Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Update: Pension Board meeting: a doozy by several accounts and MOU on ice! (29 July 2015)

By several accounts, last week’s Pension Board meeting in Geneva (20-24 July 2015) was a doozy (Merriam-Webster definition: “something that’s unusually good, bad, big, severe.”) Pick one or pick all; the meeting seemed to have been all of the above. While we await a Staff Union summary, which we’re told will be coming shortly, we’ve received and posted here the FICSA and CCISUA statements, highlights below, and we also received an email circular from retiree colleague Julie Thompson yesterday. If what we're reading and hearing is any indication of the overall mood of the meeting, it was shall we say, not a comfortable environment for anyone yearning for a new MOU any time soon. 

Brett Fitzgerald on behalf of FICSA felt unwelcome, he said, thanks to the efforts of some Fund Secretariat and Board members who had conspired to delay his statement until the last minute, after decisions had been made. (Note to selves: the FICSA President's 29 June 2015 letter is still apparently unwelcome on the AFICS website). FICSA had supported the request for an updated MOU, he noted, on condition that the rights of current and future Fund staff were protected. In order to know “what went wrong, where, and at what stage” Mr. Fitzgerald wished to see “all draft versions of the MOU” plus he needed to hear from not only the Legal Adviser on behalf of the CEO, but also from the RSG and OHRM. 

FICSA President at Pension Board: Call for more transparent Fund management, and questions about MOU and rights of staff (29 July 2015)

CCISUA message at UN Pension Board meeting: Bring the Fund management back in line and restore trust in staff management relations! (29 July 2015)

Mr. Chairman, Pension Board members and observers,

I would like to thank you for this opportunity to speak on behalf of more than 60,000 active participants of the Fund, who are represented by the Coordinating Committee of International Staff Unions and Associations (CCISUA). Included in those 60,000 are the staff of the Pension Fund working in New York and Geneva as well as staff representatives of the Fund in New York who have in the course of their daily work, been cooperating with OIOS audits on various issues including Human Resources issues, and have raised concerns with management’s proposed changes to rules and policies on fraud reporting, and financial management.

Taking into account the number of constituents I represent, it seems quite inappropriate, the heated discussion in the Board about CCISUA's right to replace its observer when needed. Such replacements have been made in the past, and given the argumentation presented by the Fund secretariat, that the nominated observer could be the CCISUA president, but not the CCISUA adviser who happens to be a  staff representative of the Fund in New York, it may be construed that this could just be  a  retaliation exercise taking place under the cover of those formal considerations.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Pension matters: the week in review, and the pause that refreshes (25 July 2015)

It's perhaps time for a quick update on last week's events.

Website transparency: You may recall that more than a week ago, on 18 July 2015, 77 AFICS members signed their names to a letter requesting the AFICS President and Governing Board to post on the AFICS website, “in the interest of fairness, transparency and accountability” our letters connected to those of the AFICS leadership, posted on the website, concerning a request under the AFICS By-laws for a meeting to be convened on pension matters.

We also asked for the FICSA President’s letter of 29 June 2015 calling for no new MOU and strict limits on investments by the Pension Fund in hedge funds (posted below).

As of today, the AFICS leadership apparently remains unmoved. These letters are nowhere to be found on the website. Consequently, the lopsided and distorted view of the pension controversy offered by the AFICS website continues,

Friday, July 24, 2015

Message to the UN Pension Board: protect the health and safety of our Pension Fund! (23 July 2015)

23 July 2015

Members of the Joint Staff Pension Board, 

We have the honour to present to you below a petition signed by more than 3,176 participants and beneficiaries of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund, requesting that you maintain in place the current system of checks and balances that has allowed the Fund to thrive over the past 65 years when many public pension funds have failed. 

This petition follows a previous petition in May 2014 initiated by the United Nations Office in Geneva, which was signed by more than 13,000 Fund participants and beneficiaries. 

We are aware that the Pension Board requested a review of, and adjustments as needed, to the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Fund Secretariat and the Office of Human Resources Management that provides for certain administrative flexibilities to the Chief Executive Officer in human resources management, including recruitment, retention, mobility, and classification of posts. 

