Smurfit Kappa has combined pensions accrual for its 2,000 workers into a single pension fund to avoid a significant hike in costs.The firm – European market leader for cardboard wrapping material – had two pension funds as a result of the merger of Dutch firm Kappa and Irish company Smurfit in 2005.At the end of 2016, the contract of Smurfit Netherlands for fully re-insured pensions with Nationale-Nederlanden expired.According to Marco Kiewiet, director of both pension funds, extending the contract for its 325 active participants would have meant a 50% contribution increase. Employers and unions last year investigated several options for the scheme’s future, such as joining a large industry-wide scheme or a general pension fund (APF), or insured pension arrangements.At the time, they concluded that the APF was an “interesting option”, but deemed it “too uncertain” as a vehicle for pensions provision.The joint €625m pension fund Smurfit Kappa indicated that it would provide pensions accrual for the company’s workers for a couple of years.Pensions accrual of the company’s two schemes was already largely similar, with an annual accrual of 1.875% in an average salary plan up to a salary of €40,000, and a defined contribution plan for any surplus income.At the moment, employers and unions are still discussing the future contribution policy for the Smurfit Kappa pension fund, with the sponsors being interested in a switch to collective defined contribution.They are also still assessing the future of the smallest scheme, which has now been closed, with the intention to liquidate if indexation of pensions that remain with Nationale-Nederlanden can be guaranteed.The Pensioenfonds Smurfit Kappa has approximately 4,685 participants in total. Its €625m of assets are managed by PGGM, the €200bn asset manager for the large healthcare scheme PFZW.
Finally, the Winter Olympics are here — a time where we can all watch dedicated athletes we’ve never heard of compete in intriguing events we hardly ever see.We can turn on the TV and root for that woman who’s flying down gigantic moguls as fast as she can while at the same time preparing to land a switch-backside-triple-mctwist (or something like that) once she flies off a jump.Or, we can check out those Korean speed skaters whipping around a bend preparing to sweep the men’s 1500-meter event only to see the one athlete we’ve actually heard of — Apolo Anton Ohno — benefit from a tragic collision and take home the silver medal.And on Tuesday, the event with professional athletes we see on a somewhat regular basis finally arrived — Olympic men’s hockey.As a huge hockey fan myself, I’m about as excited as Bob Costas during an opening ceremony.In Canada no less.But fans must acclimate themselves with a completely revamped American squad, as this year’s team has a much younger look than the ones we’ve seen in years past (only three players have any previous Olympic experience).So who are these guys wearing the red, white and blue, and do they have a chance?Charlie Conway may not be leading the way, Coach Bombay may not be behind the bench and Wolf Stansson’s Iceland squad isn’t in this tournament, but the actual team USA — much like the team that performed in D2 ?– ?is absolutely worth watching.Here’s everything you need to know about the 2010 U.S. Olympic team:The young starsZach Parise. Patrick Kane. Bobby Ryan — the gifted forwards and new faces of USA hockey.Parise is relentless in the offensive zone, working along the boards to gain possession. He always seems to be in the right spot when the puck comes his way, and his non-stop motor and ability to find the back of the net has made him an elite talent.Kane, the NHL 10 video game cover boy, is another one of the league’s young phenoms. Kane doesn’t look too intimidating (5-foot-9 and 160 pounds), but his deadly-accurate wrist shot makes him a dynamic threat whenever he’s given space to get his shot off.The least well-known star of the bunch is Ryan (actually the second overall pick in 2005 behind Sidney Crosby), who possesses the most jaw-dropping athletic ability of any American. His stick handling ability and creativity with the puck are truly world-class.When one of these three is on the ice, pay attention, because Team USA could light the lamp in an instant.The weak linkInjuries have crippled the USA defense. Paul Martin and Mike Komisarek will not participate in the Olympics due to injury, meaning that an already underwhelming defensive corps is that much weaker.Tim Gleason and Ryan Whitney were added as replacements, and they’ll have to play mistake-free hockey to hang with the big boys.In Tuesday’s game against Switzerland, the Americans gave up a fury of odd-man rushes, but the Swiss just didn’t have the skill to finish.Against the likes of Canada and Russia, they wont be so lucky.The good at everything but not great at anything guysTeam USA can’t match the firepower that Canada and Russia bring to the rink — the depth just isn’t there. In an effort to counter that, guys like Jamie Langenbrunner (Team USA’s captain), Chris Drury, Ryan Kesler and Ryan Callahan were added to the roster.All of these guys are two-way forwards, meaning they are both defensively responsible and capable of chipping in with some goals.They aren’t going to wow with you with incredible skill, but they are willing to play a checking role.And against these loaded international powers, that will come in handy.If Team USA wants to reach the medal stand, these players will need to work tirelessly on the defensive end and chip in offensively whenever the opportunity presents itself.The all-important man between the pipesNothing is more important than a hot goaltender in a playoff or tournament setting.Ryan Miller has established himself as the top American goalie and his consistent play with the Buffalo Sabres has made him one of the NHL’s best, but he isn’t the only option.Tim Thomas and Jonathan Quick are also on the roster.Thomas is like that kid in Little League that dove for every single ball (even the ones hit right to him) to make himself look like a stud. He finds the need to sprawl around his crease and dive for the puck every time it’s within sight.Sometimes that leads to a highlight-reel save, and sometimes his lack of positioning leads to an easy goal.Quick doesn’t have much NHL experience, let alone international experience; so don’t expect him to play a large role in 2010.For Team USA, Miller isn’t the only choice, but he’s the best one.The final verdictSo I know you’re all wondering ‘Max, can Team USA win gold in Vancouver?’That’s not going to happen. Not this year. Not in Canada.The Americans, while extremely skilled on the top lines, are too young and inexperienced to take gold, and the lack of defensive depth is troubling.But on the plus side, USA Hockey is just oozing with potential. In the recent World Juniors Tournament, the Americans took home the gold medal, meaning there is that much more young talent on the way.USA will look to reach the medal stand here in 2010, but the gold is a little out of reach, unless of course you still believe in miracles.Max is a junior majoring in journalism and keeping it real. Who do you think will win the gold in Olympic hockey? Are you planning your schedule around that of the Olympic hockey competition? Let him know at [email protected]
It will only be Syracuse’s second game of the season, but Sunday’s matchup might present the toughest offense it’ll face all year.The young Orange defense will be pitted against a familiar foe in Albany, who hung 16 goals on Syracuse a year ago and finished last season as the No. 1 attack in the nation.“We’re playing probably the best attack in the country, besides our team,” SU defender Sean Young said. “It’s definitely going to be a tough game, so everyone has to be on the same page.”Syracuse certainly remembers what the Great Danes did to it last season. The three-headed monster of brothers Lyle and Miles Thompson and their cousin Ty accounted for 10 of Albany’s 16 goals, including the game-winner in double overtime that shocked the Orange on its home field. The rematch is Sunday at 4 p.m., and No. 2 Syracuse’s (1-0) defense has the daunting task of stopping No. 11 Albany’s (0-0) high-octane offense to protect the Carrier Dome turf.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“They really look for one another very well,” SU head coach John Desko said. “Lyle’s a great feeder. Miles has become better at carrying the ball. Even though some people think of (Lyle) as the third attackman, we can’t think of him that way.”Although Syracuse’s defense allowed just seven goals to Siena on Monday, it wasn’t as sharp as it could’ve been.For the goal that put the Saints on the board, a screen was set for ball carrier Richie Hurley behind the net. Brandon Mullins couldn’t get through the pick and Matt Harris reverted back to the crease, giving Hurley plenty of space to curl to his right toward the doorstep. Young was late to get over, and an uncontested Hurley scored on Dominic Lamolinara. In transition four and a half minutes later, Siena’s Nate Barry split a double team at the 20-yard line. Mullins stepped up to pick up Barry, but Hurley was left unguarded at the crease on Lamolinara’s right. Barry flipped a pass ahead to Hurley, who jumped, corralled the pass and flicked it in with one motion for the second of his four goals.“We watched film, we know what we did wrong and we know how to correct it,” Mullins said. Those “uncharacteristic” mistakes, as Young called them, were against a team that averaged 11.29 goals per game last year. Albany led the country with 15.94 scores a contest, more than a full goal per game better than the nations’ second-leading team.Mullins is Syracuse’s only defensive carryover from that season-opening game last year, as the three starters from the Orange’s defense graduated last May. SU will start Sunday’s game playing man-to-man defense, Desko said, but will be open to utilizing some zone defense as a change-up to throw at the Great Danes, who will be opening their season.When the Thompson trio burned the Orange’s defense a year ago, it wasn’t in fast-break opportunities that Siena took advantage of three times Monday. The Great Danes proved their ability to move the ball quickly in their offensive sets and capitalize from point-blank range.