UK urged not to backtrack on auto-enrolment contribution hikes

first_imgBaroness Buscombe added: “There has been a long lead in time to enable employers and individuals to prepare for these increases, with support and communications from the Pensions Regulator and DWP.“The increased contributions were scheduled to coincide with changes to take-home pay [that] normally take place at the start of the tax year, to help minimise the administrative burden for employers.”Malcolm McLean, senior consultant at Barnett Waddingham, warned that any delay to next year’s planned increase would be “a very retrograde step”.“Many commentators have already expressed concern at the low level of minimum contributions required for auto-enrolment purposes,” he said.“As of yet there appears to be no clear plan to increase them further beyond 8%. Even at this level, for many people, it will not deliver a meaningful pension income at retirement and will call into question the validity of the policy and consumer appreciation of it.”Earlier this week the UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed a record high level of pension participation, caused largely by the introduction of automatic enrolment in 2012. This brought 9.5m people into pensions by 2017, the data showed.Nearly three-quarters of employees (73%) “had an active workplace pension scheme” as of last year, the ONS said, up from less than 47% in 2012. Sir Steve Webb, director of policy at Royal London and pensions minister when auto-enrolment was introduced, said this week that even the 8% contribution rate to be introduced next year would not provide an adequate retirement fund for most people.“Nearly half all employers were contributing the bare minimum of 1% of wages in 2017, and it seems likely that they will continue to contribute at the legal minimum level as contribution rates rise into 2019,” he said.“A combined contribution rate of 8% between worker and firm is simply not good enough for most people. The hard work of automatic enrolment will be in supporting workers and firms to get these contributions up to more realistic levels.“The single most important thing that the government could do would be to ensure that when people get a pay rise they automatically increase their contribution rate unless they actively opt out.“We know that this approach works in the US and it is time to do the same in the UK if we are to avoid a generation of workers who will simply be unable to afford to retire.”#*#*Show Fullscreen*#*# Source: Office for National StatisticsAccording to the ONS data, despite the significant improvement in coverage, average contributions have “clustered at minimum levels”.Last year almost half of private sector companies contributed less than 2% to their DC schemes, the statistics bureau said, down from 6% in 2012.However, the ONS said this was not necessarily due to employers paying less, “rather that automatic enrolment has led to an influx of new savers at low rates, changing the distribution of employer contribution rates”.center_img The UK government is “closely monitoring” the impact on employers and employees of last month’s mandatory increase in pension contributions under auto-enrolment rules.The minimum contribution for workers in auto-enrolment defined contribution (DC) schemes rose last month from 1% of salary to 3%. The employers’ contribution rose from 1% to 2%.In a written response this week to a question posed in the House of Lords, the UK parliament’s upper chamber, Baroness Buscombe – an undersecretary in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) – said the government was “closely monitoring the impact of the increases on both employers and individuals to inform our approach to supporting the second planned increase in contributions from April 2019”.Next April, the minimum will rise again to 8% in total, with the employer contribution reaching 3%.last_img read more


