National Trust has announced the closure of its defined benefit scheme after continued growth in the fund’s deficit.The £447m (€540m) National Trust Retirement and Death Benefits scheme was closed to new entrants in 2003, with the charity at the time launching a defined contribution (DC) arrangement for new employees.In a statement, the charity said it agreed with the trustee to increase its deficit reduction payments from £3m to £8.5m from 2016 onward, with the payments increasing by 1% above the consumer prices index each year until 2029.It estimated that the deficit, which stood at £69m following its last triennial valuation in 2011 had since increased to around £116m, resulting in the 60-day consultation to close to new accrual. “We have made these proposals now because we feel we can no longer sustain the level of cost and risk associated with providing a defined benefit pension scheme without it impacting on our ability to fulfil our core purpose of looking after thousands of special places on behalf of the nation forever, for everyone,” the charity, which maintains buildings of historical significance across the UK, said in a statement.According to its most recent annual report, from 2013-14, the charity expected members of the fund to live to 89, with female life expectancy increasing two years by 2033.At the end of March, the fund had £106m in bonds, £47m in derivatives and swaps and £290m in equities – which returned 7.7%.In other news, the UK government has welcomed a report on how to increase participation of workers over 50 in the workforce.The report by Ros Altman was commissioned by the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) and examined the importance of an active, older workforce at a time when employees could no longer rely on guaranteed income.“As pension provision moves to less generous defined contribution pensions, millions of older people will not be able to rely on a decent level of later life income, especially as annuity rates have fallen and investment returns have not met expected forecasts,” it said.It argued increasing the number of workers over 50 would have a number of benefits – not only improving economic growth, but lowering the amount of money spent on benefits and improving overall intergenerational cohesion.Altman also recommended the government consider a permanent role across all departments to extend working lives.Pensions minister Steve Webb, one of the two ministers for whom the report was prepared, recently called for the creation of a Department for Pensions and Ageing Society.The Liberal Democrat suggested the department be responsible for occupational and state pension policy – currently with the DWP – pension tax affairs (the responsibility of the Treasury) and old age care (overseen by the Department of Health).,WebsitesWe are not responsible for the content of external sitesLink to ‘A New Vision for Older Workers’
The Charlie Hills-trained Kiyoshi is another filly who has not been seen in competitive action since her juvenile days, while Clive Brittain’s Rizeena will aim to bounce back from her slightly disappointing effort on the Rowley Mile early last month. There is international interest, too, with American trainer Kenny McPeek sending Rosalind on a transAtlantic mission. Jean-Claude Rouget’s Lesstalk In Paris, Alain de Royer-Dupre’s Veda and Andre Fabre’s 1000 Guineas winner Miss France are all in contention, although the latter looks set to run in the French Oaks instead. Amazing Maria, Euro Charline and J Wonder remain in the mix. Bracelet and Tapestry are Aidan O’Brien’s two remaining contenders, while the Olly Stevens-trained Lightning Thunder takes top billing having filled the runner-up spot in both the English and Irish 1000 Guineas this season. George Margarson has given Lucky Kristale the green light after his stable star worked “exceptionally well” in a crucial gallop on Saturday morning. Last year’s Duchess Of Cambridge and Lowther Stakes winner disappointed on her seasonal reappearance in the 1000 Guineas, running away with Tom Queally in the early stages before predictably weakening. Margarson is adamant his filly is better than she showed on the Rowley Mile and expects a much improved display next Friday. The trainer said: “Jimmy Quinn rode her and she worked exceptionally well. She worked with two 95-plus-rated older horses and it was certainly the best bit of work she’s done this year. It was probably as well as she’s ever worked. “Jimmy was very positive about her, so much so he asked if he could ride her next week, but as we all know she’s Tom Queally’s ride and he’ll be on board next week, all being well. “Tom never rode her work last year. He only rode her on the racecourse and she’s a different horse when she goes racing to what she is at home. “We couldn’t be more pleased and it’s all systems go for the Coronation now. She’s also entered in the Jersey Stakes, but the Coronation is the plan.” My Titania is set to make her belated seasonal reappearance in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot next Friday after 18 fillies were confirmed for the Group One contest. Press Association John Oxx’s charge missed the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket after suffering a setback and the Irish equivalent on account of the testing conditions. The daughter of Sea The Stars has not been seen in racecourse action since she won the Group Three Park Stakes at the Curragh last September.
“I played very well again today,” said Warren, who finished third behind Rose in the Scottish Open. “I drove it really well so I was able to be aggressive due to the conditions and went at a lot of the flags. I gave myself a lot of chances and holed a few more putts today. “Hopefully I can do the same again tomorrow and there is no reason why not the way I am playing.” Warren finished his round in style with four birdies in the last five holes, holing from 15 feet on the 16th, 30 feet on the 17th and two-putting the par-five 18th, one of two holes where the pin had been moved to higher ground due to the wet conditions and a forecast for more rain. Rose had birdied the final two holes of his second round to make the cut with just a shot to spare on Friday evening and carried on where he left off on Saturday. The world number five raced to the turn in just 31 at a venue where he made his Ryder Cup debut in 2008 and finished with three points from four matches, but after picking up another shot on the 13th the 34-year-old’s charge was halted with bogeys on the 15th and 16th. Press Association Rose, who won back-to-back events for the first time in his career in the Quicken Loans National and Scottish Open recently, birdied the 18th to complete a 67 and finish four under, one behind clubhouse leaders Marc Warren and Brooks Koepka. “I had it going, five under through 13, so I was looking to get it to maybe seven or eight under for the round and who knows where that would put me going into tomorrow,” a disappointed Rose said. “I would say the winning score is going to be 16 under, somewhere in that realm. When you start even par you’ve got to go all guns blazing. I felt like I could have got halfway there today, but it wasn’t to be. “Some parts of the golf course are really easy out there,” Rose said. “Getting close to the pin with your irons is easy, but that’s if you catch a good lie in the fairway. Obviously the fairways are completely saturated right now and the fact that they are so wet probably is a good thing it’s not picking up much mud. “But if it drys out at all it’s going to be a nightmare out there tomorrow if we don’t get a little rain from now until then. The ball is going to pick up so much mud, which is obviously tough conditions to play in.” England’s Danny Willett had also jumped up the leaderboard courtesy of birdies on the second and third and chipping in for an eagle on the fourth, which had been reduced to 292 yards to allow players to try to drive the green. A birdie on the 10th then took Willett to six under par and just three off the lead held by Rory McIlroy, who had yet to begin his third round. Joint clubhouse leader Warren was enjoying his second experience of the year’s final major after finishing in a tie for 12th on his debut at Oak Hill 12 months ago. Former US Open champion Justin Rose was frustrated not to make the most of a brilliant start as low scoring looked to be the order of the day in the 96th US PGA Championship at Valhalla.
But FAI Director of Competitions Fran Gavin says nothing from the report is set in stone. An independent report into the League of Ireland brand has come in for criticism. The FAI contracted brand expert Jonathan Gabay to assess the League’s positioning, and how it may improve its standing as a brand. Some of Gabay’s proposals have been the source of derision on social media.