“Trustees are anxious for information on how COVID-19 will affect their scheme,” said Steve Leake, XPS head of demographics.“As the answer relies on so many unknown factors, we believe it is necessary to consider a full range of potential scenarios and we have used an innovative combination of traditional actuarial methods and modern data science techniques to deliver a ground-breaking analysis of the economic and disease impacts on scheme funding over the long term.”£5m deal shows small schemes’ ability to access bulk annuity marketThe DB pension fund of Premaberg Holdings Limited, a UK manufacturer, has completed a £5m bulk annuity transaction described as “a major step” towards fully settling the plan’s legacy obligations.The deal, which is a buy-in, covers 50 members, of which around 80% are pensioners in payment.The transaction was struck with Just Group and completed using Mercer’s streamlined quotation service, which monitors buy-in pricing.Ruth Ward, principal in Mercer’s risk transfer team, was lead consultant on the deal, and said it demonstrated that “smaller schemes can and do achieve successful bulk annuity transactions, despite continued high demand from much larger schemes”.They have to “work harder” to get insurers’ attention, however, she said, citing preparation and following a streamlined process as key ingredients in Premaberg’s case.Jo Richardson, chair of the trustees, said: “We’re delighted to have secured our members’ DB pensions through this bulk annuity transaction. The ability to regularly monitor actual insurer pricing was invaluable, allowing us to quickly take advantage of improved market pricing earlier this year and transact firmly within our price trigger.”Widening of credit spreads earlier this year in response to the pandemic-fuelled economic shutdown improved the affordability of bulk annuities.The Premaberg deal is not the first bulk annuity transaction for a small pension scheme this year. Earlier this month, for example, the Superannuation Scheme for a farmers’ cooperative secured the benefits of all its 120 members via a £13m buyout with Legal & General.A spokesperson told IPE the Premaberg pension fund had £5.2m in assets under management.More work urged on drawdown decision-makingOnline pension provider PensionBee is calling on the pension industry to do more to support those accessing or considering accessing defined contribution (DC) pensions.It made the call in connection with report and research it commissioned to understand the barriers and challenges faced by those aged 55-70 making plans to access, and at the point of accessing, their DC pension.Findings from a survey of 961 people included that more than a quarter (27%) of people who tried to access their pension did not go through with it because they were confused about which options were available to them.PensionBee said the survey showed that people had a low level of understanding of how much they are able to withdraw, with around one third (34%) of participants thinking a sustainable withdrawal rate was 8% or higher and one in seven (14%) saying they did not know.Another finding was that three-quarters of people have had to wait for four weeks or longer to access their pension savings, a third said the process took between one and two months, and 14% of people had to wait for five months or more.Romi Savova, CEO of PensionBee, said: “Pension providers have a responsibility to support their customers, particularly during this time of economic uncertainty, and should offer easily accessible information to allow consumers to plan ahead for their financial future.“It is now more important than ever for providers to develop straightforward and flexible products to help consumers drawdown simply and efficiently. The industry needs to come together and continue to innovate – it’s time to give back control to the consumer.”ALooking for IPE’s latest magazine? Read the digital edition here. Consultancy XPS has carried out scenario analysis showing a reduction in liabilities by up to 5% across the defined benefit (DB) universe, equivalent to around £90bn (€97bn), from the potential long-term impact of COVID-19 on life expectancy.This is the longevity impact on funding levels in the firm’s “global depression” scenario, one of five scenarios it has developed to model pension schemes against.The scenarios also consider the potential long-term impact of COVID-19 on a scheme’s investments. In its global depression scenario the consultancy estimated that schemes’ funding could be hit by 13% due to investment losses.At the other end of the spectrum, in XPS’s “minimal disruption” scenario, it saw no longevity impact on the funding level and a 6% boost from investments.
“I hope I’ll bring my technical passing football, and my experience in the Premier League and I hope we’ll do very well this year and stay in the Premier League.” Capoue struggled to hold down a regular starting spot at White Hart Lane and fell out of favour with Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino. He was linked with a move away in the January transfer window, but no move materialised. The French international only made 24 appearances for Spurs, but is fully aware of the team effort required if the Hertfordshire-based club want to survive relegation from the top flight. “We need some experience because the Championship is very different to the Premier League. The games are very difficult, so we need players like Heurelho Gomes to help us do our best every weekend.” Watford goalkeeper and former Spurs team-mate Gomes played a significant role in Capoue’s decision to join the promoted side. Capoue said: “I have known Heurelho for two years and he told me a lot of good things about the club and this played a part in me choosing Watford. “The president was very happy to try to bring me here and I spoke with him a lot of times, and we found a good way to do the best for the club.” The 26-year-old has penned a four-year deal with the Barclays Premier League new boys and is now set to join up with the Hornets for pre-season training. He said on club website: “For me it’s an opportunity to play. I need to play and to prove my qualities on the pitch, and I think Watford is the best thing for me. The midfielder made almost 200 first-team appearances for Toulouse after progressing through the youth ranks at the French club, and was nominated for Ligue 1’s young player of the year award in 2013. Capoue has featured seven times for his country since being handed a senior international debut in a friendly against Uruguay in August 2012. He has scored once for Les Bleus, in a 3-1 World Cup qualifying win over Belarus. The promoted side have also been heavily linked with a move for another Frenchman from Spurs, Benjamin Stambouli. The 24-year-old defensive midfielder joined the north London club from Montpellier last September. Press Association Etienne Capoue is relishing the opportunity to become a first-team regular after completing a club-record transfer to Watford from Tottenham.
