Finland’s State Pension Fund sets explicit return target for first time

first_imgTimo Viherkenttä“Seventeen years is a long time horizon, but it is not eternal, and it gives us a reason to take a look at tail risks, although we are a long-term investor.”The work on setting the annual return target to achieve this time objective has been occupying staff at the fund for most of this year, he said, but there will still be more discussion about how to adjust the portfolio and ample time to do it.From now on, the starting point for VER in building its portfolio is to find a mix of investments that will fulfil the return target over the long term, Viherkenttä explained.“I feel this is relatively ambitious, as it is not easy to find portfolios that would deliver this,” he said.VER’s investment team is already working on next year’s investment plan based on the real return target.“Tentatively, it looks as if only surprisingly small changes will be needed in spite of the new strategy,” Viherkenttä said.One element of future asset allocation will be to increase diversification in the direction of inflation protection.“One of the main things that will change is we will be looking at including more inflation-linked assets such as infrastructure, inflation-linked bonds and real estate,” Viherkenttä said.“But the main point is to look at how our whole portfolio fares in different environments, so this could mean doing different things, but investments in infrastructure and real estate will play a part.“It’s a mixed picture depending on how the main asset classes such as equities are performing.”Viherkenttä added that the real return target and strategy to reach it would be reassessed every year from now on.“If we had a bad investment year,” he said, “then we would need a higher annual return, so we would probably be increasing the risk in the portfolio, and that’s how it should be because, if stock markets came down next year, it would be a good time to increase the risk in your portfolio. There’s an intrinsic logic to that.”Though the fund has produced good returns over the years, Viherkenttä said it was somehow unsatisfactory that the reasoning for investment choices was not really derived from any concrete aim.“Setting this target has to do with integrity in that you have to base your activities on the very task you have been given,” he said.VER had total assets of €18.5bn at the end of September.For more on pensions in the Nordic region, see stories from IPE’s special report here Timo Viherkenttä, VER’s chief executive, told IPE in an interview: “We have this 25% funding objective we should strive for and now have specified ourselves when we should reach this, and our aim is 2033. The State Pension Fund of Finland (Valtion Eläkerahasto or VER) has come up with an explicit return target for the first time since it was set up 26 years ago, as part of a self-initiated project to firm up its investment aims and increase the integrity of its operating rationale.The fund has an aim, laid down in law, of growing and amassing enough assets to fund 25% of the state’s employee pension liabilities, but until now, the point at which this should happen has not been defined.As a buffer fund with no fixed liabilities or timescale for orientation, and dependent on inflows and outflows VER cannot influence, the fund has so far aimed for fairly generic risk-adjusted returns within the confines of its investment limits.The first target has been set at 3.4% in real terms per year and was arrived at with reference to when the Finnish state’s pension liabilities for its current and former employees – and also public age-related spending more generally – are due to peak.last_img read more