Dodgers’ offense goes missing in loss to Pirates

first_imgA bigger inning was thwarted in the sixth when Ellis was trapped off second base after Maeda pulled back on a sacrifice bunt attempt. The Dodgers stranded runners at first and third in the seventh inning. Then they put runners at second and third with no outs in the eighth only to have the next three hitters (Kiké Hernandez, Justin Turner and Seager) strike out against reliever Tony Watson.“Can’t strand them,” Seager said, shaking his head. “We had enough opportunities.”Most of those opportunities came after the Pirates had taken control of the game with a five-run sixth inning.McCutchen’s first home run came on a full-count curveball from Maeda in the fourth inning. It was the first hit allowed by Maeda and the game was tied, 1-1, going into the bottom of the sixth.But Maeda walked the leadoff hitter, John Jaso, on four pitches and gave up a single to Starling Marte that brought McCutchen up again with no outs.Despite the warning signs — including a significant jump in the offensive numbers of opposing hitters in Maeda’s third time through a lineup — Roberts stuck with the right-hander, hoping to get some kind of length out of a starting pitcher other than Clayton Kershaw.“I thought Kenta was throwing the ball well,” Roberts said. “You’ve gotta let each game develop itself, and something like that, there’s nothing else we can do. We’ve got to let our starters try to get outs.”Maeda got none in the sixth inning. He fell behind McCutchen again and allowed a three-run home run on a 3-1 fastball this time.“They were both situations where I fell behind in the count and he took advantage of a mistake,” Maeda said through his interpreter. “Ideally, I should have been ahead in the count but I wasn’t able to execute my gameplan.”His night was done at that point. It was the 30th time in 76 games this season a Dodgers starting pitcher left without retiring a batter in the sixth inning.“My job is to go deep into games and give my team a chance to win the game,” Maeda said. “So, yes, it is frustrating to not be able to do the job.”Joe Blanton replaced Maeda and gave up a two-run home run to Jordy Mercer later in the sixth. After the inning, Blanton took out his frustrations with an assault on the water cooler in the Dodgers’ dugout, doing more damage than the Dodgers’ hitters could on the field.“It’s hard to go out there and put up five runs every single night,” Roberts said. “But I do see us coming out of it. I really do.” PITTSBURGH >> If it’s not one thing, it’s another.Just when the gaping hole in their starting rotation threatened to take all of the Dodgers’ attention, their offense tossed in the kind of unproductive night that has been distressingly common throughout the first three months of the season.For five innings against Pirates starter Jeff Locke, the Dodgers had no baserunners. Then they stranded six in scoring position over the final four innings of a 6-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates Saturday night.When the Dodgers came to town, they had won a season-high six consecutive games while the Pirates had lost 13 of their previous 15 with a pair of five-game losing streaks. Those fortunes have reversed in the first half of a four-game series. Andrew McCutchen was also suffering through the worst offensive season of his career and had not hit a home run at PNC Park since May 2. He hit two off Dodgers starter Kenta Maeda on Saturday, driving in four runs.“He’s one of the elite players in the game,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “You know he’s going to come out of it at some point in time. You just hope we’re out of town when that happens.”Roberts has been saying much the same thing about his offense for most of this season, vowing that experienced players would play to their histories and the production would be there. There have been signs of that recently, with the Dodgers scoring enough to support a six-game winning streak.But they were held in Locke-down for the first five innings Saturday as the Pirates left-hander with an ERA north of 5.00 retired the first 15 Dodgers batters he faced, taking a perfect game into the sixth inning. Back-to-back doubles by Scott Van Slyke and A.J. Ellis put an end to that and produced the Dodgers’ only run of the game.“He was locating, keeping you off balance,” Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager said. “He didn’t give in on hitter’s counts and we didn’t make him work hard enough the first five innings, that’s for sure.”center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more


