Unions: Divert tax cuts to Ireland’s mandatory pension system

first_imgFrom €18,668.01 to €70,044.005.5% He stressed that the proposed system would only be for those not currently in a second-pillar scheme, as the ICTU does not want to see the approach “replace the few good pension arrangements around”.National Superannuation FundWhelan said the ICTU would like Ireland’s revenue office to be in charge of collecting contributions, which would be paid into a single, central, defined contribution (DC) pension fund – the National Superannuation Fund – administered by a trustee board. The pension pot would be transferable, in that it would follow employees if and when they joined a new employer.Whelan warned against the involvement of a private company pursuing a profit motive for such a scheme.“The danger of people just milking this system would be ever-present, so we are fairly determined to avoid that if we can,” he said.However, he accepted private sector asset managers would have a role in investing any contributions.The emphasis on a potentially government-backed not-for-profit provider echoes the statutory nature of a number of large pension funds, such as Sweden’s AP7, the UK’s National Employment Savings Trust and the Cook Islands’ National Superannuation Fund.Similarly, the Canadian provincial government of Ontario is to launch the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan in 2018 – with a compulsory, employer-matched contribution of 1.9% for workers not currently saving into a private-sector plan.Whelan said initial discussions with Ireland’s employer association, IBEC, had already taken place, and that he was “very pleasantly surprised” to see it broadly support ICTU’s proposal.He added: “They’ve no objection to paying into a scheme, so long as they have certainty about their level of contribution.”IBEC’s head of education and social policy Tony Donohoe agreed there was little point in phasing out the USC, only to introduce “a similar tax in the form of a universal pension scheme in the future”. He also said New Zealand’s approach of having a regularly tendered list of default Superannuation providers – then assigned by the New Zealand revenue office if beneficiaries made no active provider choice – was worth considering.IBEC has previously offered qualified support to the Universal Retirement Savings Group (URSG), convened by the government in early 2015 to consider the introduction of either an auto-enrolment-based or mandatory second-pillar system.Whelan explained that the ICTU’s proposal had not been submitted to the URSG, as the initial consultation period in early 2015 had not allowed it sufficient time to consult its union member base.Successive Irish governments have weighed up, or pledged, the introduction of an auto-enrolment system, to no avail.However, the two largest parties in the current parliament both pledged before February’s election their support for such a model. From €70,044.01 to €100,000.008% From €12,012.01 to €18,668.003% Income bandRate Irish unions have called on the government to introduce a mandatory second-pillar defined pension system, suggesting it should forego a planned tax cut and use the income as the initial contribution.Fergus Whelan, head of pension policy at the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), told IPE the country was facing a “huge crisis” due to low pension coverage for private sector workers and declining pension adequacy for those in Irish public sector schemes.He said the union umbrella group was supporting the introduction of a mandatory, universal retirement system for those not currently saving into a pension fund, although he noted its proposal had not been put to the Universal Retirement Savings Group (URSG) convened by the government last year. Conceding that the ICTU had “probably missed the boat”, Whelan nevertheless suggested eligible workers’ initial contributions for the proposed universal system be diverted from the Universal Social Charge (USC), a progressive tax on income which the new Fine Gael-led minority government has pledged to phase out. Introduced in 2011, the USC is levied at a rate of 1% on income up to €12,012, increasing gradually to 8% on income above €100,000.“So, what we are saying is that, for any worker who is not in a scheme, instead of giving them back their Universal Social Charge, the Universal Social Charge should be their initial contribution to the scheme,” Whelan said.“That should be matched by a contribution from the employers.”USC rates in 2016USC rates in 2016  Up to €12,0121% Any PAYE income over €100,0008%last_img read more

Shanghai Hosts 22nd World Dredging Congress

first_imgThe 22nd World Dredging Congress & Exposition (WODCON XXII) will take place in Shanghai, China, this week, from 22-26 April, 2019.The event is being organized by the World Organization of Dredging Associations (WODA), China Dredging Association (CHIDA) and Eastern Dredging Association (EADA).As the world’s top summit on dredging held every three years, the congress will bring together industry experts and elites to discuss the prospect of the harmonious development between dredging and ecology, and comprehensively display the whole continuously innovating dredging industry image since the new century, devoted to making greater contributions to global ecological culture construction.The theme of the WODCON XXII is “Enhance the Harmony between Dredging and Ecology” with the three main forums:Environmental dredging makes the world a better place;Towards a new era of intelligent dredging;Sustainable dredging and marine economic development.Additional topics of focus are:Prediction of sustainable dredging strategy;Environmental  and ecological  assessments of dredging  projects, Risk control and Process dynamic management;Efficient dredging and reclamation technology;Construction technology, processes and methods for dredging projects;Water environment and ecological management and restoration; beneficial use of dredged material;Design and manufacturing of green and efficient dredging and ocean engineering equipment;Intelligent Dredging and Information Technology;Experiences or cases of construction, technology innovation and management of major projects;International Engineering Guidelines, Legislations, Standards, and Contract Management.last_img read more

