General Assembly resolution A/RES/72/262
The 2018-19 budget requested by the 64th Pension Fund Board was supported with minor modifications. The General Assembly resolved to reduce non-post resources for the administration of the Fund by 5%. It also decided to establish four additional posts out of the six requested by the 64th session of the Board; (Deputy Chief of Operations, Client Service and Outreach Programme Officer, Chief of Accounts Section and Chief of Payroll Unit) . The General Assembly decided to postpone a decision on the proposed reclassification of three posts until next year. The resolution welcomed the recommendations of the Board of Auditors and called on the Fund to “ensure the timely and accurate processing of benefits” and to develop a “grievance redressal mechanism”. The General Assembly called on the Office of Internal Oversight Services to undertake an audit of the governance structure of the Pension Board including a review of the “checks and balances between the Board and the leadership of the Fund”. The General Assembly welcomed the establishment of the UNJSPF regional service centre in Nairobi and requested that the Fund present a comprehensive strategy to bring service centres in other regions to full functionality. The resolution also re-emphasized the importance of the Fund meeting its long-term real rate of investment return of 3.5 per cent, and called on the Secretary-General to seek to ensure that investment performance continued to improve.
The assets of UNJSPF were valued at some USD 64 billion as of 31 December 2017 (based on preliminary unaudited data). Annualized returns on the assets have comfortably exceeded the Fund’s Long-Term Objective of 3.5% real (net of inflation) in USD terms for short-term periods and the 15, 20, and 50 year periods ending 31 December 2017. Measuring returns over long time-periods (15 years or more) is the most appropriate for pension funds, not only because pensions are paid out over a very long time, but also, because markets may be quite volatile from one year to the next. It is in the best interests of beneficiaries that pension fund investments maintain a long-term focus. UNJSPF is financially healthy and is in a good position to meet all its obligations to its beneficiaries.
Strengthening IT Security and Availability
At an internal level, the Fund continued to strengthen the security and availability of its information systems through periodic tests and improved controls. Following the formal achievement of the ISO 27001 Information Security certification in 2016 and the ISO20000 IT Service Management certification in 2017, the Fund has started to expand the coverage of these certifications with new ICT assets and services being gradually added to their scope.
With regard to IPAS, the Fund has engaged the company Oracle that develops and markets the “Database” of its IPAS system, to perform a technical assessment of the performance and provide recommendations for the fine-tuning of the technical environment. The Oracle Team monitored and assessed IPAS and is helping the Fund improve its availability and response time.
Vacancies @ the Fund
As of 1 March 2018, 24 (8.6 %) of the Fund’s posts were not encumbered. Of the 24 non-encumbered posts, 17 have been advertised through job openings, with recruitment efforts at various stages. The remaining seven are being prepared for posting, but require either the classification of a new post or reclassification. It is expected that the recruitments against these posts will be finalized within six months.
Since the beginning of the year, the Fund has completed five recruitments through Job Openings and six through Temporary Job Openings. Additionally, the Fund has completed eight recruitments against General Temporary Assistance funded posts in task-forces in the Pension Entitlements Section and the Financial Services Section.
UNJSPF Geneva Client Services
UNJSPF Geneva Client Services provides advice to participants who are employees of Member Organizations based in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and retirees /beneficiaries whose residential address is in the EMEA region. The activities of the Unit cover a wide range of services to Active Participants, Retirees and Member Organizations including: Verifying the Eligibility to Validate, Restore or Transfer; Providing Estimates for active staff; Two-Track Estimates for retirees, the Present Value of Deferred Pension for those who have deferred their benefit, Survivor’s benefit, and Spouse married after separation from service estimates for separated staff; Responding to phone calls (11,515 calls for 2017); Responding to emails (22,521 emails received in 2017); Holding individual appointments, and welcoming clients who “walk in” to our offices (1,925 visitors in 2017).
In 2017 the Geneva Office conducted over a dozen meetings and presentations covering general Pension Fund information, pre-retirement planning, in-retirement matters, and one-on-one and focus group meetings from Senegal to Hungary (See photos below).