2019 Dodgers spring training preview: catchers

first_img Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco MOVE THEY COULD MAKERealmuto would have been the ideal upgrade at catcher. But the Dodgers remained stubborn in their trade talks with the Marlins and could not satisfy them with trade alternatives not built around Cody Bellinger or Ruiz. If Martin and Barnes do not show improvement offensively, the Dodgers could be shopping for catching help on the in-season market. The options won’t be good and Smith’s arrival might have to be accelerated.Related Articles Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start center_img How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error As the Dodgers head toward the first workout of spring training on Wednesday, we are providing breakdowns of how they stand with their roster by position groups. Today is the final installment, looking at the catchers. Previously, the starting rotation, bullpen, infield and outfield.2018 RECAPHeading into spring training a year ago, there was reason to believe Austin Barnes would take the lead role from Yasmani Grandal. That didn’t happen – until October. With free agency looming, Grandal had an excellent regular season, producing offensively at an elite level at a position that league-wide offers little production. He led all National League catchers in home runs (24) and on-base percentage (.349) and was second in slugging percentage (.466) and OPS (.815). But a second consecutive postseason slump followed, this time including a historic defensive breakdown – in Game 1 of the NLCS, he became the first catcher in postseason history to have two passed balls and two errors in the same game. Barnes, meanwhile, regressed badly at the plate. After batting .289 with an .895 OPS in 2017, he hit just .205 with a .619 OPS in 2018.HOW IT LOOKS RIGHT NOWAmong the suitors for Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto all winter, the Dodgers instead traded for Russell Martin as a fallback option, putting a former Dodgers hero back in blue for the second consecutive winter. Martin (who will turn 36 on the third day of spring workouts) is coming off the worst offensive season of his career. He had career lows in batting average (.194) and OPS (663) in 90 games with the Blue Jays last season and both numbers have declined each season since 2014. The Dodgers believe he still has value defensively and in the clubhouse. Between Martin and Barnes, however, the dropoff offensively from the catching position in 2019 could be steep.THE NEXT LAYERThe Dodgers are justifiably proud of their cache of catching prospects. Keibert Ruiz is the 20th-ranked prospect in the minors among all positions, according to Baseball America. Former first-rounder Will Smith is also a top 100 prospect by most rankings. Teenager Diego Cartaya and Connor Wong are also highly regarded. The Dodgers have resisted the temptation to trade one or more of the prospects so far. But only Smith is anywhere near the majors. He could debut at some point in 2019. If injury hits Martin or Barnes before Smith is ready, Rocky Gale and Josh Thole will be plugged in from Triple-A.last_img read more


Mallard’s Team of the Week — Nelson Neptunes

first_imgReady, set, go . . ..The Nelson Neptunes has a contingent of eight attending this weekend’s 2011 B.C. Summer Swim Association Championships in Richmond.The squad qualified for the provincial meet following some stellar performances at the Kootenay Regional held recently in Castlegar.Staff and management at Mallard’s Source for Sports would like to wish the Neptune swimmers good luck with Team of the Week honours.The squad includes, back row, L-R, Melissa Afford, Kiandra McLaren and head coach Michelle Lorusso. Front, Kourtney Brager, Jakob Brager,Sam Matthew and Matt Holitzki.Missing from photo Rebecca Afford.last_img read more


1st Test: Australia beat New Zealand by an innings and 52 runs

first_imgAustralia needed only a session and a half Monday to complete victory over New Zealand by an innings and 52 runs in the first cricket Test which was built on a double century by Adam Voges and gave it a 1-0 lead in the two-Test series.An Australian win had been all but inevitable when, thanks to Voges’ 239, it scored 562 in its first innings in reply to New Zealand’s 183 for a 379-run lead.New Zealand started the fourth day still 201 runs behind at 178-4, having been stung by the loss of its captain Brendon McCullum in the last over before stumps Sunday, and its innings continued a steady deterioration until it was all out for 327.Henry Nicholls, who made 59 in his Test debut, was the last recognized batsman to display any sort of resistance but his was one of three wickets to fall before lunch when New Zealand was 241-7 and staring at defeat.Mark Craig and Tim Southee then shared a 59-run partnership for the ninth wicket. Southee made 48 from 23 balls with five fours and three sixes but tried once too often to go over the top off Nathan Lyon and was caught on the boundary.Craig, who top-scored in the first innings with 41 not out, was left 33 not out. Lyon took 4-91 and Mitch Marsh 3-73.Australia owed its impregnable position at the end of the first innings to Adam Voges’ 239 and Usman Khawaja’s 140 which provided the basis of their massive total. It was also favored by winning the toss and bowling first on a green pitch.advertisement”We exploited the conditions well on that first morning,” Australian captain Steve Smith said. “We hit good areas and then I think we battled quite hard with the bat.”We were under a little bit of pressure early and I thought the partnership between Khawaja and Voges was spot on and they played out of their skins to get a hundred and two hundred respectively.”Voges scored his second double century in tests and his third century in consecutive test innings to build his batting average in his 14th Test to 97.46. Only Don Bradman who retired with a Test average of 99.94, has a higher average than Voges whose innings at the Basin Reserve followed his 269 not out and 106 not out against the West Indies in December.The West Australian, who made his test debut last year aged 35, now has five test centuries since June. When he was the last man out in Australia’s innings, Voges had scored 614 runs and gone more than 1,100 minutes since his last test dismissal.New Zealand began its second innings just before lunch on Sunday, facing a mountainous 379 run deficit and nearly three more days of play remaining.An 81-run opening partnership between Tom Latham (63) and Martin Guptill (45) – its best against Australia in 23 years – gave New Zealand a solid start but New Zealand’s batsmen couldn’t sustain the long innings necessary to save the game.Kane Williamson was out for 22 and when McCullum fell for 10 to the last ball of the third day the only conceivable outcome was an Australian win.Nicholls battled for 3 hours, 5 minutes for his 59 before he was bowled by Jackson Bird, giving the lanky paceman – playing his first test in almost three years – his first wicket of the match.Southee and Trent Boult (12) resorted to some big hitting at the end but they did little to reduce the magnitude of Australia’s win or the confidence the tourists will take into the second test which starts in Christchurch on Thursday.McCullum, who played his 100th consecutive Test in Wellington and will retire after his 101st in Christchurch, said New Zealand struggled to recover after slumping to 51-5 in the game’s opening session.”I thought the guys fought pretty hard throughout but we were outplayed by a better team and we weren’t able to get back into the match after that first morning,” he said. “I thought the way that Usman and Adam both played on a wicket that still had a little bit in it batted us out of the game.”last_img read more


