Derisking transactions covering some £590m (€670m) of pensioner benefits at four schemes have been announced.The £3bn Merchant Navy Officers Pension Fund (MNOPF) sealed a £490m buy-in with Legal & General Group, covering all members that retired since it completed a £1.5bn longevity insurance transaction in 2014.Andy Waring, chief executive of the MNOPF, said: “Securing the benefits of our members has always been a significant part of the MNOPF journey plan. Our next milestone is to promote and grow the [defined contribution] Ensign Retirement Plan, so that we can provide the same security in retirement for the next generation of maritime employees.”Separately, three defined benefit (DB) pension schemes linked to Italian tyre company Pirelli Group concluded a buy-in with Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC), covering around £100m of benefits. The transaction means that the three schemes are completely de-risked, according to a statement from PIC. Last year Pirelli’s main UK DB schemes completed longevity swaps worth £600m with Zurich Assurance.LGPS launches investment management consultancy procurement frameworkUK local authority pension funds and their fledgling asset pools have finalised a new framework for the procurement of investment management consultancy services.It is a restructuring of the first national framework of its kind, launched in 2013. According to a statement, since then 27 local government pension scheme (LGPS) funds from across the UK had joined the original seven founder authorities participating in the framework. A total of 34 contracts have been agreed under the framework with savings estimated to reach over £3.6m.The organisation overseeing national LGPS frameworks said the 2013 concept was “fully refreshed and restructured” to meet the current and future needs of the LGPS, including the pooling arrangements.Nigel Keogh, National LGPS Frameworks operations and development manager, told IPE that the new framework included different “lots” because the asset pools would have different requirements to individual funds. The previous framework only had one lot. The new framework is split into lots for investment consultancy services; manager search, selection, monitoring and review services; and investment management consultancy-related specialist services. The new framework was the outcome of collaboration between Brunel Pension Partnership, Cambridgeshire County Council, Cheshire Pension Fund, the London Boroughs of Hackney and Tower Hamlets, Merseyside Pension Fund, Norfolk Pension Fund, Northamptonshire County Council and West Sussex Pension Fund.It was supported by the National LGPS Frameworks team, and procurement and legal specialists from Norfolk County Council.Frameworks for transition management and implementation services are due to be ready soon. Minimum standards for professional trustees New standards outlining what is expected of professional trustees were published for consultation today.They have been drawn up by the industry-led Professional Trustee Standards Working Group (PTSWG) to establish minimum requirements for professional trustees of occupational pension schemes.The group has set out standards in six areas that all professional trustees are expected to meet:Fitness and propriety;Integrity;Expertise and care;Impartiality and conflicts of interest;Professional behaviour;Systems and controls.Specific guidelines were set out for professional trustees who were also the chair of a scheme, and for those who were the sole trustee of a scheme. Topics range from having the skills to lead, negotiate and reach a consensus to providing strategic direction and actively challenging advice.Andrew Bradshaw, chair of PTSWG, said: “With the growing influence of professional trustees, it is important that the industry adopts a recognised set of professional standards. ”The challenge for the PTSWG has been to produce a set of universal standards which recognise the wide range of business structures and services that professional trustees and their firms now provide. We very much hope that the standards strike the right balance and look forward to hearing the views of professional trustees and the wider industry during the consultation period.”The consultation will run until 2 March 2018. After the standards have been published the PTSWG will develop an accreditation framework, which professional trustees will be expected to meet.
