UK roundup: Lowest-paid workers ‘missing out’ on pension tax relief

first_img“Master trusts have grown to represent over 35% of the workplace savings market and account for the savings of over 7m DC scheme members in the UK,” said Jesal Mistry, head of scheme design and provider evaluation at Hymans Robertson.“The fact that only three of the master trusts we surveyed offered tax relief at source is not just surprising but a major concern as it could mean thousands of individuals auto-enrolled are not receiving the tax relief they were promised.”Pension freedoms three years onFigures from FTSE 100-listed broker Hargreaves Lansdown have revealed the extent to which recent retirees have fallen out of love with annuities since pension freedoms were introduced three years ago.In April 2015, more than 90% of retirees opted for an annuity, the company said. That number had fallen to just 12% at the start of this month, with 54% now choosing to cash in their entire pension fund.Nathan Long, senior pension analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said that while the relaxation of the rules had allowed investors more flexibility, the stability and security of an annuity could not be ruled out.“New pension rules have put savers firmly in control of their life after work and have proven incredibly popular,” he said. “Now, three years on from the pension freedoms, stable annuity rates and a rising stock market could prompt the first round of pension freedom-seekers to re-examine opting for the security of an annuity with some or all of their pension plan.”The annuities market has shrunk to just six providers, with eight having exited following the launch of pensions freedoms on 6 April 2015. However, Hargreaves Lansdown estimated that the departing companies represented just 15% of the overall market.Teachers’ Pension Scheme to equalise survivor benefitsSame-sex couples within the Teachers’ Pension Scheme will soon be granted the same survivor rights as their heterosexual peers following a ruling in the Supreme Court last year.Regulatory changes will be introduced to standardise the treatment of same- and opposite-sex couples after the court ruled in favour of John Walker in his 12-year battle with Innospec, the global speciality chemicals company.Walker had requested that his company pension pass to his husband in the event of his death, but because he had joined the firm before 5 December 2005, when civil partnerships were introduced in the UK, Innospec declined the request.In an update on the Teachers’ Pension scheme website, members were informed that survivors of civil partnership or same-sex marriages would gain the same benefits if they were employed from 1 April 1972 or 6 April 1978 if the marriage occurred after the last day of pensionable service.However, anomalies remain within the scheme with regard to male widowers of female teachers. On its website, the scheme said a European Court of Justice ruling meant schemes must “provide equal survivor benefits for males who survive their female spouse in relation to service from May 1990. The Teachers’ Pension Scheme provides survivor benefits for males who survive their female spouse in relation to service from 6 April 1988.”DB deficit jumps during MarchThe combined deficit of the UK’s defined benefit (DB) pension schemes jumped by more than 60% over the past month, according to figures from the Pension Protection Fund (PPF).The total shortfall increased from £72.1bn at the end of February to £115.6bn by 31 March, the statutory body’s monthly figures showed.Funding levels also fell over the month, with the ratio dropping to 93.1% at the end of March. Total assets stood at £1.57trn with liabilities recorded at £1.7trn. Just under 3,800 schemes remained in deficit, with 1,792 in surplus, the PPF noted.However, the PPF said the deficit was still lower than the £161.8bn shortfall recorded at the end of March last year. Funding levels, on a year-by-year basis, also improved – up from 90.5% in March 2017. Many of the lowest-paid members of UK defined contribution (DC) master trusts are missing out on 20% pension tax relief, consultancy Hymans Robertson has warned.The firm’s research has revealed that just three of the top 17 master trust providers offered the chance for members caught between the £10,000 (€11,533) annual minimum level for auto-enrolment and the £11,850 income tax threshold to claw back their tax.Tax relief ‘at source’ was offered only by NEST, Legal & General and The People’s Pension, Hymans Robertson said. NOW:Pensions did not offer tax relief at source, but “does make up any shortfall in lost tax relief for members”, it noted.The anomaly first became apparent in April 2015 when the government retained the minimum salary level for auto-enrolment at £10,000, but raised the liability rate for income tax to £11,500.last_img read more

