The taskforce envisaged superfunds as absorbing and replacing existing schemes, taking on both assets and liabilities. Employers and trustees would be discharged from their obligations for future benefit payments, and the superfund would instead carry out the role of both scheme and sponsor.The PLSA wants the government to make it easier for consolidation to happen, and called for a new requirement for trustees of DB schemes “to demonstrate to members and the Pensions Regulator that the scheme is being run effectively and, if not, what steps they are taking to fix it”.The superfund route to consolidation would sharply improve the security of schemes with sponsors categorised as “weak” by the regulator, according to the taskforce. It argued that the probability of such schemes failing would fall from 65% to 10% or less if they were able to consolidate.It acknowledged questions about the affordability of superfunds to sponsors of poorly funded schemes, but said “a superfund could allow sponsors to raise capital from markets or creditors to enable a transfer to a superfund”.The taskforce’s superfund idea is intended to help improve the odds of members in underfunded schemes getting their full benefits if the sponsor goes bust. The PLSA also said it would look into whether trustees should be allowed to accept benefit reductions as a means of “opening up the benefits of superfunds to more members”.Calum Cooper, head of trustee consulting at Hymans Robertson, said that cutting back benefits for access to a superfund could be subject to legal challenge as well as going against the comments by the pensions minister, Richard Harrington, that pensions are a promise that must be kept.The taskforce described entry into a superfund as an alternative to a buyout, an option it said few can afford.In addition, insurers might find the capital requirements under Solvency II would be less demanding for a superfund than for a buy-out, the taskforce added.The other three models of consolidation detailed by the taskforce in its report were:Shared services: combining administrative functions across schemes.Asset pooling: individual schemes retaining responsibility for governance, administration, and other functions.Single governance: asset pooling and combination of governance, administration, and back office functions.The analysis behind the taskforce’s proposal went against that in a recent DB reform paper released by the UK government, in which it downplayed the pressures in the DB system.The taskforce said that, in contrast to the government, it had taken into account the pressure on scheme sponsors and had “not assumed that sponsors’ deficit recovery contributions are entirely sustainable indefinitely”.Hymans Robertson’s Cooper challenged the idea of consolidation representing the most effective means to addressing affordability issues in the DB sector. ”There’s an elegance to the theory but it feels vulnerable to being hijacked by reality,” he said. The UK government should legislate for the creation of “superfunds” to consolidate defined benefit (DB) pension schemes, according to a proposal from the UK pensions trade body.The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) today issued a report from its DB Taskforce pushing the case for consolidation and pitching superfunds as the best of four models.The DB Taskforce had flagged consolidation as one of several potential solutions in its first report on the state of the DB sector in the UK. Ashok Gupta, chair of the taskforce, said: “We think the biggest gains lie in the merger of schemes into what we have called superfunds. We believe superfunds have the potential to offer great benefits to members, employers, the regulator, the industry, and the economy.”