Message to FAFICS: Honor the signers of the petition; protect our Pension Fund! (23 July 2015)


23 July 2015

Please find attached the Avaaz Petition addressed to the Secretary-General with 3,176 signatures as of 23 July 2015. The text of the petition and our covering letter to the SG is below. Please note the wide range of people and countries that are represented among the petition signers. We strongly urge that FAFICS officers and leadership honor the people who have signed this petition by taking their concerns seriously and acting accordingly.

Attachments (all available on UN Pension Blog): 
Petition signers as of 23 July 2015
Petition text per Avaaz

Letter to the United Nations Secretary-General, dated 21 July 2015

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

MOU - the details are underwater! (22 July 2015)

(By Matthew Chip Bhima Hogan)

CEO pole vault! (22 July 2015)

(By Matthew Chip Bhima Hogan)

Pension matters: A call to recommit ourselves to our shared purpose (22 July 2015)

It is a sad truth that when we share a common purpose, yet lose sight of the whole, we forget where we are heading, and cause others, and ourselves, unnecessary pain. That is a pity for all involved --  and a pity for our shared cause. 

Regarding the controversy yesterday surrounding the draft resolution sent to the Pension Board, differences of views hinged more on form than on substance. 

There was a single –- although significant -- divergence between this draft and the revised compromise draft which four members of the working group, myself included, were about to submit to the group when the discussions broke down last month. This essential difference related to the amount of emphasis to accord to the four staff management exceptions in the draft MOU (see Lowell Flanders' explanation of our views, which does not need to be repeated here).

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Thank you, UN Retiree, Donald J. Rogers (age 83) for your kind message about our letter to the SG (21 July 2015)

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Dear Loraine,

I know from past experience that letters of this magnitude and detail do not just appear overnight.  A lot of hard work, long hours of drafting and redrafting, stress and strain go into obtaining the final text as presented.

I personally think it reflects exactly the message we all want to get across to the Secretary-General and the administration in all of its aspects.  I trust others think likewise.

May I offer all of you my sincere personal congratulations on a job extremely well done.

You may use this letter as you see fit if you think it will help the cause towards a satisfactory resolution of this long ongoing and somewhat painful saga.

Donald J. Rogers(Age 83)

Pension matters: Petition signed by 3000 plus delivered to the Office of the Chef de Cabinet today! (21 July 2015)

Petition signed by 3000 plus delivered today, 21 July 2015, to Mr. Patrick Carey 
Director, Office of the Chef de Cabinet, Executive Office of the Secretary-General.
In the photo (L to R): Loraine Rickard-Martin, Patrick Carey, 
Anna Theofilopoulou, Curling Smith, Lowell Flanders

Cover letter below



Excellency Ban Ki-moon

21 July 2015


We have the honour to present to you a petition signed by more than 3000 participants and beneficiaries of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund, requesting that you maintain in place the current system of checks and balances that has allowed the Fund to thrive over the past 65 years when many public pension funds have failed.

This petition follows a previous petition in May 2014 initiated by the United Nations Office in Geneva, which was signed by more than 13,000 Fund participants and beneficiaries.

Mr. Iutaka's Unilateral Initiative, by Lowell Flanders (21 July 2015)

Note: Curling Smith, Anna Theofilopoulou, and Loraine Rickard-Martin, members of the original resolution drafting group, endorse Lowell's views as expressed  (below).

It was with a considerable sense of dismay that some of us read Mr. Sugyiama Iutaka’s, letter of 20 July addressed to the members of the Pension Board (see below email from Julie Thompson and cover note and draft resolution by Mr. Iutaka).
Over several weeks in May and June, we had a small working group that collaborated on a draft resolution for possible presentation at an AFICS general meeting should we be able to convince the AFICS leadership to hold one. We garnered input from the group through email circulation, a meeting at the Staff Union office, followed by requests for further inputs.
There were numerous occasions during the drafting period when we exchanged views on principles guiding our efforts. A major point of confusion arose when Julie Thompson informed people that, “From the outset, the work being done by retirees has been in support of, and designed to strengthen,” the work of the Pension Fund Staff representatives. From the start, it was our understanding that the purpose of our informal working group was to influence AFICS to support and defend retiree interests, and to the extent that there are

Saturday, July 18, 2015

UN Pension Fund: Wolves at the door? (18 July 2015)

(Cartoon by Matthew Chip Bhima Hogan)

Request to AFICS: please post our letters and the FICSA President's letter (18 July 2015)

18 July 2015

Letter to AFICS/NY President and Governing Board

Dear AFICS/NY President and Governing Board,

We, the undersigned AFICS members, are writing to request that you post soonest on the AFICS website letters addressed to you by Curling Smith, Lowell Flanders, and Loraine Rickard-Martin, dated 12 and 24 June 2015, and 7 July 2015,  in connection with your communications of 23 and 25 June, and 2 and 9 July 2015, posted on the website, concerning a request under the AFICS By-laws for a meeting to be convened on pension matters.