New season, new life.With the regular season behind it, the Wisconsin women’s hockey team hosted St. Cloud State at the Eagle’s Nest, sweeping them 9-3 and 5-1, respectively, and earning a spot in the WCHA Final Face-off next weekend.While the Huskies didn’t have the most ideal regular season – winning only one game – the No. 1 Badgers expected a tough fight, especially from a team that was given new life in the playoffs.“As I mentioned in a press conference on Monday, you get into the playoffs and you start a second season,” head coach Mark Johnson said. “Everybody’s at the starting gates irrelevant of how the season went… They’re here to win, so they came out and they’re going to play hard.”Special teams shineDespite being the underdog, SCSU gave UW a physical fight with a total of 22 penalties between the two squads.With 10 power play opportunities in the series, Wisconsin capitalized on four of them, including three Friday night with five opportunities.Fielding a stronger power play, the Badgers know how important special teams play is to winning games.“They’re huge,” Johnson said. “Obviously special teams at this time of the year are crucial as you get farther along in the games. If you are going to be successful, you need your penalty kill unit working hard and your power-play unit scoring goals. That is going to help you win games.”“Extremely important,” junior forward Hilary Knight added. “We want to capitalize on every opportunity. There was a bunch of penalties called here tonight. We got a couple bounces that went our way and others that [SCSU goaltender Ashley] Nixon made a great save on.”Not only did UW have a fairly successful power play – especially Friday night – the squad was also solid on the penalty kill, allowing only one power play goal through eight chances for SCSU on the weekend.Fighting to stay alive, the Huskies started to get very physical in the third period of Saturday night’s game, sitting in the penalty box three times, while the Badgers couldn’t seem to stay disciplined with five different players in the box in a 10-minute span.“You can’t control what the refs are doing,” said sophomore forward Brianna Decker. “We had to PK a lot, especially in the third period. We thought the last two minutes was probably the longest two minutes of our lives, just sitting there on the bench, waiting for the game to end. We just had to stay on them, not give them time or space.”Rigsby eases into playoffsHeading into the third period Friday night, St. Cloud State kept things close at 4-3, just one goal behind Wisconsin.Freshman goaltender Alex Rigsby didn’t let the Huskies score another goal until there were six and a half minutes left in Saturday night’s game.In her first playoff experience, Rigsby stayed relatively solid for the Badgers. But after letting in three goals and allowing the Huskies to stay in Friday night’s game entering the third period, it seemed like her nerves may have been catching up to her.“[Rigsby’s a] young kid,” Johnson said. “It’s a rink that there’s not a lot of space behind the net. If the puck gets there, it doesn’t take much to get it out in front of the net. Pucks seemed to be bouncing the whole game. Again for her, it’s her first playoff game and it’s a learning opportunity for her.”There seemed to be a distinct difference in Rigsby’s play Saturday. She made 16 total saves that prevented the Huskies from getting any sort of momentum going.Friday night, Wisconsin outshot St. Cloud by only eight shots – one of the closest margins the squad has seen all season. But facing a total of 34 shots, Rigsby held strong, saving 30 of them.“[Friday] night, we really let our guard down and let people break in into the inside of the ice and that wasn’t her fault,” Knight said. “She’s a great player, every game growing and evolving into – hopefully – Jessie [Vetter] or whomever the top goaltender is.”
Highlights early in the Sixers/Lakers matinee game with JaVale McGee pic.twitter.com/WL4JkMT8uV— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) February 10, 2019“Hopefully. That’s definitely a possibility,” McGee said. “But right now, obviously, I’m a free agent, so I don’t really know. But I love LA. LA was beautiful for me. I had my best averages, my best season playing alongside LeBron.“It’s definitely a blessing being able to play for LA, but whatever is the best opportunity for me personally, I’m going to take it.” Related News JaVale McGee wants to stay with the Lakers.The 31-year-old center, who averaged 12.0 points and 7.5 rebounds in his first season with Los Angeles, is set to enter free agency once again this summer. He said during an appearance Wednesday on “Undisputed” he enjoyed playing with star LeBron James and is hoping to return to the Lakers. Lakers free agency rumors: Los Angeles among teams interested in Kemba Walker Kyrie Irving free agency rumors: Star is ‘more open’ to signing with Lakers “I’m a free agent, so I don’t really know. I love LA, it was beautiful for me. I had my best averages, I had my best season playing alongside LeBron. Even my career-high game, LeBron had 10 of the assists” — @JaValeMcGee pic.twitter.com/hwYslFEWbj— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) June 5, 2019Los Angeles opened 2018-19 with a 20-14 record before James strained his groin Dec. 25. He missed the next 17 games and the team never recovered.The Lakers also dealt with injuries to key role players — including Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma — throughout the season. They ended up with a 37-45 record and missed the playoffs for a sixth straight year.”Injuries hurt our basketball team,” McGee said Wednesday. “We’d be in the playoffs if no one got injured. … I feel like we definitely could have made it to the Western Conference finals and met up with the Warriors (with a healthy LeBron James). Our whole season, we never got to mesh and blend.””The way that LeBron got injured … we never got to mesh and blend.” — @JaValeMcGee pic.twitter.com/biQWEMdSwV— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) June 5, 2019The Lakers will have max cap space this summer and they reportedly plan to pursue a second star to pair with James. They’ve already been linked to Kemba Walker and will reportedly attempt to trade for Pelicans star Anthony Davis, as well. Kyrie Irving has also become “more open” to signing with Los Angeles, according to an earlier report from ESPN.Los Angeles holds the No. 4 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.