Thursday, February 18, 2016

UN Pension Fund Soup, February 18, 2016

An incompetent Fund CEO, a foot-dragging Pension Board Chair, irritated HR directors, a self-interested and obsequious AFICS leadership – time to unpack the Pension Fund soup.

As indicated by the letter from CCISUA, FICSA and UNISERVE posted below today, the management of the Fund has been working strenuously, although not to face the issues and take steps to improve efficiencies at the Fund, but to distance itself from accountability while placing the responsibility elsewhere -- on integrating new technology and on incomplete documentation submissions by UN system executive offices (see link to its latest self-serving message below on the Fund’s website).

The letter from CCISUA, FICSA, and UNISERVE, addressed to the Members of the Pension Board and to the Executive Heads of the UN Common System Organizations provides a much needed reality check, stating clearly that mismanagement of the Fund is at the root of its inefficiencies in client servicing, and urging, among other proposals:

 -the Pension Board to "take resolute action to put an end to the current practice of mismanagement at the Fund";

- "an acknowledgment by the Fund's CEO, Mr. Sergio Arvizu, to staff and retirees that there is a serious problem and steps by the Board to hold the management accountable for the misery it has caused"; 

- "for the leadership of the Fund's management . .. and its Board. . . to step out of their state of denial, the latest communication from the Fund being a case in point." 

The letter's message couldn't be clearer about the real reasons for the Fund's inefficiencies and blame-throwing on the part of its management; nor about foot-dragging by the Chair of the Pension Board, whom, the letter states, has so far not acceded to a request for an emergency meeting.

The President and leadership of AFICS, as was the case for the revised MOU (placed on hold on 10 July 2015 by the USG for Management), has again positioned themselves squarely behind the Fund CEO, with no indication of questioning or attempting to verify his claims that the inefficiencies  are owed to extraneous causes outside the Fund's direct control and thus not due to mismanagement (as evidenced by various postings by the AFICS President on the FCUNS Facebook page and by this message on the AFICS website):

"As for the payment of new pensions, the Pension Fund has informed us that things are already improving, as demonstrated by the accelerated processing rates achieved in December.  There is still a ways to go to clear the backlog, which is a tripartite process in which the staff member about to retire, the releasing organizations and the Pension Fund all have a role to play."  

The CCISUA/FICSA/UNISERVE letter was prepared on the sidelines of the HR Network meeting in Paris and the word in the corridors is that HR directors are chafing under the CEO's finger-pointing and are planning a similar letter to the Pension Fund and Board.

The 'soup' thickens. Stay tuned.

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