While the German pension fund association and PensionsEurope criticised the inclusion of the HBS in the assessment, Valkenburg said it made sense from “an efficiency point of view” to have pension funds calculate the HBS for the quantitative assessment and then use them in the stress test.But the actuary also argued that it was “very difficult to have a single framework for capital requirements” in the pensions sector, as schemes are “executing pension promises in very different ways”.He said using a single risk-free rate would work if all the pensions funds used stochastic evaluations, and the risks were modelled in the same way.But he said this was not the case in reality.“Using a risk-free rate to give a good estimate of the valuation of pension promises that are not fully guaranteed would lead to too high values if the risks are not modelled in the cash flows,” he said. Valkenburg said one of the most “valuable” aspects of the stress tests EIOPA will conduct among European IORPs will be the assessment of defined contribution (DC) plans.While industry group PensionsEurope has questioned whether the stress tests will yield any useful results regarding DC scheme members, Valkenburg stressed the importance of “informing members about how a stressed situation can impact them”.He added: “It is good to see DC is included in the stress tests for the first time because most new accrual of pension assets in Europe is in DC.”One of the goals of the stress test is to assess the impact on the macro economy, which, according to Valkenburg, will not be as great as the impact on individual members who “might have less money to buy a pension” on retirement.“This is important to be aware of, and, hopefully, we can help members to navigate through their lives and minimise the impact,” he said.The AAE issued a paper in February on decumulation in which it warned that the requirement to buy an annuity on the day of retirement might force people to buy at the wrong time.Valkenburg said the stress test might also highlight the problem of guarantees being much higher than the current interest rate. “Guarantees are very expensive, and they were given in times when stakeholders were not expecting a sudden change in the environment like we have seen in the past couple of years,” he said.Valkenburg expects guarantees to come down or be removed altogether in the wake of the stress tests, which he said would, in turn, highlight the problem of people having to work longer. The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) needs to “take another look” at using the holistic balance sheet (HBS) approach as a means of calculating capital requirements, according to Falco Valkenburg, chair of the Actuarial Association of Europe’s (AAE) pensions committee.Valkenburg said the HBS was “an interesting concept that should be explored further, maybe as part of pension funds’ risk management”, but he also stressed that the HBS concept was “quite new”.“Not even we at the AAE are fully convinced it will lead to something that can work in practice,” he said. EIOPA announced the details of its first stress test for occupational pension funds on Monday.
One worker lost his life in an incident at a shipbreaking yard in Chittagong, Bangladesh, while scrapping a vessel owned by Taiwanese shipping company Evergreen Marine, the NGO Shipbreaking Platform said. Local reports say that the man was cutting the containership Ever Union at Kabir Steel’s Khawja yard when he fell from a great height. Unfortunately, he died on the spot.Kabir Steel’s shipbreaking yards are part of the large industrial conglomerate of Kabir Group of Industries. The NGO Shipbreaking Platform said it has documented several severe accidents at the company’s yards over the last years.In 2017 and 2018 alone, at least four workers were killed. In 2016, Kabir Steel’s private security personnel fired shots and injured seven people who were protesting following the death of a shipbreaking worker.The Post-Panamax boxship Ever Union was beached in Bangladesh in April this year. As informed by the NGO Shipbreaking platform, the Taiwanese owner of the vessel has been under the spotlight for its “irresponsible shipbreaking practices”. In January 2018, the Norwegian Central Bank announced its decision to exclude Evergreen from the Government Pension Fund Global, due to the shipowner’s poor management of its end-of-life ships and their sale for dangerous breaking on the infamous beach of Chattogram.The NGO coalition added that since 2018 the company has not changed its policy. Five Evergreen vessels, including two Post-Panamaxes and three Handy containers, ended up in Bangladesh this year, data provided by VesselsValue’s shows. Three of them were allegedly sold to shipbreaking yards owned by Kabir Steel.The Ever Union was sold for demolition for more than USD 10 million. Before reaching the shore, the ship was renamed Vera and changed registry to the Paris MoU black-listed flag of Palau, the NGO said.Despite activities being slow due to the monsoon rains, incidents keep occurring. According to the platform’s member organization Young Power in Social Action (YPSA), another worker lost his life in Chattogram at the beginning of July.In May this year, three workers died and several others were injured in an explosion at Mahinur Ship Breaking yard, known as Premium Trade Corporation. The incident once again reflected the overall dire working conditions at the Bangladeshi shipbreaking yards.“Twenty workers lost their lives in 2018. The number of deaths was the highest in last eight years. These two recent accidents bring the total death-toll of the shipbreaking industry this year to at least ten workers,” Muhammed Ali Shahin, Project Coordinator at YPSA, commented.“Clearly, no lesson has been learned. Accidents keep happening, indicating a complete lack of intention from yard owners to ensure workers’ safety,” he further said.A total of 193 ships were broken in the second quarter of 2019. Of these, 146 vessels were sold to scrapping yards in South Asia, the NGO Shipbreaking Platform’s report shows.More than half of the ships sold to South Asia in the second quarter changed their flag to the registries of Comoros, Niue, Palau and St. Kitts and Nevis just weeks before hitting the beach.
GUYANESE siblings and badminton aces, Narayan and Priyanna Ramdhani, finished the 2020 Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) National championships in good spots on behalf of their respective colleges.Playing in Mississauga Canada, March 3-8, Narayan represented King’s University Eagles and Priyanna, the Olds College Broncos. Both copped silver medals at the ACAC Provincial Championships held in Edmonton last month, thus qualifying to represent Alberta at the CCAA Nationals.Over 15 colleges and universities took part in what was deemed a highly-competitive tournament with very good performances. Narayan defeated Jack Gillies 21-8, 21-9 followed by Ryan Chen 21-18, 21-18, but lost to Pranav Satheesh 21-16, 21-10 and Roymond Kim 21-8, 21-11 in the semi-finals.His sister also shared similar fate as she too managed to win a pair of games before losing two in the crucial semi-final rounds. Priyanna did well to defeat the pair of Huyen Le who lost 21-8, 21-9 and Chole Moisan 21-8, 21-8 before being served the same fate from Le 21-8, 21-9 who got revenge and Ann Hoang 21-14, 16-21, 21-14.The results for the CCAA National Championships Group Round Robin were:Men Singles: Narayan won 2 lost 3Defeated Jack Gillies 21-8, 21-9; Ryan Chen 21-18, 21-18Men Singles Semi-finals:Lost to Pranav Satheesh: 21-16, 21-10.Third/Fourth: Lost to Roymond Kim: 21-8, 21-11Women Singles: Priyanna won 2 lost 3Defeated Huyen Le: 21-8, 21-9: Chole Moisan: 21-8, 21-8Women Singles Semi-Finals:Lost to Huyen Le: 21-8, 21-9Third/Fourth: Lost to Ann Hoang: 21-14, 16-21, 21-14.