Irish pensions industry should absorb cost of €530m levy, government says

first_imgThe Irish government has again argued that the cost of the €534m pensions levy should be absorbed by the industry by lowering management charges, despite accepting that its ability to do so is “very limited”.Minister for finance Michael Noonan said he continued to believe the cost of his 0.6% levy on pension assets – overlapping during its last year with a further 0.15% charge introduced by the minister in the 2014 Budget – should be met by the industry itself, but he said he did not believe companies should be forced to shoulder the cost through legislation.“I have pursued this issue with the representative bodies of these companies,” he said, “but the response has not been positive. I have been told it would be a matter for individual companies to decide on the question of absorbing the cost of the levy into their existing fees and charges, but that the scope for companies to do so is very limited.”Due to the overlap between the existing and the new pensions levy, the Irish Exchequer expects to reap income of €675m from the stamp duty in 2014, up from the €534m in payments to the end of June 2013. Last year, Noonan said a Department of Social Protection report on pension management fees would show the industry how the impact of the levy could be offset, a view he reiterated.“Implementation of these recommendations aims to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and enhance the transparency and understanding of pension charges amongst trustees, employers and scheme members with a view to supporting competitive pricing and ultimately limiting erosion to the value of the pension received by the member,” he said.Speaking the same day as Noonan, minister for social protection Joan Burton noted that work was underway to implement all of the recommendations contained within her department’s report.She reiterated that the new Pensions Council – the body soon to be charged with advising on pensions policy once the Pensions Board is reconfigured into the Pensions Authority in an effort to avoid regulatory capture – would help her oversee the implementation.“The first task I will be giving the new Council is to monitor the implementation of the recommendations in the Report on Pension Charges and advise me if further actions are needed,” she said.“Should this prove necessary, a further policy and regulatory response may be brought to government.”last_img read more

Wellesley drills duster in North Sea

first_imgTransocean Arctic; Source: Wiki Commons; Author: Marcusroos – under the public domainWellesley Petroleum is in the process of completing the drilling of wildcat well 35/12-7 located near the Grosbeak oil and gas discovery in the North Sea. The well is dry. The well 35/12-7 is located in production license 925 where Wellesley is the operator with an ownership interest of 90 per cent. Concedo is a licensee with 10 per cent.This is the third exploration well in production license 925, which was awarded in APA 2017.Wellesley was granted a drilling permit to drill the 35/12-7 exploration well, which aimed to investigate a prospect named Serin, and safety consent to use the Transocean Arctic rig for the well back in late May.The well was drilled about 2 km south of the 35/12-2 (Grosbeak) oil and gas discovery in the northern part of the North Sea, and 80 km west of Florø.The objective of the well was to prove petroleum in Upper Jurassic reservoir rocks (the Heather formation).The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) informed on Wednesday that the well encountered two units of sandstone in the Heather formation. The upper unit had traces of gas in poorly developed sandstone and about seven meters of aquiferous sand with good reservoir properties. The lower unit is about 25 meters of aquiferous sandstone with good reservoir properties. The well is classified as dry.The well was drilled to a vertical depth of 2726 meters below the sea surface. It was terminated in the Oseberg formation in the Middle Jurassic. Data acquisition and sampling have been carried out.Water depth at the site is 358 meters. The well will be permanently plugged and abandoned.The well was drilled by the Transocean Arctic drilling rig, which will now proceed to production license 248 I in the North Sea, to drill wildcat well 35/11-21 S, where Wellesley Petroleum is also the operator.last_img read more

Fast Reaction: 3 takeaways from Syracuse’s blowout win against Florida State

first_imgAfter a nine-day break, Syracuse (17-8, 7-5 Atlantic Coast) ran past Florida State (16-8, 6-6) for a 85-72 win in the Carrier Dome on Thursday night. The victory improved the Orange to 7-1 in its last eight contests and 7-2 since since Jim Boeheim’s return from his nine-game suspension.Here are three quick thoughts from the game.1. Can you hear me now?National polls and social media perception don’t define a college basketball team. They don’t even start to. But it has seemed that Syracuse, which came into Thursday’s game having won six of its last seven contests, is still having to prove itself worthy of “everyone’s” attention.And if that wasn’t accomplished against the Seminoles, it’s hard to imagine what the Orange needs to do to truly be considered a contending team. After playing neck-and-neck with FSU in the first half, SU clicked on all cylinders and buried the visitors with a 22-8 run to start the second.There were a lot of things that Syracuse did right to pull away from Florida State. Michael Gbinije finished with 22 points in one of his most convincing performances of the season. When he wasn’t scoring, the Orange crisply worked the ball around in search of the perfect shot. After allowing the Seminoles big men to get comfortable inside and collect 10 offensive rebounds in the first half, Tyler Lydon, Tyler Roberson and Dajuan Coleman teamed up to clog the paint and limit FSU’s second-chance points.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWhen those all added up, Syracuse looked like it was in a different league than a Florida State team that came in with an identical conference record. And as postseason play nears, that should start counting for something.2. The Dajuan effectFor the 2 minutes and 32 seconds after halftime, Dajuan Coleman took over a basketball game.First, the mercurial SU center took a feed from Gbinije and dunked home two as the 7-foot-3 Boris Bojanovsky failed to recover at the rim. Next he grabbed an offensive rebound behind Bojanovsky and finished an uncontested layup. Then came the most improbable play of all, when he caught the ball at the top of the key, made a small head fake and took two dribbles to the rim before finishing a left-handed layup in traffic.And to top it all off, after his personal 6-0 run forced FSU to take a timeout, Coleman zipped a pass to a cutting Malachi Richardson for a layup. Twenty-four seconds later, Coleman picked up his third foul and sauntered to the SU bench while the Carrier Dome crowd rose into a standing ovation.At that point, the damage was done. The eight straight points Coleman accounted for to start the half stretched Syracuse’s three-point halftime lead to 11 before the Orange never looked back.3. Half and halfMalik Beasley and Dwayne Bacon came into the game averaging a combined 33.5 points, which the ACC said Thursday is the highest scoring freshman duo in conference history.The pair was outscoring that pace through 20 minutes, with Beasley leading the Seminoles with 11 first-half points and Bacon notching 10 of his own. Beasley did so by hitting three 3s on six attempts while Bacon attacked the rim and helped FSU exploit the Orange on the offensive boards. They were almost the full reason why Florida State trailed by just three at halftime despite shooting 14-for-33 from the field.But the pair wasn’t as sharp in the second half, combining for four second-half points while the Seminoles offense sputtered to the finish. Beasley and Bacon are as good as it gets when it comes to freshman scorers, but an extended SU zone developed into an antidote for their consistent success. Comments Published on February 11, 2016 at 9:04 pm Contact Jesse: jcdoug01@syr.edu | @dougherty_jesse Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more