The Vermont Department of Labor is pleased to announce that the US Department of Labor has approved Vermont’s request to extend the filing deadline for Individual Disaster Unemployment Assistance to November 21, 2011. The previous filing deadline for individuals for individuals in Addison, Bennington, Caledonia, Chittenden, Orange, Rutland, Washington, Windham, and Windsor was October 7, 2011 and for individuals in Franklin, Lamoille and Orleans Counties the deadline was October 21, 2011. The US Department of Labor notified Vermont today that they have approved Vermont’s request to extend the filing deadlines for all of the counties that were declared a disaster area as a result of the effects of Tropical Storm Irene. The covered disaster assistance period continues to begin on August 27, 2011 and end on March 3, 2012. The first payable week remains week ending September 3, 2011. An individual must be continuously unemployed as a direct result of the disaster in order to continue to receive Disaster Unemployment Assistance. If eligible, he or she can collect benefits for the weeks during which they meet the necessary criteria. Individuals who experience temporary job loss as a result of the disaster and who do not qualify for State Unemployment Insurance Benefits, such as self-employed individuals, may also be eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance. To ensure that all disaster victims have an opportunity to file a timely application for DUA, we request an extension to the DUA application period for Addison, Bennington, Caledonia, Chittenden, Orange, Rutland, Washington, Windham, Windsor, Franklin, Lamoille and Orleans Counties creating a uniform deadline of November 21, 2011. An individual may qualify to receive Disaster Unemployment Assistance if: You were injured in the disaster and are unable to work, whether you are an employee or self-employed.Your workplace was damaged, destroyed, or you cannot work because of the disaster.Your transportation to work is not available.You cannot get to your job because you must travel through the impacted area where means of transportation are not available.You were about to begin working, but could not because of the disaster.You derived most of you income from areas affected by the disaster, and your business is down as a direct result of the disaster. Please call the Vermont Department of Labor’s Claim Assistance Line at 1-877-214-3330 if you are an unemployed worker or self-employed individual who lived, worked, or was scheduled to work in a county that has been declared a disaster area by the federal government to determine you eligibility for Disaster Unemployment Assistance. For more information, please visit www.labor.vermont.gov(link is external).
“From a social point of view, these high performance fees for a relatively limited number of asset managers are no longer justifiable while millions of pension fund participants are facing rights cuts,” argued Jeroen Koopmans, partner at LCP Netherlands. Justifying high performance fees for alternative investments has become increasingly difficult as more and more Dutch pension funds are facing cuts to pension rights and benefits, according to consultancy firm LCP.In its annual cost survey Dutch pension schemes, the consultancy found that the country’s two biggest funds – the €431bn civil service scheme ABP and the €217bn healthcare pension fund PFZW – paid out €1.4bn in performance fees, the majority of which went to private equity managers.This accounted for more than 70% of the €1.95bn in total performance fees paid by the 184 schemes analysed by LCP.The pension funds reported combined asset management costs, including transaction costs, of €7.5bn. Jeroen Koopmans, LCP“Pension funds should wonder whether it makes sense to invest a limited part of their assets in asset classes against such high fees,” he added.Last year, ABP and PFZW paid €1.1bn and €356m, respectively, in performance fees. Both pension funds reported a decrease in performance bonuses paid out relative to 2017.Both schemes could be forced to apply discounts to pension payouts in 2020, if it becomes clear at the end of this year that their recovery potential is insufficient to improve funding to the required level within 10 years.LCP also reported that average returns – including the effects of interest rate hedging – of ABP and PFZW were barely higher than results produced by other pension funds during the past five years.The results of both schemes had actually dragged down the average returns of the surveyed schemes, while raising average asset management costs.Without the returns of ABP and PFZW, the average result would have been 6.8%, rather than 6.5% for the entire group, the consultancy concluded.In a position paper published last month, ABP defended its bonuses for illiquid investments, citing their contribution to its overall return as well as to diversification of its investment portfolio.LCP found that asset management costs at the surveyed pension funds dropped by 2bps to 0.56% on average last year. This included 9bps of transaction costs.According to the consultancy, company schemes and general pension funds (APFs) incurred total asset management costs of 0.46% on average, while sector and occupational schemes spent 0.56% and 0.52%, respectively, on asset management on average.LCP further said that administration costs per member dropped from €109 to €106 on average.Dutch pension funds’ combined assets under management rose by €32bn to €1,336bn on average in 2018.Further readingNetherlands: Transition path to a new system The latest agreements between stakeholders and a relaxation of rules bring pension reform closer, writes correspondent Leen Preesman in this article from IPE’s latest Top 1000 Pension Funds report
A report released last week by the USC Rossier School of Education’s Center for Urban Education revealed key reasons for an education gap among Latino students pursuing science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and made recommendations for improvements, including USC’s role in the effort.The report was based on a three-year CUE study that examined Latino students who had obtained bachelor’s degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.The study highlighted the underrepresentation of Latino students in STEM fields most often because of the difference in funding for resources at universities. This is not to say that there is an achievement gap, said Alicia Dowd, associate professor of education and co-director of CUE, and one of three authors of the report.“It can’t be an achievement gap if the opportunity is not there. This is an opportunity gap in our provision of education,” Dowd said. “The colleges and universities where most Latino students are enrolled have received less funding to provide STEM programs.”The study compared students who had obtained associate’s degrees at community colleges and attended Hispanic-serving institutions with those who had not.“What we’ve seen through our study is that among Latinos who do earn bachelors degrees [in STEM fields], very few are able to do so coming through community colleges,” Dowd said.A Hispanic-serving institution of higher education, as defined by the U.S. Department of Education, is one whose enrollment of undergraduate full-time student is at least 25 percent Hispanic.California currently has 81 Hispanic-serving institutions, the highest number in the United States.According to the report, a significant way to increase representation and retention of Latino students in these fields is through increasing research opportunities at community colleges and HSIs.“Traditionally underrepresented college students are the fastest growing group among our young population,” said Brian Prescott, director of policy research in the Policy Analysis and Research unit at the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, in a press release. “We want to make sure these students are given the support they need so they can complete their college goals.”Dowd said one key pathway to reducing the opportunity gap is through the expansion of professional development.In particular, this means further developing the environment in which faculty at both four-year colleges and community colleges come together to improve “curriculum alignment,” she said.Focusing on making the curriculum of community colleges more similar to those of four-year colleges could help students become better prepared to advance in STEM fields, or if they transfer schools, Dowd said.“That cannot happen without faculty knowing the kinds of teaching and content and instructional strategies taking place in other institutions,” she said.Dowd said the report suggests USC could play a larger role in looking to community colleges as a source for obtaining a portion of their own future graduates as well as in collaborating with community college faculty to provide curricular resources.“USC can partner with the HSIs [nearby] to become innovative [in producing] a culturally responsive pedagogy in STEM fields,” Dowd said.Donna Harris, a senior majoring in public policy, planning and management, said she thinks exposing Latino students earlier on to fields such as math and engineering would help the numbers.“I would suggest having Viterbi [and other STEM area schools] do community outreach to increase interest,” she said.Not only do CUE’s findings address issues of social equity, but they also have tangible implications for the future of the nation’s workforce, according to the report.Latinos are the fastest growing ethnic group in the United States and are projected to constitute 25 percent of the population in 2020.“It’s important that Latino [students] be more exposed to [top-notch] fields like engineering and math if they are interested because we need to be thinking seriously about replacing baby boomers’ jobs,” Harris said.