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​Fall in yields deals solvency blow to Danish pension providers

first_imgMeanwhile, the pension fund for agricultural academics and vets, PJD – also managed by Sampension – saw its solvency ratio fall to 265% from 283%. Sampension Liv’s coverage weakened to 317% from 444% over the same period, the firm reported.Sampension said: “For the average-rate pensions segment, total reserves have been affected by interest rate declines and regulatory changes, with the so-called VA surcharge falling over the year due to a new method of calculation by the authorities.”Both of these elements affected free reserves and reduced the solvency coverage for Danish life insurance companies in general as well as those under Sampension, it said.Meanwhile, pension fund PenSam, whose members are mostly public sector workers in the health, social care and education sectors, said in its first half report that its solvency capital requirement increased by DKK716m (€96m) during the period — partly due to the decrease in the VA.“The decrease in the VA supplement has led to a large increase in life insurance provisions and thus a reduction in the collective bonus potential,” the fund said.PenSam Liv’s solvency ratio fell to 502% at the end of June, from 732% at the end of December 2018.The VA change has been seen as another factor driving Danish pension funds to move away from the provision of average-rate pensions, with or without yield guarantees attached, as it forces investment strategies to become more conservative thereby reducing potential returns.AP and PJD are in the process of appealing a ruling impeding their attempt to switch their customers from average-rate to market-rate pension schemes.The VA was also cited today by Denmark’s largest commercial pension fund PFA as having had a negative impact on its interim results, though not on the pensions side of its business.It said a “considerable part of the adverse result on health and accident insurance” was due to an investment loss of DKK452m, of which “the majority” was related to the VA change.PFA reported an overall group loss of DKK31m in the first half of 2019, after a DKK10m profit for the whole of 2018. The Danish pension fund for architects AP saw its solvency ratio fall by a third in the first half of 2018 as providers of average-rate pensions in Denmark made accounting adjustments in the wake of a regulatory change.Earlier this year, the revised calculation of the Danish Volatility Adjustment (VA) – published by the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) in 2018 – finally came into force.The change had the effect of lowering the discount yield curve used by insurance and pension companies to calculate liabilities under the Solvency II framework.AP’s solvency ratio dropped to 199% at the end of June, from 282% at the end of December, according to the interim report of its manager Sampension.last_img read more

Pregnancies more common among lesbian, gay, bisexual youths

first_imgReuters 14 May 2015Pregnancies are more common among lesbian, gay, bisexual youths than among their heterosexual counterparts, suggests a new study of New York City high school students.Overall, sexual-minority students who were sexually active were about twice as likely as other students to report becoming pregnant or getting someone pregnant, researchers found.“The message for me is that these populations are often ignored or assumed to not need information or reproductive care or services and they absolutely do,” said Lisa Lindley, the study’s lead author from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.Previous studies had found an increased risk of pregnancies among sexual minority youths, but those data were old and mostly collected for girls only.“I was just curious more than anything to repeat one of the studies that was done to look at teen pregnancy among sexually experienced young people,” Lindley told Reuters Health.For the new study, reported in the American Journal of Public Health, the researchers used data from nearly 10,000 ethnically and racially diverse New York City high school students from 2005, 2007 and 2009. They included only students who reported having sex with a member of the opposite sex.Students were identified as a sexual minority if they identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or had reported sex with someone of the same sex.About 85 percent of female students identified as heterosexual and about 90 percent only had male sexual partners. Of the male students, 96 percent identified as heterosexual and 97 percent only had female sexual partners.About 14 percent of females became pregnant, and about 11 percent of males got someone pregnant.Overall, about 13 percent of heterosexual females and about 14 percent of females who only had male sexual partners had been pregnant, compared to about 23 percent of lesbian or bisexual females and about 20 percent of girls who had male and female sexual partners.About 10 percent of heterosexual males and those who only had female sexual partners experienced a pregnancy, compared to about 29 percent of gay or bisexual males and about 38 percent of males with female and male sexual partners.“What really accounted for most of the risk for the girls was sexual behavior,” Lindley said. “Basically the earlier they initiated intercourse and the more partners they had the more likely they were to become pregnant.”http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/14/us-pregnancy-teen-lgbt-idUSKBN0NZ2AT20150514last_img read more

Meghan scores fourth USA win

first_img England’s Meghan MacLaren has kept her winning form going by capturing her fourth title on the US women’s college circuit. Meghan (image © Leaderboard Photography) won the British women’s stroke play championship in her final event on this side of the Atlantic, before she returned to Florida International University. Now, she’s won her first event of the new academic year taking the individual honours in the Mary Fossum Invitational, hosted by Michigan State. Meghan was in third place at the start of the final round and shot a third round score of 74. It gave her a tournament score of five-over par and a one stroke victory. She commented afterwards on Twitter: “Another stressful day but happy to have won my first college tournament back in America! Ready for a good year.”  Her previous US successes were in 2013 and 2012. Meghan, an England international from Wellinborough, stormed through the field to win her British title, sealing her triumph the day before she returned to the USA. She played the final two rounds in nine-under par and won by a stroke at Ashburnham in Wales. 15 Sep 2014 Meghan scores fourth USA win last_img read more

