America’s credit unions: Dreams thrive here

first_img 42SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Dennis Zuehlke Dennis is Compliance Manager for Ascensus. Mr. Zuehlke provides clients with technical support on tax-advantaged accounts (including individual retirement accounts, health savings accounts, simplified employee pension plans, and Coverdell education … Web: www.ascensus.com Details As credit unions celebrate International Credit Union Day on October 19, 2017, this year’s theme, “Dreams Thrive Here,” speaks volumes to the relationships that credit unions have with their members. For decades, credit unions have helped their members save for their first car and their first home, turning dreams into reality.Saving money is not easy, but credit unions help their members achieve their savings goals with fair-priced loans and tools, such as payroll deduction, to make saving easy. As a trusted financial partner, credit unions have an opportunity to help their members save for three of the most important things in life: retirement, college, and healthcare. And members need help saving for all three.Consider the following statistics.Twenty-eight percent of non-retired adults indicate that they currently have no retirement savings or pension whatsoever, according to the Report of the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2016, published by the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. The average amount parents have saved for college is $16,380, according to How America Saves for College 2016, Sallie Mae’s national study of parents with children under age 18. This amount would not even cover the average cost of one full year of tuition, fees, and room and board at a public four-year in-state school.More than half of the consumers who said that they were contacted about debt in collection noted that it was related to a medical debt, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Survey of Consumer Views on Debt.Over the years, Congress has created a host of tax-advantaged savings plans, which includes IRAs, simplified employee pension (SEP) plans, savings incentive match plan for employees of small employers (SIMPLE) IRA plans, Coverdell education savings accounts (ESA), and health savings accounts (HSAs), to encourage saving for retirement, college, and healthcare. These plans provide members with generous tax savings—especially HSAs—which provide for both tax deductible contributions and tax-free withdrawals. Many credit unions offer some or all of these savings plans to their members, yet many members who need help to achieve their financial goals do not take advantage of these plans and their benefits. As credit unions celebrate International Credit Union Day, they may reflect on how they help their members achieve financial goals. The following are tips to help members save for retirement, college, and healthcare.Educate members about the many tax-advantaged savings plans—IRAs, SEP plans, SIMPLE IRA plans, ESAs, and HSAs—and how these plans can help them save for retirement, college, and retirement. Small business owners often cannot afford to offer a retirement plan to their employees but they may not be aware of the tax benefits of a SEP plan or SIMPLE IRA. Grandparents who want to help their grandchildren may not be aware of the ESA and its benefits. HSA owners who receive employer contributions may not be aware of the added tax benefits that they would receive by also making contributions to their HSA. As a trusted source of financial information, credit unions can provide members with the information they need to reach their savings goals. Promote low-cost credit union IRAs, ESAs, and HSAs. Studies consistently show that credit unions charge lower fees and pay higher deposit rates than their competitors. Many credit unions offer IRAs, ESAs, and HSAs with no annual fees and low- or no-minimum balance requirements. And, if fees are assessed, they are usually lower than the fees charged by competitors. This makes it easy for members to start saving for retirement, college, or healthcare, by setting aside modest amounts on a regular basis without the worry of high fees eroding their savings.Offer payroll deduction or automatic transfers to make saving easy. More important than saving for retirement, college, or healthcare is saving for these events on a regular basis, but members need help to keep their commitment. Encouraging payroll deduction as a way to save for retirement, college, or healthcare makes it easy and ensures that members commit to achieving their saving goals.For decades, credit unions have helped members achieve their financial dreams. As the credit union movement celebrates International Credit Union Day, credit unions have an opportunity to help members save for three of the most important things in life: retirement, college, and healthcare. Dreams thrive here because members know that they can count on their credit unions to help them achieve their financial goals. Ascensus has a long history of serving the credit union market. We wish all of our credit union clients a happy International Credit Union Day.last_img read more