10 months agoCarragher: Van Dijk improving every player at Liverpool

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Carragher: Van Dijk improving every player at Liverpoolby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool legend Jamie Carragher hailed the performance of Virgil van Dijk for victory at Wolves last night.Van Dijk scored the decisive second goal at Molineux and his efforts to help his side keep a clean sheet earned him man of the match. Carragher told Sky Sports: “He makes other people play better around him. Tony Adams made the rest of that Arsenal back four better. He does the same.”He scored a great goal for Holland a few weeks ago. His goal record isn’t great considering his size but the type of goal he got there, how many centre backs would put that over the bar?”The win over Wolves sent the Merseyside club four points clear at the top of the table before Pep Guardiola’s side play Crystal Palace at the Etihad on Saturday. last_img read more


10 months ago​Marco Silva demands Everton response

first_img​Marco Silva demands Everton responseby Ansser Sadiq10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveMarco Silva wants his side to show their quality in their next game on New Year’s Day.The Toffees ended 2018 with a disappointing loss to Brighton, which put them 10th in the league.Their manager now wants them to bounce back against Leicester City at home.”It is important to be strong again and ready for the next match in three days,” Silva told the club’s website.”We don’t have time to prepare in the normal way but that is the schedule and we have to put in our players’ minds how important the next game is.”We have to change our recent form at home and give a different answer.”It will be a tough match but we have to give 100 per cent to win it.” About the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more


Photo: N.C. State Spotted With “UNC Cheat” License Plate

first_imgNC Stae finger bumper sticker pointing at a UNC cheats license plate.Twitter/@keola_vWell, this was probably inevitable. N.C. State fans really, really don’t like North Carolina, and many have gotten a lot of joy out of the recent academic scandal in Chapel Hill. We’ve seen many fans get custom license plates, many of which are used to taunt rival fans. This “[email protected]” license plate was bound to be made—the only real question was whether a Duke fan would be a State fan to the punch.School spirit I guess, lol #ncst #unc #wolfpack #tarheels #acc #ncstate #Duke pic.twitter.com/RrLYLryobI— Keola Victorino (@keola_v) July 7, 2015We’re sure the Tar Heels fans in the area really appreciate seeing this on their daily commute.last_img read more


