Belgium’s council of ministers has approved a bill that will exempt cross-border pension funds from fiscal and administrative levies and said the new law would underline the country’s position as a top location for pan-European schemes.The draft bill was put forward by the finance minister Johan Van Overtfeldt and approved by the Cabinet on Friday.It proposes that Belgium’s tax code not apply to second-pillar pensions provided by a Belgium-domiciled pension fund or insurance company to a non-resident as long as there is no further connection to Belgium – for example, no taxable revenue is incurred in Belgium by the work the pension is linked to.The proposed reform of the tax code would impose an obligation on the pension funds to provide the authorities annually with certain information in relation to the pensions for which the tax exemption was applied. The measure is applicable as of 1 January 2017.It is being passed to the council of states, the country’s highest administrative court.A government statement said Belgium would “confirm its position as the country of first choice for the establishment of pan-European pension funds”.PensioPlus, the Belgian pension fund association, said it was delighted the government had confirmed it would not be taxing cross-border funds.“This decision,” it said, “represents an important stimulus for the further development of pension funds and additional pensions in Belgium.”At present, 15 multinational companies – including Johnson & Johnson, Euroclear, BP and Alcon – have established pan-European pension funds in Belgium, and several other companies are looking to follow suit.The financial supervisory authority in Belgium recently approved a pan-European pension fund for General Electric. The European Commission has also decided to set up a cross-border scheme in Belgium for researchers who work in different EU countries.PensioPlus said many companies were choosing pan-European schemes because they provided a better overview for governance and greater transparency. “The joint management structure can also contribute to a higher pension through costs-saving and simplified management as a result of benefits of scale,” it said.Dutch pension funds that have relocated to Belgium in recent months have also argued that supervision in Belgium is more flexible than it is in the Netherlands.
The Dodgers’ offense did its familiar disappearing act against a left-handed pitcher. Matt Moore didn’t give up a hit until the fourth inning when singles by Justin Turner, Adrian Gonzalez and Yasmani Grandal produced the Dodgers’ only run.“There should be no carryover,” Dodgers rookie shortstop Corey Seager said of the poor finish. “It’s just one of those weird times where you go from being so high after clinching. You can’t read anything into it. Just reset, regroup.”The game ended Vin Scully’s 67-year Hall of Fame broadcasting career. The iconic broadcaster traveled to San Francisco to call the final three games of the regular season. Sunday’s finale came 80 years to the day after a lopsided World Series defeat (18-4) of the New York Giants had made Scully a baseball — and Giants — fan.It’s a familiar story that Scully recounted once more as part of multiple tributes to the retiring legend during his final broadcast Sunday which was punctuated with several standing ovations, a visit from Willie Mays in the booth and a plaque placed there by the Giants honoring Scully.“It has been a party,” Scully said during the broadcast of his last game.“Don’t be sad that it’s over. Smile because it happened.” SAN FRANCISCO >> The Dodgers couldn’t knock the St. Louis Cardinals out of the postseason in 2013 or 2014. But they did Sunday.The San Francisco Giants scored five times in the first two innings against Kenta Maeda and collected 16 hits in all on their way to handing the Dodgers a 7-1 defeat Sunday afternoon, completing a three-game sweep on the final weekend of the regular season at AT&T Park.That means the Giants have qualified for the postseason as the National League’s second wild-card team — the same door they used on the way to winning the 2014 World Series — and will play the New York Mets on Wednesday. The Cardinals were eliminated with the Giants’ victory.The Dodgers, meanwhile, lost five of their six games after clinching their fourth consecutive NL West title a week ago. They will open the playoffs at Washington on Friday. “In talking to a couple coaches, that’s what we’re going to have to do — we’re going to have to hit the ‘reset’ button,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “It was a crazy week. Some highs and obviously some lows. To come in here and play a team that had their backs against the wall — they played like it. They won three games here, three games that they needed to win.“When you’re trying to play the middle — get guys rested, set your rotation, things like that — it’s really kind of against what we’ve done all year. No excuse. We’ll be ready go go on Friday.”Matters were settled early Sunday.Maeda earned a $1.5 million bonus by making his 32nd start of the season Sunday. It was not the best money the Dodgers ever spent. He gave up hits to seven of the first 12 Giants batters, walked another and didn’t make it out of the third inning.“My command was off. I didn’t have any sharpness to any of my pitches,” Maeda said through his interpreter. “It’s too bad that my season ended on a bad note. But I’m going to go through my usual adjustments and get ready for my next start.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error