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Romania’s second pillar pension returns at nine-year high

first_imgRomania’s second pillar pension funds generated impressive returns in 2019 despite hostile policies from the previous government.According to the Romanian Pension Funds’ Association (APAPR), the seven second pillar pension funds averaged a 12-month nominal, asset-weighted yield as of the end of 2019 of 11.8%, a nine-year high and well above the year’s 4% inflation rate.The previous year the funds returned their lowest ever – and only sub-inflationary yield – of 1% compared to an inflation rate of 3.3%.Despite 2018’s poor results, the total return since the second pillar’s start in May 2008, was 154%, against a cumulative inflation rate of 41.8%. Investment profits (net of management fees) on the €13bn of pension assets managed at the end of 2019 totalled more than €2.6bn.The troubles besetting the second pillar system were largely the result of the policies of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), which took power in 2016.These included lowering the contribution rate from 5.1% to 3.75% and, via a government emergency ordinance (GEO 114/2018) introduced in December 2018, turning the hitherto compulsory second pillar platform into a voluntary system for subsequent contributions and imposing substantial hikes on second pillar pension fund capital requirements.Following the loss of a no-confidence motion, the PSD was replaced last October by a centre-right minority government lead by Ludovic Orban, head of the National Liberal Party (PLN).The PLN has already proved significantly more sympathetic to the second pillar than its predecessor. Earlier this year it introduced another ordinance (GEO 1/2020) that overturned most of the previous regulation’s pensions. Mihai Bobocea, APAPRThe capital increases have been scrapped, and the system has once again become compulsory. The latter change will have relatively little impact as only 500-odd workers of the total 7.4 million second pillar membership had opted out.The new ordinance has also capped the fees levied by both Romania’s Financial Supervisory Authority and the state system’s pensions administrator.It did not, however, reinstate the participation of construction workers, who were arbitrarily removed from the second pillar for 10 years.According to Mihai Bobocea, adviser to the board and spokesman for APAPR, this measure affects some 250,000 workers, with total annual contributions of €100m.However, statements from the government indicate that it intends to continue making positive amendments to the system.Earlier this year finance minister Florin Citu promised that the contribution rate would increase to 5% in 2021, and subsequently to 6% as specified in the original second pillar pensions law.Bobocea told IPE that APAPR “welcomed the changes adopted by the current government through GEO 1/2020 regarding the functioning of the mandatory second pillar for private pension provision”.“We deem the legal solutions identified and adopted by the new cabinet to be fair, sound and reasonable, and meant to restore the balance between the legitimate interests of all stakeholders: the 7.4 million pension plan members, the pension companies managing these funds and, through its institutions, the Romanian state,” he said.last_img read more

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Oliver Dowden calls on ‘best and brightest’ to help restart UK sports

first_img Related Articles ITV secures three-year British racing broadcast deal August 5, 2020 GVC hires ‘comms pro’ Tessa Curtis to re-energise media profile  August 25, 2020 Share StumbleUpon Submit Premier League looks to broadcast every behind-closed-door fixture August 28, 2020 Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has outlined plans to resume live sport behind closed doors across the UK with the formation of a new taskforce.During last night’s Downing Street briefing, the Culture Secretary revealed that representatives from the arts, cultural and sporting world would be coming together to help get the UK’s recreation and leisure sectors up and running again once lockdown measures are lifted.Planning for a gradual return, Dowden said the taskforce would ‘help us think through how we can get sport back safely in a way that works for both clubs, players and supporters alike’.He added that guidance published last week on the resumption of sport would ‘pave the way for the return of live sports behind closed doors in the near future’.He told the press conference: “Finding creative, crowd-free ways to navigate coronavirus is the biggest challenge for our recreation and leisure sectors right now. So this week I am setting up a renewal task force which will help them bounce back. It will be made up of the brightest and the best from the creative, tech and sporting worlds.