New Dutch pensions system facing further delays

first_imgThe introduction of a new pensions contract in the Netherlands is facing further delay, according to several members of the Social and Economic Council (SER).The contract is supposed to be the key element of a new, more sustainable pensions system. Speaking at an industry event yesterday, Kees Goudswaard, chair of the SER’s committee for system reform, said that completing necessary legislation and implementing the transition to the new system by 2020 was going to be “a challenge”.Doing this in a hurry would not be sensible because of the complexity of the issues involved, he said. According to Chris Driessen, pensions strategist at workers’ union FNV, the target date of 2020 set by the Netherlands’ new government was “just symbolic”.“This is unrealistically ambitious, as we just need this time for completing legislation,” he said. “Experience tells us that passing these things through parliament takes much longer usually.”“It would be good if the foundation for a transition was in place in 2020,” added Hedda Renooij, pension secretary of employer organisations VNO-NCW and MKB Nederland.She said that the transition would not be a “big bang” but a “very gradual process which would take up several years”.However, none of the SER committee members wanted to elaborate on when the new system could be introduced.In September, the government coalition partners granted employers and workers – who have been discussing the issue for several years now – additional time to come up with their own proposal for a new pensions contract.The members of the SER committee confirmed the earlier prediction of Gerard Riemen, director of the Pensions Federation, that an introduction in 2020 seemed to be impossible.In Riemen’s opinion, the transition process would take up at least five years, and possibly even 10.Currently, the SER is fleshing out a new pensions contract involving individual pensions accrual combined with collective risk sharing, as an alternative for the predominantly defined benefit arrangements which are increasingly seen as unsustainable.Goudswaard, a professor of economics at Leiden University, said his committee still needed to negotiate several hurdles, including clarifying the effects of such a contract on the volatility and stability of future pensions, in order to prevent some generations of pensioners losing out as a result of economic conditions in the accrual phase.He also said that a decision needed to be taken about what level of volatility would be acceptable, and what the desired scale was for financial buffers as part of the new pensions contract.Also during the event, Erik Lutjens, pensions lawyer and professor of pensions legislation at Amsterdam’s Free University, emphasised that second-pillar pensions were the prerogative of employers and workers, and that it would be difficult for the government to issue legislation.“However, the cabinet could indirectly steer the process, for example through fiscally facilitating a pensions contract, a retirement age, or the percentage of tax-facilitated pensions accrual,” he said.last_img read more

Big inning leads Brewers past Marlins

first_imgRyan Braun hit a two-run home run in the third inning Wednesday at Landshark Stadium to give the Brewers a 3-0 lead.[/media-credit]MIAMI (AP) — Hayden Penn pitched his way right off the Marlins’ roster.The Florida reliever issued three bases-loaded walks Wednesday night and Ryan Braun homered to help the Milwaukee Brewers snap a five-game losing streak with a 9-6 win Wednesday night over the Marlins.After the game, the Marlins announced that Penn would be designated for assignment on Thursday. Florida will have 10 days to trade, release or send Penn outright to the minors after making the move.“I couldn’t get locked in at all,” Penn said. “Everything I tried to do wasn’t working. It’s a pretty helpless feeling when you can’t throw the ball over the plate.”The Brewers scored six runs in the fifth inning, three on bases-loaded walks after Penn relieved rookie Sean West (0-3) with runners on first and second.Seth McClung (3-1) pitched 3 1-3 innings of relief for a taxed Brewers bullpen, allowing only an eighth-inning homer by Dan Uggla. Trevor Hoffman pitched a perfect ninth for his 14th save in 14 chances this season.A series of short outings by the last five starting pitchers has given Milwaukee relief issues of its own.“It’s our job in the bullpen to come in and do what we’re asked to do and today I was asked to come in and put us in a position where we didn’t have to use everybody,” McClung said. “Being able to keep us rested in the bullpen is going to put us in a better situation.”Milwaukee was up 3-1 going into the fifth. An error by shortstop Hanley Ramirez on Braun’s grounder followed by Prince Fielder’s one-out single put runners on first and second and chased West. A grounder by J.J. Hardy forced Braun at home for the second out and it seemed Penn might get out of the jam.But Penn then walked three consecutive batters with the bases loaded, including starter Braden Looper.He was relieved by Brian Sanches after getting to a 2-1 count on Corey Hart.Hart reached on third baseman Emilio Bonifacio’s throwing error, which also scored the fourth run of the inning before Casey McGehee doubled home two runs for a 9-1 lead.“That whole inning was real difficult,” Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “West wasn’t real sharp but he kept us in the ballgame. You’re just trying to get two outs and not use four or five guys.”Florida got four runs back in the bottom half on a throwing error by Looper, a double play, and singles by Bonifacio and Jorge Cantu. McClung came on and struck out Uggla with the bases loaded to end the inning.Looper allowed five runs in 4 2-3 innings and was one out away from notching his fourth win in his last five starts.“I’m not real happy about it right now. To be cruising as good as I was and have that happen is just inexcusable,” said Looper, who had an eight-run cushion to start the fifth. “I don’t know what happened. It’s all just a blur. Give them some credit, they hit some good pitches. Luckily, the guys scored a lot of runs and I didn’t cost us the game. To not get the win when we score nine runs is pretty frustrating.”Braun hit a two-run homer in the third for a 3-0 lead. The Marlins made it 3-1 on Cantu’s solo home run in the fourth, the first hit of the game off Looper.Notes:@ Milwaukee reliever Mark DiFelice was placed on the bereavement list due to the death of his paternal grandmother. The Brewers recalled RHP Chris Smith from Triple-A Nashville. … Milwaukee CF Mike Cameron returned to the lineup after missing Tuesday’s game with tendinitis in his left knee and a sore right throwing shoulder. … The Brewers won for just the third time in their past 15 games in Miami. … Fielder hit an RBI double in the first.last_img read more

