Positive market developments and rising discount rates helped Swiss Pensionskassen improve their funding levels by approximately 300 basis points, consultancies estimated.PKSBB, the CHF15bn (€12bn) pension fund of Swiss federal railways SBB, fared particularly well, reporting a funding level just above the 100%-mark for the first time in more than a decade.Its 101.8% funding level marked an increase of 270bps year on year and means that, for 2014, its participants will not have to pay any additional contributions as part of a recovery plan.Meanwhile, average funding levels at Swiss pension funds improved to 102.9% for pension funds in general, according to Towers Watson, or even to as high as 110.8% for private pension funds, according to Swisscanto. The Towers Watson Pension Index calculated that the funding level increased by 400bps quarter on quarter from 99.1% as reported per end-September 2013, while Swisscanto worked out an improvement of 320bps for private pension funds and 270bps for public pension funds to 102.7% year on year.A slight increase in the discount rate also helped lower liabilities and improve funding levels in turn.Within the Towers Watson sample, the discount rate improved by 16bps, while liabilities shrank by 2%.Swisscanto reported a 6.1% average rate of return for its sample, similar to the one published by Towers Watson at 6.2%.UBS calculated a similar average return at 5.89%, but the Credit Suisse index showed a slightly lower average return at 5.75%.The PKSBB is at the lower end of the spectrum, with a return of 5.4% for 2013.In a statement, the pension fund stressed that, despite the recent improvement of its funding levels, its financial buffers were still wanting.The PKSBB is one of the funds currently looking to introduce variable pensions for future pensioners to ensure sustainable, long-term financing.
Area Football Friday Sectional Scores.Sectional Semi-Finals. (10-27)Class 3A-Sectional 31North Harrison 20 Batesville 19Lawrenceburg 43 Greensburg 14Class 4A-Sectional 23East Central 51 South Dearborn 0Silver Creek 7 Franklin County 6Class 2A-Sectional 37Triton Central 21 Milan 15Indy Scecina 41 Eastern Hancock 7Class 1A-Sectional 46Indy Lutheran 55 South Decatur 12Hagerstown 33 Tri 14
Johnny White looked strong in fall practice. So strong, in fact, that he earned himself a starting job on opening day against Bowling Green.But the safety’s performance in the 56-42 UW victory over the Falcons — a game in which the defense allowed Bowling Green quarterback Omar Jacobs to throw for more than 450 yards — bumped him to the bench behind junior Joe Stellmacher.The first half of Saturday night’s game against Michigan renewed the defensive questions that followed the game with Bowling Green. Over the first 30 minutes, the Badgers allowed 268 total yards and 13 points.”Thirteen to three isn’t a big margin,” senior cornerback Brett Bell said. “If it was 33-3 then you would start thinking.”On another night, the Wolverines very well might have scored 33 points in the first half.Michigan came up short of the goal line by inches on its opening drive, opting to go for six points instead of three on fourth-and-goal from the one-yard line.The Wolverines nearly got into the red zone early in the second quarter, only to stall and settle for a field goal. They then drove down inside the Badger 10-yard line late in the half, but again could only manage three points.The Badger defense responded in the second half, thanks to an unlikely hero in White.Truth was, White had been pretty down on his spirits as of late. He played sparingly against Temple two weeks ago and did not get in the game against North Carolina last Saturday. However, a talk with defensive coordinator Bret Bielema early in the week sparked a renewed energy.”On Tuesday I came in and he was sitting on the bench and he was kind of down,” Bielema said. “We talked about 15 minutes, just about what it’s all about.”The chat charged White up and he had two of his best practices all season.”He practiced unbelievable Wednesday and Thursday,” Bielema said. “I made a point of it to our defense on Friday and today after the game I made it a point because here’s a guy who had every reason to throw in the towel.”The hard practice paid off for White when Stellmacher went down, presumably with a stinger, midway through the second quarter.Instead of throwing in the towel, White played solid second and third quarters, before really standing out in the fourth.The Pearland, Texas, native snagged the momentum early in the fourth quarter. Michigan running back Max Martin took a handoff and ran through a hole for 11 yards before White delivered a hit and he lost the ball.Mark Zalewski recovered the fumble for the Badgers, and two plays later Wisconsin had its first lead of the game.”We were looking for big plays,” Zalewski said. “We knew we had to get something going and the defense stepped up and made a couple big plays at the end.”On the very next Michigan drive, White was at it again, this time leaping up to intercept a pass by Chad Henne.”I noticed Johnny playing during the game,” head coach Barry Alvarez said. “He made big plays. He played with confidence. Johnny had a great week of practice. I felt very confident with Johnny in there. I’m really happy for him. He needed a game like that.”Those are mighty words from a head coach who will rarely admits to noticing a player’s performance without first looking at tape of the game.The Badgers gave up just 133 yards and seven points in the second half — those points on a Michigan flea-flicker pass.They did not allow Michigan to mount a major drive and kept themselves off the field for most of the final 30 minutes. The Wolverine defense could not keep themselves on the sidelines, and eventually wore down.”I thought our defense really kind of set the tempo and swung the momentum our way,” Alvarez said. “That’s a dangerous group. I thought our defense really played super.”It’s unclear just how much playing time White may have bought himself with his performance Saturday, but he showed he still has the talent to play at the Division I level and his story should be an inspiration to the entire defense.”[Coach Bielema] just sat me down and told me to keep my head up,” White said. “He told me you never know when your opportunity is going to arise. I guess my opportunity was today.”