“They will be advising me on how we find new and different ways to get industries back up and running.”The taskforce will be made up of Tamara Rojo, Artistic Director of the English National Ballet; Alex Scott, former England international and Arsenal footballer and now a Sports Broadcaster; Lord (Michael) Grade of Yarmouth, TV executive and former Chair of BBC and ITV; Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair of the Arts Council England; Edward Mellors of Mellors Group Events; Neil Mendoza, Commissioner for Cultural Recovery and Renewal; Baroness (Martha) Lane-Fox of Soho, Founder of LastMinute.com and Mark Cornell, CEO of Ambassador Theatre Group.Meeting on a weekly basis, the group will be responsible for ensuring that new guidelines to resume sports and cultural activities are in line with guidance issued from public health bodies, as well as building on the existing guidance to offer sector-specific input.There will be an emphasis placed upon the development of ‘creative solutions to drive the return of the sectors, in addition to providing key sector stakeholders direct access to ministers. Sharelast_img read more

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WWE Backlash 2020 results: Randy Orton tops Edge in ‘Greatest Wrestling Match Ever’ showdown

first_imgWWE Backlash boasted what would be “The Greatest Match Ever” between Randy Orton and Edge. Although they may not have eclipsed some of the legendary matches in the history of professional wrestling, the duo delivered an exceptional showdown that is easily worthy of the best WWE match of 2020.  “Slap him in the chest! Multiple times!”@FightOwensFight offers top-notch commentary as @WWEApollo defends his #USTitle against @AndradeCienWWE on the #WWEBacklash [email protected] @Zelina_VegaWWE pic.twitter.com/DYcdR3y5YZ— WWE (@WWE) June 14, 2020Crews and Andrade worked hard with some great spots including Andrade’s slingshot DDT and a wicked belly to belly into the corner by Crews. This definitely needed more time and only scratches the surface of what these two can deliver. Owens hit a stunner on Garza — who tried to interfere on Andrade’s behalf – and Crews hit his spin-out powerbomb finisher to retain the United States title. They teased more friction between Garza and Andrade (splitting them up is a bad idea) and this angle involving all four may not be finished yet. Grade: B-WWE Backlash 2020 ResultsRandy Orton def. Edge (44:45)Street Profits vs. Viking Raiders (N/A)Drew McIntyre def. Bobby Lashley (13:15)Braun Strowman def. The Miz & John Morrison (7:20)Asuka and Nia Jax ended in a double count out (8:25)Sheamus def. Jeff Hardy (16:50)Bayley & Sasha Banks def. Alexa Bliss & Nicki Cross and The Iiconics (8:50)Apollo Crews def. Andrade (7:25) Orton would have to resort to dirty tactics to pick up the win over his rival as the future of The Rated R Superstar is in question after his latest setback. It was easily the highlight of a show that underwhelmed in spots and also had what might be one of the worst “matches” of the year.Here are the results and match grades for WWE Backlash 2020. Randy Orton vs. EdgeIt may not have been The Greatest Match Ever, but it was a damn good encounter between a pair of living legends in the WWE. The WWE did Orton and Edge no favors by billing this match as The Greatest Match Ever and would have benefited by leaving people pleasantly surprised. Instead, what we got was one of the best Orton matches in years and Edge proving that he can still work a really good match. They certainly gave this a big match feel with the late Howard Finkel on introductions, piped in crowd noise and enhanced lighting. And it wouldn’t be so bad if it didn’t feel so contrived to deliver “The Greatest Match Ever.”The crowd noise was a little obnoxious considering that there weren’t that many Performance Center talents in the crowd to begin with and they overreacted to every single hip toss and arm drag as if they had never seen a wrestling match before. But that shouldn’t take away from how hard these two worked. There was some excellent chain wrestling, familiar callbacks to past eras, some color courtesy of Orton, near falls and all of the ingredients that should deliver a great match. Unfortunately, they rammed the concept down our throat to create an unachievable high. Regardless, this was the best WWE match of the year. “YOU STILL GOT IT!” 