The €29bn ING Pensioenfonds is reducing its six pension arrangements to a single one, in order to improve communication and automation, in addition to offering a more sophisticated array of investment options to its members.During the past years, several mergers and take-overs had caused a patchwork of exception, transitional as well as compensation arrangements for the closed scheme’s 70,000 participants and pensioners.The pension fund explained that the simplified set up will offer retiring participants more choice, including retiring between the age of 55 and 71. It added that people who prefer a part-time pension can do so in lump sums of 10%.Improved digitalisation of the scheme will also be a bonus. The pension fund said that a large majority of trade union members have approved the changes, which amount to a €25m project. Costs are expected to be recouped within three years, it added.In an interview on the scheme’s website, Edward Heijkers, director of services at pensions provider and ING subsidiary AZL, explained that the harmonisation process was complicated, “as company pension plans in the financial sector have many bells and whistles”.He added that, in the industry, a pension plan is considered to be a primary labour condition, ”to attract and retain people”.As a part of the simplification, schemes such as contribution compensation, temporary old age pension, and interim pension, have been merged into a single plan. The target pension age for almost all participants has been set at 65.Emanual Geurts, trustee at trade union De Unie, said it was the first time the unions had been involved in major changes in a closed pension plan.He said the unions were satisfied the value of all pension rights for all participants had been maintained.In a statement, board member Vandana Doekhie highlighted the importance of the simplification project for the scheme’s long-term future. She said the changes made pension provision future proof and more cost-effective.ING Pensioenfonds closed its defined benefit plan to new entrants in 2014, after ING split into ING and Nationale Nederlanden.Since then, participants continued pensions accrual in collective defined contribution schemes at the respective new companies.
Just days removed from commencement and the end of spring semester, the university has begun work on nearly 50 summer construction projects, many of which will lead to street and building closures already affecting life on campus this summer.The summer construction schedule began Monday and is scattered throughout campus.Street closures, as a result of construction, include McClintock Avenue between Downey and Hellman ways and Childs Way between Trousdale Parkway and Figueroa Street.Graphic by Jovanna Tosello | Summer TrojanDowney will also be inaccessible near the Hedco Neuro Sciences Building.Major renovations, or “capital construction development” projects, are planned at 22 different locations, including Kaprielian Hall and Stoops Hall, as well as starting construction on the new student health center.Reaction to the increased construction and street closure has been mixed from students who will need to access campus during the summer months.Kamron Hakemy, a junior majoring in international relations [global business] who lives at Tuscany Apartments on Figueroa Street, said the street closures would affect the time it takes to get ontocampus.“Even when USC isn’t in session, the campus is very populated,” Hakemy said. “The closures will definitely make the trip to campus longer.”Hakemy also mentioned the reduced traffic pattern on campus would likely cause increased traffic concerns on the streets surrounding USC.Other students were more accepting of the summer construction and closures and welcomed the improvements to campus.“I’ve already been warned that USC means the ‘University of Summer Construction,’ so I’m prepared for it,” said Nakul Joshi, a sophomore majoring in computer science and taking classes this summer. “I’m confident that every effort has been made to keep it safe.”The construction and street closures could also impact tourists and prospective undergraduates, according to students.“Tour guides are not able to show visitors as much of the campus and buildings as they’d like to,” said Preksha Daga, a sophomore majoring in biomedical engineering who will work at the Office of Admissions this summer.Gate 3 (McCarthy Way) will also be partially inaccessible until June 30, according to an email sent to the university community by USC Transportation.All road closures and traffic restrictions will be lifted by August 15 at the latest, according to the email.