De Nederlandsche BankOther sector schemes with a low interest rate cover were Schilders (25%), PGB (26.5%), PNO Media (21.6%), PWRI (26.7%), and BPL (29.4%).Some pension funds apply a dynamic interest rate hedging policy, aimed at reducing the interest cover when interest rates drop.Sector schemes with an interest cover of more than 55% include Recreatie (59.2%), Foodservice (57.5%), Particuliere Beveiliging (60.4%), Koopvaardij (63.1%), and Detailhandel (64.3%).With a cover of 121.4% the €4.8bn Dutch pension fund of IBM has the highest interest hedge, the DNB figures revealed.Usually sector schemes have a lower interest cover than company pension funds. An explanation for this is that sponsors want to exclude the interest risk as, contrary to equity risk for example, they deem it as a risk without a reward.Pension funds of financial institutions tend to have an interest hedge of more than 60%.According to DNB, seven company pension funds in the Netherlands have an interest rate hedge of 100% or higher. This means their euro-denominated investments are more susceptible to interest rate changes than their liabilities, according to consultancies WTW and Mercer.Earlier this month, the €3.6bn pension fund for KLM cabin staff increased its interest hedge from 31.2% to 47.5%, citing interest rates falling to “unprecedented levels”. The decision marked the end of its dynamic hedging policy of quarterly reductions of the hedge since the end of 2018. At the end of September, the pension fund’s funding ratio stood at 99%. Schemes with higher interest rate protection – usually through bonds and interest swaps – have been less hit by an interest rate fall than pension funds with a lower hedge. Highest level of hedging at IBMAt 22% and 32.5%, respectively, the interest rate hedges of the €459bn civil service scheme ABP and the €238bn healthcare scheme PFZW were at the lower end of the scale. The degree to which Dutch industry-wide pension funds have hedged the interest rate risk of their liabilities varies widely, according to pensions supervisor De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB). Based on second quarter figures, the interest cover of the more than 50 sector funds ranged from 15.1% at the €1.4bn scheme for the hydraulic engineering sector (Waterbouw) to 67.7% at the €1.5bn scheme for the wood trade (Houthandel), the regulator found.The interest rate hedge at the industry-wide schemes was 43.2% on average, it said.Because of the ongoing drop in interest rates, pension funds’ interest rate hedge significantly affected their coverage ratio.
“We are creating chances, getting the ball wide and getting the ball into the box.” One of the main beneficiaries of O’Neill’s approach is playmaker Wes Hoolahan, a man whose treatment by Trapattoni baffled his admirers. The Norwich man has started three of the four games of the Ulsterman’s reign to date and is revelling in the opportunity afforded him, even if results have not necessarily gone his side’s way. Hoolahan said: “It’s lovely. It’s great to get on the pitch and hopefully show what I can do. “We are playing well. We are passing the ball well, we are creating a lot of chances. It’s not like we are not playing well – then you have something to worry about. “But you are playing against a world-class team in Turkey, they are well-drilled, so there were positives.” Press Association The 28-year-old defender, who has spent the last season on loan at Sky Bet Championship side Brighton from Wolves, has returned to the Ireland squad under new manager Martin O’Neill this season after being discarded by predecessor Giovanni Trapattoni. He started Sunday night’s 2-1 home defeat by Turkey and will hope to retain his place as the degree of difficulty increases markedly over the next fortnight with friendlies against Italy, Costa Rica and Portugal, all of whom are using the games as part of their preparations for the World Cup finals in Brazil. However, that is a challenge Ward insists he and his team-mates welcome as they look towards September’s opening qualifier in Georgia. He said: “You want to test yourself and especially for us going into a tough qualifying group, you want to play against these teams. “People will look at it and say it might be tougher to get results, but sometimes you learn a lot more about yourself and about the squad when you play against these top teams, and that’s what the management will think, especially going into a tough qualifying campaign. “The more they know about us, the better. You could maybe have chosen easier fixtures, but they want us to go in against these teams and they will definitely learn a lot about us in these next three weeks.” Ward, of course, was part of the Ireland team which fared so poorly in the Euro 2012 finals in Poland and Ukraine as they slipped to successive defeats by Croatia, Spain and Italy, and a disappointing showing in the World Cup qualifying campaign that subsequently cost Trapattoni his job. Replacement O’Neill is busily trying to put his stamp on the squad, and while a more expansive style is yet to pay dividends in terms of results, Ward believes significant progress is being made. He said: “I feel we are getting very close. I think these next couple of weeks will be really vital for us in terms of getting to know how he wants us to play and getting the philosophy on board. “At the minute, we are playing a really attractive style of football. We are keeping the ball well and we are not just keeping it without purpose. Stephen Ward is relishing the chance to test himself against World Cup opposition as he targets qualification for Euro 2016.
