(WBNG) — While the talk of the town may be the beginning of the reopening process, one Binghamton financial advisor is urging everyone to proceed with caution. Sydlansky stresses that many lenders understand the current situation and will be willing to work with borrowers to adjust their repayment plan. He says believe it or not, you and your lender actually have a common goal. Sydlansky says that since the crisis has meant people are staying at home more many are saving money on things like gas, trips to restaurants, and recreational activities. He says this is not only an opportunity to save money but to take a look at where you can make cuts. If you do end up with an excess amount of cash because you’re spending less money during the crisis, Sydlansky says resist the urge to spend or invest it. With recent talk of a possible second wave of the virus, Sydlansky says the best thing you can do to prepare for the remainder of the crisis is to create and maintain an emergency account. He says the goal should be to have funds to cover three to six months of expenses. If you are unable to set aside that extra cash and find yourself struggling due to the crisis, he says to take a look at ways to reduce your biggest expenses such as car payments, mortgage bills and student loans. “Refill your emergency account. there could be a second wave and we could be doing this all over again in three or four months where the service industry is shut down so I would say prepare for this to happen again,” he says. “Start with something even if it’s 5, 10, 20, dollars out of a paycheck, you’ve got to start somewhere” he says. “Once you get into the habit it will be a lot easier to keep that going.” “I would encourage people to see where their spending has been the last month or two and say ‘wow I’ve been without that cup of coffee and I’ve been without that trip to the movies if I needed to I can cut back on this.'” “You want to learn from a situation like this if you weren’t prepared this time learn what you can do differently in the future,” said Paul Sydlansky of Lake Road Advisors. “Reach out to some of your lenders and see if you can negotiate, see if you can get rates lowered and see if you can get payments skipped,” he says. “Ultimately they’re going to want to work with you to help you out in the short term because they don’t want you to default on that loan or have problems in the long term.”
Swiss pension providers are unlikely to be permitted to alter pension payouts to retirees after a committee of MPs rejected a proposal to allow flexibility around existing payments.The group of 22 politicians – known as the SGK-NR commission – narrowly voted down the proposal, making it unlikely that parliament would approve it.The motion was put forward by Green Party MP Thomas Weibel in December 2017 to help ease the mounting pressure on Pensionskassen from fixed pension payouts. The pressure has increased due to high conversion rates and low interest rates.In Switzerland pension levels are promised when a contract with a Pensionskasse is signed, meaning adding variable elements to existing pension promises is almost unprecedented. In their reasoning, the committee argued that variable pension payments would “bring great uncertainty” to members of Pensionskassen.Additionally, the committee said that introducing such a fundamental change to the second pillar could interfere with other pension reforms currently under discussion.Those who voted in favour of the motion cited the “unfair” use of active members’ accrued assets to pay existing pensioners’ benefits, as was the case with a number of Pensionskassen in Switzerland.A small number of companies have introduced a form of top-up element that can vary with time, while 1e plans for high earners also have variability for payouts – but in most cases this only applies to new members.Overall, the concept – even for new contracts – is regarded with scepticism by the Swiss pensions industry. Variable pension payments were the subject of a heated debate at a conference in Zurich organised by regional supervisor BVS. Pension funds welcome decisionAfter the vote, the Swiss pension fund association Asip welcomed the commission’s decision.“Without a minimum guarantee the reliability of the occupational pension system and people’s trust in it would be strained,” Asip warned.Rather than introducing a variable element to existing pensions, the lobby group called on Pensionskassen to “issue much more cautiously defined guarantees today to allow for possible surpluses to be shared with pensioners in the future”.Under current regulations, inflation-linked pension increases have to be granted by individual funds and do not happen automatically. Payouts can be increased but cannot be cut, even when a pension fund is in financial trouble.Lower levels of guarantees in future contracts could still prove insufficient to help Pensionskassen that are struggling with keeping promises made when interest rates were higher.Weibel has brought forward several motions over the past few years to reform the occupational pension sector, including one aimed at making infrastructure investments more attractive for Pensionskassen.This was approved by both chambers of parliament last year but has yet to make it into legislation.
Scottish-based marine survey and coastal consultancy company Partrac has launched its US subsidiary Partrac GeoMarine Inc.Based in Houston, Texas, Partrac GeoMarine offers the full range of services and products as its parent company in Europe, including services and consultancy for engineering and environmental projects in challenging marine environments around the world, the company said.“Houston is the ideal US hub for Partrac GeoMarine,” said Partrac Co-Founder Sam Athey. “We wanted a city with a highly skilled workforce that reflects the wide range of market sectors that Partrac operates in and is within easy reach of both the Gulf and East coasts of the United States. We see these as having the biggest growth potential for our services and products.”Partrac has a number of unique technologies it wants to bring to the US to help solve some of the problems and answer some of the questions, Athey said, emphasizing that the company’s sediment tracing and benthic flume technologies have been used to help with scour around offshore monopiles, as well as free spanning of pipes and cables.“Our experience gained over the last 15 years collecting MetOcean data and working on wind farm installations in European waters – including the world’s first floating wind farm – puts us in a great position to assist the growing offshore renewables market in the US.”Partrac has worked on a number of offshore wind projects in Europe, the most recent being the Hywind Scotland floating wind farm, as well as the Kincardine floating wind project.