Students 3D-print prosthetic hands

first_imgFive-year-old Jonny Maldonado was born with a tiny hand and just two fingers. People with his condition have only one option — an expensive 15-pound claw-like prosthesis — and young patients outgrow their prosthetics too quickly to make it a viable treatment.However, thanks to groundbreaking 3-D printing technology and the hard work of the USC Freehand Project, Jonny was fitted with a custom-made “super-hand” that lets him play baseball and ride a bike just like other kids.The Freehand Project, which was founded last September by senior mechanical engineering major Alison Glazer and alumna Kara Tanaka, utilizes 3-D printers to create prosthetic hands for kids like Jonny. Tanaka was inspired to start the club after hearing about the work done by e-NABLE, a network of volunteers who deliver 3-D printed hands all around the globe. She approached Glazer, the president of the 3-D printing club 3D For Everyone, to unite Tanaka’s medical background with 3D4E’s engineering expertise.“This project invited other people — we had artists, architects — people who were looking for a different entry into 3-D printing,” Tanaka said. “Everybody’s coming in and bringing in a little bit of what they know, and together they’re building a bigger project.”Using schematics provided by e-NABLE, the club has already supplied dozens of hands to Syria and Haiti. They have also joined forces with local children’s hospitals to custom build prosthetics for children in Los Angeles. Encouraged by their success, 3D4E incorporated Project Freehand as a permanent branch of their club this semester.Maddie McCarthy, director of operations at 3D4E, said the Freehand Project has received support from AIO Robotics, a startup founded by three USC Ph.D. students.“We were fortunate enough to partner with [AIO]. We were lucky enough to get two of their printers,” McCarthy said. “The more printers we get, the more people we can help and reach.”At the end of each semester, after printing the hands, the Freehand Project delivers them to e-NABLE director of programs, Maria Esquela, who coordinates troops of Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts in Baltimore, Maryland, to assemble the hands.However, things don’t always go as planned. From snowstorms causing chaos last winter to a wave of protests this spring that erupted after 25-year-old Freddie Gray died in police custody and led the government to declare a state of emergency in Baltimore, the Scouts have worked hard to deliver the hands to Syrian children intact and on-time.“It was difficult to get across Baltimore because Baltimore was in a state of civil disturbance,” Esquela said. “My daughter and I drove past tanks and people with machine guns and heavy body armor.”In spite of the difficulties, Esquela praised the Freehand Project and the Scouts for volunteering their time to help out children in need.“This project transformed us, and it made us connect with a team that was bigger,” Esquela said. “It became a very powerful thing for us to feel like we were able to connect with a team that was trying to help people.”The club has grown tremendously since it began. Last year, 3D4E only had around 30 members, and now there are over 70 students involved in the Freehand Project alone. Moving forward, the team hopes to expand and connect with more partners in Southern California. They are now printing hands for children in Sierra Leone.McCarthy recalled one of her most memorable experiences working with the Freehand Project, which occurred when the group custom-printed hands for children in Los Angeles.“Each 3D4E team member was actually able to put the hand on the child that they printed it for. This was my first time seeing the hands in use,” McCarthy said. “Watching a kid pick up something with his new hand was probably one of the most amazing moments I’ve ever experienced.”last_img read more

