Lichtenberger leaves Commission’s pensions unit after seven years

first_imgJung-Duk Lichtenberger, co-author of the White Paper on Pensions, is to leave the European Commission’s insurance and pensions unit after seven years.Lichtenberger will remain within the Directorate-General for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union (DG FISMA), overseen by commissioner Jonathan Hill, but take over the currently vacant post of deputy head of the Capital Markets Union (CMU) unit.In an internal email seen by IPE, Lichtenberger said: “After having worked for more than seven years on developing the Single Market for pension funds, it is my time to move on. I look forward to staying in touch and to continue working on exciting projects.”Lichtenberger will move to the unit responsible for the development of the CMU next week. He will report to CMU unit head Niall Bohan, who was in charge of the asset management division within the now-defunct Directorate-General for Internal Market and Services (DG MARKT) during José Manuel Barroso’s presidency.Bohan moved to take charge of the new unit when the CMU policy was unveiled in 2014 by current president Jean-Claude Juncker.Although the CMU unit will be a departure from pensions, it is still likely to deal with pension matters, as Hill previously identified the “underdeveloped” nature of the personal pensions market as a hurdle to the project’s success.To that end, the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority this week published a consultation on a new pan-European personal pension regime.Prior to joining the Commission, Lichtenberger worked for the European Central Bank, writing research papers for the institution.He studied at the University of Hull and the University of Warwick, both in the UK, and the Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Reims in France.During his time at DG MARKT, he authored the 2012 White Paper on Pensions and was more recently involved in the revised version of the IORP Directive.At the time, the White Paper backed the idea of a level playing field between insurers and pension funds.Lichtenberger has since seemingly distanced himself from the idea, telling a conference earlier this year that there were “no plans to introduce Solvency II [for pension funds] through the back-door”, casting doubt on Hill’s returning to the matter in the foreseeable future after it was abandoned by predecessor Michel Barnier in 2013.last_img read more

Alpena High School, ACES Academy selected for innovative college adviser program

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisAlpena, Mich. — AdviseMI announced the 72 schools where they plan to have recent college advisers for the 2019-2020 school year.The AdviseMI program helps current high school students navigate through the college process by placing recent college graduates in those high schools. These graduates answer questions and guide students through the process.Advisers will help with exploring different colleges, taking or retaking college admission tests, applying to colleges that fit, completing a free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), securing financial aid, and enrolling.Alpena High School and ACES Academy were the only schools selected in northeast Michigan for the program. Advisers are recent graduates from 20 different partner colleges throughout Michigan. They go through extensive training to address student’s needs in pursuing the next steps. The AdviseMI program is offered through the Michigan College Access Program.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThis Tags: ACES Academy, AdviseMI, Alpena High School, college advising, MICHIGAN, northeast michigan, School, trainingContinue ReadingPrevious Photo of the Day for Tuesday, May 14Next New medical identification devices help emergency services act quicklylast_img read more

Reynolds names interim director of Iowa Department of Transportation

first_imgDES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A civil engineer who has worked at the Iowa Department of Transportation for 28 years has been chosen as the agency’s interim director, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said Friday.Stuart Anderson has begun his new duties and will lead the department until a permanent director is appointed, Reynolds said in a statement.He replaces former Iowa DOT Director Mark Lowe, who was asked by Reynolds to resign last month.Lowe, a lawyer, had been appointed by Reynolds in May 2017. She cited her desire to seek a change in leadership as the only reason for seeking his departure.Anderson joined Iowa DOT in 1992 and has served since 2009 as the director of planning and programming.last_img read more

