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Social partners agree on finer points of Finnish pension system reform

first_imgUnder the agreed proposal for the pension reform, the earliest age workers will be eligible for an old-age pension will be raised gradually from 2017 by three months per birth-year cohort until it reaches 65.The upper age limit for old-age pensions will be five years higher than the earliest retirement age.However, under the agreement, the eligibility age for old-age retirement will be linked to life expectancy from 2027 to ensure the time spent working in relation to time in retirement remains at the 2025 level, according to the Finnish Centre for Pensions.To keep to this ratio, the factors affecting the time spent working and the financial and social sustainability of the earnings-related scheme will be reviewed regularly, according to the agreed proposal.This development will be monitored at regular intervals through tripartite negations (social partners and government) every five years, according to the deal.TELA, which represents insurers providing earnings-related pensions, said the fact the agreement had been reached meant there would be no strikes or employer resistance to the reform.But in the end, not all parties have been pleased with the agreement.Reijo Vanne, director at TELA, said: “One problem is that the trade unions of people with academic education could not accept the agreement.”The academics’ unions wanted to have higher pension accrual rates at higher ages, he said.“Their argument was that people with long education do not have enough time to accrue a proper pension,” said Vanne.The reform also provides for possible early retirement at 63 for those who are considered to have had a strenuous and extensive working life, according the Finnish Centre for Pensions.The current part-time pension is to be abolished and replaced with a partial early old-age retirement, with certain new conditions.Pension accrual rates will be standardised to make the annual rate for individuals of all ages 1.5% of wages, and working after the earliest pensionable age will be rewarded with a monthly increment of 0.4% for deferred retirement.After 2017, pension contributions will accrue from the full wage, according to the reform, since the earnings-related pension contribution will no longer be deducted from the pensionable wage.Between 2016 and 2019, the combined pension contribution for workers and employers is to be 24.4%, though in 2016 this will be temporarily reduced by 0.4%, according to the agreement. Labour-market organisations in Finland have agreed the details of the country’s long-awaited pensions reform, which will raise the retirement age in fixed increments until 2025 and link it to longevity after that.The central labour market organisations – the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions (SAK), the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK), the Local Government Employees (KT), the Finnish Confederation of Salaried Employees (STTK) – signed an agreement on Friday on the content of the pension reform that will change to the earnings-related pension scheme.The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health will now start the process of amending legislation according to the proposal agreed by the social partners.The aim of the pension reform, which will come into force at the beginning of 2017, is to extend working life and narrow the sustainability gap of the whole public economy by 1% of GDP, according to statutory organisation the Finnish Centre for Pensions, and Finnish pensions alliance TELA.last_img read more

Clippers coach Doc Rivers says every game at this point ‘will be important’

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error It’s getting down to the nitty-gritty for the Clippers, who have just 24 games left in the regular season ahead of Friday’s at Memphis at 5 p.m. Fourteen of them are on the road. Twelve are against teams in the top eight in their respective conferences, another is tied for the eighth spot.Coach Doc Rivers gets it. He understands what this time of the season is about. That was evident following Monday’s heartbreaking three-point loss to Memphis at Staples Center when said he does not believe in moral victories, even though his team was 4-2 without Blake Griffin with three of the victories coming against playoff-bound teams.Same thing after Wednesday’s 110-105 loss at Houston. It meant the Clippers (37-21) were in sixth in the Western Conference standings and had fallen 2 1/2 games behind the third-place Rockets (39-18). That’s vital because the Clippers would like to be in the top four come playoff time.When the subject of playoff positioning was broached after that setback, it was therefore not surprising that Rivers responded in a way that indicated he’s indeed caught up in the enormity of the situation. Crawford tries to explain.“I have just always, ever since I was young, made those shots that (to) other people are difficult,” he said. “I’m not trying to brag about it, but they’re really not that difficult for me, honestly.“Sometimes they go in and sometimes they don’t, but I’m really comfortable taking them.”Crawford scored a team-high 24 points Wednesday.This and thatPerhaps three games in four nights got to the Grizzlies (41-15), who are second in the West. After defeating Portland and the Clippers on the road Sunday and Monday, Memphis lost at lowly Sacramento 102-90 on Wednesday. The Grizzlies shot just 40.5 percent from the field and were held 10.1 points under their scoring average by a Kings team that allows 104.3 points, which is tied for 26th in the league with Denver. … The Clippers are allowing 100.9 points, 22nd in the NBA. … If the playoffs began right now, the Clippers would face the third-place Rockets, against whom the Clippers are 2-1. … The Clippers are 24-10 against the West. … After Friday, the Clippers finish this four-game road trip with games Sunday at Chicago (36-22) and Monday at Minnesota (13-43). center_img “We lost the game and what can we do about it?” Rivers said. “Should I go in and yell at the guys? They’re (games) all important. The rest of all our games will be important from this time on.”The Clippers are now 4-3 without Griffin, having lost two in succession. To sixth-man Jamal Crawford, there is no cause for concern.“We still have a ways to go,” he said. “You don’t want to be playing your best ball now, but you want to be building, especially heading toward the end of the season going into the playoffs.”Mr. Tough ShotOne thing about Crawford, not only does he have the ability to get scalding hot and carry a team with a grip of points in rapid fashion, some of the shots he makes are extremely difficult. He makes 28-foot 3-pointers with defenders in his face, he makes them falling down and out of bounds, and so on.last_img read more