The pension fund for the Netherlands’ three Caribbean municipalities is facing considerable rights cuts due to adopting a different set of rules to other Dutch schemes.Harald Linkels, chairman of PCN, told IPE that the €300m pension fund had incurred a €66.5m funding gap, citing “wrong assumptions” for its capitalisation when it was established in 2010.Since then, PCN has been instructed to follow stricter Dutch rules, meaning its funding has dropped to 80% from 117% before the change, Linkels told IPE. It means the pension fund has to cut pension rights by 3.5% in April, and members face an additional cut of 12% next year.According to Linkels, neither the Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs nor the Home Department – which oversees relations with the Dutch territories – wanted to take responsibility for the funding gap. PCN has issued a summons against the state, claiming $70m (€66.2m) in damages. Supervisor DNB and both ministries did not respond to requests for comment.Linkels argued that it was unfair that his scheme had to apply cuts straight away, whereas the financial assessment framework (nFTK) in the Netherlands allows schemes to spread any cuts over a 10-year period.However, a different FTK for the pension funds covering the Dutch territories of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba provides for a recovery period of just three years to reach to the minimum required funding ratio of 100%.Linkels attributed the problem to the fact that the pension fund, at its inception, had to adopt a fixed discount rate of 4% as well as Dutch longevity prognoses for the period 2000-2005. At the time this meant the fund had a coverage ratio of 117%.The start of the pension fund was supervised by Henk Kamp – a former minister for Social Affairs – who, at the time, was tasked with establishing the new overseas Dutch councils, following an adjustment of the state structure.Linkels said that soon after the pension fund’s inception, Dutch supervisor DNB told the scheme to use the US dollar swap curve for discounting its liabilities instead of the swap curve for the euro, as the new councils had adopted the dollar.He pointed out that, as the dollar swap curve had dropped from 3.5% to 2% in the meantime, and DNB had also prescribed the application of the most recent Dutch longevity tables, funding of PCN had plummeted.The chairman emphasised that between 2011 and 2015, returns of the Caribbean scheme had exceeded those of the €382bn Dutch civil service scheme ABP, the Netherlands’ largest pension fund.With national elections next week, PCN’s chairman said he didn’t expect a solution to stave off rights cuts next month.“Negotiations are slow and are usually limited to verbal orientations of possible solutions, without any concrete commitments being made,” he said.
Liberty, IN—In the past, the Johnny Bench Award has been presented to college baseball’s top NCAA Division I catcher, but this year it was extended to include top high school baseball and softball catchers from Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and West Virginia.Nate Webb, a 2019 graduate of Union County High School, a four-year letter winner in baseball, received a congratulatory phone call from Bench himself, but as he was not home at the time, he has the voice mail message from Bench to keep forever.The 10 winners will be honored June 18 at the Johnny Bench Awards Luncheon at Great American Ball Park. An award presentation will also occur on the Great American Ball Park field during pre-game ceremonies before the Reds vs. Houston Astros game that evening.
Esports continues to establish new horizons, as ESL yesterday announced a new partnership with US entertainment behemoth Disney.Two original ESL television series are set to air on Disney’s new D|XP, a daily summer programming blog dedicated to the world of gaming on Disney XD. This will represent a first for ESL, who had previously never had their content broadcasted on linear TV in the US.The two will, understandably, not be featuring content around the very biggest games in esports. The most prominent titles in the MOBA genre are relatively complicated, which creates a significant barrier for entry, and first person shooters are perhaps more violent than Disney’s family-friendly ethos will allow. Instead, Disney’s foray into competitive gaming will focus on the following:A six-episode series which forms the bulk of ESL Brawlers, which looks to crown a champion from ‘some of the most skilled’ players of Capcom’s Street Fighter V. Challengers will grind through an arduous ‘first to 10’ match for a chance a the throne, while the reigning winner must defend their title from new challengers each week.An additional seventh episode will feature a special competition of Super Evil Megacorp’s Vainglory, the mobile MOBA which continues to go from strength to strength. It will bring together community influencers with professional Vainglory players for an exciting showmatch.The second show offers a platform to the oft-secluded world of speedrunning. Bringing some of the best talent in the field to ‘jump, fly, and wrap through favorite titles’, ESL Speedrunners will provide another seven episode series, tracking the professionals as they chase elusive world records.ESL Brawlers will premiere this Thursday the 20th of July, with ESL Speedrunners following some time in August. The shows mark Disney’s second involvement with esports in the last week, after aXiomatic, the company with a majority stake in Team Liquid, was announced to be one of the eleven companies involved with this year’s Disney Accelerator project. The Accelerator will provide a connection to Disney’s ‘creativity, imagination, and expertise’ through ‘unprecedented access to Disney’s leadership team, mentorship, and support’.Esports Insider says: For Disney to embrace esports in this manner sets another marker in the road for the industry’s growth, and will undoubtedly help to bring new fans into the scene. For ESL and everyone involved with the shows, this new platform represents a great opportunity to grow and diversify existing audiences.