Zaha hailed for saving lives during coronavirus pandemic

first_img The Crystal Palace star, 27, was praised for offering free accommodation to NHS frontline staff battling the coronavirus crisis in 50 apartments across London. But back in his home country, his self-titled charity and Tomorrow Hope orphanage – both of which are funded by ten per cent of his £130,000 weekly wage – are doing laudable work too. The Wilfried Zaha Foundation normally helps the elderly in remote parts of the country, aids women who have lost their partners get back on their feet and teaches basic skills to disadvantaged youths. But during the Covid-19 outbreak, it is helping as many people as possible get by after shops and schools were closed during the country’s current lockdown. Trucks stocked with £60,000 worth of essentials including rice, tomatoes, cooking oil, soap and clothes have been distributing them for free to those in need across the country over the last month. In the last week the foundation’s seven-strong team led by older brother Carin Zaha have been going to people’s houses to inform them how to stay safe in the face of Covid-19, with advice on washing hands and covering noses when sneezing. Those sanitising techniques are also being stringently employed at the orphanage, which is currently shielding its 31 children – aged from babies to a 16-year-old – from visitors. I’m so proud of Wilfried. As soon as he started playing football, he wanted to do start a foundation. Zaha’s older sister Carine, who runs the orphanage, said: “We know it’s from the donation Wilfried is doing that all this is possible. Loading… read “Being a mother myself and having so many orphans under my care, imagine not having food? Especially when shops are closed. “It’s helping save a lot of lives and we appreciate it a lot.” Covid-19 has had relatively little impact on the Ivory Coast so far, with 480 reported infected cases and three deaths. Yet only shops such as supermarkets remain open and there is a current curfew preventing people from going out between 9pm and 5am. Carin, twin brother to Carine, added: “I’m so glad to be involved. “You go round someone’s house and they say thank you just for giving them something to eat that day – but we’re giving a month’s worth. That’s a real winner. read also:Palace star Zaha offers health staff free accommodation “I’m so proud of Wilfried. In the football industry, from what I know, most players start foundations after their career. But as soon as he started playing, he wanted to do it. “And people are so thankful. I thank God that he’s my little brother.” FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Wilfred Zaha has been hailed for saving lives in his native Ivory Coast. Promoted ContentCan Playing Too Many Video Games Hurt Your Body?Couples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable WayTop 7 Best Car Manufacturers Of All TimePortuguese Street Artist Creates Hyper-Realistic 3D GraffitiThis Guy Photoshopped Himself Into Celeb Pics And It’s Hysterical10 TV Characters Who Were Destined To Become Iconic7 Worst Things To Do To Your PhoneBest & Worst Celebrity Endorsed Games Ever Made7 Ways To Understand Your Girlfriend BetterFantastic-Looking (and Probably Delicious) Bread Art6 Interesting Ways To Make Money With A DroneThe Runner Who Makes Elaborate Artwork With His Feet And A Maplast_img read more