👏👏 👏👏👏”YOU STILL GOT IT!” 👏👏 👏👏👏”YOU STILL GOT IT!” 👏👏 👏👏👏”YOU STILL GOT IT!” 👏👏 👏👏👏”YOU STILL GOT IT!” 👏👏 👏👏👏#WWEBacklash @EdgeRatedR pic.twitter.com/iKg9FXdoBL— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) June 15, 2020A brilliant sequence that saw Edge attempt to hit Christian’s Unprettier before Orton reversed into an RKO attempt only for Edge to hit the Edge-O-Matic for a near fall. Edge hit a pedigree as a callback to his Evolution mentor Triple H for another near fall. Shortly after, Edge hit a finisher from Triple H’s rival The Rock with a Rock Bottom to nearly get a three count. Is it GAME OVER for @EdgeRatedR?!#WWEBacklash @RandyOrton @TripleH pic.twitter.com/zAtSODK8np— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) June 15, 2020Again, the only thing that actually hurt this match was that WWE production was trying too hard to convince everyone that this was the greatest match ever. It would have worked perfectly fine if it didn’t feel forced. A series of reversals saw Edge finally hit an RKO on Edge but the Rated R Superstar kicked out. Orton was running low on options and attempted a punt kick but Edge nailed his foe with a pair of spears for another near fall. Orton hit his trademark counter RKO on Edge coming off the top rope but he couldn’t keep Edge down. The end came when Orton countered an Anti-Venom from Edge with a low blow that followed with a punt kick for the win. This was a fantastic match that suffered only from being overhyped.#TheViper @RandyOrton is ending this match the same way he started it.What does this mean for @EdgeRatedR?#WWEBacklash pic.twitter.com/zimSYiaUyr— WWE (@WWE) June 15, 2020Grade: A- Street Profits vs. Viking RaidersThey just had to work a cinematic match into this PPV, didn’t they?After weeks of the Dave & Busters decathlon of silliness, Street Profits and Viking Raiders ended up in a comedy “match: that was absolutely terrible. These teams deserve so much better than bad scripted comedy. When your #WWERaw #TagTeamChampionship Match starts off by WRECKING @BraunStrowman’s ride…😬 😬 😬 😬 😬 😬 😬 😬 😬 😬 😬 😬 @MontezFordWWE @AngeloDawkins @Ivar_WWE @Erik_WWE #WWEBacklash pic.twitter.com/SueHr4IfPX— WWE (@WWE) June 15, 2020Akira Towzawa showing up in a stereotypical ninja motorcycle gang scene was the icing on the proverbial cake as the attempt to deliver something fun fell with a resounding thud. Don’t blame either tag team because they worked with what they had. But this might be the worst thing the WWE has done this year. Grade: FDrew McIntyre vs. Bobby LashleyAn exceptional hoss match that was utterly ruined by a nonsensical ending that could have been saved for Raw.Although the ending hurt the match, what preceded it was excellent as Lashley and McIntyre delivered with a series of power moves and hard strikes that continued to ramp up as the match went along. Lashley immediately locked in the full nelson before the match started and several referees needed to pull him off. It set up the ongoing narrative of Drew McIntryre powering through disadvantages and forced him to work from underneath. The added touch of McIntyre kicking out at one has also been a nice touch on his character and was worked into this match at just the right time A PRE-EMPTIVE FULL NELSON IS LOCKED IN on @DMcIntyreWWE!#WWEBacklash @fightbobby pic.twitter.com/QPKfogo1M1— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) June 15, 2020A well-paced and hard-hitting match with an incredible final stretch that looked to deliver one of the best WWE matches of the year until they had to insert Lana. PURE. POWER.