White House proposes compromise

first_imgThe White House proposed a new compromise Friday regarding religious nonprofits and the mandated contraceptive coverage, a deal that would potentially allow Notre Dame to issue a health insurance plan to its employees without directly providing birth control coverage. The proposal suggested a separate, individual private insurance policy that could provide contraceptive coverage at no cost for the employees of faith-based organizations. “These proposed rules aim to provide women with contraceptive coverage without cost sharing and to protect eligible organizations from having to contract, arrange, pay or refer for contraceptive coverage to which they object on religious grounds,” the proposal stated. The proposal is an amendment to rules regarding minimum insurance packages set forth by the Department of Health and Human Services as part of its regulatory authority under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). If the proposal takes effect, objecting organizations could provide employees with a plan that does not offer contraceptive coverage. The health insurer providing the plan would then enroll those employees in a separate, stand-alone policy that only covers contraceptives at no extra cost. The University, however, is self-insured. The policy proposed by the White House on Friday presented several possible approaches for self-insured organizations. In all approaches, self-insured plans could work with the company that administers their health benefits to avoid coverage contraceptives. A third-party administrator would “automatically arrange separate individual health insurance policies for contraceptive coverage from an issuer providing such policies,” the proposal stated. A previous proposal had suggested a similar solution for self-insured plans, but under that proposal, the third-party administrator would have had no way to pay for the contraceptive coverage other than the revenue it receives from self-insured plans. That proposal was criticized by many as nothing more than an accounting gimmick. The current proposal would lower fees in other parts of the ACA to provide third-party administrators with savings they could use to pay for the contraceptive coverage. The third-party administrator would receive a credit in an amount that would offset a reasonable charge by the third party administrator for performing this service. University Spokesman Dennis Brown declined comment on the proposal until Notre Dame administrators have fully analyzed its contents. Last May, the University filed one of more than 40 religious liberty lawsuits from faith-based organizations to contest the constitutionality of the contraception mandate. The lawsuit states the mandate would go against Church teachings and therefore violates the First Amendment, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and other federal laws. A federal judge dismissed Notre Dame’s lawsuit last month, when U.S. District Court Judge Robert Miller Jr. ruled Jan. 2 that the lawsuit should be dismissed because the University’s claim is not yet “ripe,” meaning it is not ready to be litigated – in this case, because the rule regarding contraceptive coverage had not been finalized.last_img read more

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Nominate Vermont’s Outstanding Businesses for the Deane C Davis Award

first_imgThe application is available online at www.vermontbiz.com/dcd, or on the Vermont Chamber Business EXPO website (www.vtexpo.com(link is external)).  The application deadline for the Deane C. Davis Award is March 13, 2009.Nominations may come from the business itself, another business, a government agency, or an interested individual.  Named for former Governor Deane C. Davis (1900 1990), the Award annually honors a Vermont business that demonstrates an outstanding history of sustained growth while displaying an acute awareness of Vermont s unique qualities.The award criteria for this Award are as follows:· Growth in sales or employment· Commitment of company resources for participation in community projects· Encouragement of employees to be involved in community events· Recognition of the importance of the environment to the state as a natural and economic resource· Addressing employee concerns/needs to create a positive work environment for all employees· Major accomplishment(s) in the past year in any or all of the criteria· Nominated businesses must have been based in Vermont for at least 10 yearsA Selection Committee nominates the three finalists and then quietly selects the recipient. Even the finalists themselves do not know who the winner is until it is announced by Governor James Douglas at the EXPO opening ceremonies.  Antonia Opitz, Vermont Chamber Events Director, noted, The process leading up to this award makes it even more prestigious, in light of the added suspense and excitement in anticipation of the announcement.Award winners from past years include Symquest Group, Inc., (2007); Cabot Creamery (1999);  and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (1994).Please contact Antonia Opitz at the Vermont Chamber of Commerce with any questions (aopitz@vtchamber.com(link sends e-mail) or (802) 223-0603). ###In business since 1912, the Vermont Chamber of Commerce is a private, not-for-profit business organization with 1,500 members, collectively employing 45,000 people, representing all sectors of the state s economy.  Our mission is to create an economic climate conducive to business growth and preservation of the Vermont quality of life.Vermont Business Magazine, published since 1972, is the state’s first and only statewide business to business publication. It is also the publisher of the Vermont Manufacturers Directory & Guide to Major Businesses, the Book of Lists and the annual glossy magazine for all high school students, NextUp, Your Guide to Life after High School in VT. Nominations are now being accepted for the 19th Annual Deane C. Davis Outstanding Business of the Year Award, co-sponsored by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce and Vermont Business Magazine.  The winner will be unveiled during the May 20, 2009, opening ceremony of the region s largest business-to-business trade show, the annual Vermont Chamber of Commerce Business and Industry EXPO.  Three award finalists will be profiled in the May issue of Vermont Business Magazine.last_img read more

