Credit: Les ChatfieldA FirstGroup bus in GlasgowSimilarly, the Aberdeen City Council Transport Fund was also cashflow negative, according to its latest annual report. In the 2017-18 financial year it paid out £4.1m and received contributions of £2.4m.At a meeting in December, the committee overseeing the Strathclyde Pension Fund said FirstGroup had expressed a preference for an insurance buy-in for the No.3 Fund as an exit strategy. The committee rejected this “as it was not clear that there would be any net benefit to Strathclyde Pension Fund”.However, a spokeswoman for Aberdeen City Council told IPE the NESPF was still considering options for an insurance buy-in once the merger was complete.The deal is currently subject to agreement from the NESPF’s oversight committee and Scottish ministers. A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said the merger was slated to complete “some time later this year”.If the merger goes through, it will mark just the second time a private sector company has consolidated schemes within the LGPS.In late 2017, FirstGroup transferred two schemes with a combined £700m in assets from the LGPS funds for West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire to the Greater Manchester Pension Fund, creating a £1bn transport scheme.Scotland’s LGPS funds are currently subject to a consultation regarding future options for consolidation – although Strathclyde has argued against pursuing a similar approach to asset pooling as has been applied to LGPS funds in England and Wales. Two Scottish local authority pension funds are preparing to merge legacy transport schemes in an attempt to efficiently manage an eventual run-off.Strathclyde Pension Fund – part of Scotland’s Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) – has proposed merging its £206.9m (€230m) No.3 Fund section with the £100.1m Aberdeen City Council Transport Fund, part of the North East Scotland Pension Fund (NESPF).Both funds cater for employees of FirstGroup – a private company that operates bus services – in Glasgow and Aberdeen. UK bus services were privatised in the 1980s but pension arrangements remained with the LGPS.In its latest annual report, the Strathclyde fund – which manages £21.3bn in total for current and former council workers in the Glasgow area – said the No.3 Fund was “well past its natural growth phase and starting to enter run-off”. In the 12 months to the end of March 2018, the No.3 Fund paid out £7.8m in benefits while taking in only £1.7m in contributions from its single sponsoring employer and its diminishing number of active members.
The Latest: Celta Vigo player Smolov flies home to Russia That ensures there will be no play until the end of June at the earliest.The Trophée Hassan II in Morocco from June 4-7 was postponed and the following week’s Scandinavian Mixed tournament in Stockholm was canceled and will now be played in 2021.Eleven tour events have been either postponed or canceled because of the virus outbreak.The next potential tournament is the BMW International Open in Germany from June 25-28.___ Smolov says he is abiding by an “obligatory” quarantine and remains in constant contact with Celta’s coaching staff to follow team protocol. He says he will return “as soon as the club requires.”___The Russian track federation says it will no longer give national team places to some athletes with past doping bans.The federation said Sunday it won’t select athletes who were given bans since November 2015 for a range of doping and doping-related offenses, or who work with a coach who was banned since that date.The move could be subject to a legal challenge. The Court of Arbitration for Sport has struck down similar national selection rules before if it deems they impose extra punishments on athletes who have served their doping bans. CAS overturned a British Olympic Association rule in 2012 that athletes previously banned for doping could not be selected for the Olympic team. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___Celta Vigo forward Fedor Smolov has left his confinement in Spain to be closer to his family back home in Russia. Associated Press Bayern Munich players have returned to training in small groups despite restrictions in place because of the coronavirus pandemic.The decision by the German champions came after some rival clubs made similar moves. Borussia Dortmund and Wolfsburg have had players train in pairs or small groups.Bayern said Sunday that the training session would “be done in coordination with government policy and the relevant authorities.” The club added that “it goes without saying that all hygiene regulations will be strictly observed.”German league games have been suspended until at least April 30. Clubs and the league have discussed resuming the league without fans and with regular virus tests for players and staff.No German league games have been played since March 8. The rules come as the Russian federation’s new management tries to mend its relationship with World Athletics. Russia has been suspended from international track competitions since 2015 for widespread doping.The federation last month formally admitted wrongdoing in a case where fake medical documents were used to give a Russian athlete an alibi for being unavailable for testing. It is facing a $10 million fine and a cap of 10 athletes for its track team at the next Olympics.___A doctor at French soccer club Reims has killed himself after getting infected with the coronavirus.Reims Mayor Arnaud Robinet told Le Parisien newspaper Bernard Gonzalez “is a collateral victim of COVID-19 because he had tested positive and was in isolation for 14 days. I know he had left a note to explain his decision.” April 6, 2020 Smolov says he informed the Spanish club of his plan and had its support. The club could not be immediately reached to confirm whether it had authorized the player’s departure.Spain is expected to remain in a nationwide lockdown because of the coronavirus pandemic until April 26. The country has more than 135,000 confirmed cases of the new virus with more than 13,000 deaths.Smolov wrote on Instagram that because of the closure of borders “I have found myself obligated to return to Russia to be closer to my family.”Smolov says he is “very grateful to Celta for its support and I want to emphasize that I informed the club about every step.”Spanish media reported that the 30-year-old Smolov flew home on a private jet for the 18th birthday of Maria Yumasheva. She is the granddaughter of former Russian President Boris Yeltsin. Smolov published photos on Instagram in January showing him and Yumasheva together on vacation. ___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 Officials at the club say Gonzalez died Sunday. He was 60.Gonzalez had worked at the club for 23 years.Reims remembered Gonzalez as a man with the “soul of an artist” who was in love with the six-time champions.___Two more golf events on the European Tour have been called off because of the coronavirus pandemic.