We are requesting this action in the interest of fairness, transparency, and accountability to AFICS members on this important issue. 

We also request for the same reasons that you post the letter of the FICSA President dated 29 June 2015, calling for no new MOU and strict limits on investments in hedge funds (attached).

Kindly post this present letter as well.  

Thank you in advance for your prompt action on this matter.


Curling Smith, Lowell Flanders, Loraine Rickard-Martin, Anna Theofilopoulou, Mary Eliza Kimball, Sugiyama Iutaka, Julie Thompson, Somendu Banerjee, Lars Hyttinen, Lina Hamadeh, Ajit Banerjee, Joan Seymour, Judith Brister, Mercedes Hinton, Angelica Malic, Sakiko Fukuda-Parr,  Sarah L. Timpson,  Daniel Tuohy, Deolinda Leitao-Greene, Negla Chawky, Renee Richter,  Diane Barkley, Cheryl Larsen, Ozdinich Mustafa, Graciela Hall, Mampela Mpela, Ying-ying Tang, Roberta Brangam, Esther Gomez-Baumgarten, Maria D. Maldonado, Roger Guarda, Donald Heisel, Rosemary Noona, Donald Rogers, Lucine Tegnazian, Edna Osbourne,  Shahid Husain, Kristen Timothy Lankester, Aiden Ricardo Kinch, Josephine Hyttinen, Barbara Berllinghof, Carl Jordan, Puran C. Sharma, Michele Poliacof, Geoffrey Baldwin,  Lilia Vazquez, Cheryl Stoute, Michael Sarsar, Rosalba Butler, Bertrand Coppens, Leon Hosang, Joanna Piucci, Carolyn Uluc, Rosemarie Waters Pugh, Michael Smith, Nandasiri Jasentuliyana, Saleem Kassum, Siba Das, Nay Htun, Christopher Ronald, Elvira Ajero, Soknan Han Jung,  Dusan Dragic, Carol Joseph, Massimo D'Angelo, Nancy B. Lopez, Danielle Riviere, Yolette Chery, Mahadev Jalem, Salah Bourjini, Roy Morey, Joseph Van Arendonk, Zita Cistellini, Vivien Ponniah,  Nestor Marmanillo, Patricia Martung, Edward J. Freeman

Friday, July 17, 2015

Important message to AFICS members: Stay informed; send us your new email address soonest! (17 July 2015)

Two days ago (see post below: "AFICS to members: change your email address and hands off our members!") we reported about a sudden move by the AFICS leadership to request members to change their email addresses, ostensibly because some servers (aol, hotmail, and yahoo) reject messages from 

Several members have expressed surprise at this request from the AFICS office and have told us that they have experienced no such problem with their email address.  Some have said they've written to the AFICS President to ask the purpose of the request. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Message from AFICS: Change your emails; and hands off our members! (15 July 2015)

The AFICS President hasn’t been the least bit shy about her displeasure concerning our use of the AFICS directory to connect with AFICS members about pension matters. You may recall that at our 17 June 2015 meeting she called it "dunning" (as in “making persistent demands of someone, especially for payment of debts”, see post “Gilding the lily” below). 

Now AFICS is suddenly asking its members to change their email addresses. Why now? Could it have anything to do with not wanting AFICS members to be contacted about pension matters? Just asking. Reminder to AFICS: we're members too, and as such we're within our rights to communicate with one another on matters of mutual interest.

AFICS on pension matters: Inconvenient truths > distortion (15 July 2015)

In her latest letter of 9 July 2015 (posted below) the AFICS President states that she’s decided to adopt a more positive tone “in the hope that [we] will reciprocate by replacing at least a part of the acrimony with a measure of understanding."

