Dutch midwives’ scheme to apply third consecutive benefits cut

first_imgVerloskundigen, the €359m Dutch occupational pension fund for midwives, is to cut pension payments for the third consecutive year after reporting a funding ratio of 88.4%.In its recovery plan, the scheme said it was anticipating a reduction of 0.75% at year-end, following cuts of 0.4% and 1.4% in 2016 and 2017, respectively.However, speaking to IPE’s sister publication Pensioen Pro, the scheme’s chair Marlies Bartels put the measure into perspective by explaining that the scheme would discount the cut against its unconditional indexation of 2%.As a result, pension rights would rise by 1.25% on balance, she said. “Despite the rights discounts, we are performing above average in terms of retaining purchasing power,” said Bartels.The net indexation granted by the pension fund has exceeded price inflation during the past five years.In the opinion of Bartels, the scheme’s funding level – which is well below that typically required by schemes to allow inflation-linked payments – should be considered in the context of its fixed 2% indexation.“Without this, our coverage would have stood between 130% and 140%,” she said.In order to speed up recovery to the required minimum funding of approximately 105%, Verloskundigen has decided to reduce annual pensions accrual by 30%.The €327m pension fund for the accountancy sector is the only other scheme in the Netherlands that is known to have applied a cut to payments this year.It said a 30% cut was necessary as part of the transfer of its pension rights to Stap, the general pension fund (APF) established by insurer Aegon and its subsidiary TKP Pensioen.The minimum entry level for the multi-client compartment of the APF equated to a funding of 105%. The coverage ratio of the accountancy scheme stood at 91.7%.last_img read more

“Another blow to the working-class” – Jagdeo

first_imgClosure of LBI operationsCriticisms are already being piled on the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition Government as the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) announced plans to close the La Bonne Intention (LBI) Sugar estate later this year. This is the second factory to suffer this fate since the coalition took office last May.Opposition Leader Bharrat JagdeoThe Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) and the National Association of Agricultural, Commercial and Industrial Employees (NAACIE) on Thursday released a joint statement announcing that they were informed by GuySuCo on Tuesday that the remaining facilities at the LBI estate will be closed during the course of 2016.During the discussions, GuySuCo informed the Unions that it will close half the operations of the Field Workshop, Mill Dock, Field Lab, Stores and Administrative Offices that are based at the LBI estate and merge them with similar operations at the Enmore Estate.Reacting to this news, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo described the decision by Government to close the estate as “another act that reflects the secretive approach that is characteristic of the APNU/AFC Government, in relation to decisions that affect the lives of thousands of ordinary Guyanese.”“In the last year, we have come to expect that the Government will make decisions that affect the Guyanese people in a manner that lacks transparency and without consultations,” Jagdeos aid.He reminded of his warning of the “callous and uncaring decision” by the APNU/AFC Administration, saying the closure of the Wales Sugar Estate was not the end of the ‘reform’ proposed and being advanced by APNU/AFC in the sugar industry.“I had said that the Wales Estate was the first casualty. I am deeply disturbed by the news of this impending closure. Hundreds of workers will be affected,” Jagdeo said in his statement.He added that his People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) will stand by the sugar workers to fight this decision by the 10-month-old coalition Government.In 2011, GuySuCo under the PPP/C Administration, had closed the LBI Sugar Factory, however, the Corporation had assured that the other operations of the Estate will remain functioning.The workers were merged with those from the Enmore Estate.However, at the time of that closure, the workers and their Unions were assured that there will be no closure of any other department after the closure of the factory.Already, Government announced its decision to close the Wales Sugar Estate and transfer the workers to the Uitvlugt operations.There have been widespread protests and industry-wide strike actions against the move in an effort to build pressure on the Administration to rescind this decision; however, it has not budged to date.last_img read more