Worlds Largest LNGFuelled Ship about to Enter the Market

first_imgzoom South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) is about to close the year with a bang, as it gears up for the delivery of the world’s largest LNG-fuelled ship.Namely, Hyundai Mipo Dockyard (HMD), part of the HHI Group, will deliver this month a 50,000 dwt bulk carrier with a high manganese LNG fuel tank.The ship was ordered in 2016 and is being built for Ilshin Logistics in collaboration with steelmaker Posco. The vessel is the largest bulk carrier ever ordered to use LNG as fuel.Once delivered, the bulker will transport limestone cargoes in the Korean coastal trade for Posco.Lloyd’s Register (LR) and the Korean Register (KR) are providing dual classification and certification, verifying compliance with the International Gas Fuel (IGF) Code.The new type of cryogenic steel, developed by Posco, is high in manganese and is used for the 500 m3 capacity Type ‘C’ LNG fuel tank, located on the aft mooring deck. The properties and characteristics of the high-manganese steel, as well as the required welding technology, have been proven suitable for cryogenic applications, according to LR.HHI is making strides in the construction of LNG-powered ships and has recently signed a contract to build the world’s first LNG-fuelled aframax tanker.In addition, the shipbuilder and LR have almost completed the design of 180,000 dwt class bulk carriers. The design development is in the process of receiving approval in principle.Creating environmentally-friendly designs is more of a mission than a choiceAs disclosed by LR, this design is optimised for short to medium-haul bulk trade (i.e. Australia – Asia) and long-haul bulk trade (i.e. Brazil – Asia) service, in line with Harmonised Common Structural Rules.To decide the optimum location and type of LNG tanks for these designs, the shipyard conducted several case studies for competitive CAPEX and OPEX.As a result, LNG fuel tanks with Posco high manganese steel or 9% nickel steel were chosen. They will be located on the aft mooring deck because of the amount of LNG that will be required for the Australia – Asia route. For the long-haul route, a larger sized LNG storage tank can be fitted in the mid-part of the vessel.Additionally, Woodside, Anangel, GE, LR and HHI signed a joint industry project agreement to develop an LNG-fuelled 250,000 dwt very large ore carrier operating on the Australia – Asia iron ore trade route. The HAZID analysis of this design, to verify the safety level, was recently completed with all parties in Seoul. The LNG tanks are also based on the Posco high manganese steel or 9% nickel steel design.“We believe that HHI’s efforts can offer the possibility that will help owners comply with emission regulations with a reliable and competitive solution,” LR’s Jin-Tae Lee, Korea Chief Representative & Marine Manager, said.“We believe that our work in creating environmentally-friendly designs is more of a mission than a choice, which will lead to a cleaner shipping industry and a greener world. We hope that the first beneficiary of this effort will be the shipping industry,” Hyung Kwan Kim, HHI’s Senior Executive Vice President, commented.last_img read more


Bill C69 becomes law UCP vows legal action

first_imgEDMONTON (660 NEWS) – It’s official, Bill C-69 has been proclaimed law in Canada.The bill which critics labelled the ‘No More Pipelines Act’ will change how major energy projects are reviewed and approved in Canada and has received heavy criticism from the oil and gas sector and several provincial governments.In a statement released Wednesday night, the UCP said “This is a dark day for Alberta and Canada as a whole. As we have said loudly and repeatedly, this act is an unconstitutional attack on Alberta and our vital economic interests.”The statement also said the government will take its fight to Ottawa and launch a constitutional challenge against C-69.In June the bill passed through the Senate with a vote of 164-56. The Senate had proposed nearly 200 amendments to the bill, the majority of which were rejected.READ MORE: Trudeau government to reject amendments to C69: report“I cannot believe that a Prime Minister would be prepared to push forward a bill that strikes at the heart of Canadian unity and at the same time the economy of Canada. That’s just unprecedented, that bill needs to die,” said Energy Minister Sonya Savage shortly after the bill passed.Premier Jason Kenney also spoke at that time, repeating his stance that Alberta is being treated unfairly.“Albertans cannot be expected to continue to pay the freight in the Canadian federation if the same federation continues to block our ability to develop and get a fair price for our resources.”Kenney repeated his stance that a referendum on equalization payments could come by October 2021.Right now, there’s no clear date to when the UCP will launch its legal challenge, especially with the Federal Election slated for October.Kenney hopes Canadians will elect a government that will immediately repeal Bill C-69. Do you agree with the provincial government challenging Bill C-69?NoYesVoteView Results Take Our Polllast_img read more