We too wish to be positive.  So no need to linger over the spectacle of the President, in her attempt at gentle persuasion, unleashing nine less-than-gentle words in rapid succession: "frustration, unfair, criticism, disappointment, insistence, distorting, mischaracterizing, allegations, acrimony" --  purportedly describing our feelings and conduct. 

FAFICS President (aka AFICS President): MOU on reset (13 July 2015)

From: "UNOG FAFICS" <>

To: "fafics" <>,"fafics" <>,"Jay sundaresan" <>
Cc: "Linda Saputelli" <>,"Wolfgang Milzow" <>
Subject: Fwd: Message from UN USG for Management on the MoU
Date: July 13, 2015 at 21:32:11 GMT+2

Dear Colleagues,

This is to inform you that we have just learned that the UN USG for Management, Mr. Yukio Takasu, has informed staff that the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between OHRM and the Pension Fund will not be signed at this time. Mr. Takasu will report this development in person to the Pension Board next week. I and other members of the FAFICS delegation to the Pension Board will be following this matter closely and will have further details to report at the forthcoming session of the Council. 

Please find attached copies of Mr. Takasu’s 10 July and 10 April messages on the matter. 


Linda Saputelli

Monday, July 13, 2015

AFICS to members: No meeting -- well, maybe later! President's letter of 9 July 2015 posted below

Savoring the moment. Mr. Takasu steps in: Hold that MOU! (11 July 2015)

There was one big positive yesterday (see post below). USG for Management Takasu stepped in and hit it out of the ball park, calling for a time out on revising and finalizing the MOU between the Fund Secretariat and OHRM.

Mr. Takasu said he was stepping in because of staff and retiree concerns. Further efforts and dialogue were needed, he noted, to ‘ensure a clear understanding on the initiative before finalizing the revised MOU.’

Some may focus their attention on what they perceive as a subtext of ‘everything’s fine, we just need time to convert non-believers.’ Those of us who’ve been watching the situation closely know well, as Mr. Takasu clearly does as well, that everything isn’t fine.

But why not instead embrace the essence of Mr. Takasu’s positive message of renewed efforts and dialogue, sensitizing staff and retirees, to ensure a clear understanding of what's at stake.

Mr. Takasu’s action appears to be a call for openness, transparency, collaboration – in essence calling a time-out on the single-minded rush to finalize rnew ‘administrative flexibilities’ which the CEO of the Fund says he absolutely must have in order to run an efficient operation, because the staff of the Fund are so “specialized.”

Friday, July 10, 2015

USG for Management: Revised MOU: more dialogue and consultations needed (10 July 2015)

Message from Under-Secretary-General for Management, Yukio Takasu, about the Memorandum of Understanding on Human Resource Management between UNJSPF and OHRM

Friday, 10 July 2015, United Nations iSeek

Dear colleagues,

I would like to provide an update on the revision of Memorandum of Understanding (“MoU”) on Human Resource Management between the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund (“UNJSPF” of “the Fund”) and Office of Human Resources Management (OHRM).

Responding to concerns expressed by staff members and retirees, the UN Secretariat has been actively engaged in conveying factual information to clarify the numerous misunderstandings and misrepresentations that have been circulating over the last few months. As you will be aware the Chef de Cabinet held a Townhall meeting in April to provide more information and to answer questions from staff and retirees and an iSeek article was published on 17 April 2015.

However, we believe more work is needed in sensitizing staff and retirees alike to the purpose of the proposed MOU and to disavow any remaining misconceptions. In this regard, we have consulted with the UNJSPF management and have agreed that it is important to make further efforts and dialogue with concerned parties in order to ensure a clear understanding on the initiative before finalizing the revised MOU.

AFICS to members: We're vindicated: MOU on hold: no meeting -- maybe later! (9 July 2015)

Room DC1-580, United Nations, New York, NY 10017
Tel. (212) 963-2943 Fax. (212) 963-5702 e-mail.
Honorary Members
Martti Ahtisaari
Kofi A. Annan
Ban Ki-moon
Aung San Suu Kyi
Boutros Boutros-Ghali
Javier Perez de Cuellar

9 July 2015

Dear Loraine,
We note the evident frustration in your letter of 7 July 2015, with its unfair criticism of the elected
leadership of AFICS/NY. Your disappointment at not being able to have exactly the kind of
AFICS/NY meeting you desire at short notice is matched by ours at your insistence on distorting and
mischaracterizing verifiable information about pension matters. I will not refute the allegations in your latest letter. I prefer to adopt here a more positive tone in the hope that you will reciprocate by
replacing at least a part of the acrimony with a measure of understanding.

