Tag Archives: force

‘Forgotten factor to blame for HGV shortage!’ IR35 warning as changes come into force

'Forgotten factor to blame for HGV shortage!' IR35 warning as changes come into force

AN IR35 warning is being issued to Britons, with one organisation warning the changes introduced earlier in the year are a key issue in “driving the HGV crisis”. Currently, there are a shortage of Heavy Goods Vehicle drivers due to the ongoing Covid pandemic, Brexit changes, and a number of other contributing factors.'Forgotten factor to blame for HGV shortage!' IR35 warning as changes come into force

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‘Strong deterrent signal’ US Air force sends dozens of F-22s to Pacific amid China tension

‘Strong deterrent signal’ US Air force sends dozens of F-22s to Pacific amid China tension

The stealth fighters, which arrived in Guam on Sunday, will take part in a military exercise near the Tinian islands for Operation Pacific Iron 2021. Pacific Air Forces in Hawaii confirmed approximately 25 F-22 Raptors from the Hawaii Air National Guard and from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, have been deployed.

General Ken Wilsbach, Pacific Air Forces commander, told CNN the deployment of F-22s will be the US’s largest joint deployment.

He said: “We have never had this many Raptors deployed together in the Pacific Air Forces area of operations.”

Operation Pacific Iron 2021 will focus on deploying, operating, manoeuvring, sustaining and generating forces from smaller and dispersed bases.

The operation is meant to project forces into the US Indo-Pacific Command area of responsibility showing the US to be “a more lethal, adaptive, resilient force”.

Images of the F-22s arriving at Andersen Air Base in Guam were shared on the Defence Visual Information Distribution Service (DVIDS).

According to a statement from Pacific Air Forces, other aircraft from Idaho and Japan will join the F-22s for what the Air Force calls an Agile Combat Employment operation.

The Agile Combat Employment operation will distribute the combat aircraft to other airfields across the region to increase survivability from enemy missile strikes.

Carl Schuster, a Hawaii-based defence analyst and a former director of operations at the US Pacific Command’s Joint Intelligence Center, said the deployment of the Stealth fighters is sending a strong signal to China.

READ MORE: China threatens US with retaliation as Beijing officials ‘set off’

Experts fear that a strike on those bases could seriously endanger an American attempt to retaliate to enemy threats.

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This post originally posted here Daily Express :: World Feed

State pension age changes force Britons to reconsider plans as retirement ‘fragments’

State pension age changes force Britons to reconsider plans as retirement 'fragments'

State Pension age changes have gradually been coming into force for a number of years, impacting millions of people. The first major change was state pension equalisation, which saw the eligibility age set at 65 for both men and women, despite women previously retiring at 60. Since this point, the state pension age has been gradually increasing and it has now hit 66.

However, this will not be the end of changes, and the state pension age is eventually set to reach 68.

Understandably, these alterations have affected many people, and indeed their understanding of retirement.

Research from Canada Life has shown almost a fifth of over-40s now say increases to the state pension age have affected their retirement.

Nearly a quarter of those asked said they would be shifting the age at which they retire to line up with their new state pension age.

READ MORE: Universal Credit: Up to £812 boost may be available to help Britons

Usually, 10 qualifying years are needed to get any state pension at all, while 35 years or more can unlock the full sum.

With a full state pension being worth approximately £9,340 per year, it is likely to provide assistance to retired people.

However, many experts have suggested this will not be enough to see Britons through retirement, and that individuals will need to find alternative sources of income in addition. 

Canada Life has posed equity release as a potential solution, where Britons can take equity from their property to supplement their retirement income. 

Alice Watson, Head of Marketing and Insurance at Canada Life, commented on the research.

She said: “As retirement journeys continue to evolve and fragment, driven by societal and regulatory change, holistic financial planning is becoming increasingly important.

“The wealth tied up in property is growing and is increasingly being used as a part of effective retirement planning, working alongside existing pension savings.  

“While releasing equity from property is a long-term decision that should include discussions with wider family, with the right advice it has a valuable role to play.

“It not only allows people to unlock the wealth stored in their property in a flexible and safe way, but also helps to support retirement lifestyle choices.”

When making decisions about one’s pension, or indeed whether equity release is a suitable option, the matter can be complicated.

As such, as a general rule, Britons are encouraged to seek advice on the matter before making major decisions.

Free help is also at hand through services such as PensionWise and Money Helper, promoted by the Government. 

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This post originally posted here Daily Express :: Finance Feed

Norway is sending soldiers to Mali as a contribution to the Takuba task force

Norway is sending soldiers to Mali as a contribution to the Takuba task force

The Norwegian government has decided that Norway will contribute to the Takuba task force in Mali and send “a smaller number of soldiers.”

The Norwegian contribution will be included in the Swedish contribution and is scheduled to be in place during the autumn. According to the newspaper VG, Norway has also offered two officers to be part of the Takuba force’s headquarters, the Ministry of Defense stated in a press release on Tuesday night.

