Citing a shortage of donations and a critical need, Central Vermont Public Service today donated $20,000 in heating aid to community action agencies across Vermont, and appealed to customers who can to donate to the CVPS Shareheat campaign.The $20,000 grant announced today is in addition to $100,000 from CVPS shareholders the company previously put into a pool to match donations from the public.‘With the economy still on the rebound, donations to Shareheat are lagging this winter, but the need remains very high,’ CVPS President Bob Young said. ‘We decided to immediately jumpstart the effort by making $4,000 contributions to each of the five community action agencies that participate in Shareheat, and to appeal again to the public. Vermonters are facing heating crises every day, and we want to ensure no one goes cold for lack of funds.’Thanks to the matching pool, contributions from the public are matched dollar for dollar and sent to the community action agency that serves the donor’s region of the state. The pool began the season with $100,000 from CVPS shareholders, and $45,000 has been added to it by Shareheat Business Partners, which include People’s United Bank, Carris Reels, Passumpsic Savings Bank, Weidman Electrical Technology, and The Vermont Country Store.‘Thanks to these businesses and our shareholders, every donation from the public, up to $145,000 in total, will be doubled,’ CVPS spokesman Steve Costello said. ‘A $10 donation will provide $20 in assistance to a neighbor in need. Donations of any size will help.’Businesses that would like to join the Shareheat Business Partnership Program may call Costello at 747-5427 for more information. Anyone needing crisis fuel assistance should contact their local community action agency.CVPS Shareheat is a program of last resort for over 1,000 Vermont families each year. Funds are available to assist people who face heating emergencies, often because they never expected to need assistance, lost a job, or have exhausted all other available assistance.‘Some people who have donated to Shareheat in the past are now turning to it for assistance themselves,’ Costello said. ‘That is reducing donations and increasing the demand on the program. We’re asking anyone in a position to do so to make a donation.’Contributions should be made payable to the CVPS Shareheat Fund. Donations may be mailed with a CVPS payment, or sent separately to CVPS Shareheat, 77 Grove St., Rutland, VT 05701.
The UK government has finalised its plan for setting up an automatic transfer system for defined contribution (DC) pension pots built up during auto-enrolment. The so-called ‘pot-follows-member’ system will be implemented by October 2016 after legislation permitting its set-up passed last year.A paper from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said it had opted for a ‘Federated Model’, with DC pots worth less than £10,000 automatically following a saver from one scheme to another as they change employer.The paper also said the system would only apply to savers within default investment funds, as any active engagement from a member would make them ineligible for automatic transfers. The Federated Model will consist of a network of registers holding information on all DC pots available for a transfer, the government said, which reduced concerns over a single point of system failure and issues arising by forcing pension schemes to communicate with one another.It will be implemented in two stages beginning next year, with solely auto-enrolment savings in default arrangements and members ‘opting-in’ to the new automated system – while its structure and integrity is tested.A second phase will then switch to an opt-out system, meaning all pots will be automatically transferred in the absence of member engagement.The DWP said it would consider expanding the policy to savings outside of default investment funds and larger pots but not until technological advancements had been made.Pensions minister Steve Webb said there could be 50m dormant pension pots without government intervention in the market.“I want to introduce pot follows member as soon as possible so we don’t lose the momentum that automatic enrolment has delivered in turning around pension saving,” he said.Elsewhere, The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has launched a new package of measures to assist trustees of UK schemes with changes coming into force in April.Later this year, the new pensions freedoms will become available for DC members, allowing them to access their savings without having to purchase an annuity, likely to result in uncertainty over retirement products and transfer requests from defined benefit (DB) members.The regulator is to begin consulting on new guidance for DB trustees on managing member transfer requests, with the Brighton-based body accepting feedback until 17 March.It has also created an ‘essential guide’ for DC schemes about the new rules regarding pensions freedoms, new governance requirements for insurance-based schemes and a 75 basis point charge cap for auto-enrolment default investment funds – also coming into force in April.There are additional communication materials for scheme managers and trustees to educate members over the risk of pension and investment scams.Stephen Soper, TPR’s interim chief executive, said: “The pensions system is undergoing one of the biggest shake-ups in generations.“As well as our own material, we’re working with the DWP, Treasury, FCA, Money Advice Service, Pensions Advisory Service and others to make sure a suite of information about the new pensions flexibilities is available, and we will signpost trustees and managers to this as it develops.”
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) Executive Committee reportedly will meet in Accra on September 23, 2017 – to ratify decisions on host for the 2018 Total African Nations Championship (CHAN).Recently, speculations have been rife that the biennial football tournament could be taken away from Kenya due to the slow-pace work being carried out, with Morocco favored as replacement.Rwanda hosted the last edition in 2016 won by DR Congo who unfortunately failed to qualify for next year’s edition for the first time ever after losing to Congo on away goals rule.Teams who qualified for the CHAN 2018: Uganda, Sudan, Equatorial Guinea, Congo, Cameroon, Mauritania, Guinea, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Angola, Namibia, Zambia, Morocco, and Libya.CHAN 2018 is scheduled to take place between 12 January and 4 February 2018.Related