GOP civil war erupts between Georgia senators and state officials as runoffs loom

first_img“The management of Georgia elections has become an embarrassment for our state. Georgians are outraged, and rightly so,” the GOP senators said of the state’s GOP-led election in which Democratic President-elect Joe Biden appears to have flipped the state blue. The Republican secretary of state, they said, “has failed the people of Georgia, and he should step down.”Oh, and by the way, Georgia GOP voters, please come on back to the polls in two months to be disenfranchised all over again.- Advertisement – In the meantime, Georgia Republicans have devolved into a civil war of finger-pointing and recriminations as they gear up to motivate their voters back to polls in a last-ditch effort to save their Senate majority. Carry on. The Georgia run-off is January 5th. Request an absentee ballot by Nov. 18. Early in-person voting starts Dec. 14. And REGISTER TO VOTE here by Dec. 7.Here’ McConnell placing self over country, as always:x Wow—the GOP unity is so palpable, it brings tears to the eyes.From the Senate floor Monday, GOP Leader Mitch McConnell also threw his weight behind Donald Trump’s delusions of fraud, saying Trump was “100% within his rights to look into allegations of irregularities and weigh his legal options.”So just in case anyone wondered whether McConnell would be concerned enough about the implications of Trump purging his national security team to prioritize country first—forget it. As expected, the only thing McConnell cares about is the only thing McConnell has ever cared about: his own raw power, whatever the cost to the country.- Advertisement – In reality, there’s zero credible proof of any voter fraud in Georgia, but that’s apparently the Republican gambit now—they simply have to fire up Donald Trump’s base, even at the risk of depressing other Republican voters. Meanwhile, GOP Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger met the senators’ call for his resignation with a one-finger salute. “Earlier today Senators Loeffler and Perdue called for my resignation. Let me start by saying that is not going to happen,” Secretary Raffensperger said at the outset of a lengthy statement, calling the election process a “resounding success” even though Republicans are upset by its outcome. Raffensperger called the assertion that the elections hadn’t been transparent enough “laughable,” and said the biggest problem standing in the way of administering local elections was federal law.“Now that Senators Perdue and Loeffler are concerned about elections, hopefully they can fix these federal laws,” Raffensperger said. As for the Republicans maintaining their Senate majority, he added, “I recommend that Senators Loeffler and Perdue start focusing on that.” – Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more

Swiss authorities consider ban on pension broker commission

first_imgSwiss pension fund association Asip has supported plans to overhaul the country’s rules on broker fees related to second-pillar funds.Switzerland’s government has said there is “need for adjustment” to the rules, following a motion filed in March by Social Democrat MP Mathias Reynard calling for the authorities to revise the current legal framework in which some pension funds pay for brokers to sell their product to companies.The number of company pension plans in Switzerland has fallen considerably over the past 20-30 years, with employers opting to transfer their pension plans to multi-employer schemes, known as Sammelstiftungen or Gemeinschaftseinrichtungen.In his motion, Reynard criticised the fact that commissions for brokers were paid from money in pension funds. Swiss pension brokers are typically paid in relation to assets and liabilities transferredSupervisory body Oberaufsichtskommission (OAK) also highlighted the growing systemic importance of multi-employer pension plans in Switzerland in its latest performance update for the second pillar.As per year-end 2017, over 70% of Swiss employees and retirees were covered by collective pension plans. Given their increase in size, some multi-employer plans were “similar to complex insurance companies”, the OAK noted.At the beginning of this year, the OAK came under fire from collective pension providers and Asip after it proposed more regulation in this sector. The government agreed that second-pillar broker commissions were “problematic” and “not in the interest” of employees. It also warned that commissions could trigger “wrong incentives” and “increase existing distortions in the second pillar”.center_img Mathias Reynard, Swiss Social Democrat MP, criticised brokers being paid from pension fund moneyTherefore, the government said it was “prepared to look into” how and where legal changes might be applicable to broker commissions.The government’s statement also acknowledged that some industry experts had advocated bans on “volume-based commissions” or “a general ban on commissions paid for by the pension funds”.Commission controversyThe current system of broker commission is based on the volume of transferred assets and liabilities, among other contract parameters.Company pension funds make payments to brokers for recommending them a multi-employer pension plan to join, should they wish to outsource their assets and liabilities. Additionally, there are annual broker commissions paid by the collective pension plans, also based on volume.This means some brokers recommended pension plans because they might generate higher fees, “rather than by having objectively assessed the product”, Asip said.The pension fund association emphasised the importance of broker services but added that there were alternative payment options, including hourly rates or based on other workload parameters.In a recent study, Swiss consultancy C-alm urged regulators and the government to create more transparency in the competition among multi-employer pension plans. This included the use of different incentives for brokers and better training.C-alm also pointed out the increasing importance of these issues, as collective pension plans were becoming larger and thus posing a greater threat to the system should one of them collapse.last_img read more