Blind to the rescue for Red Devils

first_img Wayne Rooney, Falcao, Angel di Maria, Adnan Januzaj and Robin van Persie all started for Manchester United against an injury-depleted West Ham, who deployed midfielder Kouyate in central defence. The fact goalkeeper David de Gea was the away team’s best player after 30 minutes, saving twice from Enner Valencia, told how Louis van Gaal’s expensively assembled side struggled to assert themselves. Kouyate’s deflected strike, after Rooney’s poor header, sparked United into life, but they had not won away from home after conceding first since December 2013, and not at all under Van Gaal. But they avoided following Liverpool and Manchester City in leaving Upton Park defeated this term as Blind swept the ball into the net when Carl Jenkinson, on his 23rd birthday, failed to clear Marcos Rojo’s lofted ball into the box. It was harsh on West Ham but extended Manchester United’s unbeaten away run in the Premier League to seven games. Juan Mata was the odd man out as Van Gaal made five changes, while Kouyate might have felt uncomfortable at the back on his return from the African Nations Cup and injury. Alex Song’s hospital pass towards Kouyate almost gifted the visitors an opener inside five minutes. Van Persie intercepted, but could not control the ball. The hosts then benefited from a poor defensive decision as Rojo failed to head clear Song’s lofted pass and Enner Valencia struck a swerving effort from 25 yards which De Gea saved. The goalkeeper denied the West Ham striker with a more acrobatic save from the resulting corner after James Tomkins had won the ball. Even when United had a corner, West Ham were a threat, as Adrian plucked Rooney’s set-piece from the air before launching a counter-attack. Diafra Sakho, in for the absent Andy Carroll (ankle), found Enner Valencia, who over-hit his return pass enough so that United’s Antonio Valencia could snuff out the danger. Van Persie was perhaps fortunate to escape a booking for catching Tomkins with a flailing arm as the pair duelled for an aerial ball. The incident was alarming for Sam Allardyce, given his defensive troubles, but Tomkins recovered to head Aaron Cresswell’s free-kick down into the six-yard box. Fortunately for the visitors it was De Gea who got to the ball first. West Ham’s pace troubled United again when Rojo miscontrolled a pass, lost out to Enner Valencia and clattered Mark Noble. Referee Mark Clattenburg played advantage, but Sakho’s cross was poor. A yellow card for Rojo followed, but only after Di Maria had an effort from 25 yards saved by Adrian. West Ham took the lead four minutes into the second period when United’s defensive flaws were exposed. Rooney failed to clear Noble’s free-kick and the ball fell to Kouyate, who was being marked by the United captain. The Senegal midfielder-turned-defender pulled the ball down with his back to goal, took a second touch to steady himself – all the while with the ball in the air – and then struck a fierce finish through the crowded six-yard box, helped by a deflection. The strike seemed to awaken United from their Sunday afternoon slumber, with Falcao firing wide from 25 yards and Van Persie volleying at Adrian. United’s lacklustre afternoon continued when Falcao sliced horribly wide following a one-two with Van Persie, who had another effort saved by Adrian. The hosts might have had a second, but De Gea saved from Noble and Kevin Nolan in quick succession and substitute Matt Jarvis could only head off target. Marouane Fellaini, on for Januzaj, caused havoc and Blind’s goal came when Rojo hopefully lofted the ball into the area and Jenkinson’s weak header fell for the Dutchman to fire low into the corner. There was only time for Shaw to be sent off for a second bookable offence after he caught Stewart Downing out wide as the Hammers were denied. The Hammers had looked like enhancing their European hopes and denting Manchester United’s bid for Champions League football when makeshift defender Cheikhou Kouyate twice juggled the ball before, with his third touch, hitting a superb volley on the turn into the net. Radamel Falcao missed a glorious opportunity to equalise 14 minutes from time, but Blind popped up to score late on and earn a 1-1 draw for the visitors, who finished the game with 10 men as Luke Shaw was sent off for two bookable offences. West Ham were denied a first Premier League win over Manchester United in seven years and 13 attempts by Daley Blind’s stoppage-time strike. Press Associationlast_img read more

City of Alpena Fire Department Holds Training

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisThe Alpena Fire Department got some training in Wednesday morning. Reporter Star Connor was there for all of the action.Package: Imagine wearing a heavy suit, and not be able to breathe while trying to save someone. That’s just what the men and women of Alpena Fire Department do almost everyday.Early Wednesday morning, the fire department practiced routines and trained during a victim rescue just as if they were in a real life fire.“What we’re doing as far as the training is we’re going over a couple different scenarios. One is a victim rescue and the other one is a mayday situation,” Captain Rob Edmonds said.The department has training once a month to prevent accidents like the one they had while putting out flames during a fire last month. When it comes to this type of training, Edmonds said firefighters need to make sure they are in great shape.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThis Tags: alpena, Alpena Fire Department, City of Alpena Fire Department, Fire Department, Fire TrainingContinue ReadingPrevious H.P.C. Credit Union Presents Check to Future Alpena Dog ParkNext Friends of Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary Talks Upcoming Event: ‘All Aboard’ at New Fletcher Street Depotlast_img read more

WORRIED GARDAÍ CONFIRM SUSPICIOUS APPROACH TO CHILD

first_imgGARDAI have confirmed that an investigation is ongoing into what has been described as a ‘suspicious approach’ to a child in Kinlough in north county Leitrim.Details of the incident 3kms from Bundoran have only just been released.Gardai say the incident occurred on September 9th at Mill Road, Kinlough at approximately 3.15pm. Gardai are appealing to anyone who may have been in the locality to contact them directly on the garda confidential line 1800 250025. WORRIED GARDAÍ CONFIRM SUSPICIOUS APPROACH TO CHILD was last modified: October 15th, 2015 by John2Share 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:bundorancrime alertKinloughleitrimlast_img read more