Sweden is participating in the operation with a rapid reaction force of about 150 people, plus helicopters and a transport aircraft. 

“The contribution will, even if it is small, give us a better understanding of the situation in the area. It will also strengthen defense cooperation with Sweden. When we send a personnel contribution, it is appropriate that we also contribute with Norwegian staff officers at the headquarters to have the opportunity for insight and influence in the command structure,” Minister of Defense Frank Bakke-Jensen (H) noted.

Last year, Norway said no to France when asked to contribute personnel to the Takuba force due to the lack of support for the move in the Norwegian parliament (Storting). 

The Takuba task force has the aim of strengthening the Malian army’s ability to deal with the growing terrorist threat in the area. The initiative is a result of extremist Islamist groups advancing in Africa and especially in the Sahel belt where Mali is located.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

Do you have a news tip for Norway Today? We want to hear it. Get in touch at [email protected]

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This post originally posted here Norway Government & Politics News

Gmail brings back limit that could force you to use WhatsApp instead

Gmail brings back limit that could force you to use WhatsApp instead

Google has been offering all Gmail users the option to make video calls to friends and family via Google Meet for hours on end without being cut off mid-sentence. This unlimited video calling was originally designed for those who subscribe to Google Workspace which is only available to businesses and schools in the UK. But with millions of us forced into lockdown last year, the US tech giant showed its generosity and opened this video calling tool to anyone with a free Gmail account.

It was a very welcomed change as most video services, such as Zoom, placed limits on the amount of time that users could talk without paying for the privilege. Sadly, Google is now joining these rival platforms with the company bringing back the 60-minute limit.

As the US firm explains, “At 55 minutes, everyone gets a notification that the call is about to end. To extend the call, the host can upgrade their Google account. Otherwise, the call will end at 60 minutes.”

Google has confirmed the change won’t affect those making calls with one other person, but anyone joining a group call, with three more friends, will find the limit is now enforced.

It’s also worth noting that, right now, UK users can’t actually sign up to Google’s Individual Workspace option as this $ 9.99 subscription, which unlocks unlimited calls and a load of other benefits, is only available in the United States, Canada, and a few other nations.

READ MORE: Virgin Media and BT eclipsed by hyperfast broadband at price that’s hard to believe

Apple is also about to bring a swathe of new features to its calling app including Noise Isolation so everyone can hear voices loud and clear along with a Portrait Mode that adds a blur behind your face so you stand out more on calls – it also means friends can’t snoop on every book title on your bookcase.

Also included in this iOS 15 update is the ability to schedule a call for a set time with contacts then reminded so they join at the right time. FaceTime is also coming to Android so you won’t need an iPhone to use it.

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This post originally posted here Daily Express :: Tech

State pension age rises force retirement plan changes – ‘vital’ funding guidance issued

State pension age rises force retirement plan changes - 'vital' funding guidance issued

State pension ages have been steadily rising in recent years as state legislation pushes retirement ages upwards. Currently, most people will reach their state pension age on their 66th birthday but this will rise over the coming years.

Canada Life detailed changes to state pension legislation have impacted the retirement plans of homeowners over 40, with only a quarter saying they will retire at their state pension age.

Nearly a third (31 percent) of respondents said they plan to work beyond their state pension age, with this increasing to 50 percent of the over 60s.

Equally, 34 percent plan to finish up work early and retire before their nominated state pension age. One in ten (11 percent) said they had already stopped working before their state pension kicked in.

When asked what they expect their main source of income to be in retirement, nearly a third (28 percent) of homeowners aged 40 and above expect the state pension will provide the “bedrock” of their income (22 percent for men vs 36 percent for women), even with the full state pension currently standing at just £179.60 per week, or £9,350 per year.

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When looking at what sources of income will be incorporated into retirement planning, a gender gap emerged.

Canada Life noted while men and women both expect to rely on the state pension equally, gaps emerged in the following assets:

  • Workplace pension – 67 percent (73 percent for men vs 61 percent for women)
  • Personal pension – 34 percent (38 percent for men vs 29 percent for women)
  • ISAs – 26 percent (30 percent for men vs 22 percent for women)
  • Financial investments – 15 percent (19 percent for men vs 11 percent for women)

“However, the amount received is not generous by any standard and, as a result, the onus is on individuals to take personal responsibility to save for retirement.

“Employees can build on the state pension and any workplace savings they have.

“Self-employed people face more of a challenge as they don’t have an employer to help fund their retirement.

“As the goalposts for the state pension shift, it is vital people check their state pension age, the amount they are due to receive, and whether they are eligible for the full state pension.

“It’s equally important that those who have spent time out of employment check their record, claim any National Insurance credits possible, and think about making any top-ups in order to be entitled to as much state pension as possible.

“Taking a proactive approach, seeking the help of an adviser, and making good decisions now will all help to fund retirements.”

Author: Connor Coombe-Whitlock
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