Norway’s Finanstilsynet stresses gravity of low rates for pension funds

first_imgIt added that, on top of this, the pension providers were having to meet higher technical provision levels because of rising longevity.Commenting on the upcoming introduction of the European Solvency II Directive on 1 January next year, the regulator said this regime would better reflect the risk inherent in the insurance business than previous solvency requirements had done. “This will be particularly evident in the case of life insurers whose insurance liabilities under the new solvency regime will be recognised at market value,” it said. However, since interest rates are at a low level, the change to the new regime will in some respects involve a big increase in the value of their liabilities compared with the situation now, Finanstilsynet said.“Life insurers are granted a transitional arrangement lasting 16 years in which to complete their technical provisioning,” it said. The regulator said this would ease the solvency requirement for life insurers for a period, but it pointed out that there would be no change in the underlying risk picture.Looking at the picture for the entire financial sector in Norway, Finanstilsynet focused in its report on how the fall in oil prices was affecting Norway’s heavily oil-dependent economy.Lower demand from the petroleum industry has led to much lower activity and hit profitability in sectors selling to the petroleum sector, it said.Finanstilsynet’s director general Morten Baltzersen said: “In the event of a severe setback affecting the Norwegian economy on a broad front, the banks could suffer heavy losses across several parts of their loan books.” The Norwegian financial regulator Finanstilsynet has highlighted the seriousness of the long-term low interest rate environment for the country’s pension providers in its 2015 financial trends report.Releasing the official report today, the regulator said: “The low interest rate level and prospects of low rates for a long period ahead pose a major challenge to pension providers.”It pointed out that a large portion of providers’ liabilities consisted of contracts that carried an annual guaranteed rate of return that was higher than current market interest rates. “Achieving sufficient return on pension assets in a low interest rate regime is difficult,” Finanstilsynet said.last_img read more

GIA Team Identifies with Underprivileged

first_imgThe Golden Image Award Committee has brought smiles to children and adults in several communities in Monrovia and its environs.The team, led by Ambassador Juli Endee of the Liberia Crusaders for Peace, distributed several usable items including television sets, used clothes, mobile phones, Mp3 players, cameras, books, fans, generators, radios, tee-shirts, and money.The distributions were carried out in Paynesville Red-Light (Tortoise Base), West Point, Peace Island and PHP communities. Hot meals were also provided  to children and adults.Ambassador Endee said the GIA is held to provide a unique opportunity to recognize individuals who have contributed to building a generation of leaders whose examples can be applied to leave positive legacies in Liberia, as a member of the global village.“This year’s program is to identify and reach out to you as well as share gifts and eat together as one big family,” she told the beneficiaries at each of the visiting points. Amb. Endee noted that this year’s GIA celebration coincided with the breakout of the deadly disease Ebola in the country.   She,  therefore, warned them about the seriousness of the disease. She told the various communities to take preventive measures to protect themselves from the virus. “To prevent ourselves from this sickness,” Ambassador Endee told them, “we must wash our hands with soap at all times and cook our food properly.” She urged them to pass on the information about Ebola and its prevention to friends and family members.Ambassador Endee, however, cautioned those in churches to take the Ebola seriously. “Ebola is an  emergency issue; so I make this appeal to all churches:  please don’t blame a person who is showing the symptoms of Ebola on witchcraft. It will be better to take the person to the nearby clinic with protective covering or you contact the Ministry of Health to find a solution to that problem,” she said. Responding to the gesture by the GIA, many of the beneficiaries expressed appreciation, pointing out that GIA ‘s identifying with them has made clearer the objectives of the organization.  They assured Ambassador Endee that they would ensure that preventive measures about Ebola are carried to all their people in the four communities.Madam Endee, meanwhile, disclosed that this year’s GIA celebration will take the award to the communities to solicit support and participation from Liberians.The ground breaking ceremony is scheduled for today, Monday, in Bomi County, with the construction of a monument of the image of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.On the reasons for the monument to be built in Bomi, Ambassador Endee said, “The image will be built in Bomi County because the image of the GIA is President Sirleaf who is from Bomi County, and also we have found a suitable place for the monument.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more