Court rejects BT’s bid to change inflation-linked benefits

first_imgTelecoms giant BT cannot change the index it uses to calculate pension increases for certain members of its pension scheme, according to a UK court ruling today.The company was seeking to find out whether it would be able to use the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) instead of the Retail Prices Index (RPI) to calculate inflation-linked annual pension increases. The CPI is typically lower, so being able to use it would have helped the company deal with a large deficit in its defined benefit (DB) pension scheme.According to BT’s annual report for the 12 months to 31 March 2017, the pension scheme had a shortfall of £7.6bn (€8.6bn). However, a funding update issued by the trustees last year put the deficit at nearly £14bn as of 30 June 2016.The company had agreed in principle with the trustee of the BT Pension Scheme (BTPS) to switch its inflation measure to the CPI, but it wanted to check whether this would be deemed compatible with the scheme rules. The High Court today ruled against BT.The company said it was disappointed with the decision.“[W]e will now consider the judgment in detail in order to decide next steps, including the possibility of an appeal,” it added in a statement.According to Slaughter and May, which acted for the BTPS trustees, BT had argued that RPI had “become inappropriate” for the purposes of the relevant scheme rules and that the company could therefore, following consultation with the trustee, switch away from RPI. The trustee said it was in the process of analysing the judgment and would provide a further update once this was done.BTPS is the largest private sector pension scheme in the UK and the 11th largest in Europe, according to IPE’s Top 1000 Pension Funds report.The court ruling comes as BT has just completed a consultation on changes to its main DB and defined contribution (DC) schemes.The company has proposed closing BTPS to future accrual in April, with all members’ contributions moving to the BT Retirement Saving Scheme (BTRSS), the main DC plan. BT would pay additional contributions into the BTRSS for up to 10 years.As an alternative, the company proposed keeping BTPS open on a significantly amended basis, whereby benefits would increase more slowly in future and members would have to contribute more.BT said it was now considering employees’ feedback to the consultation before concluding its review of its pension schemes.Trade union CWU has opposed the proposals. Prospect, another union, said it was in the process of finalising a new pension deal with the company.BT said it was in “constructive discussions” with the BTPS trustee in relation to the triennial valuation, and that it still expected to complete the valuation in the first half of this calendar year.last_img read more

Raul Castro to visit Trinidad for CARICOM-Cuba summit

first_img Share 25 Views   no discussions Sharing is caring! Share Sharecenter_img NewsRegional Raul Castro to visit Trinidad for CARICOM-Cuba summit by: – December 7, 2011 Tweet Raul Castro. Photo credit: topnews.inPORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad — Raul Castro, president of Cuba, will pay a state visit to Trinidad and Tobago on Wednesday to coincide with Castro’s participation at the IV CARICOM-Cuba summit to be held in Port of Spain from 7 to 8 December 2011. Some activities planned for the state visit include a courtesy call on Professor George Maxwell Richards, president of Trinidad and Tobago; laying of a wreath at the Cenotaph; and a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar. Richards will also host a state dinner.Castro will depart Trinidad and Tobago on Friday.Caribbean News Nowlast_img read more

Govt to request review of new charges against Ministers

first_img– AG says DPP’s decision to drop previous charges justifiedGovernment will be moving to formally request a review of the private criminal charges recently made against three senior Ministers in the coalition in relation to the controversial D’Urban Park Project.This is according to Attorney General Basil Williams while speaking on the sidelines of a conference on Monday. He explained that while a formal request was not made for the two previous charges, one would be made for these new charges.He was referring to charges made against Finance Minister Winston Jordan;Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Basil WilliamsPublic Infrastructure Minister David Patterson and Public Service Minister, Dr Rupert Roopnaraine.“I think if that has not been done, we are in the process of doing that,” he explained.The charges against the Ministers alleged a breach of the Procurement Act in relation to the expenditure of $906 million in public funds to Homestretch Development Inc for the construction of the Park.Jordan and Patterson have been jointly charged with misconduct and abuse of public trust for having allegedly authorised the payment. Dr Roopnaraine, on the other hand, who was a director of the company, has been charged with alleged misconduct and abuse of public trust.Previous to that, Ministers Volda Lawrence and Dr George Norton were charged over the sole sourcing of over $600 million in drugs and other pharmaceuticals for the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation and the rental of a house in Sussex Street, Albouystown, Georgetown, to be utilised as a drug bond at a cost of $12 million monthly, respectively.The charges were filed against the current and former Public Health Ministers on April 19, 2018, but were discontinued by Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Shalimar Ali-Hack. However, the Attorney General has admitted that no formal request was ever made to have these charges reviewed.At a press conference held on Saturday, April 21, 2018, Williams stated that the Government expects” the DPP to review the private criminal charges filed against the Ministers.The applicants’ Attorney, former Attorney General Anil Nandlall said given the quick action by the DPP, it was now apparent that even without a request, the Government’s expectations were met.Nandlall highlighted that while charges were discontinued against the two Ministers, no consideration was given to the formal request made to have the charges dropped against former People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) senior functionaries, Dr Ashni Singh and Winston Brassington, who were charged with three counts of misconduct in public office contrary to common law.In his response, Williams said, “I can’t be blamed for their lack of knowledge of the law. I…outlined the powers of the DPP, and the DPP had to be proactive. Why the DPP has power over all prosecutions in the country? And those that she didn’t initiate, she could intervene in – continue or discontinue them.”The DPP has not provided any updates on the request for the review of the charges against Dr Singh and Brassington, but did state her reasons for discontinuing those against Dr Norton and Lawrence.According to a recent statement from her office, Ali-Hack made the decision to discontinue the charges in the interest of good governance. She explained that such allegations ought first to have been reported to the Guyana Police Force for an investigation to be launched and the advice of the DPP sought.Nandlall, representing Dr Singh, said there was nothing that conferred a power on the DPP to be responsible for “good governance in the State of Guyana, especially in Article 187 of the Constitution, which sets out the functions of the DPP”.In this regard, he claimed that the DPP has clearly been influenced by extraneous and irrelevant considerations, and has acted ultra vires and unconstitutionally by ascribing to her office functional responsibility with which it is not endowed. He also plans to challenge this decision in court.The former Minister has pointed out that the institution of private criminal charges has been part of the local criminal jurisprudence for over a century. He reminded that it was always initiated by a private individual without the involvement of the Police and the DPP, and that there was absolutely no known legal requirement that the allegation must first be reported to the Police and the advice of the DPP sought.In fact, Nandlall argued that in many instances, it is the failure of the Guyana Police Force to act, or to act professionally, that led to the evolution and practice of private criminal charges.last_img read more

CHURCHILL COMMUNITY TO HOST MEETING IN WAKE OF BURGLARIES

first_imgA meeting of concerned residents is to take place in Churchill tomorrow night (WED) following the recent spate of burglaries across the county.While the area has escaped the worst of the break-ins, locals are anxious to set up a text-alert scheme.The meeting, which will take place in McClafferty’s Bar at 9pm, will be addressed by Crime Prevention Officer, Sgt Paul Wallace. People from the Glenswilly, Gartan, Churchill and Trentagh areas are encouraged to attend.Organiser Charlie McClafferty said “We are anxious to be pro-active and not reactive to these crimes.“We want to set up a system whereby if there is a burglary then we can react quickly to it and alert the relevant people to it,” he said.CHURCHILL COMMUNITY TO HOST MEETING IN WAKE OF BURGLARIES was last modified: March 4th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:burglariesChurchillSgt Paul Wallacelast_img read more