Niina Bergring, CIO, said: “We are very pleased with the result, considering the market situation.”Fixed income performance had lowered the overall result, she said, with the asset class ending with a return of just 1.5%.Property investments, which the company said were traditionally strong within its portfolio, returned 5.9%.Total contributions fell by 1.2% to €452.8m from €458.2m, while pensions and other benefits paid out rose 7.3% to €432m.Veritas blamed the fall in contributions partly on payroll developments, with pension client numbers declining, and partly on the fact more corporate clients had failed this year to make their scheduled contributions.Managing director Jan-Erik Stenman said he was not surprised by the slide in contributions.“We are now seeing the aftermath of the general economic situation,” he said.“In the course of 2013, the impact of globalisation hit our customers – small and medium-sized enterprises – which had hitherto perhaps fared better than large companies in the current economic situation.”Over the year, Veritas lost 1.8% of employees as clients, or 53,339 workers.Total investment assets rose to €2.4bn, up €170m from a year earlier.Solvency capital increased during the year to end at 27.8% of technical provisions from 24.1% a year before, Veritas said, adding that this meant solvency capital was 2.1 times the solvency limit. Finland’s Veritas produced a 7.4% return on investments in 2013, but saw contributions fall by 1.2% as globalisation effects hit small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the country.Reporting preliminary results for last year, Veritas said it was the positive trend in equity markets that boosted investment returns, particularly at the end of the year.The 2013 investment return was helped by listed equities, which generated the pension insurer’s highest returns at 18.3%.However, the overall return was down from last year, when investments ended the year with a profit of 11.3%.
Daily Mail (UK) 8 Sep 2012A leading neuroscientist has backed an opt-in system for online pornography, saying extreme images may cause long-term harm to children’s brains. Baroness Susan Greenfield urged ministers to respect parents’ concerns over uncontrolled internet access. The Oxford University professor said the developing brain was ‘vulnerable’ and that children needed to be protected from premature sexualisation. Already, she said, young people she had spoken to believed ‘relationships are for losers’ and that having multiple sexual partners would impress their friends. The Daily Mail is campaigning for an automatic block on online porn unless over-18s specifically ask their internet service providers to let them see such material, following strict age verification. Baroness Greenfield said: ‘If I had to choose between unfettered internet access, and having children potentially harmed psychologically or worse by porn sites, then for me the decision is an easy one. ‘This [opt in] seems to be the simplest and something simple is easiest for people to deal with. We know that the young brain, because it is still developing, is vulnerable. It is so easily influenced, exposing young people to extreme behaviours like that, might influence it in a way that could be long term.’ Baroness Greenfield said children’s brains may be vulnerable to pornography, as well as suicide and eating disorder sites, on the back of evidence from studies on drug use, video games and criminal behaviour, showing long-term effects from early exposure. On Thursday, a petition signed by 115,000 – including 140 MPs – was handed in to Downing Street, demanding that internet service providers block online porn.http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2200103/Lasting-damage-young-minds-left-online-porn-Brain-expert-warns-children-protected-extreme-images.html