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Bulgarian Parliament adopts pension committee report

first_imgBulgaria’s ad-hoc pensions parliamentary committee has recommended lower fees, improved investment and ownership disclosure and shored up resources for the pensions regulator.The eight-member cross-party committee, whose report was adopted by Bulgaria’s National Assembly (parliament) on 14 May, was set up in February in the wake of the backlash following the government’s controversial changes to the Social Insurance Code at the end of 2014.These changes included giving members of the universal and occupational pension funds one, irreversible choice of moving fully to the first pillar.Over two months, the committee held 10 meetings, with hearings from Ivailo Kalfin, deputy prime minister for demographic and social policies and minister of labour and social policy, finance minister Vladislav Goranov, the Financial Supervision Commission (FSC), the Bulgarian Association of Supplementary Pension Security Companies (BASPSC) and the National Revenue Agency (NRA), the country’s tax and social security contribution collector. The meetings were open to the public, media and stakeholders.The committee recommended that pension returns, currently published annually, should be reported monthly.In the current dispute between the FSC, the industry’s regulator, and BASPSC over yield-calculation methodology, the report did not side with either party but recommended the regulator and market participants (pension companies, asset management and investment firms) reach a consensus shortly.The issue of beneficial owners and related parties has also been controversial and was highlighted by the European Commission (EC) in a recent report on Bulgaria.While the Social Insurance Code restricts individual shareholders’ investment to a single pension company, and bars pension funds from investing in securities issued by the owner of the pension company, or companies related to the owner, the ownership structure is not always transparent.As the EC noted: “The current legislation, while generally sound, has shortcomings in the area of related-party and connected exposures, which involve a significant risk for the profitability of the funds, their clients’ future pensions and, more broadly, the efficient allocation of resources in the economy.”The committee acknowledged that the current law needs to be amended and proposed that its members draft a legislative initiative.The committee’s proposal to reduce fees by some 40% echoes similar recommendations made by the FSC in 2012.The report noted that fee income continued to rise, increasing by nearly 15% year on year in 2014.It reasoned that, after 12 years of operations, the pension funds and companies were stable enough to weather the reduction, while pension fund members’ accounts, and eventual pensions, would increase.Other proposals included improving transfers from the NRA to the pension funds, and strengthening the FSC’s supervisory capacity, including more human resources, training programmes, new IT systems and an electronic platform for the funds and other supervised entities to submit information.Sofia Hristova, chief executive and chairman at Allianz Bulgaria Pension Company, told IPE that while she would have welcomed more specific and precise findings, the committee has helped the pensions industry highlight issues that have been stifled for many years.“The public is already much more aware of the gist of pension reform discussions among the industry, legislator and supervisor,” she said.The committee did not make recommendations concerning the recent changes to the funds’ mandatory status.These are the subject of a number of proposed amendments made by the Finance Minister in late January, which have still to be debated by Parliament.last_img read more


first_imgJoe Brolly has said that in bringing success to his own team Jim McGuinness has destroyed the game.Joe Brolly has claimed that in bringing success to his own team, Jim McGuinness has destroyed the game, and says the evidence of this is currently on show in the Donegal SFC.Brolly was an interested spectator in the Donegal SFC clash between two of the best club sides in the county, St Michael’s and Glenswilly last weekend. With star forwards Michael Murphy and Colm McFadden on opposite teams, it had all the ingredients of being a fantastic game.But the game finished on a score-line of 1-04 to 1-02 in favour of Glenswilly with neither side scoring a single point from play throughout the entire match.According to Brolly this is the legacy McGuinness has left behind in Donegal, but states that blanket defences aren’t just immune to Donegal.Brolly believes that the defensive system implemented by McGuinness is being replicated all over Ireland by club and county sides alike. He says the only two counties not effected by what he describes as ‘Footebola’ are Dublin and Mayo.In his column with the Gaelic Life, Brolly penned, ” When Jimmy McGuinness introduced Footebola into Ireland in 2011, it initially caused shock and nationwide anger, not to say panic.“But we were powerless to stop it, since as even black lads from Senegal quickly realised, it wins matches.“Footebola is now a pandemic, rampaging through a defenceless nation. It rendered most of the 2014 championship unwatchable, including the All-Ireland final which was the worst since the advent of the television era.“At the weekend, Glenswilly met St Michael’s. In the old days before the plague, a game between teams spearheaded by Michael Murphy and Colm McFadden would have guaranteed excitement and pleasure.“Not in the post Jimmy era. The bald scoreline of 1-4 to 1-2 simply does not do justice to this sad affair. “Not a single point was scored from play (described nowadays as “a defensive triumph”). Glenswilly didn’t score for 44 minutes, after Murphy had pointed a free in the first minute.Brolly adds that employing such systems as effective as they might be, ruin some of the crucial components of the GAA, which are creativity, imagination and freedom.He feels the continued use of such systems will continue to have a detrimental effect on the game and damage it beyond repair.“What is wrong with this approach? Well, it defeats the human spirit and is destroying crucial components of the game: Happiness, freedom, creativity, imagination. “I suppose we shouldn’t complain. Gaelic football had a great run of it, for almost 130 years.“Sooner or later a Jimmy McGuinness was bound to come along. But in bringing success to his own team, he has destroyed the game.BROLLY -“IN BRINGING SUCCESS TO HIS OWN TEAM, MCGUINNESS HAS DESTROYED THE GAME” was last modified: October 20th, 2014 by Mark ForkerShare 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:FootebolaGAAJim McGuinnessJOE BROLLYnewsSportlast_img read more

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