However, the HBS as envisaged by EIOPA would impose solvency requirements or minimum funding levels, or act as a risk-management tool.In an interview with IPE, Bernardino said a harmonised system across the EU would allow cross-border funds to be in deficit, as long as they complied with the HBS framework.“If you want to remove the cross-border fully funded requirement, there needs to a be a higher level of harmonisation,” he said. “When you do these [HBS] consultations, you push people to think about the real economic elements of pension funds.“And if EIOPA does this, then we will have influenced the way the sustainability of pension schemes is addressed.”In October, the authority published a consultation providing six frameworks for the HBS, each either imposing solvency requirements or a minimum funding level, or presented as a risk-management tool.Bernardino said the risk-management tool would come with some funding consequences.The idea of solvency requirements for pension funds was initially expected to be included in the IORP II Directive, before being dropped by then commissioner Michel Barnier, after protests from several governments.However, the idea lived on, with EIOPA working on the HBS outside European Commission influence.“There is an intrinsic value in the work EIOPA is doing,” Bernardino said.“Cross-border pension funds highlight the true nature of the European internal market.“[But a cross-border] pension fund still has to report to countries in different fashions – it is completely sub-optimal.“If we move towards a sufficient, minimum level of harmonisation on technical provisions or solvency, we can have a better consistency and convergence, and there will be huge cost benefits.”The consultation runs until 13 January 2015.Bernardino also said its consultation on the HBS had not been done with an outcome in mind, and that the authority’s main aim was to be challenged by the industry.“We are open, and this is why we are consulting,” he said.“You need to have an idea, but the one I have is not a choice between framework one or framework six – it is to listen.”To read the full interview with Gabriel Bernardino, click here or see December’s issue of IPE magazine Cross-border funding rules for European pension funds could be relaxed by using the harmonised holistic balance sheet (HBS) model, the EU-wide regulator has suggested.Gabriel Bernardino, chairman at the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA), said the consulted-on HBS would allow pension funds to operate across borders while running a deficit.Current rules stipulate that cross-border schemes must always have enough assets to match liabilities.Plans to encourage the growth of cross-border pension funds among multi-national companies have suffered, as they pose too much capital risk for corporate sponsors.
East Central and Greensburg faced off in the season open at East Central on Monday night. The Lady Trojans came out on top with the scores of 25-19, 25-21, and 25-19.“This was one of the best Greensburg teams I’ve seen in several years. They put up a good fight. We fell flat half way through game one managed to squeak by enough to win the match in three.” -Coach Laker.EC started off with an ankle injury to senior middle Nicole Sandmann during warm-ups, so adjustments had to be made at the last minute. “All in all, I think the girls took the challenge head on and adjusted quickly, but we still didn’t play to our potential. This is a great group and I have very high expectations for the season.”For The Lady Trojans, Becca Eckstein led with 31 sets, Brianne Fox had 10 attacks with 4 of them kills, Erin Wilhelm 8 digs, and Kendall Gindling 7 serves with 2 of them aces.EC is 1-0 on the season and in conference.Next game for EC will be on Thursday, August 21 at 5pm at EC against South Dearborn.Courtesy of Trojans Coach Cassie Laker.
Need to know: The idea of giving Polanco a long-term deal wasn’t bad at the time. He was a top prospect coming off a 2.6 bWAR in his first full season in the bigs, and the contract avoided often-ugly arbitration hearings and didn’t promise a ton of money (at least $38 million, as much as $61 million if the club picked up both options). And if he became the player they projected, picking up those options would be easy decisions. But Polanco hasn’t become that player. He’s had moments, but he’s also dealt with injuries and inconsistency. He’s yet to reach that 2.6 bWAR in the four years since signing the deal, and 2019 was particularly frustrating. He played only 42 games, had a .301 on-base percentage and 90 OPS+. They need him to be better, especially considering the salaries jump to $8 million in 2020 and $11 million in 2021.Resolution options: The talent is still there. The Pirates have to figure out a way to get him back on track. We all love to read (and write!) about the worst contracts in baseball. You know the big ones by heart: Josh Hamilton, Barry Zito, Jacoby Ellsbury, Albert Pujols, Mike Hampton and on and on. But the big-money deals that go south aren’t the only types of contract situations that create big problems. Sometimes, lack of years is as big of an issue as number of years on a deal, and we’re going to look at all of those things with this series. These are the contract situations that keep general managers and team presidents — or whatever the official title happens to be for the decision makers — up at night. MORE PROBLEMATIC CONTRACTSNL East | AL East | AL Central | AL WestMost don’t have easy resolutions, though we’ll try and offer options where options might exist. We’ll go through MLB, division by division and look at the most pressing issues for every team in the majors. Today: the NL CentralCardinals: Matt CarpenterContract details: Two years, $37 million, with $18.5 million club option ($2 million buyout) for 2022Need to know: Carpenter has been a regular presence in the Cardinals’ lineup since 2012, and he had one of his best seasons in 2018. He swatted a career-high 36 homers to go with a 143 OPS+, 4.9 bWAR and ninth-place finish in the NL MVP voting. He was scheduled to be a free agent after the 2019 season, but the club rewarded him with a two-year extension last April. As he was beginning his Age 33 season, that seemed like a reasonable, though slightly unnecessary, deal for a player who has meant a lot to the franchise. Problem was, Carpenter’s 2019 campaign was a bit of a disaster. He