Solvency levels at Finland’s employee pension insurance companies strengthened between July and September 2014, but investment risks also increased in the period, according to the Finnish financial supervisory authority (FIN-FSA).In its latest quarterly release of data on the capital position of the Finnish banking and insurance sector, the regulator said the solvency ratio of the country’s employee pension insurers rose to 31.1% at the end of September from 30.5% at the end of June.But while it said that the average risk-bearing capacity of employee pension institutions could be considered strong, the risk level had continued on a slight upward trend, as the share of hedge funds and shares of the investments increased.Anneli Tuominen, director general at FIN-FSA, said: “In the insurance sector, the main vulnerabilities are related to rapid adverse developments on stock and bond markets combined with the very low level of interest rates.” Separately, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health said new Finnish solvency rules for pension institutions had now been put before Parliament, and included the stipulation that providers would have to identify risks linked to each investment separately when calculating their solvency limit.Provisions concerning the coverage of technical provisions would be abolished, the ministry said, because they would be superfluous under the new system.The new rules will apply to employee pension insurance companies, pension funds and the Seafarers’ Pension Fund and partially to the Farmers’ Social Insurance Institution.In other news, Danish pensions administrator PKA said the move to merge the pension funds it runs into just three had reduced costs by 15% in two years.It said its 265,000-strong membership would each pay on average DKK450 (€47.5) in 2015 in administration costs, down DKK85 since 2013 – corresponding to a fall of 15%.PKA said mergers and efficiency were the key reasons for the fall in costs.Peter Damgaard Jensen, managing director at PKA, said: “In 2014, we merged four pension funds into two, so there are now three pension funds within PKA.”Just over three years ago, he added, there had been eight pension funds within PKA.Meanwhile, Danish pensions and insurance industry association Forsikring & Pension (F&P) said an official indicator pension funds use to calculate expected future pensions was being revised down in the short-term because of very low interest rates.Long-term expectations, however, remained unchanged, it said.The indicator – known as the social assumptions (Samfundsforudsætningerne) – is agreed by F&P and the Bankers’ Association (Finansrådet), as part of the Danish FSA’s (Finanstilsynet) guidance on pension projections.Due to extraordinarily low interest rates, F&P said the indicator was now being divided into two parts – a short-term portion (2015-18) and a long-term portion (2019 onwards).“In the short term, interest rate and yield assumptions are lower than previously, while the conditions are maintained in the long term,” the association said.Meanwhile, labour-market pension fund PensionDanmark has appointed Hermes EOS to help implement its responsible investment policies and continue with its active ownership approach.It said Hermes EOS would provide its “full spectrum of stewardship services” on the pension fund’s foreign-listed equity portfolio of around €6.5bn, as well as help the fund manage risks and add long-term value to its investments.Jens-Christian Stougaard, director at PensionDanmark, said: “Alongside our obligation to pursue high risk-adjusted investment returns, we also have a fiduciary duty to tackle social, ethical and environmental issues.”Hermes EOS said PensionDanmark was the fourth Nordic client the company had taken on, after Unipension, PKA and Industriens Pension.
The USA then soaked up pressure before delivering the knockout blow midway through the second half when Rapinoe turned in Tobin Heath’s centre, although Wendie Renard pulled a goal back for France to set up a tense finish.Jill Ellis’s team held on and go through to a semi-final against England in Lyon next Tuesday as they seek to retain their crown and win a fourth World Cup in eight editions.“We didn’t have the best night on the ball but the focus defensively, and the willingness and the discipline to do what we did tonight is tremendous,” said the 33-year-old Rapinoe.“We were ruthless with our chances, so moving on to the next round, that’s really all that matters. It’s a game that we’ll never forget here in Paris.”The pink-haired Rapinoe has been crucial on the field in this tournament, while dominating headlines off it thanks to her spat with US President Donald Trump over her refusal to attend any post-tournament reception at the White House.She had already scored twice in the win over Spain in the last round and is now the joint top scorer at the tournament with five goals.– French regrets –Meanwhile, France will leave their own tournament with more than a few regrets.Ellis praised the hosts, saying: “That’s a fantastic team we played tonight, and that is the most intense match I have ever been a part of.”French players react to their defeat © AFP / Kenzo TRIBOUILLARDThat will be scant consolation for the French. They were the only team to defeat the USA in the two years leading up to the World Cup but they could not repeat the feat here before an expectant crowd.Coach Corinne Diacre had been set the target of going all the way to the final on home soil, yet that always looked a tall order from the moment the draw was made last December and they were set on a quarter-final collision course with the best team in the world.“It’s a failure in a footballing sense, we can’t hide from that. We are far from fulfilling our objective,” said Diacre.“I hope we at least won people’s hearts tonight and since the start of the tournament.”Only once before had they even made the semi-finals, and for the second World Cup running their adventure ends in the last eight, the same stage at which they went out of the 2016 Olympics and the last three European Championships.Having started this tournament with a first-half blitz against South Korea in the opening game, Les Bleues never really reached the same heights again. Their defeat also means they will not go to the 2020 Olympics.The country’s leading sports daily L’Equipe had called this “the challenge of a lifetime”, and in that context conceding the opening goal so early was a disaster.Alex Morgan was fouled outside the area to the USA left, and Rapinoe’s low delivery went in without taking a touch.While France had lots of the ball without creating many clear chances, Samantha Mewis and Heath both tested France goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi just after half-time, and the USA’s second goal arrived in the 65th minute.Morgan and Heath combined down the right before the latter’s ball across goal was turned in by Rapinoe.France did not give up and set up a frenzied finale as Renard evaded her marker to head in Gaetane Thiney’s flighted free-kick nine minutes from time for her fourth goal of the tournament. But the USA saw out the victory.The other quarter-finals will be played on Saturday, with the Netherlands meeting Italy at 1300 GMT in Valenciennes before Germany take on Sweden in Rennes at 1630 GMT.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000USA players celebrate with number 15 Megan Rapinoe after she scored in the 2-1 win over hosts France in the World Cup quarter-final © AFP / Lionel BONAVENTUREPARIS, France, Jun 29 – Megan Rapinoe admitted it had been an unforgettable night after her brace took the United States through to the semi-finals of the women’s World Cup on Friday, the holders beating France 2-1 in Paris to puncture the hopes of the host nation.Rapinoe’s free-kick five minutes into this quarter-final evaded a sea of bodies in the box on its way into the net to stun the home crowd at the Parc des Princes.