UK pension funding levels continue to slide as deficits hit £460bn

first_imgFunding across the UK defined benefit sector fell to new record lows in August, despite the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) 7800 index revisiting its own estimate of assets held by nearly 6,000 schemes.The lifeboat fund’s monthly estimate calculated an aggregate deficit of £459.4bn (€538bn) at the end of last month, equivalent to a system-wide funding level of 76.1% and down by more than 3 percentage points month on month.It also estimated liabilities across the 5,945 DB funds stood at £1.9trn, up by more than £100bn since July and an increase of £430bn year on year.Andy Tunningley, head of strategic clients at BlackRock, noted that funding ratios had dropped for the fourth consecutive month. “To compound matters,” he added, “the goalposts have shifted even further away, as the costs of insuring pension liabilities – already elevated for non-pensioner liabilities – are likely to have risen further given compressed corporate-bond spreads.”The increase would have been starker had a new estimate of pension assets by the PPF not seen a 2%, or £31.2bn, upward revision of total assets under management.“The return from growth assets in August was no match for ballooning liability values,” Tunningley said.“The key driver of increasing liabilities continues to be Gilt yields, which fell materially as the Bank of England cut interest rates and announced a package of new quantitative easing.”Boris Mikhailov, investment strategist for global investment solutions at Aviva Investors, agreed.“As a result, most pension schemes’ assets lacked pace and did not increase in value by as much as their liabilities,” he said.“This is due to their under-hedged position in rates, which continue to drive deficits up as yields fall.”last_img read more

Northeast unemployment rate drops in November

The unemployment rate in Northeastern BC dropped below 7 per cent in November.The unemployment rate in our region is currently sitting at 6.4 per cent which is 1.2 per cent less than October.Although the unemployment rate has dropped in November, the current rate is still higher than November 2009, when the rate was 5.5 per cent.- Advertisement -Vancouver Island/Coast and Victoria have the lowest unemployment rate in the province at 5.8 per cent. The highest unemployment rate in the province belongs to the Abbotsford at 8.1 per cent.The province as a whole saw a decrease to 7.0 per cent from 7.5 per cent in October.BC still lags behind the rest of the Western provinces, Manitoba 5.1 per cent, Saskatchewan 5.5 per cent, Alberta 5.6 per cent and the national rate sits at 7.6 per cent.  Advertisementlast_img read more

Diabetes Care journal features comprehensive EndoBarrier metaanalysis

first_imgMay 10 2018GI Dynamics® Inc. (ASX: GID), a medical device company that is developing EndoBarrier® for patients with type 2 diabetes and obesity, is pleased to announce the meta-analysis, “Effects of the Duodenal-Jejunal Bypass Liner on Glycemic Control in Type 2 Diabetic Patients with Obesity: A Meta-analysis with Secondary Analysis on Weight Loss and Hormonal Changes,” by Pichamol Jirapinyo, MD, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, and Diplomat of the American Board of Obesity Medicine, has been published in Diabetes Care, the journal of the American Diabetes Association.The meta-analysis is comprised of 17 published studies that evaluate EndoBarrier (also referred to as duodenal-jejunal bypass liner [DJBL]) outcomes in patients with type 2 diabetes and obesity. The primary outcomes of the meta-analysis were change in hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) and homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR). Secondary outcomes were change in weight and change in hormones critical to the regulation of metabolic and bariatric disorders: GIP, GLP-1, PYY and ghrelin.”The analysis shows that DJBL is effective at treating diabetes in this patient population with a reduction in HbA1c of 1.3%, and with many patients coming off diabetic medication,” said Jirapinyo. “This reduction in HbA1c is significantly better by 0.9% as compared to optimal medical management alone. In addition, this study demonstrates that patients who receive DJBL experience significant improvements in insulin resistance and weight loss, which persist up to at least six months after device removal.”Related StoriesDiet and physical exercise do not reduce risk of gestational diabetesDiabetes medications mask euglycemic ketoacidosis at the time of surgerySome people treated for type 1 diabetes may have monogenic diabetes, study findsJirapinyo’s study also highlighted a clinically and statistically significant improvement in insulin resistance.Jirapinyo conducted this study according to the PRISMA statement and reviewed over 1,000 published EndoBarrier studies. Following strict inclusion and exclusion methodologies which were defined a priori, a total of 17 published studies were included in the final meta-analysis. Jirapinyo contacted authors for additional information that was needed, which contributed to making the study robust and comprehensive.”Given a rising pandemic of obesity and diabetes, DJBL may offer a highly effective treatment option for this patient population,” said Jirapinyo.”We are pleased to review the results from this comprehensive EndoBarrier meta-analysis that Dr. Jirapinyo and the clinical team at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital conducted,” said Scott Schorer, GI Dynamics president and chief executive officer. “The results confirm that EndoBarrier produces a significant reduction in HbA1c and weight, significantly reduces insulin resistance and creates a hormonal effect similar in many respects to gastric bypass.””This data clearly shows a very favorable treatment effect with significant treatment durability and a positive benefit-risk profile,” said Schorer. “This study presents the most comprehensive EndoBarrier meta-analysis we have seen and this type of data is indicative of EndoBarrier’s highly impactful clinical utility.”Source: read more