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Greene new senior vice president corporate banking at Merchants Bank

first_imgGeoffrey R. Hesslink, Senior Lender and Senior Vice President of Merchants Bank, announced the appointment of Reginald E. Greene to Senior Vice President and Regional Manager of Corporate Banking for Merchants Bank. Reggie’s primary responsibility will be to manage a lending team in the southern region in addition to corporate banking accounts throughout the state.“As Vermont’s last statewide independent bank, Merchants is well positioned in the marketplace,” stated Hesslink. “We are adding structure and capacity to corporate banking and credit to grow market share and to best serve our customers’ needs. Reggie is a highly experienced and skilled manager and commercial lender. His terrific presence and manner, extensive knowledge and Vermont-based experience will make a strong contribution to our Corporate Banking division.”Reggie comes to Merchants with over twenty-six years of banking experience, the last twenty-two with Chittenden Bank. Reggie worked for Chittenden in both northern and southern Vermont and in commercial banking, loan resolution, merchant services, internet banking and marketing. Most recently he served as Senior Vice President and Group Manager of the Commercial Banking team covering northern Vermont and Cash Management. There he managed ten loan and cash management officers. Reggie holds a Bachelors degree in Business Administration and Finance from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He also holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University.“I am very excited to have the opportunity to work as part of the Merchants’ Team,” stated Greene. “The Bank’s long history of commitment to Vermont is just one of the many reasons I decided to join Merchants. I am proud to be a part of such a well respected group of dedicated professionals.”Reggie and his wife Susan live in Burlington and have four children.Reginald E. Greene, New Senior Vice President and Regional Manager of Corporate Banking, Merchants BankVermont Matters. Merchants Bank strives to fulfill its role as the state’s leading independent community bank through a wide range of initiatives. The bank supports organizations throughout Vermont in addressing essential needs, sustaining community programs, providing small business and job start capital, funding financial literacy education and delivering enrichment through local sports activities.   Merchants Bank was established in 1849 in Burlington. Its continuing mission is to provide Vermonters with a statewide community bank that combines a strong technology platform with a genuine appreciation for local markets. Merchants Bank delivers this commitment through a branch-based system that includes: 34 community bank offices and 42 ATMs throughout Vermont; local branch presidents and personal bankers dedicated to high-quality customer service; free online banking, phone banking, and electronic bill payment services; high-value depositing programs that feature Free Checking for Life®, Cash Rewards Checking, Rewards Checking for Business, business cash management, money market accounts, health savings accounts, certificates of deposit, Flexible CD, IRAs, and overdraft assurance; feature-rich loan programs including mortgages, home equity credit, vehicle loans, personal and small business loans and lines of credit; and merchant card processing. Merchants Bank offers a strong set of commercial and government banking solutions, delivered by experienced banking officers in markets throughout the state; these teams provide customized financing for medium-to-large companies, non-profits, cities, towns and school districts. Merchants Trust Company, a division of Merchants Bank, provides investment management, financial planning and trustee services. Please visit www.mbvt.com(link is external) for access to Merchants Bank information, programs and services. Merchants’ stock is traded on the NASDAQ National Market system under the symbol MBVT. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender. Source: Merchants Bank. 3.25.2010last_img read more

