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The FSC has asked the reviewers to pay special attention to investments with ownerships connected to the funds and their managing companies, an issue of long-standing concern for Bulgarian legislators and the European Commission.The FSC is seeking opinions on pension fund governance, including internal control mechanisms and legal compliance.Risk evaluation forms a major part of the reviewers’ scope.The FSC wants the reviewers to assess the pension funds’ risks as defined by the current legal framework, identify risks not currently captured by legislation and highlight potential systemic risks to the rest of the financial sector and the real economy.The reviews, set to start this April and finish at the end of June, with 31 March as the reference date, will cover the country’s 18 universal and professional second-pillar funds, and the nine voluntary third-pillar funds.The funds themselves will pay for the exercise.Rodina, Bulgaria’s only voluntary occupational fund, has been excluded from the process.Bulgaria’s pensions sector has faced a turbulent period, with weakened 2015 returns and the parliament voting to convert the mandatory second pillar into a voluntary one in July 2015.The annual weighted average return for the universal pension funds fell from 6.13% in 2014 to 1.47%, and that of the professional funds from 5.89% to 1.78%, while the voluntary funds’ return declined from 6.64% to 1.68%. The Bulgaria Financial Services Commission (FSC), the pension regulator, is calling for independent external reviewers to assess the assets of the country’s second and third-pillar pension funds.The reviews will be overseen by a steering committee that includes representatives from the FSC, finance ministry, Bulgarian National Bank, European Commission and the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA).According to the FSC, the main objectives of the reviews include verifying the presence of pension fund assets at custodian banks and performing a valuation of the assets in accordance with current Bulgarian legislation.The reviewers have also been asked to assess the appropriateness of the valuation principles, a contentious issue for the Bulgarian Association of Supplementary Pension Security Companies (BASPSC), which considers the FSC’s time-weighted return methodology simplistic. read more
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.In the weeks before the site went live, 26 offenders who were warned about their upcoming Internet debuts set up payment plans to keep their names off the list. Another scofflaw has since contacted the state to offer to pay up if it will mean being dropped from the Web site. Tax board spokeswoman Denise Azimi said the agency has collected $300,000 in payments from those on the list in the past 30 days. “First, we have always tried to work with people cooperatively,” Azimi said, “but obviously the concept here is to try to create a deterrent.” California lawmakers approved the scofflaw Web site last year, as the state’s unpaid personal income and corporate tax bill topped $6.5 billion. That tab is now nearly $7 billion with more than 722,000 outstanding tax liens. Although the state has issued liens preventing the sale of offenders’ property, various problems have prevented the tax board from collecting the amounts due. Some offenders, for example, no longer draw paychecks that can be levied. SACRAMENTO – Answering machine messages, warning letters and liens have long been the discreet, if ignorable, weapons of the tax man. Now, California officials are beginning to think a high-tech public flogging may prove more effective. The state’s Franchise Tax Board last week launched a Web site listing the names, addresses and past-due amounts of its worst 250 scofflaws. Among California’s most delinquent: singer Dionne Warwick, comedian Sinbad and O.J. Simpson. As of Tuesday, those three remained on the list – and into the state for at least $1.4 million each. But for dozens of others, the threat of public humiliation has already had the desired effect. State tax officials estimated that if the names of the worst 250 were made public, California would collect about 4 percent of their amount due. However, if payments from the group over the past month hold up, the state’s public-shaming effort could end up bringing in far more than officials expected. Similar measures in Washington, Connecticut and Colorado have also proved effective. Combined, California’s 250 owe more than $249 million. At the top of the list is Rapid American Corp. with $26.8 million in unpaid taxes; at the bottom are dozens of individuals each owing more than $200,000. Dionne Warwick ranks 17th on the list and owes nearly $2.7 million; comedian Sinbad Adkins ranks 23rd and owes $2.1 million and O.J. Simpson – listed as Orenthal Simpson – ranks 33rd and owes more than $1.4 million. Officials wouldn’t discuss details of their tax problems, except to confirm that they are the celebrities in question. E-mails and phone calls from The Associated Press to agents and lawyers for the three were not returned Tuesday. Under the law, the tax board will update the list of 250 quarterly.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! read more