September 29

Dairy Crest cuts indexation through CPI switch

first_imgDairy Crest said: “Following detailed negotiations with the [trustees], in future annual increases will be linked to CPI rather than RPI. CPI is already used by the fund for increases in deferred pensions and is becoming more widely used across the UK including for the calculation of increases in public sector pensions.“This change was agreed as part of a broader package to put the fund on a stronger foundation for the future. This package includes continuing to move to lower-risk investments over time.”The move from RPI to CPI is a significant one as it has been suggested by many in the UK as a partial solution to the country’s pension funding problem.In February the government suggested giving schemes the ability to make the switch if they were struggling to reduce deficits. It also suggested allowing stressed schemes to suspend indexation completely.The subject was raised last year in discussions about the future of the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS). The scheme’s trustee board argued that a change in indexation would make it more sustainable.BSPS’ subsequent agreement with the regulator to spin off from its sponsor, Tata Steel UK, was confirmed today. A new scheme, sponsored by Tata, is to be set up with lower annual increases.However, other schemes are likely to find it more difficult to make such a change to indexation, as their rules are stricter in describing how increases should be applied. UK dairy products manufacturer Dairy Crest has cut its pension deficit by £45m (€49.6m) by altering the indexation of its retirement benefits.The £1.1bn Dairy Crest Group Pension Fund has switched its inflation measure from the retail prices index (RPI) to the consumer prices index (CPI). In the UK, the latter is typically lower, meaning inflation-linked benefit increases would also be lower in future.In a statement to the stock market, the company said the move has reduced its annual contributions to the pension fund by £12m a year for the next two years.In addition, the scheme’s actuarial deficit was calculated to be £100m as of March 2016, down from £145m three years earlier.last_img read more

September 18

Letter to the sports editor

first_imgBCB condemns behavior of Region six sports officerTHE Management of the Berbice Cricket Board would like, in the strongest possible way, condemn the behaviour and attitude of the Regional Sports Officer, Region 6, attached to the National Sports Commission. Since the election of Hilbert Foster as president of the Berbice Cricket Board in February, 2018, the sports officer has unleashed a daily abuse of the president, selected executives and the Rose Hall Town Youth & Sports Club on his Facebook account and also in the public arena.As Regional Sports Officer, it was expected that the government official would seek to work closely with all sports associations to promote the importance of sports in the Region. Over the twenty months of Mr. Foster’s presidency, the sports officer has never contacted or visited the Berbice Cricket Board or sought to find out how he can use his good office to assist us to fulfil our mandates. The Berbice Cricket Board, under Mr. Foster’s leadership, has been willing to work along with every person, organisation and clubs to lift Berbice cricket even higher. Sadly, the Regional Sports Officer, who seemed to have a personal obsession with the president for reasons known only to him, has never reached out to the Berbice Cricket Board.He is very close to some leaders of the Guyana Cricket Board and this seems to be the reason for his unprofessional behaviour. He is known to have signed his government position on a Guyana Cricket Board’s letterhead on matters concerning junior female cricket, scored at GCB Franchise matches during official working time and even organised lunches, refreshments at these matches. At our last Annual General Meeting on the 22nd December, 2019, he was present outside of our office, encouraging delegates to remove the president. Leading up to that meeting, the sports officer was openly campaigning for another candidate, who has failed to turn up while accusing the president of being a supporter of a certain political party. This official also sent/posted messages on social media that he would slap the nineteen-year- old BCB Public Relations Officer on his face whenever he sees him. This was his second threat to this youth.At the election, the BCB president was re-elected 31-0. The sports officer also accused the president of bypassing the position of a vice president for the nomination of a PPP supporter. The truth of the matter is that the vice president indicated that he was not available to serve due to his pressing duties as a senior government official in Region 6. The question that the sports officer needs to answer is how political views affect his capacity to function in an NGO. That officer has also threatened to end the careers of several national players with a single phone call.The Director of Sports and the Minister of Social Cohesion are fully aware of the behaviour of this individual. There are other organisations which have made complaints to the Director and Minister Norton and other government officials. Minister Norton, at a public meeting in Rose Hall Town, was informed of this sickening attitude and he had publicly told the official to put his house in order. Sadly, the situation has gotten worse.The Berbice Cricket Board has no problem with this official and we are willing to work along with him to further develop the lovely game of cricket. All government officials are expected to work along with every Guyanese to develop our country and our tax payers should not be taken for granted. It is a waste of tax payers time to pay salary/wages for persons who seek to cause confusion and to make division among our people. We are open to answer any question from stakeholders of Berbice cricket and should the Region 6 sports officer follow the correct channel, we would answer all of his questions.The daily and constant abuse of our president via social media has most of us worried about his personal and family safety. Should any harm occur to him and his family, that government sports officer would have to take the blame and full responsibility.While we do not seek or cause anyone to lose their jobs, it is the Berbice Cricket Board desire that the relevant Ministry of Social Cohesion Official take the time to correct this situation. The funny thing is that the same Region 6 sports officer served as asst treasurer and then treasurer of the Berbice Cricket Board in 2017 to early 2018, and has failed, to date, to give an account for the withdrawal of over $2M that was withdrawn from the BCB’s account during the period which he served. Requests were made for over 20 months for a Financial Statement and, to date, has never received same.Angela Haniff,Secretary,BCB.last_img read more

August 13

Prairie Ridge celebrating 50th anniversary

first_imgMASON CITY — Prairie Ridge in Mason City on Thursday celebrated its 50th year of providing quality substance abuse and mental health treatment to individuals and families throughout the area.Executive director Lorrie Young says the organization is excited to be marking five decades of service to the community. “There’s been a lot of change over the last 50 years both in terms of policy and funding, but we’re at a point where we understand that outcomes improve when we can provide truly integrated care, whole person care for the individuals we serve. We’re excited to be able to provide treatment for substance use disorders and gambling disorders as we have historically, and two years ago becoming the community mental health center in adding mental health treatment.”Young says people may not be aware of Prairie Ridge taking over mental health services from Wellsource and the former North Iowa Mental Health Center a few years ago. She says her organization as well as several private mental health service providers have been trying to step up to serve the needs of the community.  “We know that even with everybody doing the best that they can, there’s still not enough services to meet the demand. So while we are really proud of the fact that that we started from day one working to meet the needs of the individuals that were being served by the mental health center, we also remain eternally grateful to the community partners that were a significant part of making sure that nobody fell through the cracks when that transition happened.”A new full-service pharmacy is currently being constructed in the Prairie Ridge building. Young says research shows that patients are helped more when there is an on-site pharmacy where they are getting treated. She says they are partnering with Genoa Pharmacies, which specializes in medications to treat behavioral healthcare conditions. “So they are really instrumental in helping to provide patient education, consultation support, getting pre-authorizations, making sure that patients have what they need when they need it. I also think that for a lot of our patients, when they’re struggling, having to go five or six different places to get their needs met can feel really, really overwhelming. A lot of them have transportation concerns, so to be able to do everything in one location, to be able to see a provider, get a prescription if they need it, be able to get their medication on site, for patient to have injections to be able to have somebody to do that here, it just simplifies their lives in a way that it’s something we can do to make it easier for them.”Young says Prairie Ridge is blessed and grateful to the communities that they’ve been able to serve in the last 50 years.  “We’re grateful for all of you in helping to get the word out that help is available, that care is available in an environment that doesn’t see the people we serve is broken, but sees them as courageous individuals, making choices to live their lives with purpose.”Yesterday’s celebration was for staff and employees. A public celebration as well as 5K walk and run will be held on their campus at 320 North Eisenhower on Saturday September 21stlast_img read more