set career lows in rate/percentage stats across the board: batting average (.226), on-base percentage (.334), OPS (.726), OPS+ (91), bWAR (0.8), strikeout-to-walk (2.05) and on and on. The on-base percentage might have been the most problematic; that .334 number was 43 points below his career average heading into the season. With the offseason trade for Paul Goldschmidt at first base and the emergence of Tommy Edman all over the diamond, but largely at third base, Carpenter was relegated to spot-start/pinch-hitting duty for large stretches in the second half. The Cardinals are saying all the right things — they’re expecting a big bounce-back year — but the reality is this: Carpenter’s entering his Age 34 season with a below-average glove (at third, second or first) and now a below-average bat. The money he’s making isn’t insignificant. Oh, and he has no-trade protection as a 5/10 guy, so the Cardinals couldn’t deal him without his consent even if they found a team willing to give up a mid-level prospect for him.Resolution options: Not much they can do, other than hope he delivers the late-career renaissance the front office believes is on the horizon. Brewers: Ryan BraunContract details: One year, $16 million remaining, with $15 million mutual option ($4 million buyout) on five-year, $105 million dealNeed to know: Braun’s contract isn’t nearly as dire as what other clubs are facing. He’s here because the Brewers actually have a pretty good situation. Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain are the only two players under contract past 2020, and neither are bad deals — though Cain’s could get dicey by 2021-22 if his regression at the plate in 2019 (his on-base percentage dropped from .395 to .325) continues. And Jimmy Nelson is the only club-controlled guy eligible to become a free agent after the 2020 season.So, Braun. Without getting into his complicated history with PEDs — his blatant lying will always leave a scar on the sport — or that the Brewers gave him an extension for 2015-20 way back in 2011, let’s just look at his current contract status. Braun has at least $20 million coming — $16 million in 2020, plus a $4 million buyout on the $15 million mutual option in 2021) — and he hasn’t posted a bWAR above 1.8 in the past three years. That said, 2019 was his best year of the past three, with 22 homers, an .849 OPS and 1.8 bWAR. In an outfield with a healthy Yelich and Cain, that’s not awful production from left field. Resolution options: Hope he stays healthy and relatively productive in 2020, then pay the buyout and move on. Cubs: Everyone, pretty muchContract details: Either too many years and too much money or not enough yearsNeed to know: Let’s do a quick rundown, just to give you an idea what the team is facing. Jason Heyward: What does it tell you that a healthy 30-year-old outfielder had an opt-out after the 2019 season and nobody even considered for a moment that he’d actually exercise that clause? Heyward has four years and $86 million left on his deal. In his first four years of the eight-year, $184 million pact, he has yet to produce a bWAR above 2.2.Kris Bryant: The 2016 NL MVP has a pending service-time grievance, based on how the Cubs kept him down in the minors to start the 2015 season (when he won the NL Rookie of the Year award) to manipulate his service time and delay free agency by a year. He’s arbitration-eligible in 2020-21 (for the moment, at least) and eligible to become a free agent after 2021.Javy Baez: Baez, who finished second in the 2018 NL MVP voting and posted a 4.8 bWAR in 2019, is in an identical situation to Bryant (without the grievance, though). Two years of arbitration and then he’s a free agent.Anthony Rizzo: Not to be a broken record, but Rizzo is set to become a free agent after 2021, too. Rizzo, though, is under contract, so at least arbitration will be avoided. The Cubs hold no-brainer options for 2020 and 2021. Kyle Schwarber: Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Schwarber has two years of club control remaining, and then he’s a free agent after the 2021 season. Even though he hasn’t quite developed into the MVP candidate everyone projected when he first hit the majors, Schwarber has shown solid improvement, resulting in 38 homers and an .871 OPS in 2019.Jose Quintana: The lefty starter has even less time. The Cubs shipped Eloy Jimenez to the White Sox for Quintana, in large part because Quintana was on a very team-friendly deal. He’s been OK, at best, for the Cubs (4.23 ERA in two-and-a-half seasons), but the last club option the Cubs hold is 2020, and then he’s a free agent. Yu Darvish: The first year of his six-year, $126 million deal was a disaster. His second was much better (3.98 ERA/4.18 FIP), but still not to the level the Cubs hoped for when they gave the right-hander the massive deal. His ERA in his first five years in the bigs was 3.42; it’s 4.16 in two years with the Cubs. And even if he’s pitching more toward career norms, the $81 million he’s owed the next four years is money that won’t be available for extensions for Bryant, Baez, Rizzo, Schwarber or Quintana. Resolution options: No easy answers here. They obviously can’t just play the next two years and let Bryant, Baez, Schwarber and Rizzo leave as free agents. One or more will get extended. One or more could be traded. They can’t make mistakes. Reds: Joey VottoContract details: Four years, $100 million left with $20 million ($7 million buyout) remaining on 10-year, $225-million dealNeed to know: Look, nobody wants to say bad things about Joey Votto, the marvelous batsman who will likely wind up in Cooperstown one day. But he’s heading into his Age 36 season coming off what was, by far, the worst season of his career. He was healthy enough to make 608 plate appearances, but look at his 2019 production against full-season career averages (not counting his 24-game rookie stint in 2007) heading into last season: .357 on-base percentage (career average .428), 98 OPS+ (average 156), 15 homers (average 24), .261 batting average (average .311), 1.6 bWAR (average 5.3). Resolution options: If anyone is going to find a way to beat back the march of time a year or two, it’s Votto. But for a team with spending limits, having $100 million guaranteed to a declining player at a power position isn’t ideal. Pirates: Gregory PolancoContract details: Two years, $19 million (with club options for 2022-23)