Rick John, Principal Broker/Owner, R. JOHN & CO. Real Estate announced that Suzanne King has joined the firm as a REALTOR Associate and will concentrate on residential properties in Windham County, VT and later plans to get her NH license as well.Suzanne has been in the mental health field for many years and most recently was Community Director with the March of Dimes in Brattleboro, Bellows Falls & Springfield Area. Suzanne lives in Vernon VT with her husband and two children. Rick John also has been hired as an instructor with Around VT & NH, a real estate education company in MT Holly, VT and is teaching the pre-licensing course in SVT & SNH.John is currently serving as President –elect of VREIN in Williston,VT. VREIN is the organization that operates the MLS function for most of the REALTORS in VT. Mr. John has been a Director at VREIN for the past two years.
The DC scheme, which has been the main scheme for new joiners since 2009 and covers the majority of current BT employees, will also be upgraded for the benefit of existing members. Proposed changes include increasing BT’s standard maximum contribution rate to 10% for all members “and introducing other improvements”, the telecoms giant said in a statement.Andy Kerr, CWU deputy general secretary, said: “The new hybrid pension is an innovative solution that will share future risk between BT and our members.“In the defined contribution scheme, all of our BTRSS members paying core contributions will be getting an increase in company payments – as well as key allowances counting towards [the] pension for the first time. This is clearly a major improvement.”The agreement affects around 20,000 non-management employees. In February the company agreed a deal with another trade union, Prospect, to close the DB scheme to around 10,000 managers, who will join the BTRSS.The proposals have been put to a vote, and CWU has recommended that BTPS members accept the agreement.Melrose pension statements ‘misleading’, says GKN Melrose Industries has offered to pay up to £1bn into the pension schemes of GKN as part of its bid to take over the UK-listed engineering group.However, GKN’s board has accused the bidder of making “misleading” comments about the state of the pension schemes in connection with its offer.Melrose yesterday said it had made a formal proposal to the GKN pension scheme trustees, which it claimed represented almost twice the value of the deficit reduction package offered by GKN as part of a proposed sale of its driveline business to Dana. GKN today said Melrose’s comments were “misleading as to the true status of GKN’s pension obligations”. It reiterated the elements of a binding agreement it reached with the UK pension trustees, which was conditional on Melrose’s offer lapsing or being withdrawn.Earlier this month Melrose wrote to the UK parliament’s Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, on request of the politicians, to clarify its intentions with respect to GKN and its pension schemes.It had previously said it would invest some £150m in GKN’s UK pension schemes within 12 months of acquisition, and has defended itself as having “an excellent track record of managing pension schemes”.UUK speeds up expert panel creation UK universities are accelerating the creation of a panel of independent experts to review the valuation processes for the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS).Universities UK (UUK), which represents UK higher education bodies, and its main union, the UCU, agreed last week to form the panel as part of mediation talks to inform future valuations. However, UUK said it was to be introduced immediately in order to address concerns over the current valuation.The panel will consider issues of methodology, assumptions and monitoring. It will have an independent chair, involve academics and pension professionals, and will liaise with both USS and the Pensions Regulator. The terms of reference and panel composition are to be announced shortly.Last week’s mediation talks led to UUK and UCU reaching an agreement over the future of the country’s largest pension scheme, but union branches rejected the agreement. UCU yesterday said it had “an incredibly strong mandate” for further strikes.Green light for south-west LGPS funds’ pooling effortsBrunel Pension Partnership, the £28bn asset pooling vehicle for 10 local government pension schemes (LGPS), has received regulatory authorisation.This paves the way for it to provide investment management services for its LGPS shareholders ahead of the government’s pooling deadline next month.Dawn Turner, CEO of Brunel, said: “This is an important milestone for us and means we are on schedule to deliver the benefits of LGPS investment pooling for our clients.”The LGPS pools have to be up and running by the start of April, although one – the £43.7bn Border to Coast Pensions Partnership – has agreed a three-month extension.Four of the eight have been authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and while two (ACCESS and Wales Pensions Partnersip) have appointed external providers to set up pooled funds. BT is to close its defined benefit (DB) pension scheme and work with the Communication Workers Union (CWU) to set up a hybrid scheme, the two parties have announced.The agreement follows more than 10 months of “exceptionally tough” discussions, according to the CWU.BT has pledged to set up a new hybrid pension plan with both DB and defined contribution (DC) elements. The new plan will be made available to members of the £49.3bn (€56bn) BT Pension Scheme (BTPS), which the company intends to close to future accrual from 31 May.This timetable was subject to the trustees being able to resolve “some complex administration-related issues”, the company said. The hybrid pension plan is due to be set up later this year following further discussions between BT and the CWU.In the meantime, current BTPS members will be moved to the company’s existing DC plan, the BT Retirement Saving Scheme (BTRSS). Ex-BTPS members will be entitled to additional transition payments for up to 10 years. Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol, where Brunel has its main office
Mason:On Monday, the legendary Bobby Knight resigned as head coach of the Texas Tech basketball team, leaving behind quite an impressive legacy. Although some may remember Knight for his short temper and violent outbursts on the court, he will go down as one of the greatest ? if not the greatest ? coaches in college basketball history.Knight has won more games than any other coach in history, 902, topping Dean Smith’s mark of 879. He also built Indiana into one of the most prestigious programs of the last three decades.Knight started his head coaching career at the young age of 24, when he took the top job at Army. Although the Black Knights never made the NCAA Tournament in his six seasons, they won more than 20 games twice and 18 games in two other seasons. Plus, one of his former players, Mike Krzyzewski, turned out to be a pretty good coach himself.Knight went on to take the coaching job at Indiana in 1971, where he served as the main man until 2000. In his time there, the Hoosiers won three National Championships and 11 Big Ten conference championships. Clearly nothing to bat an eye at.Oh, and we can add an Olympic gold medal to his resume, as he coached the U.S. basketball team in 1984.If the wins and championships don’t speak enough of his genius, his retirement Monday is actually a pretty smart move in and of itself. The timing may seem poor to some, but it makes sense when you think about it. The Red Raiders are 12-8 overall and just 3-3 in the Big 12. Clearly, they’re not in contention for a title. Why not hand the reins to his son, Pat, to give the new coach some experience heading into next year.Three national titles, a gold medal and the most career wins. The guy’s a basketball genius.Ackerstein:There?s no arguing with Bobby Knight?s career numbers. With more wins than any other coach, a few national championship rings and an undefeated season, he?s got a Hall of Fame r?sum?. The mere fact that even with those achievements his legacy is being questioned, however, proves one thing: Knight was more a bully than a coach.The Nelson Muntz of college basketball, it would be impossible to run down the highlights of his career without mentioning his angrily throwing a chair across the court, posing on the cover of Sports Illustrated with a whip ready to be cracked over one of his players or his alleged assault of a student at Indiana. The man he passed on the all-time win list, Dean Smith, got his school?s arena named after him; Knight would be lucky if the school he?s most famous for coaching at, Indiana, named a sandwich after him.Sure, he brought America an Olympic gold medal, but the rest of his international coaching r?sum? includes hitting a police officer in Puerto Rico and forfeiting an exhibition game against the Soviet Union because he refused to leave the court after being ejected.To top it all off, by retiring in the middle of the season, Knight quit on his team. And even though he left his son Pat in charge, he?s still abandoning Texas Tech when, with a 12-8 record, they still have a shot at a postseason berth.By throwing chairs, hurling obscenities and abusing and abandoning players, Bob Knight took the positive and wholesome image Mr. Rogers had given to sweaters and permanently tarnished it.?Generally? speaking, Knight?s a jerk.