UK defined benefit (DB) schemes have reduced investment risk in the last nine years as they have matured, but for some sponsors this process has still not gone far enough, according to a new report.Research by consultancy Barnett Waddingham showed that, as FTSE 350 DB pension schemes have matured, asset allocation has ratcheted down to 31% growth assets in 2019 – from 51% in 2010.However, schemes approaching buyout in the next five years had an average of 27% allocated to growth assets, which exposed companies to unnecessary risk, the firm said.Nick Griggs, head of corporate consulting at the firm, said: “As schemes have matured, a general de-risking has been inevitable, but corporates need to seriously consider whether they have gone far enough. “Especially for those close to the endgame, being proactive with your strategy is crucial in ensuring the level of investment risk matches the agreed objective, whether that’s an insurance company buyout or a run-off.”The consultancy said it would expect to see companies aiming for a buyout within two years typically holding 10-15% or less in growth assets. Those that were two to five years away should hold no more than 15-25% – although the recommendation depended on the individual scheme.UK DB schemes’ funding positions were still under threat from falls in long-term interest rates, according to the consultancy.“With economic and political uncertainty driving global bond yields lower, as investors look to move into safe haven assets, schemes can do more to neutralise the impact of this and reduce the volatility of funding levels,” it said.Some firms looking to buyout in the next five years were also holding illiquid assets, with 4% of their assets on average being property investments, the firm said.“These take time to dispose of, and are unlikely to be accepted by insurers as part of a premium payment for buyout,” it warned.Barnett Waddingham also said overexposure to growth assets – particularly illiquid investments – could cause cashflow issues. It said 90% of schemes were already cashflow negative, and one in eight FTSE 350 schemes had a cashflow burden above 5% of total assets.UK private sector pension deficit hits two-year highThe combined funding shortfall of UK private sector DB schemes hit £163bn (€182.6bn) at the end August, according to the Pension Protection Fund (PPF), as stock market volatility increased and bond yields fell sharply.According to the PPF’s 7800 Index, which tracks the net funding position of UK DB schemes, the figure marked the biggest deficit recorded since May 2017, when the deficit was £168bn.Total assets increased during August by 1.5%, from £1,730bn to £1,756bn, but aggregate liabilities rose by 5.4%, from £1,821bn to £1,919bn.Data from Mercer released last week showed the aggregate funding position of DB funds linked to FTSE 350 companies declined, from a £51bn deficit to £67bn.Funding position of UK private sector pension schemesChart MakerSion Cole, Head of UK fiduciary business at BlackRock, said: “Whether a scheme is in surplus or deficit will largely have decided how schemes have fared in August.“Generally speaking, better-funded schemes have more hedging and are taking less investment risk so will have coped better with the market turbulence in August. Conversely, their underfunded counterparts who need to chase returns will have been hit hardest.” Nick Reeve
… Bowlers propel T&T to victory over Leeward IslandsBy Michelangelo JacobusDEFENDING champions Barbados made it two wins out of two games with Hayley Matthews once again turning in an impressive performance with bat and ball. Trinidad and Tobago also continued their winning ways as the Colonial Medical Insurance Women’s Super50 tournament continued yesterday.At Guyana National Stadium, Windward Islands won the toss and sent in Barbados to bat, a decision which backfired, as the Bajan batters unleashed a dominant performance to rack up 334-3 before bowling out Windward for 93 to win by 241 runs.Opening the batting Matthews plundered 91 (113 deliveries) before she was caught and bowled by Qiana Joseph, Matthews’ knock included 13 boundaries and a maximum. She was supported by Kycia Knight who made 81 (106 deliveries, (8×4) before being bowled by Pearl Etienne.However, Deandra Dottin and Kyshona Knight destroyed the hapless Windward attack to carry their side to a mammoth total.Dottin was especially harsh in her top score of 94 not out from 50 deliveries which included 15 boundaries and two maximums while King held her end to finish unbeaten on 23 from 19 deliveries (2×4).In response, Windward Islands’ resistance was futile with the Bajan bowlers all putting in valuable contributions; Shamilia Connell was the pick of the bowlers ending with figures of 3-36 (10 overs) with Matthews chipping in with 2-19 (6 overs) while Shanika Bruce and Shakera Selman also took two wickets each.Afy Fletcher was the top scorer for the Windward Islands with 24, before retiring hurt. The next best contribution came from Akeira Peters who made 19.Meanwhile, playing at Georgetown Cricket Club (GCC) ground, T&T faced the Leeward Islands. The latter won the toss and took first strike but could manage only a paltry 76 with the T&T bowlers needing just 25.1 overs to skittle them out.Most of the wickets were shared between Leandra Ramdeen and Karishma Ramharack, the former snaring four wickets for just 12 runs off 6.1 overs while Ramharack offered valuable support with figures of 3-23 (7 overs) with Aneesa Mohamed claiming two scalps at 15 runs off five overs.The only batter to reach double figures was Shebani Bhaskar who managed 26 before she was run-out. The next best score came from Saneldo Willet with nine runs.Needing just 77 for victory, T&T’s chase was buoyed by opener Felicia Walters who was unbeaten on 32. However T&T lost four wickets in a mini-collapse with first-game hero Reniece Boyce holding her wicket to see her side home, T&T won by four wickets as they ended with 79-4 off 17 overs.The Windward Islands bowlers shared a wicket apiece with Jenisen Richards being the most economical (1-11-4 overs).
Syracuse men’s basketball added a matchup with Buffalo to its nonconference slate, SU Athletics announced in a release Thursday afternoon. The matchup will take place on Dec. 18, 2018.This will be the second straight year the Orange — which owns a 28-5 all-time series lead — plays the Bulls, with the last matchup coming on Dec. 19 of last year, an 81-74 SU victory.Buffalo had a much improved season in 2017-18, going 27-9. That included a Mid-American Conference championship and first-round upset in the NCAA Tournament of No. 4-seeded Arizona, 89-68.The matchup is the fifth game added to SU’s nonconference schedule. Here are the games that have been confirmed so far, per the SU release.Thursday, Nov. 15 — 2K Classic vs. Connecticut, Iowa or OregonFriday, Nov. 16 — 2K Classic vs. Connecticut, Iowa or OregonSaturday, Dec. 1 — vs. CornellSaturday, Dec. 15 — vs. Old DominionSaturday, Dec. 18 — vs. BuffaloAdvertisementThis is placeholder text Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on May 24, 2018 at 2:45 pm Contact Michael: email@example.com | @MikeJMcCleary