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  • Netherlands scores lowest on ‘retirement happiness’ – study

    first_imgThe Netherlands scored lowest out of eight countries for “retirement happiness” in research carried out by State Street Global Advisors (SSGA).The country scored lowest on two of the three variables the provider identified as determining retirement happiness – trust and ownership – and third-lowest for “preparedness”.The research covered defined contribution (DC) members in eight countries, representing a range of retirement systems: Australia, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, the UK, the US, and the Netherlands.It was informed by a survey of around 9,400 people, all of whom participated in a DC or similar retirement plan. Launching its research report this week, SSGA said it found that “retirement structures with the highest objective rankings did not necessarily correspond to the happiest respondents”.Alistair Byrne, head of pensions and retirement strategy at SSGA, said: “From these findings, we hope to have arrived at a blueprint for a successful retirement structure that combines effective practices with rewarding retirement experiences, gathered from around the world.”The asset manager noted Netherlands’ high score in the Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index – of the countries covered by SSGA’s study it scored joint-highest in the most recent ranking – and that it maintained very high coverage, participation and savings rates.What objective approaches could not indicate, however, said Nigel Aston, global head of strategy and proposition at SSGA, was “how it feels – the human element – to be in those systems, and that’s what we wanted to find out”.An unhappy retirement?Just 8% of Dutch respondents said they were optimistic about their financial situation in retirement. The Netherlands also recorded the joint-lowest trust score, 2.2 out of five, level with the UK and Germany. Commenting on the Netherlands’ overall “happiness score”, SSGA said the country had “strong assets and a well-developed pension system, but is experiencing a savings model transition that’s created a low sense of ownership and a sombre outlook”.Once reforms were implemented, the Netherlands would “more closely resemble Sweden”, added SSGA.Italy, which had recently been through “painful” pension reforms, and Germany, which was on the cusp of reform, could also “look more like Sweden” if changes were successfully implemented, according to the asset manager.The US scored highest of the eight countries, with Sweden and Australia in joint second place.Sweden, commented SSGA, had “an established and well-understood system which is sustainable, providing a combination of state and private funding”.The comparatively high level of confidence US respondents indicated was probably due to their being from a “relatively fortunate sector of the population”, with access to a workplace retirement plan, the manager noted.The SSGA report can be found here.last_img read more

  • Dodgers prospect blames minor league stadium for lack of confidence

    first_imgScott Schebler might be the poster boy for the quirky park. A slugging, left-handed hitting outfielder, Schebler had only one home run in 24 home games when he was recalled from the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate on Friday.The 24-year-old had 28 home runs at Double-A in 2014 and 27 home runs at Single-A the year before that.“I hate using excuses, but the ballpark is not really hitter-friendly,” he said. “I let that get to my confidence. I started tweaking stuff and got into a slump.”Schebler’s batting average at home was a mere .208.“At the beginning of the year, I told myself, ‘You’ve got to hit on the road,’ and that’s telling myself I can’t hit here pretty much,” he said. “I’m telling myself, ‘I can’t at this park, I can’t hit at this park,’ and if you keep doing that to yourself, you’re just going to get yourself in trouble.” But, he said, the Dodgers’ front office recognized that the ball was coming off his bat hard in spite of the numbers. Tracking the exit velocity of minor-league players has become a key evaluating tool for the Dodgers and other organizations.“They look at how hard you’re hitting the ball, how good your at-bats are, whether you’re swinging at strikes or swinging at balls,” he said. “I think I’ve done a good job at that.”The Dodgers drafted Schebler in the 26th round of the 2010 draft out of Des Moines (Iowa) Area Community College. He is the fourth player from his draft class to debut with the Dodgers, joining Joc Pederson, Shawn Tolleson and Red Patterson.Another Dodgers draft pick that year, pitcher Kevin Gausman, went back in the draft and reached the majors with the Baltimore Orioles.Schebler seemed to have found his confidence Friday. After taking a round of batting practice and slipping on the uniform number 55 previously donned by Orel Hershiser and Russell Martin, Schebler said, “the results are going to be there.”Sure enough, in the second inning Schebler punched an opposite-field in his first career at-bat.Kendrick out againHowie Kendrick missed his second consecutive game with stiffness in his left knee. The veteran second baseman said that he improved considerably since Thursday, and Dodgers manager Don Mattingly is confident that Kendrick can avoid the disabled list. “It feels really good,” Kendrick said. “I can do a lot more today.” Kendrick suffered the injury running the basepaths in the second inning Wednesday against the Colorado Rockies. He scored in the inning, and played out the game, only to feel pain in the knee afterward. “Once my adrenaline wore off I knew it was going to be sore,” he said. “The next day it was really stiff.” Kendrick is batting .285 with a .347 on-base percentage, five home runs and 23 RBIs in 52 games.AlsoOutfielder Yasiel Puig played seven innings in his second rehab game in as many days for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga. He hit a home run in his third at-bat, finishing 1 for 3. … Pedro Baez (strained right pectoral muscle) threw off a mound for the first time since he went on the disabled list May 14. … Hector Olivera went 0 for 3 with three strikeouts in his second game at Double-A Tulsa. … To make room for Schebler on the 25-man roster, pitcher Daniel Coulombe was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City. Scott Schebler is a poster boy for the perils of playing in Oklahoma City. The Triple-A Oklahoma City Dodgers play in Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, which opened in 1998. For its first few years in the new park, the franchise was affiliated with the Texas Rangers, then the Houston Astros. The park carried the reputation of being neutral, playing evenly for pitchers and hitters alike.This year, Oklahoma City’s first as a Dodgers affiliate, has been different. Some observers have pointed to a pair of hotels that were recently constructed in downtown Oklahoma City, just beyond the left-field wall, for suppressing hitting totals. Whatever the reason, the Triple-A Dodgers rank dead last in the Pacific Coast League in batting average (.239) and slugging percentage (.683). In terms of ERA, the Dodgers are third out of 16 PCL teams. Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark is a pitcher’s park now.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

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