Collective labour agreements must lead pension change, says German minister

first_img“This opens up the possibility – as it is not agreed in detail, unlike the case with the minimum wage – for us to take on board ideas, and I invite you, the aba, to do just that,” she said.She said she viewed the first pillar as the most important part of retirement provision in Germany, and pointed to the losses incurred by savers during the financial crisis when wholly reliant on funded pension provision.“What we have in Germany is a healthy mixture – of the state-funded, occupational and private, the Riester pension,” she said.“We will not reform the system, in the sense that the basic set-up of the system will not change. If reforms are introduced, then it will be in the shape of changes to the system.”The minister said the government’s stance would allow for security of retirement planning.“The important and right pension reforms have already been introduced,” she said.“To be completely clear – [the system can] withstand demographic change and is future proof.”She added that she would be open to revisiting the four-decade-old occupational pensions law, but said she would not yet offer any concrete details.“For me, the legal framework is, at the end of the day, only an addition to what is already being negotiated within the collective labour agreements.”Her comments will have been welcomed by the aba itself, with the head of the organisation, Heribert Karch, stressing that a strong pension system needs a dual focus on state and occupational funding.“An agreed and thoroughly evaluated political mix of fiscal, social, collective labour measures can address the challenges before us and strengthen the dual core,” he said.Nahles also addressed the issue of the European Commission and its involvement in pensions policy.“Since I have been involved in politics, I have been aware of the European Commission’s Portability Directive – and have been getting annoyed by it,” she said.She added that she remained worried by the revised IORP Directive, published by the Commission earlier this year, and stressed that she would not allow a “weakening” of the bAV.“The White Paper on Pensions speaks of strengthening the occupational pensions sector – but then it also has to be implemented in such a way to allow for it,” she said.“At the moment, as I said, I still have my doubts that it’ll be strengthened.” Germany is unlikely to introduce radical changes to its pension system, according to its minister for Labour and Social Affairs, who argued that the government should only provide the legal underpinning for agreements struck independently by the country’s social partners.Addressing the aba annual conference in Berlin, Andrea Nahles said she viewed her next big “construction project” instead as increasing occupational pension (bAV) coverage among the country’s numerous small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).The minister, a member of the social democratic party (SPD), also said that while the brief mention within the coalition agreement to strengthen the bAV might sound “banal”, the wording was more a result of attempts to reach an agreement despite time pressure during negotiations.Nahles added that the industry should see the lack of detail on bAV reform as an opportunity.last_img read more

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Aberdeen University puts marine monitoring PhD on offer

first_imgAberdeen University has opened a call for applications for the PhD studentship that will explore the influence of marine renewable energy developments on the behavior of animals at high tidal flow sites.The project brings together a team of ecologists, engineers, industry and government advisors as supervisors, providing an opportunity for a student keen to explore environmental impact research topics while participating in real-world issues faced by the marine renewables industry.The research topic covered in this project will focus on understanding how important mobile species such as fish, seabirds and marine mammals use highly energetic site.On offer to the student is a wide range of unique data layers, both physical and ecological, that allow the exploration of how the physical environment modifies the tidal flow to generate tidal features, noise and sediment dynamics and how this potentially influences fish, seabirds and marine mammals, according to the University of Aberdeen.The detailed understanding from this PhD will be used to inform techniques for monitoring at three scales of marine renewable developments, including device, array, and region.The research is expected to provide advice towards the ecologically sustainable development of marine renewable energy and, potentially, to inform regulations internationally at renewable development sites situated worldwide.The PhD student would be based in Scotland, and during the course of studies, would have the opportunity to study at the University of Aberdeen, University of the Highlands and Islands (SAMS-UHI) and have a placement at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney.The deadline for applications to the PhD studentship is set for June 16, 2017. Cardinal buoy at Billia Croo (Photo: EMEC)last_img read more

