View Comments Allison Janney Star Files Tony winner Christian Borle and star of HBO’s Girls Zosia Mamet are among the stars slated to perform at Miscast 2014, MCC’s annual gala featuring actors performing songs from roles in which they would never be cast. Victor Garber will return to host the one-night-only event at the Hammerstein Ballroom on March 31. As was previously reported, this year’s gala will honor Emmy winner and Tony nominee Allison Janney.In addition to Borle and Mamet, the evening will include performances from Tony winner Anika Noni Rose (A Raisin in the Sun), Tony winner Lin-Manuel Miranda (In the Heights), Steven Pasquale (The Bridges of Madison County), Jesse L. Martin (Rent), Sasha Allen (Hair), Tony nominee Keala Settle (Les Miserables) and Nicole Parker (Wicked). Additional performers will be announced at a later date.Proceeds from the gala support the producing efforts of MCC Theater as well as its Youth Company and partnerships with New York City public high schools.Check out Borle and Tony nominee Jonathan Groff from last year’s gala performing “If Mama Was Married” from Gypsy.
A report published by KPMG shows that 2014 was a volatile year for pension schemes, with long-dated interest rates falling sharply and feeding through into an increase in the value of pension liabilities.The KPMG study looked at 270 companies reporting variously under International Financial Reporting Standards, UK GAAP and US GAAP.The report’s author, Katy Edwards, told IPE: “Persistent low interest rates have meant corporate bond yields were at historic lows at year-end.“This was generally bad news for pension schemes – despite equity market rallies and strong fixed income asset performance over the year.” Edwards added that this low real-yield environment served to pushed up year-end pension scheme liabilities by as much as a 10% in Q4 2014 alone.“Pension disclosures are likely to continue to attract scrutiny from shareholders and analysts as the pensions exposure increases relative to the overall balance sheet,” she warned.Naz Peralta, a director in KPMG’s London office, added: “Accounting deficits among FTSE 100 companies have generally deteriorated, but many schemes have hedging strategies in place on the asset side.”This means, allowing for deficit contributions, many corporates are showing only modestly worse positions, he said. Around the major pensions-accounting assumptions, the KPMG number-crunchers reported a continuation of a trend evident last year, with companies clustering ever more closely around the median in many cases.For example, some 76% of companies used an inflation assumption within 0.1% of the median, while 76% of companies were within 0.1% of the median discount rate assumption.In terms of the hard numbers, the median discount rate assumption has fallen from 4.5% last year to 3.6% this year.KPMG said the dramatic reduction in bond yields led many sponsors to review their discount rate assumption with a view to mitigating some of the impact of falling yields on the balance sheet.Changes to IAS 19 in place since 2013 mean companies should provide a narrative disclosure around key assumptions such as the discount rate.In line with global economic picture, median RPI assumptions have also fallen from 3.4% to 3.1%.Mortality assumptions have remained broadly unchanged over 2013, with a current pensioner aged 65 expected to survive a further 22.6 years on average.A future pensioner currently aged 45 is expected to live for a further 24.2 years from the age of 65.The current low-inflation environment has also put downward pressure on both pension and salary increases.The most common pension increase reported by the KPMG study is inflation capped at 5% per annum, while the median salary increase remains at 0.50% above RPI inflation.Looking ahead, Peralta said the challenging economic and investment landscape added up to tough negotiations with trustees for those schemes about to embark on a valuation review.“I would say the primary concern for public companies against this backdrop of low yields is not so much the accounting but rather the negotiation of triennial funding arrangements with trustees,” he said. “Although assets and liabilities might be tracking each other, the scheme may have grown relative to the size of the balance sheet, or the sponsor may be in a sector that is under pressure in the current economic environment.“This may put pressure on the sponsor covenant and cash contributions, though sponsors will increasingly look to non-cash solutions such as additional security to provide comfort to trustees.”Looking forward, the KPMG experts believe the IAS 19 guidance on the asset ceiling and surplus recognition, IFRIC 14, will continue to weigh on preparers working under international standards.Peralta said: “To the extent that corporates have IFRIC 14 restrictions, which may be 10-20% of reporters, tougher funding negotiations may lead to greater balance sheet restrictions.“If a sponsor commits more cash on a present-value basis to the trustees than they did during their last funding round, it might be that they have to provide for this on the balance sheet because of IFRIC 14.”He added that preparers should be mindful of possible changes to IFRIC 14, with the IASB poised to issue an exposure draft detailing changes to the guidance.Those changes address a defined benefit plan sponsor’s ability to access a refund of contributions where the plan structure features an independent trustee body.“If the IFRIC 14 changes come in, inevitably this issue will impact some companies adversely,” Peralta said.“Our recommendation is for scheme sponsors to think about the potential impact.”In addition, KPMG also note that DB sponsors in the UK could also be affected by the way so-called pensions freedoms could feed through into their liability assessment.Finally, sponsors in the EU could also be affected by the recent European court PPG decision dealing with an employer’s entitlement to deduct VAT in respect of pension fund management services.
Related Articles StumbleUpon Gambling harm minimisation consultancy EPIC Risk Management has added a 12-month extension to its partnership with Whysup, with the option of a multi-year arrangementThe collaboration, which was cemented in May 2019, involves both EPIC and Whysup taking a shared collaborative approach to combat and reduce gambling-related harms at a national level.The strategic partnership will continue to contribute to the UK Gambling Commission’s ‘National Strategy’, a three-year programme which establishes the UK’s new framework on reducing problem harm – focusing on wider collaboration to enhance gambling addiction prevention and treatment.Patrick Foster, EPIC’s Director of Educational Programmes, highlighted that this extended partnership will continue to make a ‘real change’ in tackling problem gambling, and was ‘not simply box ticking’.He said: “I am absolutely delighted that we have been able to collaborate with Whysup for a minimum of another 12 months. It has been an absolute pleasure working with them over the last year and they have added huge value to what we are doing in the education and awareness section of our business.”Extending the agreement, EPIC praised Mark Murray, Director of Whysup, for his contributions to the education and awareness sessions.Foster continued: “Mark has brought energy, enthusiasm and expertise to the sessions and the feedback has been nothing short of brilliant.“It is not often that you can work with an organisation that shares similar values and objectives and this is just the start of a really special partnership. Gambling and mental health are intrinsically linked, and this will be a major focus for us in all that we do over the next 12 months across all sectors.“Backing UKGC National Strategy principles, EPIC and Whysup work will focus on education, raising awareness, research and providing practical guidance to all stakeholders combatting gambling harm.”Murray added: “We are delighted to be renewing our collaborative partnership with EPIC Risk Management. Working with Paul, Patrick and the wider EPIC team over the last 12 months has been fantastic. We are like-minded people who want to deliver the best possible awareness sessions to aid prevention.“This is what pro-active, positive collaboration looks like and together we will educate more young people with what we believe to be potentially life-saving information. I believe this is just the start and over the next 12 months we will continue to provide a much-needed service, ensure that young people are aware of the risks, and deliver a real-world gambling education.” Share ‘Pent-up demand’ for live sports drives gambling pick-up in June August 17, 2020 Submit UKGC lifts Matchbook suspension August 12, 2020 UKGC outlines changes to society lotteries and LCCP conditions July 30, 2020 Share