The British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) is to close to new accrual, Tata Steel has told union representatives.Union GMB called Tata’s plan to close the fund “unnecessary and profoundly disappointing”, and said it was preparing a strike ballot.According to the union, the fund had £13.6bn (€17bn) in assets at the end of November last year, up from £12.6bn at the end of March. David Hulse, GMB national officer, said the union did not expect to find itself discussing closure to new accrual, following months of negotiations that got underway in November. “Throughout a long process, we have acted in good faith and negotiated constructively in trying to reach an agreement that addresses what we acknowledge to be a significant deficit in the scheme,” Hulse added.According to the fund’s most recent annual report from 2013-14, BSPS had a £1.1bn deficit in March 2013 when measured on an on-going basis.Hulse was critical of Tata’s plans to close the fund to new accrual.“We have made every effort to compromise with the company, even discussing the possibility of meeting the deficit through changes to member benefits, despite the fact the company is legally obliged to pay for the deficit and has always done so in the past,” Hulse said.“Sadly, the company rejected this offer out of hand. It appears they are hell-bent on closing the scheme and are not prepared to compromise.”He said the management of parent company Tata Steel Europe should “seriously consider their positions” after what he deemed a breakdown in trust between the scheme’s sponsor and its workforce.A spokesman for Tata said the company put forward changes to the defined benefits (DB) fund that would have balanced any changes across the entire workforce.“We believe the trade unions’ proposals to change member benefits would have unfairly disadvantaged younger scheme members, who would have had to bear most of the impact of the changes.He added: “We have been unable to come to an agreement that would have enabled defined benefit provision to continue and we will be consulting employees on a proposal to close the defined benefit scheme to future accrual.It is proposed that future pension provision will be on a defined contribution basis.BTPS is a DB scheme, with a standalone defined contribution arrangement launched in 2014.The DB section returned 1.6% over the course of the 2013-14 financial year, and 7.8% over the three years to 2014.
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Making small, specific goals is key to losing weight long-term – but how can you get motivated now? Check out our favourite, no-fail jump-starts to feeling like your old self ASAP!1. Build a better breakfastAll meals are important, but breakfast is what helps you start your day on the right track. The best, heartiest breakfasts are ones that will fill you up, keep you satisfied, and stave off cravings later in the day. Aim to eat anywhere between 400 and 500 calories for your morning meal, and make sure you’re including a source of lean protein plus filling fat (e.g., eggs, beans, unsweetened Greek yoghurt, nuts, or nut butters) and fibre (veggies, fruit, or 100% whole grains). Starting your day with a blood sugar-stabilising blend of nutrients will help you slim down without sacrifice.2. Prioritise real, whole foodsMake sure that everything you’re eating is whole – as in nothing processed or packaged. Since salt is a preservative, these are the foods that are highest in sodium – something to keep in mind when planning your meals. Plan on making sure that all items you choose are fresh. That means filling up on fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean protein.3. Know your limits with saltWhen it comes by buying snacks, a ‘low sodium’ product has to be 140mg or less per serving – so if you’re really in a bind, you can follow that guideline for what to put in your trolley.4. Go for that cup of joeStart your day with a cup of coffee. Caffeine is a natural diuretic and an excellent source of antioxidants, which protect your cells from damage. You can have up to 400mg daily, according to the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.Not much of a coffee drinker? Tea is also a natural diuretic, and types of herbal tea such as dandelion or fennel root can also lend a hand. In fact, when a recent study compared the metabolic effect of green tea (in extract) with that of a placebo, researchers found that the green-tea drinkers burned about 70 additional calories in a 24-hour period.5. Skip sugary beveragesPlain and simple: we just don’t feel full by liquid calories in quite the same way as we do real food. Drinking a juice or caramel coffee drink, for instance, won’t make you feel full the way eating a bowl of veggie- and protein-packed stir-fry will. So monitor your intake of juice, soda, sweetened coffee and tea, and alcoholic beverages. If you consume each of those beverages during the day, you’ll have taken in at least 800 extra calories by nighttime – and you’ll still be hungry. (Incidentally, alcohol may suppress the metabolism of fat, making it tougher for you to burn those calories.)6. Buy a set of 5-pound weightsIt’s a one-time investment you’ll never regret. Here’s why: strength training builds lean muscle tissue, which burns more calories – at work or at rest – 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The