About a week ago we learned that the MoU would likely not be signed before the Pension Board meets next week and we have since been awaiting official confirmation. We understand that the USG for Management will post a message to this effect on iSeek tomorrow.

AFICS/NY is pleased that high level UN officials have decided to settle the issue by not moving ahead now on their own proposals. It vindicates our position which is that the MoU did not require the involvement of retirees and should be left to those directly responsible to resolve.

So, while we had indeed initiated making arrangements for an extraordinary meeting of an AFICS/NY Assembly, we consider in light of the above information that the element of urgency to organize it has been removed. AFICS/NY can now plan a meeting that is properly prepared and not rushed, one that would permit the maximum participation of members with enough lead time to encourage attendance that is representative of the membership at large.

[signed] Linda Saputelli


Thursday, July 9, 2015

Anatomy, Analysis and Action! by Geoffrey Baldwin (9 July 2015)

Pension Matters: Anatomy, Analysis and Action  (AFICS: please take note)

The recent AFICS letter (2 July 2015) asserts that all questions put to the AFICS Annual General Meeting were answered.  That is mistaken;  mine on the ultimate jurisdiction governing the pension fund was not.  From conversations, after the AGM it seems that Legal Counsel on stage warned the protagonists not to answer it.  One wonders why not?

The following observations are for comment and correction by those with expertise in the field.
•    The Pension Fund does not exist, as is known, in national jurisdictions.  It has the form, but not the substance.
•    All staff are employees of the United Nations Organisation, or affiliated organisations such as FAO, ILO etc.  Their contracts of employment with the UN are signed by the SG or his staff under authority delegated from the UN.
•    The rules of the pension fund are incorporated in each and every staff contract.  The benefits arising are contractual commitments by the UN to each staff member.
•    The pension fund is the vehicle whereby the UN has chosen to meet its obligations to staff.  It has a sole trustee, the SG, who has the fiduciary duty of a trustee to protect the financial interests of the owners of the fund.  The owners are the participants and beneficiaries, art 18.
•    All payments to beneficiaries are deferred emoluments earned while in service, they are not current income.
•    The SG has a second role, as chief executive officer of the UN.  It is his duty to administer the management of the staff, including paying their salaries.  The cost of so doing is borne by the budget of the UN.  Payments to beneficiaries are, or should be, in the same case, but under Art 15 they are not.  The work is delegated to the Pension Board and its staff, who are, or should be, UN staff members.  The organisation of that work is an administrative matter which may affect serving staff, but should not be of concern to beneficiaries.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The FICSA President evolves: No new MOU; and strictly limit hedge funds. Bravo, Mr. El-Tabari (8 July 2015)

It used to be when public officials changed their minds on an issue they were called ‘flip-floppers’. No one wants to be called a flip flopper. Better to double down on whatever misguided belief you’ve been hauling around since forever rather than risk that dreaded term attached to your name (see ref. below). 

Thankfully, nowadays public officials feel free to change their minds without fear. Changing one’s mind is now called ‘evolving’ and not only is it not a bad thing – it’s a very good thing! It’s a sign of a nimble mind, flexibility, willingness to see other perspectives, to self-reflect  -- courage, even.

Congratulations to the FICSA President, Diab El-Tabari, for changing his mind . . . um, ‘evolving’ on important matters affecting the UN Pension Fund.

On 20 May 2015 (posted below), Mr. El-Tabari wrote about the 8 May 2015 petition addressed to the Secretary-General asking him to oppose proposed changes that could breach the system of checks and balances necessary for the health of the Fund (see link to petition on this blog, and sign the petition if you haven't already done so).

Mr. El-Tabari took the petition to task for, he said, “describing wrong doings by the CEO of the [Pension Fund]. . . breaches in promotion or in favouritism in recruitment. . . misuse of funds. . ."  There was one problem, however: the petition contained no such allegations whatsoever.  No doubt the CEO (Chief Executive Office of the Fund Secretariat), who had been spared the ordeal of having allegations against him aired in the petition, was at least relieved to know that FICSA considered him “honest until proven otherwise.”