“Everyone knows they have a great attack,” Mullins said. “They’re very freelance, so they’re kind of hard to scout. They’re really creative.”The accolades speak for themselves. Lyle Thompson, who dished out six assists against SU, was a first-team All-American last year and a finalist for the Tewaaraton Award. Miles Thompson was an honorable mention All-American and scored in each of the 12 games he played. Ty Thompson netted five goals against the Orange, finished fourth in the country in points per game, and topped Albany in goals for the year.And they certainly proved they can play together. One Thompson fed another for a score six times the night they beat Syracuse.To clinch the double-overtime victory over the No. 12 Orange, Lyle Thompson dodged along the goal line from the left corner, reached the crease and hit a wide-open Miles with a cross-crease pass, and gave the Great Danes their first win over the Orange in 11 tries.“We’d be so focused on the player with the ball, slide early to him and leave someone open on the crease,” SU goalie Bobby Wardwell said. “I think we’re going to be much better prepared for them when they come here this year. “There won’t be any surprises.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on February 15, 2014 at 4:11 pm Contact Phil: [email protected] | @PhilDAbb
Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on February 20, 2015 at 12:10 am Contact Jesse: [email protected] | @dougherty_jesse It’s taken most of the season for Tyler Roberson to find a confident shooting rhythm, but too much confidence quickly landed him on the bench on Wednesday night. Roberson flashed into the high post and, with Louisville’s Montrezl Harrell in his face, shot an off-balance jumper that hit the left side of the rim and bounced out. A second later, Roberson jogged off the court while B.J. Johnson jogged on. “He’s trying to hit that jump shot. He can’t make that jump shot yet,” Jim Boeheim said after Syracuse’s 69-59 win over the Cardinals. “He’s got to go to the basket and the other thing he can do because nobody is there is that he can go right into a ball screen and now no one is there to help.”The junior forward re-entered the game three minutes later and, with a retooled offensive approach, never subbed out again. Instead of looking for his jump shot in the middle of Louisville’s matchup zone, Roberson facilitated Syracuse’s shooters, dumped to Rakeem Christmas in the post, set on- and off-ball screens and attacked the basket when given enough space. And even though he was looking for his teammates rather than his jumper, Roberson finished with 13 points and nine rebounds to help compensate for Trevor Cooney’s 1-for-10 shooting night. SU (17-9, 8-5 Atlantic Coast) now hosts Pittsburgh (17-10, 6-7) at noon on Saturday and since the Panthers dropped into a 2-3 zone the first time these teams met, Roberson’s high-post play will once again factor heavily into the Orange’s offensive success. AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“When I was catching it I would look to attack and then off of that the defense would try and collapse so I would set a screen,” Roberson said after the Louisville game. “It was ball movement, they were in the matchup zone so if you move the ball, you’ll get open shots.”With Cooney off his mark and the matchup zone switching on every pick the Orange set for Michael Gbinije, Roberson was the best bet to free up Christmas inside. And because the forward has struggled with his mid-range jumper, he did that by setting screens and finding the spots that would give him good passing angles to the big man. After missing two jump shots at the start of the game, Roberson took the rest of his shots in right outside of the paint. He went 4-for-5 to finish his night and also shot 5-of-8 from the line, and wasn’t the only player that benefited from his refocused mindset. Christmas scored 29 points, shooting 9-of-10 from the field and 11-of-13 from the line. On Feb. 7, when Pittsburgh beat Syracuse 83-77, the Panthers played zone for a stretch of the second half and closed down passing lanes to the post. In that game, Gbinije hit two 3s that forced the Panthers out of the packed-in zone. This time Roberson can help alleviate the pressure on Christmas. “Tyler’s huge because he’s a threat in there. It forces the defense to play out on him and it stops them from double-teaming Rakeem,” SU point guard Kaleb Joseph said after the Louisville game. “I think it’s a huge reason why Rak had such a great game.” Comments