“We are delighted to welcome Aaron back to Everton,” manager Roberto Martinez told evertonfc.com. “We know we are getting a player our fans know inside-out. “He had a major role in the second half of our season and we’re looking forward to Aaron kicking on and continuing to enjoy his football, as well as being the productive player we know he can be. “He is well-respected in the dressing room, his experience in the Premier League is immense and he will immediately add to our squad and to the ambition we have as a club.” Despite Lennon’s arrival, Everton’s transfer business has left fans distinctly underwhelmed. The arrival earlier in the day of River Plate defender Ramiro Funes Mori filled one of the slots Martinez was targeting, although the fee of £9.5million was £4m more than was touted last week when the 24-year-old Argentinian came to England to finalise the move. However, the Everton manager’s search for a player who could operate in the number 10 role proved fruitless and appears to have left the squad light in terms of options. But Mori’s acquisition at least eases one problem for Martinez, having allowed Sylvain Distin and Antolin Alcaraz to leave at the end of last season. The 28-year-old returns to Goodison Park on a permanent deal after spending the second half of last season on loan. Despite manager Roberto Martinez’s interest in the winger, the move was finalised after the deadline after Everton filed a deal sheet with the Premier League just before 6pm announcing their intention to sign the player, giving them a further two hours to complete the formalities. Everton have completed the signing of Tottenham winger Aaron Lennon on a three-year contract. Press Association “When I heard about Everton’s interest, I didn’t think twice. My agent told me about this opportunity and Everton did everything to bring me over and I wanted to come,” the player, who was at Everton’s home match with Manchester City just over a week ago, told evertontv. “I feel happy because the people here have shown me a lot of love and I’m very happy and comfortable here already. “I saw the people at Goodison Park and I saw they were a family and all cheering the players and obviously I liked that atmosphere. “Hopefully I can fit straight into the group, we can get along and do big things here.” Mori provides Martinez with some much-needed cover for John Stones and Jagielka at centre-back, with youngster Brendan Galloway, currently sidelined with a knee injury which has forced him to withdraw from the England Under-21s squad, offering a fourth option. “I’m delighted for many reasons. Firstly, the player we are welcoming into the dressing room fits the profile we need,” Martinez told evertontv. “He is a left-footed centre-half – a really good defender who is exceptional in the air with good quality. He will give us great balance in the back-four. “Then you have got the personality and character of a winner . He has just won the Copa Libertadores with River Plate, which is the equivalent of the Champions League in South America. “You don’t get that sort of player, at the age of 24 who has just been called up for Argentina, becoming available. “We have made a massive effort and it is a fee that reflects the value and the ambition that we have as a football club to attract such an exciting player for the future.” Everton’s business has been minimal this summer, with young defender Mason Holgate acquired from Barnsley for about £1m and 22-year-old Uruguayan striker Leandro Rodriguez joining from River Plate Montevideo. His biggest challenge was fending off sustained interest from Chelsea and a transfer request from Stones. A third bid in excess of £30m was turned down and chairman Bill Kenwright made a strong public statement insisting the young England international was not for sale, and the club have, at least, managed to hold on to one of their prized assets. Away from transfers, left-back Bryan Oviedo has withdrawn from the Costa Rica squad for friendlies against Brazil and Uruguay because of a knee injury. The 25-year-old will remain on Merseyside for treatment rather than join up with his international team-mates and is expected to be out for around 10 days.
FIFA Match Agent, Ebi Egbe, has berated Nigerian football stakeholders plotting the downfall of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President, Amaju Melvin Pinnick.Egbe noted that Amaju’s exit as CAF’s first vice president last week in Cairo, Egypt was more of a big loss to Nigeria as a nation, than it is for the Delta State born soccer administrator.“I don’t just understand why some people are not seeing the bigger picture of what they are doing. Those celebrating Amaju’s exit as CAF first vice president must realize that the biggest loser is Nigeria. Ebi Egbe “Nigeria has a lot to gain with Amaju being there, but those who are not happy with his rise to stardom want to pull him down at all cost and in the process, they don’t give a damn how that affects the country. I think those fighting Amaju are being petty and unpatriotic,” Egbe stressed.Egbe who is the Chief Executive Officer of Monimichelle, an indigenous stadium construction outfit said the Super Eagles would not have done well at AFCON if not for the ingenuity of the Amaju led NFF board.“The question to ask is when did the federal government release money for AFCON and who was responsible for the delay and the late release of the AFCON money?“Somebody, somewhere wanted Nigeria to fail in Egypt and use that as a plank to further call for the sack of the NFF board. Unfortunately, they failed. Eagles did not only do well but openly praised the soccer federation for making their welfare a priority,” the Monimichelle CEO further noted.Egbe urged those distracting the NFF’s board members to stop and allow them do their job in the interest of Nigerian football.“Amaju and co won’t be there for ever. Those eyeing the Glass House should give peace a chance and allow them do their job in the interest of our country. Nobody is bigger than Nigeria and whatever we do, the interest of the country should come first,” Egbe concluded.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram