He added that his organisation was developing a course for board members to increase their knowledge on the issue.The VBDO also found that pension funds were having trouble implementing ESG policies for alternative investments – with no more than 16 schemes having a “limited” policy for commodities.Van der Helm, acknowledging the difficulty of assessing the sustainability of alternatives, called for greater co-operation among pension funds for the development of a policy on positive selection, for example.He added that the VBDO was assisting this process by establishing knowledge groups for sustainable investment.The investors association recommended that pension funds not only use the instrument of exclusion but to also encourage sustainable investment through voting during shareholder meetings, as well as engagement.It also argued that pension funds should “pay more attention” to the ESG aspects of government bonds through exclusion or positive selection.The €134bn healthcare scheme PFZW topped the VBDO’s list for best performing pension fund on ESG factors, with the €10.2bn pension fund for the agricultural sector, Landbouw, and the €4.1bn scheme PNO Media in second and third place, respectively.The €293bn civil service scheme ABP remained in fourth place.,WebsitesWe are not responsible for the content of external sitesLink to report ‘Benchmark Responsible Investment by Pension Funds in the Netherlands’ The Association of Investors for Sustainable Development (VBDO) has blasted Dutch pension funds for leaving their sustainable investment policies to asset managers and failing to consult participants on the issue.The VBDO, in its annual survey of the 50 largest pension funds in the Netherlands, found that less than 40% of the schemes had involved a third party for ESG investments.The survey – conducted in co-operation with research bureau Profundo and financially supported by aid organisation Oxfam Novib – also showed that less than one-quarter of schemes (22%) consulted with participants on the issue directly.Giuseppe van der Helm, director at the VBDO, told IPE: “There is still much leeway for progress by increasing the involvement of their participants, as well as the expertise on ESG matters of their board members.”
The funding of the BASF scheme – 118% at the end of the second quarter – allowed it to negotiate a fixed annual indexation of 1.17% at Aegon.The transfer to Aegon is still subject to regulator approval.In other news, the €848m pension fund for notaries’ staff (SBMN) has said a planned merger with the €1.2bn pension fund for notaries (SNPF) has been postponed until 2016.According to SBMN, the delay was caused by the fact the ministries of Justice and Social Affairs could not implement the required legal changes in time.Stijn Marks, the pension fund’s chairman, said both schemes had already started to adjust their asset management and interest hedges, and that they were also trying to align their coverage ratios.Currently, the funding of SBMN and SNPF is 109.1% and 108%, respectively.Both pension funds had to implement rights cuts in recent years to keep their coverage at the minimum required level of 105%.According to Eric Greup, chairman at SNPF, the merger would lead to annual costs savings of between €2m and €3m, and that most gains would be made in asset management and governance.“Therefore, we will thoroughly assess all contracts with external parties, such as providers, accountants and advisers,” he said.At year-end, SBMN had 22,313 participants in total, of which 6,377 are employees and 2,348 pensioners. The €200m Dutch pension fund of chemicals giant BASF has said it is planning to place its accrued pension rights with insurer Aegon. Its board said it decided to hire the insurer following the expiration of the contract for pensions provision with its own company scheme last January.BASF has already contracted out the management of new pensions accrual to Avéro Achmea as of January.Last summer, the pension fund decided not to continue as a closed scheme but rather transfer pension rights to an insurer.
The UK government and financial services regulator have launched a consultation to study how to report on transaction costs in pension funds.A joint consultation between the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said it was seeking views on how information about transaction costs should be reported in a standard and comparable format.The consultation comes as trustees of DC pension funds and independent governance committee members for insurance-based schemes prepare to start reporting on cost and charges incurred by members in the managing of pension pots.Such legislation ties in with the 75 basis point charge cap on auto-enrolment DC default investment funds, coming into force on 6 April. The charge cap relates to member-borne charges but does not currently include transaction costs due to complexity. The government said it would review the cap to include transactions, or reduce the cap, in 2017.Christopher Woolard, director of strategy at the FCA, said trustees and independent governance committee members needed visibility on transactions to assess value for money.“We want clarity and consistency across the market, and that is why we are asking for views on how costs and charges information should be disclosed,” he added.Pensions minister Steve Webb said pension scheme trustees need visibility on direct and indirect charges.“There is a fear the dark corners of the investment and pensions industry hold some nasty surprises,” he said.“We have a duty to throw light for the first time on potential hidden charges.”The consultation comes as the FCA and DWP also finalised and published the rules surrounding the charge cap.It also outlaws both insurance and trust-based pension providers paying consultancy charges and commission for advice not agreed to by scheme members.Providers will also no longer be able to operate active member discounts, the policy of charging additional fees on deferred or non-contributory members.Elsewhere, the defined benefit (DB) deficit among UK private sector schemes has increased by more than 60% over the year to the end of February 2015, as tumbling Gilt yields added almost £220bn (€303bn) to liabilities.The IAS 19-calculated figures, from consultancy JLT Employee Benefits, showed that, while assets increased by 11% to £1.27trn, liabilities offset this with a 17% increase to £1.53trn.The deficit among private sector schemes now stands at £255bn, with an average funding ratio of 83%, compared with 88% at the end of February 2014.JLT said the tumbling yields in the UK, alongside negative yields spreading from Switzerland across the euro-zone, were putting huge pressure on the pension schemes.Charles Cowling, director of JLT Employee Benefits, said: “The even lower interest rates we now see in the UK could prove particularly problematic for pension schemes with actuarial valuations in 2015 – typically, the actuarial valuation takes place every three years, and this is when decisions are made on deficit funding.“Demands from pension scheme trustees for more cash payments into DB pensions look set for significant escalation in 2015.”
However, those that have delayed implementing their AE pension were “putting themselves at risk of a fine”, Aviva warned. They were also potentially limiting their choice of providers as not all providers would take on “late stagers”, the insurer added.TPR can issue non-compliant firms with an Escalating Penalty Notice, giving a deadline for meeting requirements. If the company fails to meet this deadline, TPR can begin to fine it every day until it complies with AE. The fine for small employers with up to four staff is £50 (€59) a day, and those with between five and 49 employees can be fined £500 a day.Andy Beswick, managing director for business solutions at Aviva, said: “As an industry, we’ve been talking about auto-enrolment since the early 2000s and implementing it for over four years now. But to thousands of employers and employees, it is still a brand new concept and we need to make sure people aren’t getting left behind.”DB funding improves in Q1The aggregate deficit among the UK’s private sector defined benefit (DB) schemes shrank during March as equity markets climbed, according to the Pension Protection Fund (PPF).The PPF’s 7800 index of DB schemes reported an aggregate shortfall of £226.5m at the end of March, compared with £242m a month earlier. The aggregate funding ratio increased to 87%. The deficit and funding ratio figures have remained at a broadly similar level since November 2016, the PPF’s data showed.Other estimates of DB funding have demonstrated an improvement since the start of this year. JLT Employee Benefits reported a £434bn shortfall across all private sector DB funds at the end of 2016, but by the end of the first quarter of 2017 this had fallen to just £172bn, in part down to a change in mortality assumptions.Mercer’s estimate of the funding of FTSE 350 schemes was more in line with the PPF’s findings: The aggregate deficit improved slightly from £137bn to £133bn in the first three months of the year.Joint venture between actuarial services providersActuarial firms Barnett Waddingham and Milliman have established a joint venture.Barnett Waddingham’s UK business will combine with the international Milliman under the MBW International banner, the groups announced this week.For Barnett Waddingham, which only serves the UK, the joint venture would allow the group to improve its services to multi-national companies, said Nick Salter, senior partner. The nature of the deal also allowed the company to keep its partnership structure, he added.Steve White, Milliman CEO, said: “The establishment of MBW International enhances the range of retirement consulting services Milliman can offer its multinational and UK-headquartered clients. The obvious synergies between Milliman and Barnett Waddingham are built on our shared values: independence, quality, and dedication to superior client service.” An increasing proportion of small UK companies are establishing auto-enrolment pension schemes after their deadline, according to data from Aviva.The insurer and auto-enrolment (AE) pension provider said 16% of companies that set up their arrangements with Aviva in the first quarter of 2017 were late.The Pensions Regulator (TPR) announced this week that half a million employers had now complied with their AE requirements, meaning 7.6m people were now invested in a defined contribution pension scheme.Another 600,000 employers are due to begin the AE process this year, the regulator said.
He said a recent PLSA survey showed 76% of people with a workplace pension agreed the standards would help them know if they were on track for the lifestyle they wanted in retirement. “The PLSA looks forward to widespread adoption of the Retirement Living Standards to transform the way people think about saving for spending in later life” Nigel Peaple, PLSA “The PLSA looks forward to working closely with the pensions industry to ensure widespread adoption of the Retirement Living Standards to transform the way people think about saving for spending in later life,” Peaple said.The standards set out three levels of wealth in retirement – minimum, moderate and comfortable – based on a basket of goods and services, from food and drink to holidays. The PLSA said they could be summed up as 10k-20k-30k for individuals and 15k-30k-45k for couples.The association said it would try to ensure the pensions sector and the government adopted the new illustrative framework to help more people plan effectively for retirement, adding that it was working with the Money and Pensions Service to include them in their tools, such as the Money Advice Service pension calculator.Consultancy Hymans Robertson said it had supported the development of the standards and signed up as an “early adopter”.Michael Ambery, the firm’s head of defined contribution (DC) provider relations, described the launch of the standards as “great news for the industry and for retirement aspirations across the country”.“Pensions can be complex, so many people find it hard to know if they are saving enough to be able to retire, or reduce their working hours, when they’d like,” he said.“Let’s hope that this is a lightbulb moment for pension savings” Laura Myers, head of DC at consultancy LCPMeanwhile Laura Myers, head of DC at consultancy LCP, said the standards would give people more clarity and tangible savings goals based on up-to-date research and numbers.“Let’s hope that this is a lightbulb moment for pension savings,” she said. “For millions of savers, the ability to know if they are on track with pension saving for the retirement they want is now going to be so much simpler.”Separately, Gregg McClymont, director of policy at multi-employer DC provider The People’s Pension, said the new PLSA standards offered members “a welcome rule of thumb starting point for complex retirement conversations”.More information about the standards can be found here. The UK’s Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) has published a set of descriptions of different standards of living in retirement, which it hopes will help people picture their future financially – and so engage with their pension. The pensions industry body, which launched the concept at its annual conference this morning, said it wants schemes representing 90% of active savers to adopt the new UK Retirement Living Standards by 2025.Nigel Peaple, director of policy and research at the PLSA, said: “The Retirement Living Standards will support better saver engagement.“They distil robust, in-depth research with the public into an easy to understand basket of goods that helps people picture the future – and relatable figures that can provide a powerful and practical tool for encouraging engagement with saving.”
The new owner of Aqua in the Whitsundays can fly in, sail in, or drive in, when they want to escape the daily grind.A STATEMENT home with one of Australia’s largest private pools, its own rainforest and a helipad has sold in the Whitsundays. More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus17 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market17 hours agoQueensland Southeby’s International Realty agent Carol Carter, who worked on the deal with Ray White Whitsundays, refused to confirm the price, but said the sale proved prestige homes in the area were in demand.“The sale of Aqua comes after the sale of Mandalay House (December 2017) and recently, Botanica,” she said. “We didn’t get it (Aqua) on the market … it sold to a client known to both agencies which is fantastic.” Overseas buyer says ‘I do’ to Whitsundays wedding venue Aqua was owned by another Melbourne-based couple, and was listed for rent on a number of luxury holiday sites. Described as ‘akin to an exclusive luxury private resort’, Aqua is situated on a secluded and private peninsula surrounded on three sides by the Coral Sea and Pioneer Bay.It has four bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms, five car space, its own private beach, marina, a helipad and an infinity edge pool, complete with sandy beach and swim up bar. What a view!The five bedroom masterpiece known as Aqua was bought off-market by a Melbourne businessman and his family, who intend to use it as a holiday home.It is understood to have sold for more than $13 million but less than the $14 million paid for nearby Mandalay House. Aqua has sold in The WhitsundaysThere is also a teppanyaki pavilion with private chef.“Houses like this are in demand,” Ms Carter said. “You would be surprised just how many inquiries we get from people interstate and overseas looking for high-end homes in the Whitsundays.“I have a few more prestige properties, including Solis on Hamilton Island. “That’s listed for $15 million and I expect that will be the next one to go.”
64 Paxton St, North Ward.A CHARACTER house with period features and more than 100 years of Townsville history has been listed for sale.The five-bedroom, two-bathroom, two-car home is on a 1012sq m block and will go to auction next Saturday. The North Ward house was built around 1900 and later purchased by furniture marker Duncan Baxter, who heavily modified it. 64 Paxton St, North Ward.The brothers owned the Complete Home Furnisher store on Flinders St and to this day a table made by them remains in the Townsville City Council chambers.During World War I two of Mr Duncan’s sons were enlisted. They were reported missing and never came home. Mr Duncan also enlisted and died at war. His widow sold the house in the early 1920s and left Townsville after one of her daughters died.The house has an in-ground swimming pool, front veranda and back deck.The large master bedroom has an ensuite, and there is a second bathroom plus separate toilet.There is a secure area underneath that could be used as a workshop, play area or storage room. 64 Paxton St will be open for inspection tomorrow from 11.45am-12.30pm and on Thursday from 2.45pm to 3.30pm. For more information, call Sally Elliott on 0409 550 454. 64 Paxton St, North Ward pictured in 1908.It still retains features of that time period such as stained-glass casement windows, ornate archways, bay windows and pressed metal ceilings.Smith and Elliott principal Sally Elliott is selling the house and said, despite the property’s rich history, it wasn’t heritage listed, meaning the new owners wouldn’t be restricted with any renovations.“To our knowledge it was built before 1902 and then extended in 1914,” she said.More from news01:21Buyer demand explodes in Townsville’s 2019 flood-affected suburbs12 Sep 202001:21‘Giant surge’ in new home sales lifts Townsville property market10 Sep 2020“The block behind on Alexandra St was actually the horse and carriage paddock and the block beside it on the corner of Kennedy St was the original tennis court. This was a home that was built before airconditioning was invented so it’s completely designed for flow-through breezes.“It’s an iconic house and it’s not on any state or federal heritage list but it is a house of local interest.”In the late 1800s, Mr Baxter moved from Scotland to Townsville with some of his sons after his brother had already migrated.
The kitchen is what the vendor describes as farmhouse provincial.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus14 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market14 hours agoMrs Hayes said they went for a modern farmhouse provincial style, which is evident in the aesthetics of the kitchen.The floorplan is perfect for a family, with three bedrooms, a bathroom and a playroom to the left side of the house, and the main bedroom with an ensuite and walk-in wardrobe to the left.Also on the left is the media room and a study. There is an open-plan kitchen, living and dining area.“We wanted something that would provide a lifestyle for our two young boys,” Mrs Hayes said.“We wanted a lowset open-plan design where we could entertain and enjoy the rural feel.”The couple could not be more happy with the result.“It has blown our minds really, it is beautiful and has exceeded our expectations,” Mrs Hayes said. There are country views from the bedroom.Separating the two areas is an open-plan living, kitchen and dining area that opens out to an alfresco dining area, which is Mrs Hayes favourite spot in the home.“We overlook the back property, which has horses and ponies, as well as an orchard farm and it’s a beautiful view,” she said. Escape the heat in the media room.Mrs Hayes said her sons enjoyed interacting with the animals.“The boys will be playing soccer in the backyard and the horses will have their heads over the fence watching them … and the kids feed them carrots.”She said the house was perfectly located, as it was only 20 minutes to her work in the Brisbane CBD, yet close to the Gold Coast and three minutes to Redeemer Lutheran College, where her son goes to school. The house at 5 Goodtown St, Rochedale, is for sale.LIVING at this Rochedale property is like living in the country, except the CBD is only 20 minutes away.Simone and Brent Hayes built the house at 5 Goodtown St about a year ago, and enlisted the services of Lindon Homes and Koda Design to create a functional, modern family home. One of the bathrooms.Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 6:04Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -6:04 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD576p576p432p432p270p270pAutoA, 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 Rate1xFullscreenFebruary: Brisbane CoreLogic RP Data market update06:05
The Harper Court property at Casuarina looks like a holiday resort.IT is easy to mistake this Casuarina house for a luxury beachfront holiday resort.With a contemporary design, soaring ceilings and towering windows framing picture perfect views of tropical gardens, the thought of it being somebody’s house seems too good to be true.Even more surprising, it could be yours – if you have a few spare millions, of course.The impressive five-bedroom residence in Harper Court has hit the market with a price guide ranging between $6.2 million and $6.4 million. Every inch of the property exudes contemporary style. All five bedrooms resemble five-star hotel suites.“I’m sad that I’m selling it but the thing is, if you’re not doing the home justice, let someone else have that opportunity.”Designed by Gold Coast architect Paul Uhlmann, the house has a unique style.A highlight of the open plan kitchen, living and dining area is a curved wall of windows and the glass stacker doors that flow on to an outdoor entertainment area.Surrounded by tropical plants is a resort-style pool and spa, as well as a fire pit and outdoor shower.The bedrooms resemble five-star hotel suites.“My favourite part is the breeze going through the whole property and not having to have airconditioners on,” Mr Weel said.“My biggest expense was putting all new airconditioners in it because I hadn’t used them for five years.”The property is being marketed by Brent and Lorna Savage of LS Properties. MORE NEWS: Sale marks milestone for Coast street The gardens have been expertly landscaped. MORE NEWS: Wayne Bennett lands new multimillion-dollar deal It belongs to Kees Weel, founder of motorsports manufacturing powerhouse PWR Holdings and father of retired V8 Supercar driver Paul Weel.More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa11 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days agoHe and partner Sharon bought the property about five years ago, attracted to its “security, serenity and privacy”.He loved being able to go for a stroll on the beach before heading to work in the mornings.“We call it our own private beach,” Mr Weel said.“Even on the busiest day, it’s private and the people who are there are our neighbours.“It’s like a little private village.“It’s been a great property for us.’’He said they had spent “a reasonable amount of money” maintaining the house over the years.“The only reason why I’m selling is because the last 12 months I’ve hardly been there,” he said.“It’s a waste of a great house. Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:51Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:51 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD576p576p432p432p270p270pAutoA, 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 Rate1xFullscreenStarting your hunt for a dream home00:51 The curved wall of windows is a standout feature. It doesn’t get much more serene than that.
This property at 1 Wharf St, Port Douglas, is for sale for offers over $10m.The home is set high on a ridge overlooking Port Douglas and the Coral Sea and has five bedrooms, four ensuites and an office.It last sold for $10 million at the height of the market in 2007.The median house price in Port Douglas is $615,000, according to property researcher, CoreLogic — an increase of 1.8 per cent in the past three months. This property at 2 Murphy St, Port Douglas, has sold for $5.1m.THE $5.1 million sale of a trophy home in Port Douglas has put the tropical town’s luxury housing market back on the map.In the biggest sale there in years, the five-bedroom, five-bathroom trophy home at 2 Murphy Street was snapped up by a Melbourne family, who plan to use it as a holiday house.It comes as the top end of the market in Port Douglas starts to pick up after a long, dry spell. RELATED: Obama drops $22m on island estate The view from the home at 2 Murphy St, Port Douglas.Ms Wolveridge said she had sold close to $15 million in property in Port Douglas since June.“I think interest rates are low and it’s freezing in Sydney and Melbourne, and New Zealand,” she said. “We get a lot of New Zealand buyers.”More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus11 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market11 hours ago MORE: Peabody heir selling mansion This property at 2 Murphy St, Port Douglas, has sold for $5.1m.The home boasts spectacular views overlooking Dickson’s Inlet and the Daintree ranges.Selling agent Barbara Wolveridge of Queensland Sotheby’s International Realty said it was the highest sale since a property at 7 Wharf Street sold for $6.8 million in May 2017.The vendor, property developer Michael Yates, sold the home to Melbourne-based Paragon Financial Group director Dean Cook and his wife, Larah.“These trophy homes don’t come up very much,” Ms Wolveridge said.“But the top end is really picking up. I’m selling more in the $900,000 to $3 million range.” The master bedroom opens out to a huge balcony.Other Port Douglas trophy homes for sale include the landmark mansion, Tanamera, spanning three levels with indoor waterfalls and gardens.It’s back on the market for $6.5 million.The four-bedroom, five bathroom residence recently underwent a refurbishment since being sold for $3.9 million in 2017. Port Douglas mansion ‘Tanamera’ sold for .The Glasshouse, at 26 Murphy Street, is also still for sale for $6.75 million.The property belongs to legendary rock publicist Patti Mostyn, who was famous for working with the likes of Frank Sinatra, George Michael, Sting and Elton John.The three-level home offers 200-degree views to the Coral Sea and beyond over Four Mile Beach and the Port Douglas Marina. The kitchen in the home at 2 Murphy St, Port Douglas.Ms Wolveridge is also marketing a trophy home at 1 Wharf Street in Port Douglas, owned by businessman John Morris, for offers over $10 million.She said she had received two offers from an interstate and an international buyer, but they didn’t meet the vendor’s expectations.“It’s the best house in all of Port Douglas — nothing even comes close,” she said.“It absolutely will sell, but its going to be a special buyer because its a special property.”