more lean muscle you have, the faster you’ll slim down. How do you start strength training? Try some push-ups or a few squats or lunges. Use your free weights to perform simple bicep curls or tricep pulls right in your home or office. Do these exercises three to four times per week, and you’ll soon see a rapid improvement in your physique.7. Eat spicy foodsIt can actually help you cut back on calories. That’s because capsaicin, a compound found in jalapeno and cayenne peppers, may (slightly) increase your body’s release of stress hormones such as adrenaline, which can speed up your ability to burn calories. What’s more, eating hot peppers may help slow you down. You’re less likely to wolfed down that plate of spicy spaghetti – and therefore stay more mindful of when you’re full. Some great adds: ginger, turmeric, black pepper, oregano, and jalapenos.8. Go to bedAs funny as it sounds, sleep deprivation may make you fat – and not just because you’re susceptible to cases of the late-night munchies (although there’s that too). There’s tons of research that demonstrates getting less than the desired amount – about seven hours – of sleep per night can slow down your metabolism. Plus, when you’re awake for longer, you’re naturally more likely to nosh. So don’t skimp on your ZZZs, and you’ll be rewarded with an extra edge when it comes to shedding pounds quickly.9. Write it downLoads of research demonstrates people who log everything they eat – especially those who log while they’re eating – are more likely to lose weight and keep it off for the long-haul. Start tracking on an app like MyFitnessPal when the pounds start sneaking up on you. It’ll help you stay accountable for what you’ve eaten. Plus, you can easily identify some other areas of your daily eats that could use a little improvement when it’s written out in front of you.10. Take a walk!Don’t get us wrong – exercising at any time is good for you. But evening activity may be particularly beneficial because many people’s metabolism slows down toward the end of the day. Thirty minutes of aerobic activity before dinner increases your metabolic rate and may keep it elevated for another two or three hours, even after you’ve stopped moving. What that means for you: you’re less likely to go back for seconds or thirds. Plus, it’ll help you relax post meal so you won’t be tempted by stress-induced grazing that can rack up calories, quickly.11. Resist the urge to skip a mealListen up: skipping meals will not make you lose weight faster. If a hectic day makes a sit-down meal impossible, stash an energy bar or a piece of fruit in your car or tote, keep snacks in your office desk drawer — anything that will keep you from going hungry! Going long periods of time without food does double-duty harm on our healthy eating efforts by both slowing down your metabolism, and priming you for another binge later in the day. (Think: you’ve skipped breakfast and lunch, so you’re ready to takedown a whole turkey by dinner!) Make it your mission to eat three meals and two snacks every day, and don’t wait longer than three to four hours without eating. Set a ‘snack alarm’ on your phone if needed.12. Eat your H2OSure, you certainly need to drink plenty of water to help expedite the process of ridding your body of excess sodium, you can (and should!) also consume high-water content foods. Reach for cucumbers, tomatoes, watermelon, asparagus, grapes, celery, artichokes, pineapple, and cranberries – all of which contain diuretic properties that will also help you stay full due to their higher fibre content.13. Munch on mineral-rich foodsPotassium, magnesium, and calcium can help to serve as a counter-balance for sodium. Foods that are rich in potassium include leafy greens, most ‘orange’ foods (oranges, sweet potatoes, carrots, melon) bananas, tomatoes, and cruciferous veggies – especially cauliflower. Low-fat dairy, plus nuts, and seeds can also help give you a bloat-busting boost. They’ve also been linked to a whole host of additional health benefits, such as lowering blood pressure, controlling blood sugar, and reducing risk of chronic disease overall.14. Ignore the gimmicksAt any given time, there are dozens of weight-loss hypes in the marketplace that claim to take off 10 pounds in 10 days, or whatever. Desperation can tempt us to try anything – from ‘clean eating’ to cutting out food groups entirely. Keep in mind: just because an avocado-walnut-‘crunchy’-kale-salad dripping in coconut oil is deemed ‘clean’ by a so-called ‘expert’ on your Instagram feed does not make it an unlimited food. Moral of the story? Avoid fads, eat real food, watch some Netflix, and unwind (perhaps with a glass of wine in hand). Now that’s my kind of detox.15. Let yourself off the hookYou already know that a perfect diet doesn’t exist, but many of us still can’t resist the urge to kick ourselves when we indulge, eat too much, or get thrown off course from restrictive diets. The problem: this only makes it more difficult, stressful, and downright impossible to lose weight. So rather than beating yourself up for eating foods you think you shouldn’t, let it go. Treating yourself to about 200 calories worth of deliciousness each day – something that feels indulgent to you – can help you stay on track for the long-haul, so allow yourself to eat, breathe, and indulge. Food should be joyful, not agonising!Source