Charlie Finch, partner at LCP and author of the new report, said: “Improving affordability is down to three primary factors: buoyant investment markets; insurers improving their ability to source attractive long-dated assets that are effective under the new Solvency II regime; and a convergence in views that pensioner life expectancies are reducing, on the back of several years of heavier-than-expected mortality rates.”According to the Office for National Statistics, the number of deaths in England and Wales has increased each year since 2011 — with the exception of 2014 and 2016.LCP said one in five FTSE100 UK DB pension schemes were now estimated to be over 80% funded relative to the cost of buy-out with an insurer — compared to one in eight a year ago.The firm said its analysis showed that average buy-out funding had increased by almost 10% since August 2016 following the EU referendum, to reach the highest level since the banking crisis in 2008.Separately, in its latest pension scheme funding update, JLT Employee Benefits revealed that the deficits of all UK private sector defined benefit pension schemes had shrunk to £150bn at the end of December 2017 from £187bn 12 months before.Funding levels had increased to 92% from 89% over the same period, the data showed.Charles Cowling, director at the consultancy, said there were signs that the pension buy-out market was taking off, with competition between insurers hotting up and prices getting keener.“With over £12bn of deals transacted in 2017, all the signs point to an even stronger year in 2018, where it is possible that up to £30bn of deals could be transacted,” he said. It is the most affordable time in nine years for UK defined benefit (DB) pension funds to transfer liabilities to an insurance company, according to a new report from consultancy LCP.It said it expected a 50% increase in volumes of UK pension liabilities being insured in 2018 as pension schemes take steps to reduce risk. Annual volumes of liability risk transfer deals, such as buy-outs, are set to increase to more than £15bn (€16.8bn), the firm forecasts.Deals were becoming more affordable, partly because of stalling life expectancy improvements.
So you think you can dance?The football team was back inside the Coliseum yesterday — rather than Cromwell Field — for yesterday’s spring practice. In the spirit of training to perform in front of a crowd, the middle of practice featured a special performance that wasn’t exactly related to football.Coach Steve Sarkisian interrupted practice midway through the day for a team dance off. Each unit of the team selected a representative to break it down in front of the rest of the team.Sarkisian said it was a chance to “break up the monotony” of practice and have some fun. He told the players after the dance off that they need to be able know when to have fun and when to get serious and go back to working hard.Sarkisian added that freshman offensive lineman Roy Hemsley had the most impressive moves on the team. He even took to Twitter to announce “I’m declaring @leagueme_roy the dance-off winner.”Can’t stick with StevenRising redshirt sophomore wide receiver Steven Mitchell arguably had the play of the day during practice. Mitchell caught a short screen pass and took it almost 50 yards for a touchdown.He even caused rising sophomore corner back and last year’s Pac-12 freshman defensive player of the year Adoree’ Jackson to lose his footing while trying to make a tackle on the play.Mitchell will likely see a much bigger role at receiver this upcoming season, especially after the departure of Nelson Agholor. The speedy Mitchell will likely see most of his snaps at the slot receiver position.Mitchell had seven catches for 82 yards and two touchdowns last season. He started the last two games of the season but sprained his knee early in the Nebraska game. Mitchell, a Mission Hills Bishop Alemany product, missed all of his freshman season and redshirted in 2013 after tearing ligaments in his knee during summer practice.Taking a standSarkisian said he was standing behind Athletic Director Pat Haden’s decision not to attend a College Football Playoff selection committee meeting this week in Indianapolis.“I support Pat Haden every step of the way,” Sarkisian said of Haden’s statement.Haden announced that he was not going to attend the meeting to protest the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act that was signed into law in Indiana this week. Many have argued that the legislation is discriminatory to homosexuals. Haden has a gay son.Haden also took to Twitter, writing this message: “I am the proud father of a gay son. In his honor, I will not be attending the CFP committee meeting in Indy this week. #EmbraceDiversity.” The tweet was retweeted over 6,000 times.Elsewhere in college sports, the law has drawn criticism from NCAA President Mark Emmert. The NCAA is hosting the Final Four in Indianapolis, but Emmert has openly questioned whether the law will negatively affect participants in the tournament. Emmert has even acknowledged the possibility of moving future events out of the state if the law presents an issue.“We’re very serious about our core values and we want to make sure we can operate in an environment that is supportive of those values,” he said in an interview with ESPN. “So this is a very serious issue for us.”