Jeremy Woolfe: British officials fret over EU pension obligations

first_imgFurther reinforcing the position of British personnel is Article 83 of the EU staff regulations, which states that “benefits paid under this pension scheme shall be charged to the budget of the Union”, while member states “shall jointly guarantee payment of such benefits”.Félix Géradon, of the Union Syndicale, the major union for public-service employees, thus says that one could imagine the remaining EU member states could well request that the UK assume some responsibility for the overall pension expenditure, as part of the ultimate Brexit agreement.As for background figures, the total annual outgoings towards pension payouts for all national groups and for all the EU institutions are estimated, by the Commission, at more than €1.6bn for this year. It is on this – and on the basis that UK participation in the total head-count is low (3.8% in the Commission itself, for example) – that the annual €16.4m pension cost for Brits is based.When it comes to capital liability, according to a Commission source, the EU officials’ pension scheme functions as a “notional fund”, not as a pay-as-you-go scheme. Hence, the argument is, if the liability were to be handed over to a fund, it would have been, for 2014, €58bn. This pension liability is as calculated annually under the International Public Sector Accounting Standard (Ipsas-25). Along the same lines, the total proportion of capital liability for the UK appears to be around €2.2bn.  Evidence of anxiety among British pension beneficiaries, present and future – including, presumably, from Brits in the London-based European Banking Authority – is in the air. One senior British official in Brussels tells IPE that instructions had been sent to Commission staff not to answer questions from the press. And, unusually for him, he did not.Another commentator adds to the disquiet – a Commission retiree informs IPE that enforcement of any judgment, from the European Court of Justice would be beyond the remit of the court. Backing this up, the court itself states that it is up to the relevant member states to implement any ruling.Bearing this in mind, when it comes to the crunch, will the 27 national governments remaining in the EU take their payment-obligation position lying down? Will they agree, during forthcoming Brexit negotiations, to have their taxpayers support the “treacherous” interests of its British “adversary”? And could the opposite, then, apply to any future UK government as well?All of these unanswered questions would seem to justify British officials’ increasingly nervous nail-biting. Our man in Brussels wonders where the post-Brexit burden of UK officials’ pensions might lieFuture negotiations over the UK’s shock decision to leave the European Union (EU) could raise questions over annual payments and capital liability related to pensions for British citizens who work, or have worked, at the various EU institutions. On current estimates, the sums involved represent around €16.4m per year, or a capital total of something to the tune of €2.2bn.As a result, there exists some disquiet among the estimated 1,730 UK nationals now retired from EU institutions. Also involved are the existing British-citizen, EU employees with future pension claims. Their total head count is roughly the same, and includes a precise 1,164 currently working in the European Commission.The vital question is where the burden should fall following the finalisation of the Brexit process. From a legal point of view, the remaining EU 27 member states will have to continue paying the pensions of former staff. This position was supported by a recent letter from EC president Jean-Claude Juncker to British personnel, reassuring them that they “remain Union officials”. Martin Schultz, head of the European Parliament, related a similarly cosy message.last_img read more

New Sumner County group seeks to help teenage girls shop for affordable prom dresses

first_imgby Amber Schmitz, Sumner Newscow — What started as a question on Facebook’s Sumner County Buy/Sell/Trade page about a venue for girls to purchase affordable Prom dresses, turned into a group with a mission to help teenage girls shop for Prom dresses safely, with an affordable price.“There were a lot of people joining in the conversation,” said Wes Smith, who helped organize the event. “It seemed there was enough interest, so I created a Facebook page for it to get rolling.”Seeing the post, numerous individuals became interested in helping.“Dena Martens, who owns Wheatland Services, volunteered printing,” Smith said. “Michelle Crittenden volunteered her dance studio as our place to do this.”Smith said that the group of volunteers wanted a safe way for girls to sell and purchase prom dresses.“Our idea is to help Sumner County schools with their Proms, Project Proms and After Proms,” Smith said.Prom dresses can be donated or individuals can sell on consignment. Those wishing to sell on consignment must agree to certain terms, such as a 10 percent sellers fee, which will be donated to the individual’s school for their Prom.“The way this is done, is if you provide a dress for sale and you want $100 for it, 10 percent of the sale goes to the seller’s school for Prom,” Smith said. “So, you get $90 and your school gets $10.”A VIP shopping event will be held Friday, Mar. 4 at Michelle’s Encore Dance Studio, for those who purchase tickets.“We understand that many ladies want to go to the first day to get choice, so we are selling tickets at $10 each for the ladies to come that day,” Smith said. “The $10 goes to the ticket buyer’s local school for Prom.”Those who don’t purchase tickets will still get a chance to purchase a dress. Open shop/sale day will be held Mar. 5 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and the last chance to shop sale will be Mar. 6 from 1-5 p.m.The group is opening this event to all of Sumner County, hoping that other schools like Argonia, South Haven, Oxford, Conway Springs, Belle Plaine and Caldwell, etc., would like to participate.“We hope this can turn into an annual event,” Smith said.For more information, log onto their Facebook page here.Follow us on Twitter. Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments (15) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. +6 Vote up Vote down Lynn · 234 weeks ago Awesome idea! I have a couple dresses to donate. Is there a phone number to call so I can get those to the right person? Report Reply 1 reply · active 234 weeks ago -4 Vote up Vote down Troy Rebold · 234 weeks ago von Maur had prom dresses that were spectacular for $125. I am just hoping this project isn’t a snoot for the better thans in Wellington. just saying. Report Reply 3 replies · active 233 weeks ago +7 Vote up Vote down Local · 234 weeks ago Great idea! Thanks to all who are organizing and helping. Report Reply 0 replies · active 234 weeks ago +6 Vote up Vote down THERESA snider · 234 weeks ago Paula Mortimer has been donating dress and shoes ect for years. She does this at no charge to girls so ALL girls can go to prom. Report Reply 3 replies · active 233 weeks ago +10 Vote up Vote down Wes Smith · 234 weeks ago I’ve got to say that I’m the only guy involved in this but I like to think that I’m representing the Dads and their wallets. My main reason for being involved in this goes back to when my daughter was prom dress shopping her senior year. While I’m at work I get the excited phone call from my daughter that she has found “THE DRESS”. Me being a dad, the first question is “How much is it?” Do keep in mind that my coworkers are listening to this conversation. My daughter tells me the dress is $400…my response was polite and endearing, “I’m not paying $400 for a prom dress you’re going to wear once.” Now, I’m not a complete OGRE on the prom dress situation. I did counter her that I’d chip in $200 and she could use her money to pay the rest. My daughter did have a part time job and is very mindful of her money. During this conversation my coworkers are belittling me that I’m an awful father for not forking out the $400. In the end my daughter didn’t take me up on the offer and we found an excellent dress at a later date for $150. To this date my coworkers still bring up the $400 dress conversation and we laugh about it. So, dad’s with daughters that are prom dress shopping stay strong, I’m doing what I can to represent you at this event. Report Reply 3 replies · active 233 weeks ago Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new commentslast_img read more