Assets grew over the period by 19.1% to CZK2.1bn (€74m).The faster asset growth is the most likely explanation for the continued interest, with new members viewing the system as an attractive investment opportunity for their contributions, reportedly as high as 150% in the case of some of the 20 available funds, according to Czech press reports.Because joining the second pillar is irreversible, members will continue paying their contributions (3% of the social security tax diverted from the PAYG system matched by a further 2% of an individual’s wages) until the end of the year.The second part of the system’s closure, covering the reimbursement of invested funds, has yet to be approved by Parliament.Next year, members of the second-pillar system will have the choice of either receiving all the funds – in cash, into a bank account or a third-pillar fund if they have one – or returning the 3% back to the first pillar.The second option guarantees them a higher state pension.The monies will be reimbursed towards the end of the year, to take account of the later tax filings by the self-employed, and the time required for the fund managers to liquidate the assets.Separately, the Finance Ministry has been working on proposals to boost membership and savings in the third pillar.Participation in the long-established one-cap-fits-all “transformed funds,” which offer a minimum guaranteed return but were closed to new members in November 2012, continues to shrink, with membership as of the end of March 2015 down by 312,450 year on year to 4.5m.Membership of the replacement, non-guaranteed “participation funds,” with their range of funds suiting different risk profiles, grew by a smaller 146,767 to 266,780.The ministry’s proposals for the participation funds, earlier lobbied for by the APS ČR, include wider investment limits; higher asset management and performance fees for all participation funds except the conservative, government bond structures; the possibility of members saving for their children; and more generous tax-deduction limits for employees and employers.However, the ministry appears to have shelved an earlier proposal to double the commission fees.Pension companies had argued this would have made the product more attractive for agents to sell. The closure of the Czech Republic’s voluntary second-pillar pension system, in place only since 2013, is finally set to start entering the statute books.This follows approval by the Chamber of Deputies (lower house of Parliament) in May, and the Senate (upper house) the following month to close the entry of new members into the second pillar, and becomes law once signed off by president Miloš Zeman.Despite the factthe government announced in November 2014 that its predecessor’s system would shut in January 2016, workers continued to join.According to the Association of Pension Funds of the Czech Republic (APS ČR), by the end of March 2014, second-pillar membership had grown by 1.4% (1,170) year to date to 84,383.
“It will be both to the advantage of investors and businesses, if, for example, pension funds show a more visible engagement with those businesses they invest in,” he noted.At the same time, the ministry said it had decided to boost the number of people on the committee by up to two new members who had relevant investment experience, so that the panel had a sufficient level of investment skills to carry out the new work. At the moment, the committee has seven members including Dorrit Vanglo, the chief executive of pension fund LD.It had not yet been decided who would fill these new posts, the ministry said.It praised the UK’s Stewardship Code, which was launched in 2010, saying it had contributed to raising the level of engagement among institutional investors in connection with their investments in British companies.Last December, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) said it would soon begin assessing and rating pension funds and asset managers on their level of engagement with the Stewardship Code.The International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN) said late last year that it was drafting a global stewardship code building on similar initiatives in Japan and the UK. The Danish government is set to draft a code, based on the UK Stewardship Code, to steer the country’s pension providers towards more proactive engagement with company management.Troels Lund Poulsen, minister for business and growth, said the proposed code would ensure a focus on healthy, long-term corporate activity.“It benefits Danish competitiveness if institutional investors use their influence and skills to help Danish companies operate in the best possible way,” he said.Lund Poulsen said he had asked the Committee on Corporate Governance (Komitéen for god Selskabsledelse) to draft a set of recommendations that could strengthen active ownership.
Iona Holloway’s attention never seemed to waver.Against North Carolina’s impressive forwards, Holloway rarely missed her mark for all 76 minutes she was in the game. She gave Syracuse (3-0) a constant defensive presence in its 1-0 overtime win over the Tar Heels (2-0) Saturday. SU defeated its highest-ranked opponent since it took down No. 1 Maryland 2-1 back in 2008.Also with the win Saturday, the Orange extended its winning streak at home to 30 games, dating back to Sept. 6, 2009.From the start of the game through overtime, Holloway had a clear plan. In the end, she executed it to near perfection.“What we tried to do was tackle as much as we could outside of the circle because UNC are notorious for their corners and they score them very well,” Holloway said. “We were trying to force them out of the circle, tackle them outside and make sure we didn’t give away too many corners.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe corner count did stay low as the scoreless first half ended with each team having seven shots and North Carolina holding a 3-2 corner advantage.“We have to completely respect the UNC forwards,” Holloway said. “They’re incredible. They have a lot of players that play in the national team.”Throughout the second half, the action moved back and forth across the field. Whenever the ball moved near Syracuse’s net, Holloway was ready to attack.“That’s kind of my role, sweeping up all the mess in the back,” she said.In the final two minutes of regulation, the Orange faced pressure and fought a battle just outside of the attacking circle. Holloway and the defensive effort successfully held off the Tar Heels long enough to send the close game into overtime.Fatigue never took its toll on Holloway and she was a defensive force right into extra time, also. She was one of only three Syracuse players to play the entire game.“Her level of fitness is just second to none,” head coach Ange Bradley said. “She’s so fast, she’s so fit, she’s an incredible hockey player and she has such a tough mind set.”After returning from a green card penalty in overtime, Holloway contributed to the advance that led to Emma Russell’s game-winning goal at 75:57.“It wasn’t our best goal but I think it was the one that meant the most,” said Russell, who notched her second collegiate goal and her first at a home game.Syracuse also got staunch defensive efforts from Laura Hahnefeldt and Leann Stiver in goal. Stiver made six saves to notch her 14th career shutout and secure the winning streak at home.“We’ve not lost here since my freshman year and it’s just incredible to continue a winning streak like that against number two in the country,” said Holloway.“According to everyone else, we were supposed to lose this game and just to win it and on our home field is the best feeling ever.” Comments Published on September 1, 2012 at 9:44 pm Contact Adelyn: [email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+