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Pennsylvania Leaders Launch Public Safety Initiative to Tackle Drivers of Cost, Incarceration, and Recidivism

first_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitter February 18, 2016 Criminal Justice Reform,  Government That Works,  Press Release,  Public Safety,  Results Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf and leaders from both political parties and all three branches of government today launched an extensive review of the state’s criminal justice system as part of a new Justice Reinvestment Initiative designed to reduce ineffective corrections spending and invest those savings in proven public safety strategies.“A broken criminal justice system is a failure to deliver on the promise of a fair and just society, and we must all work together to ensure Pennsylvania leads the nation in rehabilitation and not incarceration,” Governor Wolf said. “While much progress has been made, there is more we can do and today is the beginning of an important process to look at how we can improve our criminal justice system from sentencing guidelines to our bail system. Working together, we can make many significant changes that will make our system fairer, improve public safety and save millions of dollars.”Pennsylvania currently has the highest incarceration rate among all states in the Northeast, despite reducing its prison population in recent years. The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization assisting the state in its justice reinvestment approach, today released an overview of the state’s criminal justice system. Preliminary findings include:Pennsylvania is one of only four states in the nation where corrections spending exceeds expenditures on higher education;Between 2004 and 2014, corrections expenditures increased by 40 percent, from $1.5 billion to $2.2 billion.Over the same period, the state’s incarceration rate increased by 20 percent. Conversely, New York and New Jersey saw their incarceration rates drop by 20 percent and 21 percent, respectively.The Department of Corrections has requested $2.3 billion in state funds for the 2015–2016 budget, a 7-percent increase over the prior year.“When legislators from both sides of the aisle work together to tackle these tough issues, we create genuine results,” House Speaker Mike Turzai said. “We proved that with a justice reinvestment approach we took in 2012. That bipartisan spirit must be invoked again in order to build on the positive outcomes that we are seeing to create a safer and more cost effective system.”Indeed, the justice reinvestment approach has already proven to be effective in Pennsylvania. After the state’s prison population increased by 28 percent (from 40,090 to 51,184 people) between 2002 and 2012, a Justice Reinvestment Initiative conducted by the state in 2012 helped spur a decline in the population to 49,914 people by the end of 2015. These changes generated almost $13 million in savings, close to $4 million of which was reinvested in areas to enhance public safety, such as victims’ services, effective policing procedures, strengthening probation, and local reentry strategies.“Pennsylvania has certainly made significant headway over the last few years with strong improvements to our criminal justice system,” Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati said. “It is vital that we continue to work towards increasing efficiencies and reducing the costs of our corrections system. We need to reduce recidivism to benefit our communities and help ensure that taxpayer dollars that are being sent to Harrisburg are being used productively.”Despite the impacts from the 2012 reforms, other drivers of incarceration and costs at the state and local levels remain unaddressed. Therefore, the latest justice reinvestment effort will focus on the front end of the system, including sentencing and pretrial policies.“Our prisons were taking on increases of 1,500 inmates each year. In turn, our taxpayers were taking on enormous costs. The 2012 corrections and parole reforms halted a lot of that,” said John Wetzel, secretary of Pennsylvania’s Department of Corrections and board member of the CSG Justice Center. “But Pennsylvanians aren’t satisfied with simply treading water. They are counting on this process to curb costs while recalibrating our system so that resources are directed at strategies that can lower crime and recidivism rates.”To support the state’s new initiative, Gov. Wolf today also established a bipartisan working group of 35 representatives from the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of state and local government, as well as other criminal justice stakeholders.“I am honored to lead this bipartisan panel of experts as we work together to reform our criminal justice system in ways that make our communities safer, enrich the lives of those involved in the system and protect the interests of taxpayers,” said Josh Shapiro, chairman of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency and chair of the working group. “Working together we will develop a comprehensive policy package that will strengthen our Commonwealth.”Throughout the year, the working group will guide the CSG Justice Center’s analysis of state and local criminal justice system data in order to develop policy options for introduction in the General Assembly during the 2017 legislative session.Chief Justice Thomas G. Saylor, who has joined the Governor and Legislative Leaders in supporting the process, noted: “Justice reinvestment provides a clear opportunity to do a thoughtful analysis of our criminal justice challenges. Judges, who are carrying out innovative practices in courtrooms across the commonwealth, have valuable perspectives that will help the working group identify practical policy alternatives.”The new initiative also received bi-partisan and bi-cameral support from all four chairs of the General Assembly’s Judiciary Committees.“The first wave of criminal justice reforms have finally started to drive down Pennsylvania’s inmate population and costs and have provided a means of investing in successful strategies to further drive down incarceration; however, this was just the beginning,” said Sen. Stewart Greenleaf. “We have broken the barriers to rethinking corrections policies on all fronts from rehabilitating non-violent drug offenders, to addressing mandatory minimum sentences, and expunging minor criminal records. I look forward to working with our partners on this latest justice reinvestment initiative to find more reforms and strategies to further reduce Pennsylvania’s inmate population and corrections spending.”“Working together to find effective and efficient ways to improve public safety is a fundamental responsibility of state government,” Rep. Ron Marsico said.“JRI has helped us reduce our prison population and costs,” Sen. Daylin Leach said. “It should be refined and continued, but it’s also time to consider whether spending tax dollars on lengthy prison sentences for nonviolent offenders make us any safer.”“In this first year serving as Judiciary Chairman, I have already seen the stark differences in outcomes across populations, counties, and offenses.,” Rep. Joseph Petrarca. “It is clear that we need to do more to control costs, protect the public, and improve outcomes for families”The CSG Justice Center has helped 24 other states—including West Virginia, North Carolina, and Ohio—apply the justice reinvestment approach. The initiative is made possible through funding from The Pew Charitable Trusts and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance.Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolfcenter_img Pennsylvania Leaders Launch Public Safety Initiative to Tackle Drivers of Cost, Incarceration, and Recidivismlast_img read more

