The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) has published a consultation on its policy to manage ‘out-of-cycle’ valuations for schemes that have recently fallen under its remit due to the change in definition of money purchase benefits.Earlier in May, the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) announced its amendment to the definition following legal proceedings, resulting in some defined contribution schemes offering some form of guarantee, being reclassified as defined benefit (DB).As a result, those schemes are covered by the PPF and will need to undergo valuations to submit their s179 figures by the end of Q1 2015 to be protected.The consultation, which runs until 9 July 2014, seeks answers regarding whether the PPF should be allowed to require out-of-cycle valuations, and what benefits need to be included in its valuation guidance. In other news, the £8bn (€9.8bn) Ford UK Pension Scheme, which consists of three DB offerings, has selected Punter Southall to provide the trustees with daily estimates of liabilities.Using the consultant’s valuation software, the trustees of the three schemes will be able to monitor regular changes to liability profiles.The Hourly Paid Contributory Pension Fund, the Salaried Contributory Pension Fund and the Senior Staff Pension Fund have 75,000 members in total, with trustees now able to implement a more reactive investment strategy, allowing trustees to monitor funding levels for comparison with investment allocation trigger points.
What the NFL did:Also to be determined. The aggravating factor of “repeated striking” could apply to Hunt given his actions in the incident.Further, Hunt allegedly punched a man at an Ohio resort in June. Hunt was not arrested then, either, but the combination of the two incidents — plus that aggravating factor of “repeated striking” in the February incident — could result in a longer suspension. Kareem Hunt, the 23-year-old running back who had rushed for 824 yards and seven touchdowns in 11 games for the Chiefs this season, suddenly was released by Kansas City in December — hours after TMZ released surveillance footage of a February 2018 incident in which Hunt shoved and kicked a woman, 19-year-old Abigail Ottinger, at a Cleveland hotel. Despite an immediate NFL investigation into the incident, Hunt has not been disciplined by the league. He was placed on the Commissioner Exempt List before Kansas City released him Dec. 5 … again, after the video had been released, nine months after the incident.STEELE: How NFL failed again on domestic violence issueWhich raises fair questions about the NFL’s investigation, which remains ongoing, and its policy on such assault-related incidents.”Actual or threatened physical violence against another person” is included as prohibited conduct under the NFL’s personal conduct policy. Hunt clearly engaged in conduct that violates the policy and is subject to discipline. Yet because that fact was only acknowledged upon the release of the surveillance footage, many are comparing the NFL’s handling of the Hunt incident to the mess it created with its handling of the Ray Rice incident in 2014.As it did then with Rice, the league in the Hunt case came off as passive in its investigation until the video was released.To provide some clarity on the NFL’s personal conduct policy and how it relates to the Hunt situation, SN combed through the policy and plucked relevant lines. Below is what the policy states, and what the NFL did.MORE HUNT: What we know about the assault, investigationDetrimental conductWhat the policy states: “Players convicted of a crime or subject to a disposition of a criminal proceeding are subject to discipline. But even if the conduct does not result in a criminal conviction, players found to have engaged in any of the following conduct will be subject to discipline.”What the NFL did:Even though no charges were filed and no arrests were made as a result of the Hunt incident in February, the NFL claims it immediately launched an investigation into the matter once it was made known.However, evidently based on the early findings of that investigation, the NFL had chosen not to enforce discipline with Hunt. That changed when the video of the incident was released by TMZ on Friday, as the league quickly placed Hunt on the Commissioner Exempt List.A league statement issued Sunday reinforced the fact that discipline for Hunt remains on the table.”The NFL’s investigation began immediately following the incident in February,” the statement read. “Consistent with standard investigatory practices, the NFL continues to pursue a complete understanding of the facts. The NFL’s ongoing investigation will include further attempts to speak to the complainants involved in the incident. It will include a review of the new information that was made public on Friday — which was not available to the NFL previously — as well as further conversations with all parties involved in the incident.”NFL investigationsWhat the policy states: “Whenever the league office becomes aware of a possible violation of the personal conduct policy, it will undertake an investigation, the timing and scope of which will be based upon the particular circumstances of the matter. Any such investigation may be conducted by NFL security, independent parties, or by a combination of the two. … In investigating a potential violation, the league may rely on information obtained by law enforcement agencies, court records, or independent investigations conducted at the direction of the NFL.”What the NFL did:This line in the NFL’s personal conduct policy — “the timing and scope of which will be based upon the particular circumstances of the matter” — is what makes it arbitrary and, therefore, often messy. Simply put: If the league does not think it needs to investigate an incident extensively, or it simply does not want to do so, it will not.With good reason, some have pointed out the exhaustive extent to which the league investigated the Patriots Deflategate scandal involving Tom Brady in 2015. Likewise, the league’s investigation into an incident involving Ezekiel Elliott in 2016 took more than a year and utilized multiple independent advisors. Both investigations resulted in suspensions.Based on reports, the league’s investigation into the Hunt incident had not come close to such an extent before Friday’s video release.As NFL didn’t interview Kareem Hunt about hitting a woman, recall how NFL reacted to Deflategate: (1) hired a small army of attorneys who spent many billable hours interviewing 66 witnesses & writing a 139-page report; (2) hired Exponent for experiments & 82-page science report. pic.twitter.com/bkEBSqZ0Qe— Michael McCann (@McCannSportsLaw) December 2, 2018Per multiple reports, the NFL contacted the Chiefs after the team had spoken with Hunt about the incident, but the league did not ask to speak with Hunt directly. In an ESPN interview Dec. 2, Hunt confirmed the NFL had never requested to speak with him as part of its investigation.The league reportedly attempted to contact Ottinger and her friend but did not receive a response. Likewise, according to multiple reports, the NFL attempted to obtain the video of the incident from both the hotel and the Cleveland Police Department. Per its policy, the hotel would only give surveillance video to law enforcement, and a Cleveland PD spokesperson told USA Today that nobody within the department had viewed the video because “detectives only follow up on felonies. This is a misdemeanor.”ESPN reported that the NFL felt it did “everything possible from a legal standpoint” in its investigation into the incident.What remains unclear is why the NFL did not push harder to obtain the video TMZ ended up releasing to the public. The police report noted that surveillance footage of the incident existed, and the league reportedly reviewed the police report in its investigation. Further, per The Athletic, the NFL advised the Chiefs to stop their pursuit of the video.As Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio noted, “the real question is what, if anything, the league said to the Cleveland Police Department to impress upon it the fact that the hotel won’t give the video to anyone but law enforcement and that the NFL is trying to enforce its own internal laws, but that the NFL can’t without cooperation from law enforcement.”Perhaps the “circumstances of the matter” did not warrant that kind of “scope” in the eyes of the NFL.Commissioner Exempt ListWhat the policy states: “In cases in which a violation relating to a crime of violence is suspected but further investigation is required, the commissioner may determine to place a player on the Commissioner Exempt List on a limited and temporary basis to permit the league to conduct an investigation. Based on the results of this investigation, the player may be returned to duty, be placed on the Commissioner Exempt List for a longer period, or be subject to discipline.”What the NFL did:The league indeed placed Hunt on the Commissioner Exempt List … but not until the video of the incident was released.It was the right move by the league, and at that point, the only move it had to make as it continued its investigation. Yet Hunt had played in 11 games though 12 weeks of the 2018 NFL season before he was taken off the field via the Commissioner Exempt List — nine months after the incident.The league had good reason to place Hunt on the list immediately after the incident as it conducted its investigation, but again, it chose not to do so … until the video was released.MORE: Hunt speaks for first time since releaseSuspensionWhat the policy states: “With regard to violations of the Personal Conduct Policy that involve: (i) criminal assault or battery (felony); (ii) domestic violence, dating violence, child abuse and other forms of family violence; or (iii) sexual assault involving physical force or committed against someone incapable of giving consent, a first offense will subject the offender to a baseline suspension without pay of six games, with consideration given to any aggravating or mitigating factors.”What the NFL did:To be determined. In August, Chiefs CEO Clark Hunt told reporters he did not think Kareem Hunt would face a suspension for what was then an alleged incident. The proof in the video makes a Hunt suspension a near certainty, even though he has already been released by the team.As the policy states, a six-game suspension is the minimum for a first-time offense of domestic violence or assault. But the arbitrary nature of the league’s investigation process leaves room for “consideration to any aggravating or mitigating factors.”That means Hunt technically could receive a suspension fewer than the baseline six games, but due to the language below, he’s likely to get six or more.Aggravating factorsWhat the policy states: “The presence of possible aggravating factors may warrant a longer suspension. Possible aggravating factors include, but are not limited to, a prior violation of the personal conduct policy, similar misconduct before joining the NFL, violence involving a weapon, choking, repeated striking, or when an act is committed against a particularly vulnerable person, such as a child, a pregnant woman, or an elderly person, or where the act is committed in the presence of a child.” (Editor’s note: This story was updated from its orginal version after the Browns announced they signed Kareem Hunt on Feb. 11, 2019. Hunt remains under investigation by the NFL.) The video changed everything. Again.
