Last summer, bands like Alabama Shakes, Trey Anastasio Band, ODESZA and more flocked to Buena Vista, Colorado for the inaugural Vertex Festival. The event was an all-around success, championed by Madison House Presents and attended by thousands of local music fans. Unfortunately, it looks like the festival will not be happening next year, thanks in part to the slowness of the local government to reissue permits.A new Denver Post feature details the full situation. According to their report, the permits for Vertex 2017 were just passed, pushing Madison House “well past original planning timelines.” That was mentioned in a statement released by Vertex, which says:“The recent approval of the permit for Vertex in 2017 is much appreciated, and displays the collective intentions to discover a great path forward. Buena Vista’s relationship with a world-class festival has amazing potential. Rushing forward could compromise the quality of the festival and is not in the best interest of Buena Vista or Vertex. We look forward to ongoing productive discussions with the community so that we can best plan the dream of what Vertex can become.”Their statement did leave room for the festival to potentially return in the future, much like Madison House Presents did when they took a year off to rebrand Rothbury as Electric Forest. However, numerous problems – including noise complaints and subsequent noise limitations – thwarted their ability to put on the festival properly. It will be interesting to see what happens to Vertex in the future, but unfortunately this report definitely puts an end to the festival’s return in 2017.
The payments from the Unilever schemes were much higher than compensation granted by other pension funds. The ING and Shell schemes, for example, raised pension payments for last year by less than 2%. Shell was able to grant members of its Dutch DB scheme a 1.6% upliftShell’s €28bn closed DB pension fund increased benefits by 1.6% this month, while raising the salary-linked pension rights for workers by 1%. Last month, its funding level was almost 123%.At the start of this year, the €1.1bn pension fund of publisher Wolter Kluwer granted inflation compensation of 0.48%, based on a funding ratio of almost 113%.Participants of the €3.4bn pension fund of SNS Reaal Group saw their pension rights raised by 0.8% in January, which equates to 38% of the effect of inflation last year. At January-end, the scheme’s coverage ratio stood at almost 114%.Based on a funding level of 112% at 2018-end, the company scheme of Gasunie increased pensions by 0.2%. This was 1.4 percentage points short of consumer price inflation, the Gasunie scheme’s criterion for indexation.Some of the country’s largest funds are significantly short of the funding level required for inflation-linked payments, and may be forced to cut payments if their situation does not improve in the coming year.Regulator De Nederlandsche Bank has estimated that more than half of Dutch pension scheme members were in underfunded pension plans at the end of 2018. Unilever has granted members of its two Dutch pension funds inflation-linked payments of almost 5%.Both schemes – the closed defined benefit (DB) pension fund Progress (€5.2bn) and the new DC scheme Forward – said the wage-linked indexation reflected cumulative salary rises for 2017 and 2018.The pension funds said they were able to grant full indexation as their funding ratios stood at 140% and 142%, respectively, last October when they decided on inflation compensation.Under the rules of the current Dutch financial assessment framework (FTK), pension funds can pay indexation in part if their coverage ratio is at least 110%.