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Children spend six hours or more a day on screens

first_imgBBC News 27 March 2015 |Children aged five to 16 spend an average of six and a half hours a day in front of a screen compared with around three hours in 1995, according to market research firm Childwise.Teenaged boys spend the longest, with an average of eight hours.Eight-year-old girls spend the least – three-and-a-half hours, according to the study.Screen time is made up of time spent watching TV, playing games consoles, using a mobile, computer or tablet.Changing timesThe Connected Kids report, compiled by market researcher Childwise, has collated data from 1995 to the present day to create a comprehensive picture of children’s media habits.Each year, its report, which is not available online, surveys around 2,000 children, aged five to 16.It finds that teenaged girls now spend an average of seven-and-a-half- hours watching screens, compared with 3.5 hours of TV viewing in 1995.Younger children fare slightly better – in 1995, five to 10-year-olds averaged around two-and-a-half-hours of TV.Fast-forward to 2014 and screen time has risen to four-and-a-half hours.Children are also now multi-screening – using more than one device at the same time, for example, watching TV while surfing the internet on a tablet or mobile so some of the screen time will be concurrent.“The main difference from the 1990s is that then TV and magazines were the main ways for connecting kids to the media and now they have different devices from tablets, mobiles, games consoles and they have a much higher screen time,” said research executive Matthew Nevard.Children’s TV viewing habits have changed dramatically, with the majority now watching television via catch-up services and YouTube rather than the traditional TV set, according to the report.YouTube is the most popular on-demand service with more than half of respondents accessing TV and video via the site since 2013.http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-32067158last_img read more

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Loan moratorium for WV transport groups sought

first_imgWith the rising threat of thecoronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the Department of Transportation (DOTr)has imposed a passenger capacity limit and a one-seat-apart capacity to lessenthe risk of the virus spread. Passengers in a public utility jeepney plying the Iloilo province and Iloilo City route still defy the social distancing measures against the coronavirus disease. The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board 6 said it will recommend to its central office to offer a one-month moratorium for transport operators as they expect income losses when social distancing will strictly be implemented. PNA ILOILO City – The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board(LTFRB) in Western Visayas will recommend to its central office to offer a loanmoratorium to transport operators affected by the implementation of socialdistancing measures. While social distancing measures are notcompletely implemented, Alcarde assured that drivers and operators weredirected to sanitize their units after every loop. During the meeting, transport groups andcooperatives aired that they expect income losses with the distancing policy. The LTFRB, along with the LandTransportation Office (LTO) and the provincial government of Iloilo, recentlyconvened with various transport groups in the region. Meanwhile, the Western Visayas TransportCooperative (WVTC) has committed to abide the protocols imposed by thegovernment regarding COVID-19. “This is what we are studying thatif possible, we can give them a little bit of time to come up because theirincome is very reduced,” Abellar said in an interview. “Sanitizers had been distributed to themlast week and after every loop, they clean the seats and the corners of theirunit, especially those that come in contact with the passengers,” he said. (With PNA/PN)center_img An average jeepney driver plying Iloiloprovince to Iloilo route earns P1,500 gross income. This amount will be reducedto P750 when social distancing will be strictly implemented. Defiance on the distancing policy willbe considered a breach of franchise, which penalizes the violator with PHP5,000on first offense, she said. “We are supportive on the drive of thegovernment on the safety of the locals within the city and the province, andPanay wide,” said Halley Alcarde, business manager of the WVTC in aninterview. To help counter the losses of thetransport groups, Ma. Joscet Abellar, legal officer of the LTFRB-6 regionalfranchising and regulatory office, said that they will request a loanmoratorium particularly with the taxis and UV express. As of Monday, she said social distancingis not yet strictly implemented in this city and the province of Iloilo. “They are expected to immediatelycomply because of the urgency of the situation,” Abellar said. The LTFRB-6 will release within Mondayan illustration of the DOTr on the social distancing measures as part ofinformation dissemination.last_img read more