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Ulster clash postponed

first_imgUlster’s RaboDirect Pro12 game against the Scarlets in Belfast on Friday night has been postponed. “A further update will be issued as soon as possible.” Ulster announced that referee Leighton Hodges had deemed the Ravenhill pitch unplayable. “The two teams are now exploring the possibility of playing the game tomorrow at Ravenhill,” Ulster said, in a statement. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

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Martin Lycka: Sixteen kings trapped in a gambling Gordian knot

first_imgShare Share Submit MoneyMatrix boosts wire transfer options by integrating Klarna’s Sofort August 24, 2020 StumbleUpon Martin Lycka – Regulatory high temperatures cancel industry’s ‘silly season’ August 11, 2020 Related Articles Mateusz Juroszek – Non-stop STS will expand amid industry disruptions August 12, 2020 In the third of a series of columns on international gambling legislation, GVC’s Director of Regulatory Affairs Martin Lycka ruminates on the development of the online gambling market in Germany.__________________Once upon a time, there were sixteen kings in a land in the heart of Europe. The land’s credo was thou shalt not gamble online. Nevertheless, the kings’ subjects chose to gamble on the land’s web and thus implicitly beseeched the kings to summon a kings council to ponder and debate the credo. The council confirmed the credo in its full glory. However, following the sitting of the council, an Emperor’s court to which all the kings’ courts were subject ruled that the credo fell foul of the Emperor’s gambling rules and ordained the kings to think again. The kings ruminated about the matter at hand in council for the second time and then solemnly declared that online betting shalt be temporarily permitted whereas other online games shalt languish in the land of darkness (allegedly owing to an angst expressed by the kings’ men whose business was to sell lottery tickets). The kings further stipulated that the future betting related dispensations would be fraught with severe limitations on the seekers’ enterprises. The interpretation of the land’s credo having been thus changed, the kings’ councillors subsequently set off to grant twenty royal dispensations to seekers whose enterprises would be deemed most worthy of one. At the same time, a northern king, Sebastian-Harald III,  SH for short, broke ranks with his fellow kings and sanctified all online games in his land.  SH’s move prompted online gambling enterprises to pursue a two-pronged stratagem by means of seeking dispensations in both the northern land and the united lands of the other 15 kings.The 15 kings’ councillors considered supplications they had received from gambling enterprising subjects and selected twenty worthiest amongst their number for the privilege of becoming one of the kings’ suppliers. The northern land also completed its selection process and issued licences. The land in the heart of Europe was thus seemingly en route to a two-system regulatory model. However, the 15 kings’ system never really came into being; its flaws and fallacies having been challenged and exposed in the kings’ courts. The twenty licences have (so far) not been granted …The 15 kings reconvened in council again in a bid to find a path forward; it however turned out that there were too many a king amongst their number who expressed their displeasure with matters as they were. Following further strenuous deliberations, with the northern king back in the fold, the (now once again) 16 kings finally brought themselves to act in unison and decreed that the sports betting licences shalt be issued, without a limit on their number, in not too a distant future and that new regulation, potentially extending to a wider scope of online gambling products, be considered for introduction in summer 2021. The exact nature of the future regulation however remains, at least to some extent, shrouded in haze and mystery of the royal corridors of power; it is scheduled to be debated again by the 16 kings’ councillors in September 2019 and afterwards by the kings themselves in October and very likely beyond… Despite the persisting uncertainty, an ever increasing number of the 16 monarchs have declared that the only acceptable manner of disentangling the gambling Gordian knot is by means of a much more inclusive regulation, failing which they would be prepared to break away from the others, just like the northern king did back in the day, and