Indian Olympic Association (IOA) secretary Rajeev Mehta feels embarrassed when the athletes travel in economy class while the ministers get to go business class. He asked Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore to allow business class journey for athletes on Sunday.The IOA felicitated the Youth Olympic Games medal winners with cash prizes of Rs 3 lakh, Rs 1.5 lakh and Rs 1 lakh for gold, silver and bronze medal winners, respectively.At the event, Mehta picked up the topic in front of Rathore and sought for his initiative in the matter.After the Asian Games, there were reports that athletes were unhappy with the fact that they were travelling in economy while the chef de mission RK Sacheti flew back in business class.”Often when we see officials travel business class for international events and I find athletes travelling economy, I feel embarrassed. I would request ministry to consider business class journey for any destination that takes more than three hours,” Mehta said in presence Rathore and sports secretary Rahul Bhatnagar. Athletes returned from Buenos Aires after the Youth Olympic Games. (@ioaindia Photo)”I can assure if we take care of these facilities and increase dietary supplement allowance from Rs 450 to Rs 1000, you will see results coming. Hope during the next event at SAI, the sports minister will give us some assurance,” Mehta said.While Mehta spoke about providing facilities for the athletes, IOA president Narinder Batra cautioned the athletes of complacency after success at the junior level. Batra cited example of junior World Cup winning hockey players, who went astray after losing focus.advertisement”Your focus should be on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. I can give you an example of Junior World Cup winning India players. We thought they will play for senior team but some of them lost focus. One even made a film on Facebook.Girl power!!!Our stars @GhoshMehuli, @realmanubhaker and Simran are all smiles at the felicitation ceremony of @youtholympics medalists organised by the Government of India.#IndiaAtYOG @BuenosAires2018 #SAI #YouthOlympics #TeamIndia #KheloIndia pic.twitter.com/XXFx3SFgeGSAIMedia (@Media_SAI) October 21, 2018″Now these boys are not even in 40 probables in senior team and won’t play for India. So I want you people to remain focussed on your goal,” Batra said.Sports Minister Rathore assured that the government with provide athletes with whatever support they require.”The Prime Minister met you all in the morning from his busy schedule which shows how important you people are. We have already put a process in place not just for 2020 Tokyo but also for 2024 Games,” Rathore said.And the young champs are back in town! #BuenosAires2018 – DelhiWelcome back home #TeamIndia #IAmTeamIndia pic.twitter.com/xk0MDImOVQTeam India (@ioaindia) October 21, 2018″For a few, a Youth Olympics medal will be a gateway to a good college but some will be aiming higher. A few won’t succeed and some will be able to achieve Olympic glory with focus and hard work,” the Athens Olympic silver medallist said.Rathore said that his ministry will also help the talented sportspersons in the non-Olympic sports which are a part of the Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games.(With PTI inputs)