USS: Mark-to-market to blame for pension funds’ failure on infrastructure

first_imgShe highlighted the different method Canadian pension schemes take to mark to market, and the Australian perpetual structures approach, as a reason why they can accommodate allocations above 60%. Graham, who worked at the £40.2bn BT Pension Scheme (BTPS) before joining USS, said: “We cannot take advantage of this. I explained this to the UK government, which could not understand why we weren’t buying more like the Canadian [pension funds]. It is a balancing act, and we’re forced into this position.”USS allocates around 5.1% of its assets to infrastructure, but this is less than half the allocation to private capital markets and lower than its allocation to Japanese equities.The scheme has made several high-profile UK infrastructure purchases, including a stake in the UK’s air traffic control service and an airport in south-west England.It was reportedly in line to purchase the government’s stake in Eurostar, the UK/Continental train operator, before being pipped to the company by Canadian fund Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ).However, Hermes Infrastructure did acquire a 10% stake on behalf of several UK schemes including the BTPS.Defending mark-to-market accounting, Ian McKinlay, investment director for the nearly £15bn (€20.4bn) Aviva Staff Pension Scheme, said closed defined benefit (DB) schemes should adhere to the system to ensure pension payments are met.He did, however, suggest that open schemes, such as USS, should be regulated more as endowments are.“The reality for me, with a closed scheme, is that I have to get the last cash flow, and the clock is ticking,” he said.“In that environment, mark-to-market makes more sense because I have fiduciary obligation to make sure the probability of paying the pensions is as high as possible.”Stefan Dunatov, CIO at Coal Pension Trustees, which manages £20bn in assets for the UK’s formerly nationalised coal industry pension funds, said mark-to-market was forcing pension funds to buy UK Gilts, instead of other assets, unnecessarily.He said the regulatory standards meant schemes always preferred buying Gilts, in order to be hedged.“You get into a situation where everyone might say they are liability-matched, but they’re not because it cannot possibly be,” he said. “We need to rebalance the regulatory culture.” The Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) has cited the requirement to use mark-to-market accounting for scheme assets and liabilities as a major barrier to increasing UK pension funds’ allocation to infrastructure.The £41.6bn (€50.3bn) pension fund for the UK’s higher-education sector invests in infrastructure but said mark-to-market regulations prevented the scheme from investing in more long-term projects.Speaking at the London conference, The Investment Agenda, Kathryn Graham, USS’s head of strategy coordination, said she resented pension schemes being “constantly berated” for not being more long term in light of the circumstances.Graham said she was always surprised at the level of infrastructure in Canadian and Australian pension funds, but that their accounting structures explained why allocations significantly outstripped those of the USS.last_img read more

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W. Visayas cops arrive in Cebu for COVID-19 war

first_imgThe augmentation force from Western Visayas is composed of 50 non-commissioned officers and three commissioned officers. ILOILO City – A total of 53 Police Regional Office (PRO) 6 personnel have arrived in Cebu City to help in the fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). “Show your utmost dedication and discipline to set as an example among others. Thus, share our best practices on how PRO-6 handles the COVID-19 pandemic. Always remember you are carrying the name of PRO-6,” he said. Lieutenant Colonel Gilbert Gorero, PRO-6’s concurrent spokesperson, disclosed the “selected strong augmentation” boarded a ship Friday last week and arrived over the week end. The deployment was made upon the recommendation of Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar, Philippine National Police deputy chief for operations and concurrent Joint Task Force Covid-19 commander. The contingent, mostly graduates of Basic Internal Security Operation Course (BISOC), is led by Maj. Antonio Benitez. The PRO-6 will also be the one to identify the specific task of Western Visayas’ cops. Meanwhile, Gorero said their policemen’s stay in Central Visayas is indefinite. During the send-off ceremony on Thursday, Brigadier General Rene Pamuspusan, PRO-6 director, told the augmentation force to be extra careful because “COVID-19 is a high-risk at PRO-7.” This June 18 photo shows 53 troopers of the Police Regional Office 6 during a send-off ceremony at Camp Delgado, Iloilo City. These soldiers arrived Saturday in Cebu City as augmentation force for the fight against the coronavirus disease 2019. PRO 6 “Western Visayas is always ready to render support whenever needed. We will create reserve forces for the augmentation personnel in case a problem arises,” Gorero said. (With Philippines News Agency/PN)last_img read more

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