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Friday people roundup

first_imgCambridge Associates, Momentum Global Investment Management, Mercer, Capital Cranfield, Schroders, MFS Investment ManagementCambridge Associates – Alex Koriath has been hired by Cambridge Associates as head of the firm’s UK pension practice starting from this month. He was previously part of KPMG’s investment advisory team in London, where he held the roles of director and head of fiduciary management advisory services and manager research. Before that, Koriath was an investment consultant at Hewitt Associates. Momentum Global Investment Management – Richard Cooper has been hired by Momentum Global Investment Management and take up the newly created role of head of corporate solutions and consulting at the end of August. Cooper is leaving Mercer, where he is senior partner, after working at the consultancy for 20 years. Mercer – Jane Barker has been appointed as chair of Mercer’s UK board. She has been an executive board member at Mercer since 2010 and is the current chairman at sister company Marsh – another unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies. Barker is replacing Sir Peter Middleton, who will retire at the end of July. Barker is chief executive of Equitas Limited, having held the position for the last seven years. She had been the firm’s finance director since 1995.  Capital Cranfield – Neil McPherson has been hired by independent pension trustee firm Capital Cranfield to become its managing director starting in August. Since 2010, he has been a senior adviser to Copthall Partners, and he is currently the council director for the Conference Board’s European Pension Council – a pan-European group of multinational corporate pension funds.Schroders – James Luke and Dravasp Jhabvala have been hired by Schroders, joining the firm’s commodities team. Luke, previously co-head of metals research at JP Morgan, will take on the role of commodity fund manager/metals analyst, and Jhabvala – who specialised in developing investment strategies for commodities at Palaedino Group – will be commodity quantitative analyst at Schroders. MFS Investment Management (MFS) – James Gavin is joining MFS Investment Management as head of wholesale for the UK, Ireland and Channel Islands. He is based in London and will report to Lina Medeiros, president of MFS International. Gavin was previously director of asset management with Commerzbank.last_img read more

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Auto-enrolment success masks inadequate savings rates, industry warns

first_imgHelen Morrissey, pension specialist at Royal London, said: “If this disparity is not addressed, we risk a lost generation of people who missed out on final salary pensions but are simply not putting enough into their new-style pension.“Automatic enrolment was a great start, but this is simply the end of the beginning. Rather than government and industry pat itself on the back for a job well done, the drive to increase contributions to realistic levels needs to move forward in earnest.”Employers sponsoring final salary DB schemes contributed 19.2% of salary on average, with members paying 6.4%, the ONS’ data showed. DB schemes based on career average salary benefits recorded higher member contributions (7.9%) and lower employer payments (17.7%).Members of DC schemes paid 2.7% of salary on average, while employers contributed just 2.4%. Before auto-enrolment was introduced, average DC contributions totalled 11% of salary on average, according to consultancy firm Buck.Membership of open DB and DC schemes since 2018 (millions)Chart Maker‘Raise contributions to boost outcomes’Minimum contributions for auto-enrolment schemes rose to 8% (5% from the member, 3% from the employer) from 6 April this year. DC experts advocated further increases to at least 12% of salary, however.Michael Ambery, senior DC consultant at Hymans Robertson, said that, despite this latest increase, “many people will be massively under-saving for a comfortable retirement”.Planned changes to auto-enrolment rules – including reducing the minimum age and salary thresholds to bring more people into the system – would help, Ambery said, but more work was required.“At 12% [of salary] we would begin to see a contribution that will have a meaningful impact for employees’ retirement savings,” he said. “At that level we can see far greater certainty of them reaching a target income that they can live on in retirement.”Malcolm McLean, senior consultant at Barnett Waddingham, highlighted that some industry commentators had warned of contributions falling towards the legal minimum when auto-enrolment was first introduced.“This can probably be best addressed by an increase in the minimum contribution levels to say 12%, instead of 8%, at a relatively early stage in the future,” he said.Buck’s head of DC wealth Mark Pemberthy added: “While it is great that more people are saving for their future, most employees are still not saving enough to provide the standard of living they want or expect in retirement and this is storing up future problems for employees and employers alike.”He cited Buck research that found that 44% of employers were concerned about the long-term consequences if employees could not afford to retire. “However, they need to go further than the government’s minimum requirements if they want to help employees secure a comfortable retirement,” Pemberthy said. Auto-enrolment has increased the number of pension savers in the UK but most are paying too little into their pots, according to industry experts.Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) released today revealed that total UK pension scheme membership hit 45.6m in 2018, an increase of nearly 11% year on year.Those saving into private sector defined contribution (DC) schemes had an average annual contribution level of 5.1% of salary, incorporating both employer and employee payments, the ONS reported. Defined benefit (DB) scheme members received contributions totalling more than 25% on average.Weighted average contribution rates to private sector occupational schemesChart Makerlast_img read more

