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.

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