Unemployment Rate Falls To 13.3%, U.S. Adds 2.5 Million Jobs

first_imgASHINGTON (AP) — America’s workers likely suffered another devastating blow in May, with millions more jobs lost to the viral pandemic and an unemployment rate near or even above 20% for the first time since the Great Depression.Economists have forecast that the government will report Friday that employers shed 8.5 million more jobs last month on top of 21.4 million lost in March and April. A figure that large would raise the total losses since the coronavirus intensified nearly three months ago to almost 30 million — more than triple the number of jobs lost during the 2008-2009 Great Recession.The economy has sunk into what looks like a deep recession, and most economists foresee unemployment remaining above 10% — its peak during the Great Recession — through the November elections and into next year.A report Thursday on applications for unemployment benefits reinforced the picture of a bleak job market: The number of people seeking jobless aid last week was double the previous record high that prevailed before the viral outbreak occurred.Still, that report did offer a few glimmers of hope. As restaurants, movie theaters, gyms, hair salons and other retail establishments gradually reopen, job cuts are slowing and employers are recalling some of their laid-off workers. The total number of people receiving unemployment aid rose slightly, the government said, but stayed below a peak of 25 million reached two weeks earlier. And the number of laid-off workers applying for aid, while historically high, has declined for nine straight weeks.The economic shock, like the pandemic itself, has widened economic disparities that have disproportionately hurt minorities and lower-educated workers. More than 55% of African-Americans say they or someone in their household has lost income since mid-March, compared with 43% of whites, according to a weekly survey by the Census Bureau. For Hispanics, the figure is 60%. The pandemic has especially eliminated jobs, at least temporarily, at restaurants, hotels, retail chains and other lower-wage industries.The street protests over George Floyd’s killing that led to some vandalism and looting in dozens of cities won’t affect Friday’s jobs figures, which were compiled in the middle of May. But business closures related to the unrest could cause job losses that would be reflected in the June jobs report to be issued next month.A few businesses are reporting signs of progress even in hard-hit industries. American Airlines, for example, said this week that it would fly 55% of its U.S. routes in July, up from just 20% in May.And the Cheesecake Factory said one-quarter of its nearly 300 restaurants have reopened, though with limited capacity. Sales at those restaurants are at nearly 75% of the levels reached a year ago, the company said. Both companies’ share prices rose.Those limited gains may lead to more rehiring as companies slowly restart shuttered businesses. But economists say the pace of hiring will then likely lag as a severe recession and high unemployment hold back consumer spending, the main driver of the economy.Erica Groshen, a labor economist at Cornell University and a former commissioner of the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, said hiring could ramp up relatively quickly in coming months and reduce unemployment to low double-digits by year’s end.“Then my inclination is that it will be a long, slow slog,” she said.Overhanging the jobs picture is widespread uncertainty about how long the unemployed will remain out of work. Most of the layoffs in recent months were a direct result of the sudden shutdowns of businesses in response to the coronavirus pandemic.Though many of the unemployed have said they expect their layoffs to be temporary, many large businesses won’t rehire everyone they laid off. And some small employers might not reopen at all if the recession drags on. Until most Americans are confident they can shop, travel, eat out and fully return to their other spending habits without fear of contracting the virus, the economy will likely remain sluggish.Even if just one-third of the U.S. job losses turn out to be permanent, that would leave roughly 10 million people out of work. That is still more than all the jobs lost in the Great Recession. A hole that size would take years to fill. Oxford Economics estimates that the economy will regain 17 million jobs by year’s end, a huge increase by historical standards. But that would make up for barely more than half the losses.Gwyneth Duesbery, 22, returned this week to her job as a hostess at a steakhouse where she lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, as the restaurant prepares to reopen. Duesbery said she is grateful for the opportunity, given that she hasn’t received unemployment benefits since the restaurant closed in March and has run through her savings.She will spend this week helping to clean the restaurant and setting tables 6 feet apart. The restaurant will be able to seat only about one-quarter of its usual capacity.The restaurant, Bowdie’s Chop House, has reservations for about 20 people for its opening night Monday and said it has drawn plenty of interest from longtime customers. Still, Duesbery worries about her health.“I am concerned that it will expose me to potential diseases, and expose others, no matter the precautions that we take,” she said. “It’s kind of uncharted waters.”last_img read more