Sunday, November 27, 2016

Questions for the CEO, Sergio Arvizu, at the UNJSPF Town Hall meeting, 9 December 2016 (27 November 2016)

Attend the UNJSPF Town Hall meeting at UN HQ New York, on Friday, 9 December (details below) prepared to ask questions about the audit by the Office of Internal Oversight Services into the unprecedented and protracted backlog in pension payments, and many more. 

UN Pension Blog received a UN Intranet message on 25 November 2016 stating that the Pension Fund will hold a town hall meeting on Friday, 9 December 2016 (details below).

Please attend prepared to ask  questions, including those contained in an open letter addressed to the Chief Executive Officer of the UNJSPF, Sergio Arvizu, dated 21 December 2016 titled “Human suffering and the backlog in pension payments”.

Questions for the Senior Communications Officer, UN Pension Fund, November 17, 2016

November 17, 2016

Dear Mr. Woodyear,
This is in reference to your almost 1,500-word (1,493) post on FCUNS yesterday. Perhaps you could, as Senior Communications Officer of the UNJSPF, and as part of your job to “promote clear, easy to understand information to participants and beneficiaries of the Fund” provide answers to the following questions, most, if not all, related to issues you raise in your statement.
Backlog in pension payments
1. A recent iSeek report noted that as of 1 October 2016, there are 674 ‘actionable’ cases of new initial separations pending processing by the Fund. How many other cases are awaiting processing, i.e., "pending receipt of additional information from organizations and/or the separated staff members, as well as a number of deferred pensions (through choice), special cases (such as survivor benefits, child benefits), recalculation cases"?

Monday, November 21, 2016

Open letter to Sergio Arvizu, CEO, UN Joint Staff Pension Fund, Human suffering and the backlog in pension payments, November 21, 2016

21 November 2016

Dear Mr. Arvizu,

Subject: Human suffering and the backlog in pension payments; the UN deserves better than this

I would like to highlight the concern that I believe motivates many retirees and no doubt UN staff federation representatives, while I do not presume to speak for either group, about one of the seemingly overlooked issues related to the Fund, i.e, the human reality behind the payment backlog.

Many of us have concerns when we read newsletters and other reports about Fund activities, about whether sufficient priority is given to addressing the plight of suffering new retirees, separated staff and survivors behind ‘non-actionable’ cases, where some have lost their houses, where others have died while waiting, where vulnerable widows and orphans continue to wait in vain.

The United Nations is an organization based on “human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person.” Yet, there are currently vast numbers of former staff and their families and survivors, who are enduring untold suffering, many for more than a year, because of delays in receiving their pension and separation payments to which they are entitled by dint of their toil, and in many cases, by dint of their blood, for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the performance of their duties.

Sunday, November 13, 2016


Dear AFICS/NY members,

You’ve recently received an invitation from AFICS/NY (Association of Former International Civil Servants of the United Nations) to a fall luncheon at 12.30 pm on Tuesday, 15 November 2016, at Al Bustan Restaurant.

Lowell Flanders and I invite you to attend a ‘Not-the-AFICS Luncheon’ at the same time and on the same date, at the UN Delegates Dining Room, where we propose to discuss ways to advance our efforts to move AFICS/NY toward more inclusiveness, transparency, and accountability toward its dues-paying membership.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

UN Special: Problems continue at the UN Pension Fund, 8 November 2016

Loraine Rickard-Martin

In the spring we briefed you on trouble at the top of the pension fund. Over a tumultuous summer, matters only got worse.

“There’s a huge problem of competence in the functioning of the Fund and Board. We must stop pretending it is fine. When someone fails they should not be rated as successful, when people are not paid we should not pretend things are fine.”
Egor Ovtcharenko, CCISUA Vice President, Conditions of Service.

From a New York perspective, the annual Pension board meeting taking place in Vienna last July seemed to unfold in an amped up atmosphere of outreach and transparency. During the week-long meeting, the Fund’s new Chief Communications Officer (COO) posted almost daily updates on a Facebook page for former and current UN staff members, with spirited exchanges taking place from time to time. A communiqué from the Board at the end of the week provided assurances that “the Fund is safe and its future is secure” and it is “able to meet its pension and benefit payment obligations over the long term.” The reassurances were welcome, although the current health of the Fund has never been in doubt. Rather, the issue has been on ensuring its continued health for current and future generations of UN retirees.