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Wednesday, 17th May 2017

John Smiles

Qualified Financial Advisor

More pension reform is on the way

Pension reform and consolidation of defined contribution (DC) pension structures is high on the agenda of the Pensions Authority in the lead up to implementation of Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision II Directive (IORPs II) and introduction of a Universal Pensions Scheme. The current deadline is Q4 of 2018 for rationalisation of pension products and Q1 of 2019 for IORPS II.

The Pensions Authority’s draft report on “Governance and Simplification of Supplementary Pensions” to the minister for social protection in January 2017 cites a clear objective “to improve as far as possible the outcome for pension savers”. The Pensions Authority has not yet elaborated on their definition of an “improved outcome for pension savers”, but one of the key published proposals is “the number of schemes in

Ireland should be reduced from the

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Wednesday, 17th May 2017

KBC Bank Ireland have announced that as part of

KBC Bright Ideas it has doubled its support fund to €200,000 and launched a new scheme for Ireland’s leading social innovators and entrepreneurs. KBC’s

Business Bright Ideas will assist for-profit organisations in the business of having a positive impact on a city or community by addressing a particular social need.

Following a judging process a top award of €50,000 will be granted to the winning applicant who can show how the funding will help have a positive impact on communities. A total of €100,000 will be shared among the top entrants.

Meanwhile KBC’s Bright Ideas community support initiative returns for a fourth year to support individuals and organisations which are transforming and improving the lives of others in their locality. KBC is calling on community groups across the country to apply for financial support for

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Wednesday, 17th May 2017

Sinn Féin TD and member of the Public Accounts Committee David Cullinane today welcomed the news that the Grace case whistle blower is to appear before the Public Accounts Committee in private session. The Waterford TD said:

“This is good news. The whistle blower requested this meeting. It is a request I supported and I am happy to say the Committee has agreed.

“The Grace whistle blower has done this state an enormous service at great personal cost.

“It is important for our work on the PAC that we are able to hear first-hand from the whistleblower.

“It is also important that the HSE appears before the PAC afterwards and answers questions and queries raised by the testimony of the whistle blower where possible given the ongoing investigations.”

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Wednesday, 10th May 2017

Michael Garland,

bizBoost Chair,

“The heat is on”

No, not the lyrics from that old Glenn Frey karaoke classic, from the mid nineteen eighties.

The Irish weather seems to have finally decided to turn up the thermostat. We are at long last beginning to see what many would constitute as summer! There have been blue skies spotted around the “Sunny South East” and temperatures, are eventually, ever so slowly creeping into the higher teens. This will all be very good news, for the many thousands of people coming to our hills and coastlines over the next number of weeks and months.

There can be no doubt, that the BBC drama series Redwater, a spin off from “Dum, Dum Dum...” Eastenders drama, filmed in and around Dunmore East last year, will attract additional interest in all things Waterfordorian. There are even rumours that one of the

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Wednesday, 10th May 2017

Wed, 15th May, 8pm in the Rainbow Hall, Kilmacthomas

Waterford Fianna Fáil TD is calling on those who want to want to protect the future of the post office network to attend her public meeting on Wednesday, 10th May at 8pm in the Rainbow Hall, Kilmacthomas.

“On the night, I will be joined by my party’s spokesperson on communications, Timmy Dooley who has consistently raised the precarious position of rural post offices, and is leading the charge for the Government to up its game, invest in the post office network, and secure its future.

“This is a chance for people in Waterford to raise their concerns, speak about how they see their local post office changing, and impress upon our spokesperson their demand for their post office to be protected.

“In recent weeks, we have heard that the Government are considering closing up to

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Wednesday, 10th May 2017

Expert View

John Smiles

Qualified Financial Advisor

The importance of investing globally?