Concerned AFICS members, wishing to set the record straight about the petition, not to mention offer an assist to Mr. El-Tabari, quickly wrote to the FICSA President (letter of 20 May, posted below) suggesting he please re-read the petition. In his own letter to Mr. El-Tabari, the CCISUA President went a bit further, suggesting that Mr. El-Tabari might actually wish to retract his letter.  Mr. El-Tabari apparently did not wish to do so.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Gilding the lily: We're NOT reassured! (7 July 2015)

Gilding the lily

‘Gild the lily’: “To cover with or as if with a thin layer of gold;
to give an often deceptively attractive or improved appearance to.” 

It wasn’t a pretty spectacle to begin with. For much of the Pension Fund controversy over the past year and a half, the AFICS leadership has been either MIA (missing in action), or reactive: “Internet definition: acting in response to a situation rather than creating or controlling it”.

The very first peep heard from the AFICS leadership was on 29 May 2014 in reaction to a UNOG petition in May 2014 calling on the Secretary-General to oppose threats to the system of checks and balances in place in the Fund. 

The AFICS President posted a note on the AFICS website dated 29 May 2014 framing the controversy in terms of “misconceptions regarding certain potential risks to the safety of retiree benefits.”

Lo and behold: What the President termed simple “misconceptions” turned out to be in fact real threats to the system of checks and balances that has kept the Fund healthy for the past 65 years when other pension funds have failed.

Message to AFICS President and Governing Board: Please honor your statutes! (7 July 2015)

7 July 2015

Letter to the NY/AFICS President and Governing Board

Subject: Pension Fund matters: Request for extraordinary meeting under AFICS By-laws

Dear Linda,

We refer to your letter of 2 July 2015 that responds to the request of 82 AFICS members for an extraordinary meeting under the AFICS By-Laws.  In your response to that request, you state that “the By-Laws do not impose a specific time-frame in this regard.” It should be self-evident that a meeting delayed is in fact a meeting denied. It is therefore clear that the AFICS/NY leadership is in violation of the statutes of the Association.  As you are well aware, the statute does not require that the reason for holding an extraordinary meeting be specified. It only states that a meeting shall be convened when requested by at least 50 of its members. 

Simply put, this represents a failure on the part of the AFICS leadership to meet its responsibilities to the AFICS membership. And, despite your claim to represent that membership, it is a membership that you, regrettably, have never consulted regarding their views on this critically important issue.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

AFICS to Members: We'll Convene a Meeting – Whenever! (2 July 2015)

Room DC1-580, United Nations, New York, NY 10017
Tel. (212) 963-2943 Fax. (212) 963-5702 e-mail.

Honorary Members
Martti Ahtisaari
Kofi A. Annan
Ban Ki-moon
Aung San Suu Kyi
Boutros Boutros-Ghali
Javier Perez deCuellar
2 July 2015
Dear Loraine, Lowell and Curling,

As promised, I have followed up as soon I could on contacting members of the AFICS/NY Governing Board for their views on your letter of 24 June 2015. 

Here are the points that we feel need to be stressed. 

First, the AFICS/NY Governing Board is well aware of its obligation under the By-Laws to convene an extraordinary meeting of the Assembly when requested in writing by at least fifty members, but also notes that the By-Laws do not impose a specific time-frame in this regard. We explained the circumstances both in our meeting of 17 June and in my letter of 25 June. These have not changed.

Second, as a Governing Board elected by the membership we take our responsibilities very seriously and will continue to do so. With regard to your concern that some positions taken by the Governing Board may not reflect the views of the entire membership, we emphasize that it is important to consider that the Governing Board legitimately represents all members of the Association in matters of interest to the retiree community.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

AFICS: Decoy or "critical practical constraints" - request for meeting on Pension Fund matters (1 July 2015)

You will recall the  commitment made by the AFICS leadership at our meeting with the President and some Governing Board members on 17 June 2015 (see our Notes below). Subsequently, in her 23 June 2015 letter, the President noted that the Board was not convinced of the need for a meeting.

We replied on 24 June 2015 reaffirming our own view that despite the leadership's doubts, such a meeting is urgently needed to allow AFICS members an opportunity to voice their concerns and to ensure alignment between our views and the position the AFICS leadership intends to take to the Pension Board meeting scheduled for the week of 20 July 2015.