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Queensland mansion has 10m pool on the inside, perfect for winter

first_img The property is on wide water. There’s plenty of room to swim here in the 10m indoor pool. 132 Port Jackson Blvd, Clear Island Waters.“It’s a large indoor pool and one that you could set up the gymnasium around it,” Lucy Cole, principal of her self-titled agency, said. “If you’re into sports and needed to be able to swim all year round you can enjoy this pool as it’s heated and indoors.”The sprawling five-bedroom three-storey residence at 132 Port Jackson Blvd, is on a 1000sq m block with spectacular views of Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach and the Hinterland.“It really is quite an incredible home which is north-facing on really nice wide sheltered water,” Ms Cole said. Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 2:12Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -2:12 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenCOVID-19: What will happen to house prices? 02:13There are dream homes, and then there are mansions built for all seasons, such as this extraordinary one with a 10m pool – on the inside.The 10m indoor pool can be used all year round and is a showpiece on the ground level of this spectacular Clear Island Waters house on the Gold Coast. Beachfront cottage fetches a pretty price Floor to ceiling windows allow plenty of light to filter in while also allowing the view to be fully appreciated.More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa8 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag1 day agoThe pool area opens out to an undercover alfresco entertaining area that leads to a grassy spot for children and pets to play.The formal living area has a wet bar and seating while a log fireplace is the centrepiece of the formal living room. Landscaped gardens provide a sense of ambience throughout the property.The property is being marketing with an expressions of interest campaign closing June 1, 2020.center_img MORE NEWS: Interior designer’s house snapped up in speedy sale Inside the residence at 132 Port Jackson Blvd, Clear Island Waters. Soak up the view. One of the bedrooms.last_img read more

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Saints unsure when Boruc can return

first_img Reserve Kelvin Davis is also sidelined, so Argentine Paulo Gazzaniga looks set to step in for the visit of Aston Villa on Wednesday. “It is difficult to analyse how many weeks Artur will be out for,” Pochettino said at a press conference reported on the club’s official Twitter feed. French midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin will miss out because of a groin injury picked up on Sunday and Gaston Ramirez is also not yet match fit. Southampton will be looking for a response after successive away defeats to Arsenal and Chelsea, which has seen them drop out of the top four. Pochettino said: “We don’t have time to dwell on our two consecutive defeats because we are only thinking about tomorrow’s game. “We have lost on two very difficult grounds at Arsenal and Chelsea, so now we will try to impose our values and get the win over Aston Villa. “I am expecting a physical game. “Aston Villa are a strong side and very good on the counter-attack, especially away from home.” Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino admits it is “difficult to analyse” how long his team must do without goalkeeper Artur Boruc because of a broken hand. Press Associationcenter_img The 33-year-old suffered the injury during the 3-1 Barclays Premier League defeat at Chelsea on Sunday. Given the hectic festive schedule, Boruc could miss some eight matches if he needed a six-week recovery time. last_img read more

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England, Russia Share Spoils in Marseille

first_imgEngland manager Roy Hodgson handed five Tottenham players their major finals debut for the match, leaving Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy on the bench.England had to battle with the injury-depleted Russians to get ahead in the 77th minute however. England won a free kick on the edge of the area when Russian left-back Georgi Shchennikov impeded Spurs midfielder Dele Alli.After Harry Kane’s dummy run, Gary Cahill created a hole in the defensive wall and Dier stepped up to fire into the top corner of the net.It was England’s first free kick goal in a major tournament since David Beckham scored against Ecuador in 2006.But Russia refused to throw in the towel and when they broke clear on the left, Berezutski did well to rise above Danny Rose to leave Hart, and England stunned.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Russia captain Vasili Berezutski headed a last-gasp leveller against England yesterday to steal a 1-1 draw in a European Championship match in Marseille, France, marred by a third day of fan violence.England seemed to be heading for victory when midfielder Eric Dier fired in a 20 metre free kick past Russia’s veteran goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev. But three minutes from the final whistle in the Group B match, Joe Hart and his defence took their eye off the ball. Berezutski rose to meet a cross and sent a looping header into the net.England players walked off disconsolate while there was more violence in the Stade Velodrome as fans left, adding to the 31 injured in street battles in the Marseille port district earlier.“It’s very disappointing,” said Dier. “We gave away a draw. We just didn’t see it out the right way. We have to pick ourselves up and go again.”last_img read more

