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Alberta introduces pension reform bills, unions call them punitive, unnecessary

EDMONTON - The Alberta government introduced a bill Wednesday to overhaul pension plans affecting more than 200,000 public sector workers. It's a bill opponents and unions say is unfair, unnecessary, and could result in sharply reduced benefits. Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Cal Dallas introduced Bill 9 on behalf of Finance Minister Doug Horner, and it quickly passed first reading. "The proposed changes in the bill strike the right balance between all stakeholders," Dallas told the legislature.

Citigroup shuns digital webcast for its shareholder meeting

By David Henry NEW YORK (Reuters) - Citigroup Inc <C.N>, which aspires "to become the world's digital bank", will not webcast its annual meeting next week in St. Louis. Of the top six U.S. banks, only Citigroup and Wells Fargo & Co <WFC.N> do not allow investors to listen to live audio from their annual meetings.

With Detroit pension deals taking shape, attention shifts to Michigan lawmakers for $350M

DETROIT - Pressure was building Wednesday for Michigan lawmakers to commit $350 million to Detroit pensions, a day after the city reached tentative agreements with pension funds and a retiree group to reduce payouts. The city has an $816 million pledge from foundations, philanthropists and Gov. Rick Snyder to shore up pension funds and prevent the sale of city-owned art as part of Detroit's strategy for exiting the largest public bankruptcy in U.S. history. But the state's share still hasn't been nailed down, and some in the Republican-controlled Legislature aren't sold yet.

US stocks rally on positive economic, earnings news

US stocks rallied for a third straight day on Wednesday, lifted by some positive economic and corporate earnings news, with Yahoo surging six percent as it beat Wall Street forecasts. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 162.29 points (1.00 percent) at 16,424.85. The broad-based S&P 500 surged 19.33 (1.05 percent) to 1,862.31, while the Nasdaq Composite outperformed, adding 52.06 (1.29 percent) at 4,086.23. "People are feeling a little bit more comfortable taking a little more risk today," said Michael James of Wedbush Securities.

BofA Wealth boasts record first-quarter revenue but profit slows

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bank of America's wealth management businesses slowed in the first quarter, with profit at its Merrill Lynch brokerage and U.S. Trust private banking units slipping 6.5 percent to $729 million from $777 million in the last quarter of 2013. The return on the $12 billion of capital allocated to the wealth businesses fell to 24.7 percent from 29.4 percent in the 2013 first quarter and 31 percent from the fourth quarter.

Pensions for Detroit police, fire retirees safe while other retirees would see benefits cut

DETROIT - The Detroit pension fund that covers all retirees except former police officers and firefighters says it has reached a tentative agreement with the bankrupt city. Tina Bassett, a spokeswoman for the city's general pension fund, says retirees would see a 4.5 per cent cut and their cost-of-living payments would be eliminated under a deal reached late Tuesday. Hours earlier, a group representing retired police and firefighters announced that it had reached its own deal to preserve pension benefits but trim cost-of-living payments.

Diebold gains some fans on cost cutting plans, ATM upgrades

By David Randall NEW YORK (Reuters) - The expansion of mobile banking may one day spell the end for large bank branches in the U.S., or even curtail the use of cash altogether. In the meantime, though, fund managers are buying Diebold Corp, the automated teller machine maker whose stock has underperformed bigger rival NCR Corp since 2009, on signs it may post better returns than NCR this year.

New Brunswick Teachers Federation agrees to pension deal with province

FREDERICTON - The New Brunswick Teachers' Federation has reached an agreement with the provincial government on pensions. The federation says its board of directors approved the agreement Saturday and regional meetings to explain details to its members will begin April 22. The federation made the announcement on its website today and says pension rallies that were scheduled have been cancelled.

JPMorgan on profit drop: Be relieved we aren't taking big risks

By David Henry (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co executives had a clear message for shareholders after reporting declining first-quarter earnings: don't worry, be happy that the bank isn't chasing short-term gains by making irrational lending decisions. The first quarter was a tough one for JPMorgan. Profit fell 19 percent, revenue fell 8 percent, and the bank set aside 38 percent more money to cover loan losses.

Gov't pours 14 tln won into covering pension funds deficit over past 5 years

SEJONG, April 13 (Yonhap) -- The government has poured almost 14 trillion won (US$13.5 billion) into the pension funds for public servants and soldiers over the last five years to cover their deficit, data showed Sunday. The government pumped a combined 13.9 trillion won to plug losses by the pension funds from 2009-2013, according to the finance ministry, and around 3.8 trillion won may go to covering the two pension funds' deficit this year, up from 3.3 trillion won tallied for last year.
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