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Health Officials Release More Information On MERS Case

first_imgThe first identified U.S. case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) was diagnosed at Community Hospital in Munster, Indiana.The patient, whose name is being kept confidential, remains hospitalized in good condition and is improving each day. As of today, no other cases of MERS have been identified.“We are very pleased the patient is improving and no other cases have been identified at this time,” said State Health Commissioner William VanNess II, M.D. “The individual has received excellent care while at Community Hospital in Munster. The swift diagnosis and precautionary measures taken have undoubtedly greatly helped reduce the risk of this potentially serious virus spreading.”The Indiana State Department of Health is working with the hospital, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and others to monitor the situation and prevent the spread of the virus. Representatives from the CDC arrived in Indianapolis yesterday to assist and arrived at the hospital this morning.Since symptoms of MERS may take up to 14 days to occur, staff members at the hospital who had direct contact with the patient prior to the patient being placed in full isolation have been taken off duty and placed in temporary home isolation. Those individuals are being closely monitored for any signs or symptoms of the virus and will be allowed to return to work once the incubation period is over and they have confirmed negative laboratory results. There have been no reported cases of people without symptoms transmitting this virus.“The patient is in full isolation and presents no risk to patients, staff or the general community,” said Don Fesko, CEO of Community Hospital in Munster. “We are thoroughly prepared to handle respiratory infections. We continue to work closely with the CDC and State Health Department and are following every recommendation. Safety is our top priority.”For questions about MERS, please call the Indiana State Department of Health hotline at 1-877-826-0011, which is being answered daily, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. A voicemail system is available for callers to leave a message during off hours. All calls will be returned first thing the following morning.To keep you and your family healthy by reducing your risk of disease, follow CDC’s tips below:Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, and help young children do the same. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze then throw the tissue in the trash.Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.Avoid close contact, such as kissing, sharing cups, or sharing eating utensils, with sick people.Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs.First Report:First U.S. Case Of Mers-CoV Confirmed In Indianalast_img read more

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What is too much?

first_imgYou have heard me give my opinion several times on over-participation by young athletes.  Most of my objections have had to do with the type of damage this can do to the young athlete.  Since they are still growing, overuse of certain muscles and joints causes major problems later in life.  Example:  Tommy John elbow surgery.What I am objecting to in this article today is over-extending the family’s budget to get young athletes into all types of all-star leagues and traveling around the country to get them exposure.  If these activities rob the budget of basic needs for the family, then the priorities are all wrong.  Taking that very small chance of your child making it big later in life is not worth all the sacrifices that other members of the family might have to make.I am still opposed to the injury factor, but I am beginning to worry about the financial factor as well.  I don’t believe either one is worth the risk!last_img read more

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Wanda Shook, 77, Benham

first_imgWanda LaVerne Shook, 77, of Benham passed away at 12:45am, Wednesday, January 3, 2018 at Aspen Place Health Campus in Greensburg. She was born in the family home in Canaan on November 26, 1940 the daughter of Harold and Robena Cole Ferris. She was married to Harold “Tony” Shook on March 6, 1961 at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Olean and he preceded her in death on July 11, 2012. Other survivors include one son Michael (Debby) Shook of Milhousen; three daughters Theresa (Kevin Dale) Shook-Elza of Versailles, Julie (Robert) McConnell of Sunman, Amanda (Ronald) Lawson of Benham; 7 grandchildren Bobbie Lynn Shook, Amy Jo Shook, Mika Sue Shook, Ashley Elza, Zachary Elza, Roger Lee McConnell and Iva Marie McConnell; six great grandchildren; two sisters Connie Bentley of Madison, Penny Jo Brim of Canaan; sister in law Eleanor Ferris of Canaan. She was also preceded in death by her parents, her brother Gale Ferris; two brothers in laws Donald Bentley and Danny Brim. Mrs. Shook was a 1958 graduate of Central High School in Madison. Wanda was a member of the Benham United Methodist Church, the Benham blue Bells, UMC women, Versailles Eastern Star and numerous Card Clubs. Her grandchildren loved her baking and especially her yeast rolls. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, January 6th, 2018 at 12:00 noon at the Benham United Methodist Church with Jerry Brooks officiating. Burial will be in the Benham Cemetery. Visitation will be on Saturday starting at 10:00am at the church. Memorials may be given to the Benham Cemetery in care of the funeral home.last_img read more