#WWEBacklash #WWEChampionship @fightbobby pic.twitter.com/HyiorKy4CB— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) June 15, 2020McIntyre escaped a second full nelson attempt and hit a reverse Alabama slam for a near fall. A nice series of escapes and reversals followed with McIntyre turning a spear attempt into a kimura lock. Lashley countered a Claymore Kick with a spear for a near fall. And then the Lana came out and ruined the entire match with nonsense. For no reason in particular, Lana argued with the referee. This led to McIntyre pushing Lashley into Lana and hitting the Claymore Kick to ruin a perfectly good match. Grade: BBraun Strowman vs. The Miz & John MorrisonBraun Strowman’s title reign has been extremely underwhelming and this match was little more than a placeholder for when Bray Wyatt returns from maternity leave to continue their feud. The added stipulation that whoever gained the pinfall would be recognized as the WWE Universal Champion was meant to add some friction. And we got that after a double stomp/Skull Crushing Finale nearly earned the win but Miz interrupted Morrison’s pinfall attempt. That led to Strowman powering up, nailing the running power slam on Morrison and retaining the title. For what it’s worth, Miz and Morrison worked very well together in taking down the big powerhouse. But there wasn’t much to write home about here. HEY! [email protected] & @TheRealMorrison brought the fight to #UniversalChampion @BraunStrowman tonight at #WWEBacklash! pic.twitter.com/VrBl82hbGr— WWE (@WWE) June 15, 2020Grade: C-Asuka vs. Nia JaxNothing Asuka could do could help this from being an extremely slow and plodding match with a baffling finish. It seems as if Nia Jax has regressed over the past few years. Maybe a lot of that can be blamed on the injuries but this just didn’t work. Asuka can’t be blamed because she more than played her part with her offense. But something about Nia Jax just isn’t clicking. A weird tumble outside from a botched armbar led to a double count-out that leaves everyone scratching their heads. They are going to keep this feud going and nobody really knows why. A parting gift for @NiaJaxWWE…#WWERaw @WWEAsuka pic.twitter.com/UzS1azu8No— WWE (@WWE) June 15, 2020Grade: DJeff Hardy vs. SheamusThe use of Jeff Hardy’s real life issues with alcohol and substance abuse for a storyline has come off somewhat tone deaf but there was hope that this match could deliver and rinse the taste of an awful build. Nope. Sheamus continuing to call back to Hardy’s alcohol issues were just too on-the-nose and brought back the reality that this match had zero heat. What it tried to manufacture simply didn’t work and we ended up with a plodding match that Sheamus dominated far too long for until Hardy finally got some offense in late.Right in @JEFFHARDYBRAND’s wheelhouse. #WWEBacklash pic.twitter.com/ZBdykhq51E— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) June 14, 2020Sheamus hit a Brogue Kick on the outside and followed with another Brogue Kick back in the ring to pick up the victory. Hopefully this loss doesn’t leads to an angle where Jeff Hardy is drinking again because he failed. Grade: DThe IIconics vs. Bayley & Sasha Banks vs. Alexa Bliss & Nicki CrossIf the WWE decided to really invest in women’s tag team wrestling, they could have some great matches. Hopefully this is a sign for a move in that direction rather than using the tag titles as a prop for an eventual breakup of Sasha Banks and Bayley. It’s a predictable split that’s dragged on too long and should be scrapped because Banks and Bayley have great chemistry as a heel tag team. This match was perfectly fine for what it was as it tried to keep the action consistent between all six women. There were still some pretty sloppy moments that exposed Peyton Royce and Billie Kay as the greenest team in the match. Nevertheless, this was handled as well as it could be.A double-team maneuver @ShinsukeN would appreciate.#WWEBacklash #KneeToFace @SashaBanksWWE @itsBayleyWWE pic.twitter.com/jzqLKDnNyT— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) June 14, 2020There was a car crash dive that was fun along with some nice double team spots but the right team won as Sasha Banks pinned Alexa Bliss clean to retain the titles. Hopefully, they find a way to keep the tag division going and give some of the underutilized women (Naomi, Bianca Belair, Shayna Bayzler) some room to shine.  Grade: C+Apollo Crews vs. AndradeIt wasn’t so long ago when both Crews and Andrade appeared to be dead in the water from the creative side. It had nothing to do with their talent, but everything to do with the characters they were saddled with. But now they are engaged in a notable feud for the United States character. That part is well deserved. For all the criticism Raw and Smackdown has received in recent weeks, this rivalry has been a bright spot both in and out of the ring. Kevin Owens joined commentary for the match while Angel Garza was with Andrade and Zelina Vega. last_img read more

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