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USC receives B-minus in sustainability

first_imgUSC was given a grade of B-minus in late October for its efforts at promoting and achieving environmental sustainability on campus, a slight improvement from the C-plus the university had previously received for three years in a row.Going green · Charlie Furman (left), a senior majoring in cinema-television critical studies, and Danielle Romero, a freshman majoring in business administration, make windmills for USC Beyond Coal, which is calling on USC to stop using coal-fueled power. – Daniel Wang | Daily Trojan The College Sustainability Report Card is an annual assessment by the Sustainability Endowments Institute, a non-profit organization founded in 2005 that attempts to further sustainability on college campuses, by commenting on their environmental efforts.USC officials acknowledged a lag in sustainability efforts at USC.“[The grading system] is a complicated set of things. USC has been doing better. We’ve been sort of behind the curve on sustainability issues, but we’re catching up,” said Mark Bernstein, managing director of USC’s Energy Institute.The report evaluates colleges and universities on their performance in nine aspects of sustainability policies and practices: administration, climate change and energy, food and recycling, green building, student involvement, transportation, endowment transparency, investment priorities and shareholder engagement.Bernstein said that USC is not performing as well as its competitors — Stanford University received an A-minus and UCLA received a B — but the university has been making strides to become more environmentally sustainable.“We haven’t been a leader [but] we’re not at the bottom. We’re kind of in the middle of the pack,” he said. “We’ve been doing a pretty good job overall.”The institute gave USC an A in four categories: administration, food and recycling, transportation, and investment priorities.According to the report card, 40 percent of USC students commute to campus via “environmentally preferable methods,” and the university spends more than 5 percent of its food budget on local products and purchases organic food items.The university received its lowest grade, an F, in shareholder engagement.According to the institute, the details of proxy voting — the process by which a university considers and votes on policies regarding climate change and other related issues — are handled by USC’s investment managers rather than a “shareholder responsibility committee,” which would involve students, faculty and alumni input.In climate change and energy, green building, and endowment transparency, the university received C grades.USC has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 5 percent since 2001. In addition, 14 percent of the electricity purchased for campus comes from renewable sources, according to the report card.This is in comparison with Stanford University, which received an A in climate change and energy, and aims to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 20 percent before 2020.“We really need to push the envelope on reducing energy consumption. We need to do our own solar installations and take a serious look at water consumption,” Bernstein said.USC Beyond Coal — a group committed to reducing the university’s dependence on coal — has been active in promoting sustainability through its work with USC administration, said Carrell Hambrick, a senior majoring in fine arts who is involved in the group.Last year, the group lobbied then-President Steven B. Sample to write a letter to L.A. Department of Water and Power expressing USC’s support of the Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa commitment to ending the city’s dependence on coal by 2020.Hambrick said the university is in a good position to take action to improve its sustainability because of its resources.“We can be doing so much for sustainability,” she said. “The fact that we have a sustainability department is a really good sign, and [the fact that] we have 11 environmental groups on campus shows that this has been thought about a lot.”Despite these myriad opportunities, Hambrick said USC’s overall grade of B-minus was fitting because the university could be making better use of its own resources.“It’s a pretty fair assessment. At the end of the day, if we do want to advance our sustainability portfolio, the university has to be more diplomatic,” Hambrick said.Rosie Murphy, a freshman majoring in history also involved in USC Beyond Coal, expressed similar sentiments that the university has made progress but can continue to do more to be a leader.“USC has definitely done a lot of awesome things,” Murphy said. “The whole campus center is LEED certified, there is recycling everywhere on campus and Campus Cruiser, [which is] a really incredible initiative.”“USC is obviously the 23rd best school; we totally have … the minds, the educational opportunities, and being in L.A., the weather has extra capacity for solar energy,” she said. “It would be really incredible if the university could tap some of those resources.”last_img read more

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