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Late Cisse strike stuns Potters

first_img The Senegal international struck two minutes into stoppage time to complete a comeback after the Potters had threatened to snatch victory at St James’ Park. Jonathan Walters had given the visitors the lead against the run of play from the penalty spot with 67 minutes gone, but Yohan Cabaye’s superb free-kick six minutes later set the stage for Cisse’s last-gasp winner. Press Association With Steven Taylor and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa up for the fight and keeper Rob Elliot accepting the responsibility to deal with his share of the aerial assault, the Magpies were largely untroubled during the opening 45 minutes. Elliot had to field a third-minute volley by Peter Crouch, after he had been allowed to control Ryan Shawcross’ long ball on his chest 25 yards out, and then pluck Ryan Shotton’s tame effort from underneath his crossbar nine minutes later. Cabaye sent a 16th-minute shot from distance across Asmir Begovic and just past the far post, and Jonas Gutierrez curled another effort similarly wide five minutes later. Davide Santon tested Begovic with a well-struck 33rd-minute drive after cutting inside Shotton, but the home side should really have been in front four minutes later. Cabaye’s through-ball took a deflection and evaded Sissoko but it fell nicely for Yoan Gouffran, only for the Frenchman to lift his shot over the bar. Cabaye saw a 42nd-minute strike deflected just wide with the keeper wrong-footed, but the black and white shirts had to close ranks as Glenn Whelan forced his way into the penalty area but could not find a finish. The hosts’ task grew in size with 23 minutes remaining when, after Cheick Tiote had felled Walters with a rash challenge inside the box, referee Andre Marriner had little option but to point to the spot and Walters, whose recent record from 12 yards has been dreadful, duly obliged to give the visitors a lead they scarcely deserved. However, the advantage lasted barely six minutes as the game became increasingly lively both on and off the pitch. Sissoko was tripped by Whelan literally inches outside the box and after Mr Marriner awarded a free-kick, Begovic became embroiled in a row with Steven Taylor as the Stoke coaching staff took exception to Pardew’s reaction on the sideline. But once order had been restored, Cabaye curled the resulting free-kick over the wall and in off the underside of the crossbar to level. There was even better to come deep into injury time when substitute Sylvain Marveaux picked out Cisse in front of goal and he controlled and fired past the stranded Begovic to snatch victory. center_img Papiss Cisse dragged Newcastle nine points clear of the Barclays Premier League relegation zone with a dramatic injury-time winner in a 2-1 victory over Stoke.last_img read more

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McDowell suffers rare defeat