Cricket News Rampaging Rashid Khan takes Afghanistan to series sealing win

first_imgDehradun: Rashid Khan on Wednesday produced another magical spell of spin bowling as Afghanistan wrapped up a six wicket win over Bangladesh to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match T20 series.Rashid’s four-wicket haul helped Afghanistan limit Bangladesh to 134 for eight before Samiullah Shenwari (49 off 40) and Mohammad Nabi (31* off 15) did a fine job in what turned out to be a comfortable chase in 18.5 overs.Nabi dispatched Rubel Hossain for a four and six to finish the match in style.Afghanistan had also won the opening T20 on Sunday in convincing fashion. The final game will be played on Thursday.Earlier, Rashid ran amok in the 16th over of the Bangladesh innings, sending back Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan (3), a set Tamim Iqbal (43 off 48) and Mossadek Hossain (0) to leave Bangladesh gasping at 103 for seven.Bangladesh, who were 81 for three in the first 10 overs, could only muster 53 in the next 60 balls with the loss of five wickets.The wrecker-in-chief was the unstoppable Rashid, who ended up with figures of four for 12 in four overs. In the series opener too, the 19-year-old had produced a decisive performance, taking three for 13 in three overs.After having Shakib caught at long-on, Rashid removed Iqbal and Hossain with his well disguised googly to be on a hat-trick for the second time in as many games.The other spinners Mohammad Nabi (2/19 in four overs) and Mujeed Zadran (0/15 in four overs) too did their job as Bangladesh batsmen failed to break the shackles.Unlike the previous game, Bangladesh skipper Shakib thought it was best to bat first on a slow surface.The spirited Afghanistan team struck in the second over when Liton Das pulled a short delivery from pacer Shapoor Zadran straight into the hands of the deep square leg fielder.Sabbir Rahman (13) threw his wicket-way after smashing Shapoor for three successive fours to leave Bangladesh at 30 for two in the fifth over.Then came the 45-run stand between Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim (22) but the latter’s fall led to a complete batting surrender. For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.last_img read more

Piskula returns to school after stint with NHL’s Kings

first_imgFor the better part of an athlete’s life, the moment cannot come soon enough when he can cash in on a multi-year, lucrative deal with one of his profession’s 30 or so professional teams. Having the luxury of being able to disregard everything, to put his previous life on hold, can be this player’s ticket to freedom. For a former Badger blue liner, that moment, while monumental in its own right, though on less lucrative terms, did not mean a blatant disregard for the education he worked to receive at Wisconsin. Or the life he left behind. Joe Piskula went from college student sitting in the basement of Social Sciences for his History of Rome lecture to NHL player skating in front of thousands under the soft glow of the Staples Center’s lights in Los Angeles, from facing midterms to facing the prospect of learning to play with fresh faces at a level of hockey better than he had ever encountered. Yet even with a professional contract and the image of playing in the NHL fresh on his mind, Piskula looked back: As soon as the Los Angeles Kings’ season concluded without a playoff bid, he was once again back in that antique room listening to lectures about the Roman economy. While his time with the Kings was described by Piskula as “unbelievable” to the point that “it didn’t even seem real,” the student-turned-pro-turned-student had more important things on his mind. He was behind in his schoolwork. “It was really hard,” Piskula said in a phone interview, discussing his return to campus. “I had a month of school to catch up on in five classes.” Thankfully, Piskula’s teachers sympathized with his situation. They helped him get caught up in time to successfully complete his junior year. His life-changing decision to go pro started as a cloud at the beginning of the 2006-07 season and turned into a thunderstorm by the end; it got to the point where there was no doubt that he was going to leave college early. Piskula just didn’t know it would play out as perfectly as it did. Following the conclusion of the men’s hockey season, one in which the Badgers missed the NCAA Tournament and a chance to defend its title by one place — they finished No. 17 in the Pairwise Rankings, and the top 16 teams are invited — Piskula signed a contract with the Los Angeles Kings. The best part: He was offered a chance to play with the team — in the NHL — right away. Of course Piskula took it. “The fact that I was able to go to the NHL right away was a no-brainer,” he said. “It’s an opportunity that I don’t think really anybody can pass up.” That still didn’t mean the decision was emotionally easy. After all, you only live college once. “I am going to miss Wisconsin and miss my senior year,” Piskula said. “I mean I love it here, and I couldn’t have gotten a better experience with winning a national championship and all. … Our team is like a family, and it’s difficult to leave your family behind, but I would have been a 23-year-old senior, so it’s not like I’m really young. “It was tough to decide that, but again, I felt like the time was right.” “Every player’s dream,” as Piskula called it, began Mar. 23, 2007 against the Chicago Blackhawks. To better matters, the game was played in Chicago, one of two NHL cities within driving distance of his hometown of Antigo, Wis., and Madison, allowing his friends and family to see him play. A few days later, they saw him play again in St. Paul, Minn., against the Minnesota Wild. “It couldn’t have worked out any better,” Piskula said of the Kings’ fortunate schedule. In all, he appeared in five games for Los Angeles. While that brief stint won’t guarantee Piskula a roster spot this fall when the Kings begin training camp, those precious few weeks have left a lasting impression on Piskula. It didn’t hurt that his confidence was boosted in the process either. “Last year definitely helped me out getting there and getting to play a little bit, and getting a little bit of experience,” he said. “I played in five games for them last year, so they know that I’m right there and that I can play at that level.” But bigger than Piskula’s achievements on the ice is his commitment off it. Despite conceding his senior year in order to play professional hockey — be it with the Los Angeles Kings of the NHL or the Kings’ minor league affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs of the AHL — Piskula recognizes the importance of earning a degree for his life after hockey. “You don’t play hockey forever,” Piskula said. “When you’re done with hockey you need that degree to get a job, so an education is definitely important.” Plus, he doesn’t want his three years of hard work to go to waste. “I’ve put in three years of schooling and all that work,” Piskula said. “I definitely want to finish.” In order to achieve his goal Piskula will take summer courses for the next three or four years. Should he remain committed for that long he would represent one of just 75 percent of all University of Wisconsin student athletes who graduate with degrees, and an even smaller percent of professionals. In the meantime, the former Badger continues to train for the upcoming season, hoping that time will bring him to the NHL level once more. Whether it happens doesn’t matter like it would to the athletes who don’t look back, because as Piskula knows, a degree is worth something too. Kevin is senior majoring in journalism and economics. Share your thoughts or just drop a line to read more