Flipping the Switch: How Harlequin Productions Has Fared in the Midst…

first_imgSubmitted by Harlequin Productions Harlequin Productions stages shows in the Historic State Theater in downtown Olympia.With the start of the 2008 economic recession, financial woes began spreading across our local county. Individuals and businesses alike felt the blow as consumer confidence fell and unemployment rose. Arts organizations in particular were adversely impacted, and Olympia’s own Harlequin Productions found itself right in the path of the oncoming economic storm.It took a couple years for the non-profit theater company to feel the effects, but it happened soon enough. As Managing Artistic Director, Scot Whitney describes, “In November 2010, it was like someone flipped a switch and all of a sudden ticket sales, sponsors, and donations fell off.”Since that sudden and distinct drop off in support over four years ago, Harlequin has experienced a steady, discouraging decline in ticket sales and has struggled to find new sponsors and advertisers. “We are so grateful to those local businesses and donors who continued their support through it all because we wouldn’t have made it without them.” says Scot Whitney.“It was heartbreaking,” says Artistic Director, Linda Whitney. “Year after year our reserves were depleted. Heading into Season 2015, the forecast for the next year looked pretty bleak.”  Early projections showed a cash flow shortage of about $50,000 come April 2015.  Yes, Harlequin was facing complete depletion of its reserves and had started planning a special campaign to increase working capital to make it through.The company’s leaders, however, were forced to face the possibility that Harlequin’s story may be coming to an end. “We have always said that we would be here presenting our distinctive brand of theater as long as the community supported it,” recalls Linda. “We decided that no matter what, we would not go into debt. If the day ever came that we couldn’t make payroll, or we couldn’t pay our actors, we’d shut the doors.”Then this past October, something happened. Harlequin opened their production of Clybourne Park, a Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy by Bruce Norris. It was a play that local critics praised, but tickets sales were lagging (a familiar story by this time). For the first two weekends, the show sold 20% under projections. But the final two weekends shocked the company by selling significantly over projections, with the final weekend nearly selling out. It had been years since they’d seen a non-musical performance come close to selling out.“I came in for the show one night in the third weekend and thought the ticket sales report might have been a typo,” remembers Scot. “It wasn’t until I was standing in front of the audience during the curtain speech that I could let myself believe we actually had a sold-out crowd.”After Clybourne Park closed, Harlequin was scratching its head wondering what suddenly happened halfway through the run. But they didn’t have too much time to think, because their next show, The Stardust Christmas Commotion, the latest in Harlequin’s series of holiday musicals, was opening in a few short weeks.Going into Stardust, Harlequin wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Was the sudden success of Clybourne Park just a fluke? Or was it a sign that things were getting better?They got their answer: Stardust not only sold extremely well, it broke records. The Stardust Christmas Commotion filled the theater to an average of 95% of capacity. Seventeen out of its twenty-four performances sold out, and the show set a new all-time Harlequin record for most consecutive sold-out performances with fourteen straight completely packed houses. “We added two performances to the run to try to accommodate the demand,” said Korja Giles, Harlequin’s Box Office Manager, “but in the final week, we had to turn people away. It was terrible to have to disappoint so many people during the holidays!”The Stardust series is a local holiday favorite and this year’s production saw record ticket sales and sell-out shows.“We think someone may have flipped the switch back on,” declared Scot and Linda Whitney.Has someone finally flipped the switch? They have reason to feel optimistic. With the success of The Stardust Christmas Commotion, the projected $50,000 cash flow deficit has been whittled down to about $15,000, a much more manageable challenge.And things are not just looking up for Harlequin but for Olympia as a whole. People everywhere seem to be more optimistic. The Arts bring more than culture to a community. The success of Stardust brought more people downtown, enhancing local economic activity as Harlequin patrons shopped and dined before and after performances.  A recent Harlequin survey shows that 76% of their patrons dine out as a part of their theater excursion while 26% shop at local retail shops. “We see a 20% increase in our business on Harlequin show nights,” commented Mark Arndt, manager of the neighboring McMenamins Spar Café.This city is known for its appreciation of the arts. And the resurgence of its theater scene is good news for everyone who appreciates a vibrant and culturally diverse downtown.Harlequin is clearly excited about its upcoming offerings for Season 2015. Up next is The 39 Steps by Patrick Barlow, an outrageously comic stage version of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1935 film thriller in which four actors play an incomprehensible number of characters. Find a list of all Harlequin Season 2015 shows at harlequinproductions.org. If recent experience is any indication, you may want to grab your tickets sooner rather than later.Next year’s Season 2016 will mark the 25th year that Harlequin Productions has been producing extraordinary theatrical adventures for the greater Olympia community. “It looks like we just may be around to celebrate our silver anniversary year,” says Linda. “And that’s good news!” Facebook147Tweet0Pin0last_img read more