Kevin Hagstrom Betwixt the haunting ghosts, moaning ghouls and cackling witches you’ll find one costume trick-or-treating from door-to-door who can spook us all come Halloween night. Dennis Rodman? Please. Sam Cassell? Too extraterrestrial. The Undertaker? He’s something else entirely. This man is so frightening that I can barely type his name… Minnesota Vikings quarterback Tavaris Jackson. The guy sends me chills for all of his ills. If not for Jackson’s broken index finger, Minnesota head coach Brad Childress would actually be starting this monster. Jackson is more disturbing to watch than any of the “Nightmare on Elm Street” flicks where Freddy Kruger slices and dices victims like Emeril slices meat on his cooking show. Jackson can’t complete a pass for the life of him, or one of his victims, connecting with targets at a 45.9 percent rate. Nor can he really do anything (48.7 quarterback rating), except suck on the lifeblood that is an otherwise OK football team. He’s so heinous that his receivers live in fear that, by never seeing a hallowed ball come their way, they won’t ever be able to cash-in on a free-agent deal somewhere else. It doesn’t stop there. Like a zombie, Jackson’s play wakes other deranged personas from the dead. Ray Lewis, an accused Killer! Killer Night!, will rise from the darkness to feast on the floating pigskin thrown by Jackson (no, not Michael). Pacman Jones shall return to strip more than just burlesque queens. And Vinny Testaverde, the world’s oldest man, Alzheimer’s and all, may extend his incessant career by finding a job with the purple and gold next year. I think I’ve made myself clear that if you’re looking to provide a scare tonight go as Jackson. But beware. You just may never be able to throw again. Point: Childress’ pure folly. Ben Voelkel When it comes to Halloween, there are no decisions more important than what to be. As a sports fan, you will naturally be drawn to a costume that reflects your interest in athletics. There are countless options for picking the sports identity you choose to don for an evening (and early morning) of revelry. You could go the snarky, smart route and parody something in sports news today, like dressing up as Michael Vick’s dogs or Barry Bonds’ steroid needle. The risk you run with that line of costumes is some sports-illiterate folk not understanding your costume, leading to an awkward, time-consuming attempt at an explanation that still renders the dumbfounded unamused. You could try for the team concept, order some jerseys and go with some friends as a professional sports team. This has its benefits, because even if you get separated from the group, you still have a reasonable costume. Or, you could completely cop out and throw on the jersey you have sitting in your closet and go “as” that player. But the best sports Halloween costume is equal parts genius, convenience and spookiness. Throw on a facial tattoo, find some boxing gloves and get intoxicated enough to not make sensible sentences and voila — you are Mike Tyson. This costume really works well for a multitude of reasons. First, Tyson is one of the scariest humans on the face of the earth, athlete or not. What’s worse, some goofy Scream mask or a man who once bit another man’s ear off? Second, if your festivities wind up ending with you spending the night in jail, you can plead your case that you were only taking your costume to the extreme and acting out your character. Odds are it won’t get you anything more than a scornful look from the judge, but it’s worth a shot. Finally, you can say the most outlandish things you can think of (“I want to eat his children”) and, for once, no one will even bat an eye. Iron Mike. Winner by KO.