Ex-Steelers star Porter turns self in on 1999 warrant

first_imgFORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) – Former Colorado State and NFL standout Joey Porter did more than return to college and become an undergraduate student assistant coach when he went back to Fort Collins to finish his degree.The Coloradoan reports ( ) Porter turned himself in Wednesday for a failure to appear warrant dating back to 1999. He was freed on a $1,100 cash bond.Porter was ticketed for speeding and driving while his license was under restraint in May 1999. Fort Collins police opened a warrant for his arrest after he missed a final court date. Porter was believed to have been in training camp with the Pittsburgh Steelers by the final court date.The Coloradoan says its efforts to reach Porter for comment through Colorado State have been unsuccessful.Rams football coach Jim McElwain said last Wednesday that Porter will serve as an undergraduate student assistant coach. Porter was a star for the Rams and went on to play 13 seasons in the NFL, winning a Super Bowl title with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2005. He will be inducted into CSU’s sports Hall of Fame in November.McElwain says of bringing Porter on board: “This is another example of reaching back into our past to help build our future at Colorado State.”Porter is working toward his liberal arts degree with a focus on social studies.___Information from: Fort Collins Coloradoan, Joey Porter (AP File Photo)last_img read more

Yurt Rentals Now Available At Olympic National Forest’s Coho Campground

first_imgFacebook6Tweet0Pin1 Submitted by Olympic National ForestOlympia, WA – Olympic National Forest is now offering an alternative overnight option to recreation enthusiasts who want to camp without pitching a tent!  Three yurts, located in the Coho Campground on Lake Wynoochee, are available for rent at the rate of $65.00 per night.  The structures were recently completed by Wilderness Adventures, a concession group that will manage the rentals through an agreement with Olympic National Forest.“We are excited to have the yurts in place and pleased to offer this opportunity to the public,” said Dean Yoshina, Hood Canal District Ranger.  “Each of the yurts meets accessibility standards, is fully furnished, and can easily accommodate groups of five or six people.”The structures, 16-feet in diameter, are permanent tents made of vinyl canvas stretched over a wooden lattice.  Each is built on an elevated platform with a deck that overlooks the lake and equipped with heat, electric lights, a futon couch, a bunk bed, a table and chairs.  Picnic tables and fire rings are located outside. Campers must supply their own bedding (beds are twin, full, and queen sizes) and cooking supplies.The yurts are located a short distance from water faucets, newly rebuilt flush toilets, and a pleasant day use area.  They will be available on a “first come, first served” basis until November 17 when the campground will close for the season.  Coho Campground is expected to open again next May but visitors can reserve the yurts ahead of time by visiting and following links to Coho Campground.Coho Campground is located 35 miles north of Montesano.  From Route 12, turn north onto the Wynoochee Valley Road and continue 35 miles north to Forest Service Road 22.  Turn left on Forest Service Road 22 and then right on Forest Service Road 2294.  Coho Campground is located one mile ahead on the right.  For additional information about the yurt rentals, please call the Hood Canal Ranger District at 360-765-2200.last_img read more

