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Russian pension funds set for more secure future

first_imgThe Russian press additionally reported that there would be no further moratoriums on pension contributions in 2016.Medvedev explained that he based his decision on expert advice and public opinion.In a recent poll conducted by Public Opinion Foundation, 62% of those surveyed opposed the abolition of a funded pension system.The main reasons for their view were poorer retirement prospects and losing the opportunity to save for their retirement.Medvedev’s announcement is a victory for the finance and economy ministries and Bank of Russia over the government’s “social” bloc, spearheaded by Olga Golodets, deputy prime minister for social affairs, and Maxim Topilin, minister of labour and social protection.The social bloc’s arguments for either making the second-pillar voluntary or even abolishing it included what they considered to be poor returns generated by the scheme.In 2014, according to Bank of Russia, NSPF nominal returns averaged 4.9% compared with an inflation rate of 11.4%, although individual fund returns ranged between 0.2% and 52%.However, the fund run by the state-owned Vnesheconombank (VEB) for those citizens who did not choose a private NSPF returned only 2.68%.Last year proved disastrous for conservatively orientated funds investing in government securities, notably VEB, as sharp interest rate hikes by the central bank pushed up bond yields.Meanwhile, the 24 NSPFs that had, as of 1 March, converted from non-profit to joint-stock company status, gained central bank accreditation and signed up to the guarantee scheme administered by Deposit Insurance Agency (DIA) will receive the contributions frozen in the second half of 2013 and held at VEB by the end this May.Funds that register later will get their contributions from the third quarter of this year.In April, the central bank approved two more funds to join the DIA.The collective RUB947bn (€17bn) in pension savings accounts for some 85% of the total.Mandatory second-pillar funds that fail to complete this process by the start of 2016 will be liquidated. Russia’s non-state pension fund (NSPF) system appears more secure after the government ended months of speculation over its fate.Today, Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev announced at a government meeting that the country would continue with the accumulative mandatory second pillar.Medvedev has instructed Igor Shuvalov, first deputy prime minister, to produce proposals to balance the budget and produce more effective measure for the long-term use of pension fund assets.The decision follows on from yesterday’s announcement by the Kremlin’s press service that, following a meeting with government members at the start of the month, president Vladimir Putin instructed the government and Bank of Russia, the central bank and pensions regulator, to devise mechanisms for channelling NSPF assets into long-term investment projects, and to assess financing volumes.last_img read more

Lakers prioritize rest over practice as injuries mount

first_imgLOS ANGELES — Right up until the end of the Luke Walton’s first season at the helm, the Lakers coach rarely wasted an off day. If it was not a game day or an off day following a back-to-back, the Lakers were probably practicing.In year two, however, Walton has determined there is one thing the still-growing Lakers need even more than practice. Rest.“I didn’t want to give any days off this year either,” Walton said. “We weren’t giving many days off earlier in the season. Right now there’s just no option with the injuries that we have.”Walton has shown a greater willingness to give players days off. That included last week with one day between games in Denver and at home against the Cavs. The idea was to use the time on the court differently. Work that would get done in practices has been moved to shootarounds that were “a little more intense.” Prior to facing Miami on Friday, Ingram was evaluated by team doctors. The team said he is “progressing well” and that determinations about his availability on the court will be made on a daily basis.He has been cleared to do on-court, non-contact basketball activities.That seems to point to Ingram getting on the court sometime during the team’s upcoming four-game trip, which begins Monday in Indiana. “The amount of minutes certain guys are playing, we gave them a day off Thursday, then figured if we could get them a day-and-a-half by letting them have this morning,” Walton said.At Golden State, the only Lakers starter not to play more than 35 minutes was Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who logged 32. In the six games he started in place of Ingram, Kuzma averaged 38.4 minutes per outing, peaking at 42 on March 7 against Orlando.“I like to play more guys and keep their minutes somewhat around at the most 35,” Walton said. “Right now guys are up around 40. And with our schedule, we’re playing every other night, with that back-to-back thrown in there. I know how important practice is for us, but it’s just (that) we can’t do it right now.”INGRAM UPDATEIt was a late hit from Justise Winslow of the Miami Heat that led to Brandon Ingram missing seven straight games with a left groin strain.If his run of bad luck began with the Heat, maybe it will end with the Heat.Related Articles Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img Lakers’ Lonzo Ball finds himself in another shooting slump AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersBut the number of players available kept dwindling.“Even now at shootaround we’re keeping it pretty simple and trying not to run very much to do what we can to keep our guys fresh,” Walton said.Coming off a loss at Golden State on Wednesday in which the Lakers were without Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and Channing Frye, Walton decided to try something new. Thursday was always scheduled to be an off day, as the days following back-to-backs always are.In addition to the Lakers’ pre-existing injuries, Brook Lopez’s back tightened up and he was a game-time decision before starting on Friday. So, Walton essentially canceled Friday’s morning shootaround to buy his players more time.Instead, players gathered on the court before the game against the Heat for a walk-through.last_img read more