first_imgA pair of Senate runoffs in Georgia that will determine which party controls the chamber has reordered the political universe in the days since the election, influencing nearly every decision by members of both parties, including the refusal of most Republicans to recognize President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory.Senators are lining up day trips to Atlanta to campaign. Party leaders are carefully calibrating their postelection messages to frame the fight on the ground. And Mr. Biden’s transition team is tailoring its plans to two drastically different outcomes, preparing an ambitious agenda in case Democrats are able to win both races and take control of the Senate, and a more pared-back one in case they fall short.- Advertisement – The most jarring consequence has been Republicans’ refusal to challenge Mr. Trump’s false claims that he won the election. Though most leading Republicans have not repeated his claims, they have also declined to acknowledge Mr. Biden’s clear victory, fearing that doing so would enrage the president and his loyal base of supporters ahead of January.“We need his voters,” Senator John Thune of South Dakota, the second-ranking Republican, told reporters on Wednesday. “Right now, he’s trying to get through the final stages of his election and determine the outcome there. But when that’s all said and done, however it comes out, we want him helping in Georgia.” And Vice President Mike Pence told senators privately on Tuesday that he planned to jet down to Georgia next week to campaign.Democrats were seeking to rally their own voters and donors in a long-shot bid to win both races in a historically conservative state where their party has often fallen short in runoff contests.“When it comes to the Senate, it’s not over, at all,” Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the minority leader, said on Wednesday. “Georgia is close.” The contests pit two Republican senators, David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, against the Democratic challengers Jon Ossoff and the Rev. Raphael Warnock. But they are quickly becoming nationalized into referendums on Mr. Biden’s victory and the direction of the country.The impact was apparent throughout the Capitol. Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, privately warned House members to watch their words in the coming weeks to deny Republicans any new ammunition to caricature the Democrats as extremists.Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, bucked up Mr. Trump and expressed outrage over Democrats insisting the president concede.- Advertisement – Senator Marco Rubio of Florida was on the ground Wednesday in the Atlanta suburbs rallying with Ms. Loeffler at a Save Our Majority Rally, an indoor event at which many attendees did not wear masks. Senator Rick Scott, the newly elected chairman of Senate Republicans’ campaign arm, is scheduled to hold a fund-raiser in the state on Thursday. The stakes are staggeringly high for both sides. With Republicans on track to control 50 Senate seats and Democrats 48, the twin runoffs on Jan. 5 will determine how much power Mr. Biden can wield in a post-Trump Washington.- Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more

first_imgABP made clear that the raised premium must also contribute to the recovery of its funding, which had dropped to 92.8% at October-end, and is now near the critical level that triggers immediate rights cuts.It added that rising life expectancy and changes in its participant population had contributed 0.2 and 0.1 percentage points to the contribution increase.The civil service scheme could not provide more details about the further rise of its premium, citing factors such as developments in salary, longevity, and the franchise – the part of the salary that is exempt from pension accrual.ABP said that it expected that its premiums would rise further by a couple of percentage points during the coming years.The civil service scheme did not grant an indexation for the eighth consecutive year, taking the combined inflation compensation in arrears to 11.9%.Earlier, the €185bn healthcare scheme PFZW said its contribution would remain at 23.5%, while the €21bn PGB announced a rise from 21.5% to 24%.Premiums at the large metal schemes PMT and PME, however, are set to decrease as a result of a five-year agreement with the social partners.The €68bn PMT is to reduce its contribution from 23.5% to 23%, while PME (€44bn) is to decrease the premium level from 23.2% to 22.9%.Both metal industry schemes were able to reduce their contributions as they had created a financial buffer from premium surpluses during the past years. The €381bn Dutch civil service pension scheme ABP announced it will raise its contribution by 2.3 percentage points to 21.1% next year, as it has reduced its assumptions for future returns.The adjustment followed economic indications of structurally lower interest rates as well as returns, ABP said.Rather than drawing its expected returns from the maximum allowed assumptions – equating to 3.6% in real returns minus inflation – it has decreased its expected yield to 2.8% for the coming years, its spokeswoman said.Under the new financial assessment framework (nFTK), pension funds are allowed to use maximum returns for equity, AAA-rated government bonds, and non-listed property of 7%, 2.5%, and 6%, respectively.last_img read more