potentially form a regulatory alliance. While the deliberations surrounding new regulation are afoot, scribes sworn to serve the lords operating online gambling products have been in the throes of preparing letters, charters and other documents to be submitted to the licensing councillors of the 16 kings, citizens of the city of Darmstadt. It was announced at an assize held by the Darmstadt councillors in mid August 2019 that the sports betting licence supplications will have started being reviewed only in January 2020; no date for their grant has been set in stone just yet. It is expected though that the supplications will rain down on the Darmstadt councillors in droves, which might, with all due respect, lead to significant “snowedunderedness” at their end and materially delay the licensing process. Call me a faint-of-heart but I would not bet my horse, let alone my squire, on the exact date of the grant of the future licence at this point in time.What is clear though is that the outcome of the licensing process itself will have a role to play in the ruminations about the future online gambling regulation in the land in the heart of Europe. If I was summoned to the next kings’ council and my advice on this matter was sought, having respectfully bowed my head and cleared my throat, I would give the following one, with a view to ensuring that the future regulation be in compliance with all legal and practical commandments:“Thou shalt regulate all products in the marketplace and subject them to licences” – it is beyond imperative in my view, in particular for responsible gambling and integrity purposes, that casino and poker be included amongst the number of licenseable products; “Thou shalt not impose arbitrary statutory limits on the online gambling offer” – it has been proven that statutory limits do not reflect the reality of the marketplace and are in no position to duly reflect affordability levels of individual customers; it is humbly submitted that customer set limits (subject to source of funds and responsible gambling checks) shalt be considered a much more preferable and at the same time effective option in this regard; and “Thou shalt preserve the existing lottery monopoly” – experience from other EU Member States has demonstrated that online casino does not cannibalise on the lottery market; it is further respectfully submitted that EU law does not require opening up of the domestic lottery market in the event the casino has been licensed. The author of these humble lines truly believes that new German regulation along the aforesaid lines would have the ability to bring the seemingly endless jostling, squabbling and skirmishing around this topic to an end to the benefit of all involved subjects. Martin Lycka is Director of Regulatory Affairs at GVC Group. Before that he spent nearly ten years at Paddy Power Betfair working on international markets. Views expressed are personal and not necessarily those of GVC Group.The German market will be discussed at next week’s Betting on Sports Conference at London Olympia in two sessions DACH – Vision 2021 and Analysing the German sports bettor. Find out more by clicking here.last_img read more

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ESPYS: Dodgers named the 2020 Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year

first_imgThe Dodgers were named the Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year for their foundation (Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation) that works to improve education, health care, homelessness and social justice in the city. The foundation will use the $100,000 award to continue its programs. Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season center_img Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco According to a team press release, LADF are providing 279,280 meals and $659,227 in in-kind donations to support vulnerable populations who are experiencing homelessness, food insecurity, lack of basic needs and significant anxiety.“Our goal is to achieve the same level of excellence off the field that our fans demand from us on the field,” said Dodgers chairman Mark Walter in the release. “This is much bigger than baseball. We want to tackle the city’s most significant challenges, such as unequal access to education, and we are striving to become the best philanthropic organization in the city working on these issues.”Related Articles How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire last_img read more

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