The UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) intends to use a new measure of inflation in a move that could spark fresh debate about index-linked benefits.The measure, CPIH, was first introduced by the ONS in 2010 and designed to reflect housing costs better than the existing consumer prices index (CPI).John Pullinger, the national statistician, announced yesterday that CPIH would be the ONS’s preferred inflation measure effective from March next year.Consultancy firm LCP said the move could open the door for the government to adopt CPIH for social security and pension benefits in the Autumn Statement, to be delivered on 23 November. The older CPI measure of inflation forms part of the state pension’s ‘triple lock’, which ministers want reviewed.Public sector pension benefits are linked to inflation, so any change in government policy could be applied to these pensions.However, the effect on private sector funds is less clear.Lynda Whitney, partner at Aon Hewitt, said the implications would depend on individual scheme rules, and trustees would have to be sure to communicate clearly any changes to members’ benefits.The pension fund for children’s charity Barnardo’s last week lost an appeal to switch its inflation measure from the retail prices index (RPI) to CPI.RPI is typically higher than CPI, so a switch to the latter would reduce future liabilities.UK government index-linked bonds use RPI, but last year saw the issue of a handful of CPI-linked bonds.No bonds have yet been issued using CPIH.Richard Gibson, an associate at Barnett Waddingham, said: “If the government were to issue CPIH-linked debt, that would provide welcome relief to pension funds that are seeking assets that more closely match their liabilities and likely reduce buyout prices for most schemes. We hope they will put this question out to consultation in due course.”However, Aon Hewitt’s Whitney cast doubt on the government’s appetite for such issuance.“CPI has been around for quite some time, but there has been extreme reluctance to issue CPI-linked debt,” she said.“Also, politically, the fact RPI is higher than CPI means the government doesn’t want to change it.”In addition, while Whitney agreed pension funds would be likely to buy into longer-dated CPIH bonds, she questioned whether there would be sufficient demand for the short end of the yield curve.
LONDON: England white-ball skipper Eoin Morgan feels players across the world will have to make do with whatever cricket they can play to prepare for the ICC T20 World Cup scheduled to be played later this year in Australia.The entire cricket calender has been shredded due to coronavirus pandemic and Morgan believes if the showpiece tournament goes on as per the current schedule, then the players will have to prepare themselves with whatever cricket they can play leading up to the tournament. “For the last month, everybody has struggled to get a sense of what’s possible and what might or might not happen,” Morgan told reporters via Zoom as per ESPNCricinfo. “But the news in the last week has been more positive about sport returning than it has been in the previous three weeks. “There was a stage when the idea of playing any sport over the next four or five months seemed impossible, but so long as the options given are government-approved, it seems a lot more likely that there might be some cricket. I’ve not given up yet!” England are currently scheduled to play white-ball series against Australia in July but due to coronavirus, it could well be postponed considering the risks involved. Morgan also stated that Indian Premier League (IPL) would have been the perfect tournament to gear up for the multi-national event Down Under but the 13th edition of the cash-rich league has been postponed indefinitely by the BCCI.”I think if the T20 World Cup goes ahead in the slot that it’s been allocated at the moment, we will have certainly played a limited amount of cricket before then,” Morgan said.”One of the big positives before the outbreak of the virus was that the guys were going to play all of the Pakistan league, all of the IPL, all of the T20 Blast, and get a lot of exposure to T20 cricket in the build-up and hence lots of opportunity for positions. “But I think given the circumstances, we’ll have to wait and see how much cricket we play and the opportunities that land on guys’ laps. They’ll have to make the most of them because they are very limited ones at the moment,” he added. IANS Also read: Time has come for me to help grow other leaders, says Faf du PlessisAlso Watch:Tarun Gogoi in an exclusive conversation with Oineetom Ojah only on Sentinel Assam
The University of Wisconsin women’s soccer team came into the 2018 season with significant expectations alongside a slew of obstacles the team will need to overcome.They came into the year ranked No. 5 out of the 14 teams in the Big Ten. Wisconsin also boasted three Preseason All Big Ten members in Dani Rhodes, Cameron Murtha and Victoria Pickett.Now veterans on a very young roster, Rhodes and Pickett both earned the preseason honor before the 2017 season as well while finishing the year on second and first-team All Big Ten respectively. Rhodes, a junior forward, has been a fixture in the Wisconsin lineup leading the team in both goals and assists last year.Women’s tennis: Lexi Keberle named to All Big TenAfter dominating all throughout her freshman year, Lexi Kerberle was honored as a member of the All Big Ten Team Read…Pickett may not put up the flashy numbers of her striker teammates but the midfielder has been a spectacle to watch on the field for years. Perhaps the senior’s most impressive individual accolade came last season when she made All Big Ten First Team, the only Badger to do so in 2017.Murtha, on the other hand, is newer to the spotlight and is making a name for herself within the Big Ten in just her second year with the team. After the Badgers went to a more front heavy lineup at the end of last year the forward shined, scoring three goals in the last six contests of the regular season.But Rhodes realizes these accomplishments would not be possible without the strong team she has around her.