straight, 119-109 over the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night.James needed stitches in the third quarter to close a gash above his lip that drew blood. He punched back at the Nets in the fourth and finished with 33 points.ADVERTISEMENT Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games PLAY LIST 01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:50Trending Articles00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Read Next Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 MOST READ LATEST STORIES Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC The All-Star point guard took some contact during a rigorous workout at the team’s morning shootaround. Thomas has been ramping up his activity, running harder and appears to be ahead of schedule to make his debut with Cleveland. Originally, the Cavs forecast he would be playing in games by the end of December but there’s a sense it could be sooner.“We know he’s making progress every day, which is good for us,” Lue said. “We’re excited about that. We want to make sure we do what’s best for him health-wise, not coming back too soon.” With the Cavs up 100-99, James began his one-man show with a pair of free throws. He dropped in a couple left-handed shots and then drained two 3-pointers — the last a step-back with 55 seconds left to give Cleveland a 118-107 lead.James’ solo performance enabled the Cavs to avenge a 112-107 loss in Brooklyn last month.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutKevin Love and Dwyane Wade added 18 points apiece for Cleveland.Rondae Hollis-Jefferson scored 20 and Joe Harris 18 for the Nets, who could do nothing in the final 12 minutes to stop James.James went to the locker room with the laceration to his face in the third after he appeared to take an elbow from Tyler Zeller in the lane. While James was off the floor, the Nets extended their lead to six on a 3-pointer by Allen Crabbe. CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Kris Aquino ‘pretty chill about becoming irrelevant’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Blatche, Fajardo, Castro lead Gilas roster vs Japan Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa View comments
ESPN’s pre-season Football Power Index (FPI), defined as “a measure of team strength that is meant to be the best predictor of a team’s performance going forward for the rest of the season” has debuted. The rankings are compiled based off the results of 10,000 simulations. One of the categories you can rank teams in order of is remaining strength of schedule. Since the 2015 season hasn’t begun, the FPI strength of schedule rankings represent which teams have the toughest slates this year. Alabama tops the FPI strength of schedule rankings, and the top 20 is not surprisingly SEC-heavy. Twelve of the 20 programs are members of the SEC. ESPN SOS RankingThe full FPI rankings are available here.
SOUTH BEND, IN – OCTOBER 28: Head coach Brian Kelly of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish reacts after a play in the fourth quarter against the North Carolina State Wolfpack at Notre Dame Stadium on October 28, 2017 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly’s sideline shove of assistant strength coach David Grimes drew national attention over the weekend. Kelly said on Tuesday he “regretted” that the incident took place. Kelly’s hotheadedness and sideline demonstrations are well-documented, but ESPN SportsNation host Marcellus Wiley accused the veteran head coach of racism for his treatment of Grimes. Speaking on SportsNation yesterday, Wiley had the following to say: “This is racial. You know I don’t like to play the race card, but I’m going to go here on this one,” he said. “When you see a black coach getting emasculated basically, undermined on the sidelines, when he’s a coach with authority over those players, they’re going to say, ‘Huh, there are very few images and likenesses of a black player with the position of authority on the coaching staff.’ Very few. And when you see one treated like that, your imagination starts to take over and says ‘Brian Kelly, we tried to respect all of you guys on a level playing field, despite the fact that most of us on the field are black, but then most of you on the sidelines are white.’ But when you undermine one of the few figures that we can actually see a likeness, now that speaks volumes to those players…”Wiley’s co-hosts Michelle Beadle and Max Kellerman seemed to support his point. You can view all of their comments and the full video of the exchange below. We’ve seen Kelly scream at quarterbacks both white (Dayne Crist, Tommy Rees) and black (Everett Golson, DeShone Kizer) on the sideline in recent years. He’s berated officials as well. Was his behavior towards Grimes racially motivated? We’ll let you be the judge. [ MediaIte ]
TORONTO – A guilty plea from a lawyer who had fled the country gave investigators the information they needed to lay charges against four men in a $17 million alleged mortgage fraud involving high-end Toronto properties, police said Tuesday.The men, who are all from the Toronto area and between the ages of 45 and 53, face charges including fraud, conspiracy, forgery and money laundering, police said.Police allege the men took part in a “sophisticated and complex” scheme involving “several high-end properties.”Lawyer Golnaz Vakili’s flight from Canada in March 2013 was the reason it took five years to bring charges against the men, said Det. Alan Fazeli.“She was the lawyer that was registering a lot of these things,” Fazeli said. “She was a missing piece.”Vakili has since pleaded guilty to charges related to facilitating the frauds, he said.Fazeli said numerous different methods were used in the alleged frauds, many of which involved properties in Toronto’s upscale Bridle Path area.“One of the methods that was used was fake individuals and shell companies had taken mortgages on some of these properties, and for all of them they had produced fake insurance and title insurance,” he said.Police would not say how many properties were involved in the alleged scheme.Law Society of Upper Canada documents say Vakili “participated in a massive fraud spree and multiple dishonest acts involving 13 different properties over a two-year period” beginning in 2011.“She prepared and acted upon fake documents in support of other clearly fraudulent transactions,” a Law society hearing document states. “She repeatedly lied to her clients. She gave false testimony before the Deputy Director of Land Titles. Her clients lost just under $14 million as a result of her activities.”Police said the four men — two from Toronto and two from Richmond Hill, Ont. — were arrested and charged last month.
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John Hospital Foundation announced today that it broke the $1 million mark for donations in the last fiscal year.In a release today, the Foundation also said that has $2 Million dollars in its endowment account, and has committed over $300,000 to equipment purchased in the Fort St John Hospital and Peace Villa this morning. Taking the state of the local economy into consideration last April, the Foundation said it had set a goal of raising $650,000 during the 2017/18 fiscal year.“The overwhelming support and generosity of this community in supporting the needs of all of it’s citizens is humbling,” said Executive Director Jennifer Moore. The Foundation received 2,500 donations between April 1st, 2017 and March 31st. In November, the ‘Be an Angel’ campaign exceeded it’s target by over $65,000. Last year also saw the establishment of two new named endowments: Edmondo and Giovanna Mucci and Evelyn Hadland, targeting donations for seven new electric dialysis chairs.Over $309,000 was also committed by the Foundation last year for equipment purchases at the Fort St. John Hospital and Peace Villa. New ICU beds, electric dialysis chairs, cataract pre-screening equipment, specialized mattresses and a new ventilator were among the teams purchased.