first_img McDowell reached the quarter-finals of this event on his debut in 2011, the final in 2012 and won the title last year, while his victory over Alexander Levy in the opening group match on Wednesday made for an overall record of 15 wins from 17 matches. However, the former US Open champion found Mikko Ilonen in brilliant form at The London Club, the Finn carding seven birdies to hold off a determined McDowell fight back and secure a 2&1 win. Defending champion Graeme McDowell suffered just his third ever defeat in the Volvo World Match Play Championship on Thursday, as Ryder Cup team-mate Stephen Gallacher’s singles losing streak reached double figures. Press Association Gallacher managed six birdies of his own against Pablo Larrazabal, but saw the Spaniard hole a pitch from 30 yards on the 18th to snatch an unlikely victory. That made it 10 consecutive singles defeats across six different match play competitions for the Scot, who lost to Phil Mickelson on his Ryder Cup debut at Gleneagles last month. ” I was five under today and have played two guys that haven’t had any bogeys,” said Gallacher, who lost to Ireland’s Shane Lowry in his opening group match and cannot qualify for Saturday’s quarter-finals even if he beats Ryder Cup team-mate Victor Dubuisson on Friday. “It’s not a jinx. What happened at the last is typical match play golf as he’s won it with a birdie without having been on the fairway. I had a chance to shut the door on him a bit but I hit a poor second shot. If I’d have knocked it on the green, it would have made his fourth shot a bit more difficult. “In fairness to Pablo, he holed two good par putts at the ninth and 10th to stay one down before he birdied four of the last six holes. I’m gutted to have lost the match like that, but that’s match play golf for you. I’m also feeling a bit tired at the moment, to be honest.” Larrazabal’s win was his first singles success at the sixth attempt and bore the hallmarks of his late compatriot Seve Ballesteros, who won this title five times. ” It looked terrible all the way,” he admitted of his progress up the 18th, where he went from a bunker to thick rough left of the fairway and more rough short of the green. “But the ball was sitting great. I thought I had the chance to put it close and to make five and to put the pressure on Stevie but it went in. Happy days. “Obviously Seve was an inspiration for all of us. We know his record in match play, maybe the best in history. But I’m trying to do it my way and I try my best in every shot, and the best shot of the day was the last.” Ilonen was six under par and four up after 10 holes, only for McDowell to birdie the 11th, 13th and 15th and threaten a repeat of his come-from-behind win over Jordan Spieth in the singles at Gleneagles. Both players then found a greenside bunker at the short 17th but after McDowell missed his birdie attempt from long range, Ilonen holed out for birdie to seal the win. “I’m disappointed to lose today but Mikko was incredibly solid,” McDowell said. “I felt like I played the best golf the first five holes but he putted better and that was the difference.” With Joost Luiten claiming his second win of the week against Alexander Levy, all four members of the Larson Group can still qualify for the quarter-finals. Luiten and McDowell play each other on Friday, with Levy taking on Ilonen. The best golf of the day came from Sweden’s Henrik Stenson, who recovered from three down after four and was eight under par for his last nine holes in beating Francesco Molinari 2&1, ensuring Molinari cannot reach the last eight. Stenson tops the Palmer group with three points ahead of George Coetzee and Thongchai Jaidee on two, Coetzee having beaten 2013 runner-up Jaidee 2&1. Stenson takes on Jaidee on Friday with Coetzee up against Molinari. All four players in the McCormack Group have two points after Jamie Donaldson beat Jonas Blixt 3&2 and Patrick Reed defeated Paul Casey 2&1, with Ryder Cup rivals Donaldson and Reed facing each other on Friday and Casey taking on Blixt. last_img read more

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Pulis backs Peace over Baggies sale

first_img The Baggies owner is looking to sell for between £150million and £200million and has set a summer deadline to complete any deal. Four groups, including from America, China and Australia, are understood to be interested in the club. West Brom are close to clinching survival in the Barclays Premier League and Pulis has assurances from Peace over any sale. “I’ve only been here a short time, if he is going to sell it then he will sell it to people who want to invest in the club,” he said, ahead of Saturday’s visit of Leicester. “I don’t think he wants anybody coming in who are not going to invest in the club, he’s made that clear to me. “That’s the main point he’s made to me. The fact he’s put it up for sale and everybody knows now if someone comes in and he does a deal I would imagine there will be bolt-ons to invest in the club. “Jeremy is a massive West Bromwich Albion supporter, he’s been here a long time and he’s done a lot of very, very good things for this football club, so I don’t think he wants to see his legacy blown away.” Pulis is without the suspended Youssouf Mulumbu for the visit of the Foxes while Ben Foster is a long-term absentee with a knee injury. Callum McManaman remains out with a foot injury but Craig Dawson is available after a ban. Boss Tony Pulis has backed chairman Jeremy Peace to sell to the right buyer with West Brom up for sale.center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

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