Norway’s municipal pensions provider KLP is to cut prices for its customers amid looming changes to its competitive environment.The premium reductions follow a strong investment return recorded in the first quarter of the year. KLP’s investments added NOK2.2bn (€226m) to its portfolio in the first three months of 2019.Sverre Thornes, KLP’s chief executive, said: “The return on our customers’ pension funds is well above the return we have guaranteed, and our costs are low.”He added: “We are finding that low costs and a strong financial position allow us, as a mutual-owned company, to pursue our ambition to reduce prices and hence costs to our customers within public sector occupational pensions.” In the first quarter, the pension fund generated a value-adjusted return of 3.1% and a book return of 1%, which it attributed to strong equity market performance.As a result, KLP’s total group assets rose to NOK699bn at the end of March from NOK676bn at the end of 2018.Reforms take shape Sverre Thornes, chief executive, KLPThe provider has held a near-monopoly in the local authority pensions market in Norway since 2012 but is set to have more competitors as the country reduces its tally of municipalities.The reform means that some of the new, larger local authorities will be able to expand independent pension schemes and therefore have less need for KLP’s services.In addition, the advent of a new hybrid pension scheme for public sector workers in Norway, to replace existing defined benefit models, could also increase competition from other providers.Storebrand and DNB announced in February that they intended to re-enter the municipal sector following the implementation of the reforms in January 2020.The funds previously managed a third of the market’s pensions, before quitting back in 2012, leaving KLP largely unchallenged.However, KLP said today that the ongoing reform efforts had not affected its growth.The firm also emphasised the importance of equalising pension premiums regardless of age or gender. Trade unions and employers have agreed that KLP should continue to build on this principle, ahead of a debate on the subject in the Norwegian parliament.“This is an important point to make clear before the changes in public sector occupational pensions take effect from 1 January 2020,” KLP’s Thornes said.
Ryan Gormley: JailedA young Co Donegal man was left with a brain injury and developed epilepsy which he will have for life after being hit with a single punch, a court has heard.The victim, Denis Keenan, was struck in a completely unprovoked attack outside the Four Lanterns in Letterkenny in December, 2011. He fell to the ground and struck his head and had to spend 15 days in hospital where he was treated for multiple cuts and an internal brain injury.Mr Keenan’s attacker appeared before Letterkenny Circuit Court yesterday.Ryan Gormley, 25, from Ballyarr, Ramelton pleaded guilty to a Section 3 assault.The victim said his life had completely changed as a result of the horrific assault as he had been diagnosed with epilepsy.“I also appear to be forgetful with every day events which is very frustrating,” said the victim in an impact statement read to the court.“I’ve lost the use my taste buds and I have no sense of smell; I have been unable to get a full night’s sleep since the attack,” he said.The court heard that in April 2012, four months after the attack, Mr Keenan was out with friends playing a game of pool when he suffered a seizure. His friends were able to put him in the recovery position and get him treated.Since that Mr Keenan has been unable to socialise with friends, fearing he may suffer another seizure.Garda Harvey Maughan said CCTV had showed the moment that had changed the 30 year old victim’s life forever.“He never got up again,” said Gda Maughan.The garda said the footage had shown how Gormley had tried to start a fight with another innocent bystander just moments before he struck Mr Keenan, from Ballaghdearg, Mountain Top, Letterkenny.Sean Mac Aodh, counsel for Gormley, said his client had just one previous conviction for dangerous driving in 2010.He had stopped drinking and was very remorseful for the horrible injuries inflicted on Mr Keenan.He realised what he’d done, he said.Gormley took to the witness box to personally apologise to Mr Keenan. He said the incident should never have happened.Mr Mac Aodh said his client was involved in cycling, raising thousands of euro for charity. He worked for part-time for a vegetable wholesaler and hoped to work there full-time.Judge Keenan Johnson said he had to weigh all the mitigating factors with all the aggravating factors of the case.He said Gormley was “fortunate” he hadn’t been charged with the more serious Section 4 assault charge, which has a maximum life sentence.However he said he would not let that colour his views on the Section 3 assault charge which was before him.Judge Johnson said Gormley’s guilty plea and remorse, which was genuine, was in his favour.But he had to balance that with devastating consequences of Gormley’s actions on Mr Keenan.The Judge offered his sympathies to Mr Keenan who sat at the back of the court and said he hoped the case could bring some sort of closure.He then jailed Gormley for three years, suspending the last 18 months of the sentence.He also ordered the attacker to pay his victim €10,000 in compensation within three years and bound him over to keep the peace for seven years.Judge Johnson said the attack on Mr Keenan was “all too common” these days.“People should be able to go out for the night without fear of being attacked like this,” said the judge.The Judge also criticised the State’s criminal injury compensation scheme describing saying it was wholly inadequate when it came to compensating victims like Mr Keenan.MAN LEFT WITH LIFELONG EPILEPSY AFTER HORRIFIC SINGLE-PUNCH ATTACK was last modified: March 4th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:BallaghdeargballyaredonegalLetterkenny Circuit CourtRyan GormleySection 3 assault