Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Pension matters: Giving credit where it's due: Bravo CCISUA and FICSA for pushing for change! March 2, 2016

Yesterday’s iSeek article (below) from the UN Department for Management setting out measures to address the serious processing delays that have caused retirees and survivors to wait for a minimum of six months (and years in some cases) for their pension payments didn’t come out of thin air. 

We know that when CCISUA and FICSA met with the Secretary-General and USG Takasu in November 2015 they inveighed on the UN leadership to address the delays, and put forth specific proposals including establishing progress benchmarks and bringing back retired Fund retirees to pitch in and help. 

Let's acknowledge that the November meeting set the foundation but that the CCISUA/FICSA/UNISERV letter to the Secretary-General dated 18 February 2016, and the launch of the petition effort to replace the Fund CEO, definitely helped to move the situation in the right direction. 

Take a moment too to contrast and digest the constructive DM response of 1 March on iSeek with the self-satisfied response from the Pension Board Chair Olusoji Adeniyi dated 26 February 2016. 

Credit is owed not only to our CCISUA and FICSA, and UNISERV, representatives for their persistent efforts on behalf of all Fund participants and beneficiaries, but for their constructive approach in proposing solutions that have been taken on board by the Administration. Now, time to implement and end the suffering of our colleagues, retirees and survivors who've had to endure this unconscionable situation! 

Bravo too to the Secretary-General and USG Takasu for demonstrating accountable, responsive and responsible leadership! Above is a photo of our CCISUA colleagues and the FICSA President at the November 2015 meeting with the Secretary-General.

We're grateful for where we are but there's more we need to do. Please help to ensure that the change that's happening is a lasting one by adding your voice to the petition to replace the Fund CEO (link below).


ISeek Message from the UN Department for Management:

Tuesday, 1 March 2016 | Global | DM
Addressing delays in payments of pension benefits 

The serious delay in processing pension payments for newly retired/separated staff has been a source of concern to the Administration for several months. The UN Management has met with the CEO of the Pension Fund Secretariat during this period to identify the cause of the delays and to urge that all necessary measures be taken to address the situation promptly. The CEO has acknowledged that a serious backlog exists mainly due to the delay in introducing new IPAS system in August 2015, and has given his personal assurances that the backlog would be eliminated and that by the end of May 2016 payments would be processed within 3-4 weeks of receipt of all necessary documentation.

To this end, the UN Management and the CEO of the Pension Fund Secretariat have agreed to establish performance indicators (Q Gates) so as to be able to monitor and ensure progress; Q-Gate 1 – by 31 March 2016 to reduce the backlog at least by 35%; Q-Gate 2 – by 30 April 2016 to reduce at least by 70%; and Q-Gate 3 – by 31 May 2016 to eliminate 100% of the backlog.

The Pension Fund Secretariat will take the following measures:

A task force with additional staff to process backlog;
Creation of a help desk to reply to inquiries from staff and former staff;
A review of the end-to-end separation process to streamline the entire process and to ensure timely payment of pension benefits.
The UN Management, on its part, will take the following steps:
Send reminders to HR teams at OAH and field missions about the importance of expediting submission of required documents;
Give additional guidance to Pension focal points in all duty stations and missions to advise separating staff on documentation requirements;
Enhancing the pre-retirement seminar and online programme.
The timely payment for new retirees is one of the most crucial responsibilities of the UNJSPF. In the weeks to come, the UN Management will continue to monitor closely and to maintain an open dialogue with staff representatives and impacted staff to resolve all outstanding issues.


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