“I think that [preseason awards] just show that we have some well-rounded players that are returning and also just respect for our team because obviously, no one does that alone,” Rhodes said. “But I think it motivates us to get more honors or excel our team forward more.”Nigel Hayes discusses student athlete compensation, player boycottsNigel Hayes spoke at the “Future of College Sports: Reimagining Athlete Pay” panel The Aspen Institute hosted in Washington D.C. Tuesday. Here, Read…While the Badgers boast an impressive 4–1 record to start the year, these wins come with mixed levels of competition in Marquette, Kentucky, Washington and Portland.Marquette, who the Badgers beat in their first game, has yet to win a match this season. The Badgers traveled to Kentucky who was 3–0 before the game versus Wisconsin but have now dropped their last three contests.During their West Coast road trip, Wisconsin took on both Washington and Portland in Seattle for the Nike Husky Invitational winning both contests 2–1. While Washington finished last year in the latter half of the Pac-12, they still play in an excellent conference that boasts four nationally ranked teams this year.Portland has been less than impressive in recent years finishing dead last in the Western Coast Conference in 2017. The team finished with 5–13–1 with a 2–7–0 conference record.A look back at this semester in sports: Performances, seasons, careers that defined spring 2018This semester is almost through — I know this because I saw the sun last week and haven’t been to Read…But Wisconsin fell short in their toughest challenge to date against No. 20 Florida State. The Seminoles shut the Badgers out 3–0 in a game defined by errors and missed opportunities.Despite the tight score, Rhodes felt that UW failed to live up to their potential in the matchup.“Florida State’s a great team and they’re ranked but I think we lost that game for ourselves,” Rhodes said. “We had a few moments where we broke down and we gave them a few goals. They only had six shots and they scored three of them.”On top of the three goals allowed, there were several other close calls for new keeper Jordyn Bloomer who was forced to make several quick decisions after some gaffes by the Badgers’ backfield.Though these kinds of mistakes will come with having a younger team, Rhodes feels the energy that comes with newer players can outweigh some of the mental errors the team must work through.“We have a lot of young players coming in,” Rhodes said. “Whether they’re on the bench or not they’re pushing everyone and that’s the big thing is our bench makes us better.”NCAA Basketball: Here is all you need to know about new CBB reformsThe NCAA announced new guidelines Wednesday, in an effort to curb corruption in college basketball and restore accountability to an Read…Despite setbacks, Rhodes said she’s seen improvement in the outside midfielders, where where sophomore Maia Cella has inserted herself into the lineup.When asked which players had improved most in the off-season, Rhodes glowed about Cella’s tenacious attitude both on the field and in practice.“I think that [Cella] stands out to pretty much the whole team and I think that she’s given everyone a run for their money in practice,” Rhodes said. “She’s just nonstop.”Football: Quarterback recruit Graham Mertz prepares to ‘bring a natty’ to MadisonIn a Tweet Thursday, four star quarterback recruit Graham Mertz confirmed his commitment to Wisconsin. Clear mind… #OnWisconsin pic.twitter.com/ZihIQ9ri9G — Read…Looking forward, Wisconsin’s next challenges will be finishing up their non-conference schedule at home versus Illinois State Thursday and Loyola Chicago Sunday. But the Badgers’ biggest challenges may come with the start of Big Ten play.Wisconsin’s Big Ten schedule begins against Northwestern, one of the four teams polled ahead of the Badgers in the conference, at home Sept. 14.Penn State, Ohio State and Rutgers are the other teams currently ranked ahead of Wisconsin in the Big Ten. The Badgers play Ohio State and Rutgers later on but will have to wait until the Big Ten Tournament for a potential matchup versus the Nittany Lions who Wisconsin upset 2–0 in the end of regular season last year.With a roster that will only develop more as the year goes on, the 2018 season looks to be both promising and exciting for the women’s soccer team.
The South Dakota Soybean Association signed ASA’s new affiliate agreement during the July board meeting. Front row: ASA President Richard Wilkins and South Dakota Soybean Association President Jerry Schmitz. Back row: ASA Director Kevin Scott; Executive Director of the South Dakota Soybean Association Jeremy Freking; and ASA Director Dave Poppens. Photo courtesy of South Dakota Soybean AssociationTo-date, about one-third of the 26 state soybean associations have signed a new a five-year affiliation agreement with the American Soybean Association (ASA) that goes into effect Oct. 1, 2016. The new affiliation agreement, resulting from a new ASA strategic plan, reflects various changes in membership structure and affiliate investment in ASA. Several states signed the agreement while attending the ASA Board of Directors meeting in Washington, D.C. this week, including South Dakota and Illinois. Other states will be signing the agreement as summer meetings for the associations continue.ASA’s new strategic plan is focused on enhancing the protection and advancement of soybean farmer issues in the national policy and regulatory arenas. The new direction provides the state associations with total flexibility to structure membership types and dues amounts however will make that state affiliate most successful. The structure of affiliate investment provides new opportunities for states to invest in ASA to make both state and national organizations stronger and more effective on behalf of soybean farmers.ASA staff will continue to work with state staff over the next few months to get signed copies of the new affiliation agreement from all 26 state soybean associations.