The Wilshire 5000 Total Market Index is a widely used benchmark for the US equity market. You might guess that the Index is made up of 5,000 stocks but it actually contained only around 3,600 companies, as at December 31, 2016. The last time this index contained 5,000 or more companies was at the end of 2005. This mirrors the overall trend in the US stock market, which accounts for around half of the world’s total stock market capitalisation.

In the past two decades there has been a decline in the number of US-listed, publicly traded companies. Should investors in public markets be worried about this change? We believe not.

When looked at globally, the number of publicly listed companies has not declined. The number of companies listed globally has increased from about 23,000

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Wednesday, 10th May 2017

Waterford Minister of State John Halligan T.D. has confirmed that 52 vacant local authority homes in Waterford will be returned to productive use this year under a housing investment announced recently.

Waterford City & County Council has been allocated €853,820 under the Vacant Properties (Voids) Programme for 2017 and Minister Halligan said the local authority will be asked to give priority consideration to making the refurbished homes available for letting to homeless families:

“This programme commenced in 2014 to assist in dealing with vacant units and the feedback to date from local authorities has been very positive, in terms of achieving a quick turnaround and re-letting times for the housing units concerned”, Minister Halligan continued.

“Going forward, funding will be linked to local authorities putting in place ongoing maintenance programmes to address the issue of vacant properties. These measures will mean that there

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Wednesday, 3rd May 2017

Michael Garland,

bizBoost Chair,

Waterford Business Group

“Keep it clean and keep it green!”

“Keep it clean and keep it green!” could very well be the motto for our wonderful new Waterford Greenway. I ventured with my trusty steed, onto a very wee part of this 42km ribbon of regenerated old rail track, on a quiet Friday afternoon. My unicycle, shod in its skinny unforgiving road racing tyres, is not really suited to most of the surfaces to which its rubber would be exposed.

“Slowly, slowly catchee monkey”, were the wise words of wisdom ringing in my ears.

As two Lyrca clad MAMILS, gingerly accessed this amazing piece of tourism infrastructure at Kilmacthomas, we’d carefully wound our bikes up to nowhere near their top speed. Very conscious that we could meet walkers, joggers, buggies, dogs and other bicyclists. In fact we only met three walkers on

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Wednesday, 3rd May 2017

John Smiles

Qualified Financial Advisor

What is a Social Enterprise?

There is no legal definition of a social enterprise in Ireland. However, those involved in social enterprises believe in a fairer, more equal society, organised for the benefit of all, where business activity is used as a means to an end rather than an end in itself.

Social enterprises could be described as businesses that trade for the common good rather than the unlimited gain of a few. They address social needs, strengthen communities, improve people’s life chances, enhance culture or protect the environment.

They trade in a marketplace with the primary objective of social or environmental benefit. An asset lock structure ensures any profits are re-invested back into the business rather than distributed to owners and on dissolution, any assets remaining are reinvested into another organisation with similar aims and objectives.

They aspire to financial

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Wednesday, 3rd May 2017

Waterford Chamber’s May Business After Hours will see the coming together of Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens and EveryEvent to host a magical night at the spectacular Tramore venue on Thursday, 11th May.

Experience the creative talents of EveryEvent as you arrive, enjoy some tasty refreshments and enjoy a walk as the Lafcadio team launch their corporate tour packages.

There will also be some great prizes up for grabs, including annual passes to the gardens, so make sure you bring your business cards.

Agnes Aylward, who spearheaded the development of the Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens, said she is delighted to open the gates for this special event. “We are really looking forward to teaming up with EveryEvent for the Business After Hours. We have collaborated in the past on the Winter

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Letters to the Editor

  • OUR VIEW

    Christmas timeBeing part of the huge crowd that was in Waterford city centre for the annual turning on of the Christmas lights was without a question one of the highlights of the year. Seeing so many people, and particularly young people, infants and children, being part of the whole event made the turning on of the lights an even better occasion than you could possibly imagine.Each year the Winterval festival just gets better and better and you really have to hand it to the people behind it whose …

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