Watch : Germany and Holland play out a 6-goal thriller

first_imgAdvertisement wbrkNBA Finals | Brooklyn Vsf3plWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre Exkus5( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) 1rew8Would you ever consider trying this?😱1ak8nbcCan your students do this? 🌚20vfwRoller skating! Powered by Firework Netherlands won an exciting contest against Germany on Saturday in the Group stage match of Euro 2020 qualification round. It was a very important three points for Holland. After this defeat, Germany stayed at the third position of their respective Group.Advertisement Germany took the lead at the beginning of the match when Serge Gnabry scored the first goal of the match at the 9th minute. Joshua Kimmich and Memphis Depay were booked in the first half of the match. The first half ended with a 1-0 scoreline in favour of Germany.Advertisement The real game began at the second half of the match. Frenkie De Jong scored the equaliser at the 59th minute of the match. Jonathan Tah’s own goal gave Holland the lead for the first time in the match at the 66th minute. Toni Kroos equalised the scoreline at the 73rd minute of the match. Marten de Roon and Frenkie de Jong were booked in the second half of the match.Donyell Malen scored the third goal of the match at the 79th minute of the match. Wijnaldum scored the last goal for Holland at the 91st minute of the match. The match ended with a scoreline of 4-2 in favour of Holland.Advertisement Advertisementlast_img read more


first_imgLETTERKENNY GAELS NOTESPairc na nGael hosted its first competitive game of the season as our U-18 lads took on Naomh Colmcille Newton. In cold & windy conditions Gaels won on a score line of 6-07 to 3-05. Their next game is fixed for 14th March against neighbours Glenswilly at Pairc Naomh Columba.The final registration day for 2015 takes place this Saturday 7th March from 2-4pm at the Church of the Irish Martyrs. See website for more details. Well done to our U-10 hurlers who took part in an Ulster blitz in Gweedore at the weekend. Thanks to all who attended.Our club PRO Mark Mc Fadden has been nominated for PRO of the year in the Donegal News Sports Personalities Awards 2014. You can vote for him at www.donegalnews.comThe Club are running Circuit training for girls & lady’s from 12 years and older in Woodland School Hall every Wednesday from 7.30pm – 8.30pm. Price €2 per person. All welcome.Our U-12 Hurlers travelled to Derry on Sunday morning past to take part in an indoor blitz at the Creggan Community Centre. Well done to all who took part. Letterkenny Gaels has welcomed the announcement that Michael Murphy Sports and Leisure will continue the sponsorship support of Team Jerseys for 2015 previously provided by Donegal Sports.Michael Murphy Sports are currently stocking a range of Gaels Club merchandise including jerseys, training tops, hats & scarfs so go along and get all your Club gear in readiness for the playing season.”Underage football coaching continues for U-6 (6-6.45pm) & U-8 (6.45-7.30pm) in the hall at Woodlands School & U-10 & U-12 is in the Aura from 7.30-8.30pm. New members welcome.Indoor Camogie training has resumed at the Aura on Mondays from 7-8pm for 5th & 6th Class & Secondary school girls while Wednesdays from 6-7pm at the LYIT is for 4th class & younger. Contact 086 8163605 for information. New players welcome.Hurling training for U-6 to U-12 continues every Thursday from 6.30-7.30pm. Please contact Dan Harnett 0867392780 or Sharon Harnett 0868405785 to book or for more information. New members always welcome. For regular club updates and photos see our club web page, Facebook page or follow us on Twitter @LetterkennyGaeGAA NEWS: LETTERKENNY GAELS TO HOST LAST REGISTRATION NIGHT was last modified: March 2nd, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Letterkenny Gaels GAA noteslast_img read more