Sometimes, all you need is faith and trust.And having faith isn’t just trusting in Kobe Bryant to make the game-winning shot for the Los Angeles Lakers every single night.No, this goes beyond that kind of faith and trust.Experience · Before he left to join the Seattle Seahawks Rocky Seto spent 11 seasons working on the USC staff and was the defensive coordinator under Pete Carroll in 2009. – Photo courtesy of USC Sports Information Haruki Rocky Seto served on the USC football staff for 11 years, dating back to when former coaches John Robinson and Paul Hackett ran things around town.Seto recently left his post at USC and accepted a role with the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks, but his career in football has been most notably characterized by his time at USC as a coach.But his journey with USC did not begin that way.In 1997, Seto transferred from Mt. San Antonio Community College to USC and walked onto the football team his junior year.“I was very fortunate to walk on. I thank God that coach Robinson allowed me to play,” Seto said. “I am very grateful that he gave me that opportunity.”During his senior year, Seto was awarded an athletic scholarship, and after the season he had intentions to attend graduate school and become a physical therapist.Even though his parents wanted him to pursue a graduate degree, he felt there was another career waiting.“I felt I was led by the Lord to go into coaching. I talked to coach [Paul] Hackett, he let me volunteer on staff and God gave me the opportunity,” Seto said.Throughout the years, Seto worked on the football staff with the safeties, linebackers and secondary.But staying with Trojan football wasn’t all easy.In 2006, Seto was offered a job to coach for the NFL’s Buffalo Bills. But he decided to remain at USC, sticking to a promise he had made to a former USC football player.“The Bible says, ‘Let your yes be yes, and your no be no,’” Seto said. “I told [him] I won’t leave for the NFL. Just worry about school and football. You don’t have to worry about me.”Seto still decided to stay at USC even after former offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian offered him the defensive coordinator position at Washington two years later.Last year he was rewarded and promoted to be the defensive coordinator for one of college football’s top programs.But Seto didn’t really think of jockeying for a spot at the top.“It was never my intention to become [defensive coordinator]. I always wanted to do my best. Whether I was a walk-on player or even when I was a volunteer [assistant] getting coffee or making Xerox copies for the coaches … it just worked out for me and God kept opening up opportunities for me,” Seto said.And one of those opportunities was being able to work with arguably one of college football’s greatest coaches in Pete Carroll.“It was awesome working with [Carroll].” Seto said. “I learned so much about football, and I learned so much about coaching. It really was a blessed time working under him, and I couldn’t have asked for anything more.”Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end.Last season the Trojans football team won only nine games and played in a non-BCS bowl game for the first time in eight seasons, which seemed like an eternity to a program so used to winning.And even though some people blamed the defense for losing close games throughout the up-and-down season, Seto’s unit didn’t suffer from a leader out of touch with his defense.“Coach Seto had a tremendous football I.Q., and he knew our defense so well. He knew our defense as good as [anybody],” redshirt junior linebacker Chris Galippo said. “He was a really great listener, a great communicator and a great teacher.”But Seto wasn’t just a coach to his players. He was something more.“Seto was the type of guy you could always talk to and you knew he’d be real to you,” Galippo said. “You knew you could go to him and talk about real-life stuff that’s not just about football.”After the Emerald Bowl win to end the 2009 season, Carroll decided to leave the dynasty he created for the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks, and the rest of the Trojan football staff was overhauled.Unsure of what the future held, Seto held onto what he knew.“You never put your hope in temporary things like your career and things that can change in the blink of an eye,” Seto said. “You need to put your hope in a thing that doesn’t disappoint, and that’s a relationship with Jesus Christ.”Seto’s influential role on his players and the people around him was evident through his actions and words.“He’s an influence on everybody,” Galippo said. “He has a lot of respect for his religion, and you could just really see his faith living through him.”Though Seto is no longer part of the Trojan football staff, he is still part of the Trojan family.From the time he walked onto the team his junior year of college until last season, Seto enjoyed every single minute.“It has been a great 13 years at USC, and I feel fortunate that the Lord let this happen,” Seto said. “I’ve had my dream job for the last 13 years. My family and I are at peace with what has happened.”Now, as the defensive quality control coach for the Seattle Seahawks, Seto might have a new job and new home but one thing is for certain — his faith.“No one has to worry about coach Seto,” Galippo said. “His faith is so strong … He’s headed in the right direction.”Sometimes, all you need is faith and trust — and that’s exactly what keeps coach Rocky Seto going.