The Senate, on Friday (June 23), started a debate on the public-sector pension reform Bills.The Pensions (Public Service) Act 2017 and the Constitution (Amendment) (Establishment Fund) (Payment of Pensions) Act 2017 were passed in the House of Representatives earlier this year, with approximately 38 amendments.Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, who piloted the Bills, said the aim is to make the pension system more affordable and sustainable for the Government, while providing adequate benefits for pensioners.He noted that current pension expenditure is estimated at more than $30 billion, and is projected to increase.“The current public-sector pension arrangement is unsustainable, as only a small portion of public-sector workers make contributions. These contributions are not related to their pension benefit. Consequently, this has serious implications for our public debt,” he pointed out.Senator Reid said that while the reforms will not completely eliminate the cost to the Government, it will reduce the burden on the Budget.“It should be noted that the intention of the reform is not a panacea, but the intention is to review the reformed system after a specified period, with the aim to determine if and what other reforms are required as noted in clause 38 of the (Pensions (Public Service) Bill,” he said.Mr. Reid noted that the Government remains committed to further dialogue as it seeks to improve the benefits to workers.Mr. Reid noted that the Government remains committed to further dialogue as it seeks to improve the benefits to workers.“The Government is duty-bound to respond to the concerns of especially public-sector employees, and having heard their appeal for help has taken the necessary steps to address their concerns. In this way, we are helping to protect the interests of the hard-working public servants,” he said.The Pensions (Public Service) Act 2017 will establish a defined benefit contributory scheme, which will require all pensionable officers to contribute five per cent of salary.It also provides for establishment of a segregated fund for contributions; gradual increase in the retirement age to 65; and harmonisation of legislation regarding public-sector pensions in a single statute, while repealing several enactments previously dealing with pensions.The Constitution (Amendment) (Established Fund) (Payment of Pensions) Act 2017 seeks to amend the Constitution to provide for the payment of pensions, gratuities and allowances out of the pension fund.The debate on the Bills was postponed to a date to be announced. The Senate, on Friday (June 23), started debate on the public-sector pension reform Bills. Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, who piloted the Bills, said the aim is to make the pension system more affordable and sustainable for the Government, while providing adequate benefits for pensioners. Story Highlights Senator Reid said that while the reforms will not completely eliminate the cost to the Government, it will reduce the burden on the Budget.
zoomImage Courtesy: ONE Singapore-based container shipping company Ocean Network Express (ONE) has taken delivery of ONE Columba, a 14,000 TEU containership newbuilding. The 138,611 dwt ship was delivered to ONE by Kure Shipyard, part of Japan Marine United Corporation.Featuring a length of 364.15 meters and a width of 50.6 meters, the Panama-flagged boxship is owned by Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK).This is ONE’s fourth newly built 14,000 TEU magenta containership received this year, following the deliveries of ONE Stork, ONE Minato and ONE Aquila. Currently, three more ONE vessels are under construction, all of them slated for delivery in 2019.According to the company, ONE Columba employs a hull form that optimizes cargo-loading efficiency, achieved by minimizing engine-room space. The vessel is also equipped with dual system application in its main engine, capable of adopting either high or low output ranges, allowing operational flexibility and improved fuel-consumption rate, resulting in the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions.As informed, the ship will phase in THE Alliance’s Asia to Europe, Far East Europe 5 (FE5) service, with its port rotation Leam Chabang, Cai Mep, Singapore, Colombo, Suez Canal, Rotterdam, Hamburg, Antwerp, Southampton, Suez Canal, Jeddah, Colombo, Singapore and Laem Chabang. This is the largest containership to ever call Leam Chabang to meet the demand of economic growth in Thailand, NYK said. read more