Trinidad deny U.S. seventh successive 4×400 world title

first_imgBy Brian HomewoodLONDON (Reuters) – Trinidad and Tobago denied United States a seventh successive world 4×400 metres relay title when Lalonde Gordon overhauled Fred Kerley on the final straight to win a breathtaking final at the World Athletics Championships on Sunday.The U.S led for most of the race and appeared to be on course for another win after Michael Cherry ran a strong third lap to extend their lead before handing the baton to Kerley.But Gordon gave chase and ran a superb final lap for the Caribbean islands, catching the American on the home straight to give Trinidad their first world title in this event and add to the list of upsets at the championships.It was just reward for Lalonde who was part of the Trinidad team which took bronze on the same track at the London Olympics five years ago and won silver at the Beijing World Championships in 2015.Jereem Richards, bronze medallist in the 200 metres, and Machel Cedenio also kept them in contention in the second and third legs as Trinidad claimed their first and only gold of the championships.Martyn Rooney put up a brave chase for Britain but was unable to haul in the leading pair and the hosts took bronze.Trinidad’s time of 2:58.12 was the fastest this year.Jamaica and Bahamas, Olympic silver and bronze medallists respectively in Rio de Janeiro last year, both failed to qualify for the final as did Botswana, another of the favourites, after they dropped the baton in the semi-finals.The United States, who are also Olympic champions, last failed to win the world title in Paris in 2003.last_img read more

GOtv Boxing NextGen 3 Delivers Rich Harvest

first_imgThey came in large numbers; young, talented and of course, with hope in their eyes. It could not have been otherwise, given the fast rise of Rilwan “Baby Face” Babatunde, discovered at GOtv Boxing NextGen Search 1, to the status of the next big thing on the circuit.For two days, the premises of Walan Hotel (formerly D’Rovans) in Ibadan brimmed with young boxers, as GOtv Boxing NextGen 3 held at a venue famous for boxing. The programme, an audition for boxers aged between 18 and 25 and seeking to join the professional ranks, attracted boxers from as far as Jos, Abuja and the South-East geo-political zone.In attendance were members of the Nigerian boxing’s coaching royalty. They included Joe Mensah, Obisia Nwakpa and Jerry Okorodudu, who were on the judges’ panel. Also present was Dr. Rafiu Ladipo, President, Nigerian Boxing Board of Control (NBB of C), Mr. Remi Aboderin, General Secretary, NBB of C; and Mr. Lateef Opaleye, Chairman, Oyo State Boxing Association. Speaking at the opening, Mr. Jenkins Alumona, CEO, Flykite Promotions, the organisers, said the initiative is a continuation of the revival of Nigerian boxing being undertaken by GOtv. He noted that the first two editions of the programme held in Lagos, but was moved to Ibadan because the city was where GOtv launched in 2007 and also has a long association with boxing. Alumona advised participating boxers to see the programme as an opportunity to go further in their trade, adding that Mr. Adewunmi Ogunsanya, Chairman, MultiChoice Nigeria and GOtv Boxing, had undertaken to pay for the professional licences and medical tests for all those selected.The sparring sessions, said the judges’ panel headed by Coach Joe Mensah, were impressive. The two days devoted to sparring sessions at the Walan Hotel Gym, managed by the Oyo State Boxing Association, saw over 200 boxers attempt to catch the eyes of selectors. On the closing day, the panel had drawn up a list of those adjudged the best in readiness for announcement at a ceremony held at July 21 Hall, The Law Hub, Ring Road, Ibadan.Speaking at the ceremony, Alumona advised those that did not make the cut not to be discouraged. He counselled that failure to make the court should spur them to be better next time. Dr. Ladipo, President, NBB of C, cautioned the young boxers to avoid womanising and use of harmful substances if they want to get to the top of their game.A total of 23 boxers were selected, with three adjudged as being the most promising. Abuja-based Razak Ramon emerged as the most valuable boxer. He was followed by Akure-based Daniel Emeka and Lagos-based Sulaimon Adeosun. Each of the three boxers was given a GOtv decoder. Others selected also got prizes.A cash support of N100, 000, courtesy of the Chairman, GOtv Boxing, was announced for the Oyo State Boxing Association, while that of N50, 000 was announced for the Boxing Coaches Association in the state.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more