BIH Football Team On Koševo Again Tonight

first_imgThe BIH Football Team will play a friendly match against the USA in Asim Ferhatović Hase stadium.The results of the game are not seen as most important, but both coaches, Safet Sušić and Jurgen Klinsmann will bring out their best and most prepared players.For both teams, this will be a huge test before the final qualifiers. At the beginning of September, BIH will play two games against Slovakia, while the US will play against Costa Rica and Mexico.“Both countries are continuing the qualifications in September. My colleague and I will have a chance to see where are players can be placed. I believe that we will see one another at the championships in Brazil. BiH belongs on the football map of the world, with a deserved place among the top 15’’, said Klinsmann.“Our goal is to continue the good run of games. I hope that the game will be strong and tough. I expect a win, but a draw would not be bad’’, said BIH coach Safet Sušić.The game begins at 20:45 and more than 25.000 people are expected to come.last_img read more

Kings of the clutch

first_imgFor a change, Barangay Ginebra and San Miguel Beer made the ongoing PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals more interesting.The Gin Kings engaged the Beermen in a nip-and-tuck battle last night before escaping with a thrilling 87-83 victory for a 3-2 edge in the series that featured blowouts in the first four games.ADVERTISEMENT Mendez, Kahlefeldt make it two-in-a-row in PH triathlon competitions Palace OKs total deployment ban on Kuwait OFWs Judy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ Gov’t in no rush to rescue animals in Taal Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil SEA Games 2019: Philippines clinches historic gold in women’s basketball PLAY LIST 05:02SEA Games 2019: Philippines clinches historic gold in women’s basketball06:27SEA Games 2019: No surprises as Gilas Pilipinas cruises to basketball gold02:43Philippines make clean sweep in Men’s and Women’s 3×3 Basketball02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award ‘High crimes and misdemeanors’: Trump impeachment trial begins After Balkman forced the issue and got smothered by Brownlee and Greg Slaughter in the paint, Arwind Santos and Chris Ross flubbed three attempts from beyond the arc with Ross entirely missing the mark in the last heave of the sequence.LA Tenorio split his freethrows in the ensuing play and sealed the Ginebra triumph with 2.9 seconds remaining.“We got the crucial Game 5. The war is out there still, but this is an important one,” said Cone. “Suddenly, we’re going for it on Wednesday (Game 6).”Balkman was a nightmare for the Kings, overpowering the Ginebra frontline in an almost no-relief effort of 34 points and 20 rebounds, nine of them off the offensive glass that erased the mistakes of his teammates.“We’re not yet out. We have to think positive and come out with a lot of energy on Wednesday,” said San Miguel Beer coach Leo Austria.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Peza offers relief to ecozone firms MOST READ Thompson stepped on the plate when the defense clogged on Brownlee and Slaughter in the shaded area, finishing with 20 points and 11 rebounds with important possessions down the stretch.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View comments “I guess everybody got what they wanted, it was a close game,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone as the Kings moved within a game of clinching the series before a sellout crowd at Smart Araneta Coliseum Sunday night.“I remember calling a timeout and told them, ‘guys it’s all about playing great defense and making stops,’” added Cone, whose team efficiently responded by stifling Renaldo Balkman in a crucial play in the end.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’On the offensive front for the Kings, it was Scottie Thompson who made the big difference.The two-way guard scored six of Ginebra’s last seven points, including one off a nifty feed from Justin Brownlee inside the lane that put them ahead, 84-83, before the Beermen bungled several chances to alter the outcome. In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew LATEST STORIES After winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folklast_img read more