Newsletter No 82 (June 2017) is now available online, in the Newsletter section of the Member's Area.
All issues, since No 39 (September 2005) are also available online.
Surviving Spouse Pension Application Procedures added to the website
We have just added a short document in English (pages 1-2) and German (pages 3-4) outlining the procedures that a surviving spouse needs to follow in order to apply for a pension from the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund. The document is as accurate as possible as of December 2016.
The document is available under the 'Advice' tab, or simply click on the following link:
In-Retirement Presentation by the Pension Fund November 2016
Presentation given November 25th, 2016
Representatives of the UN Joint Staff Pension Fund (UNJSPF) gave an 'in retirement' presentation to ARICSA members and answered questions. The presentation can be viewed here:
ARICSA News: August 2016
After a very busy month of July for ARICSA (hosting the international FAFICS meeting and involvement with the annual Pension Fund Board meeting), we are starting to look towards planning for the autumn. Our ARICSA Annual General Meeting is tentatively scheduled for November 3rd, and we are hoping to find a date when representatives of the Pension Fund can come and explain the new web site services and other pension matters.
Concerning Pension Fund matters, there was a great deal of direct conversation with senior Pension Fund staff during July. Our positions remain unchanged - the Pension Fund is in a good financial position, the backlog of processing caused by the implementation of a new computer system last July has all but been eliminated, there is no fraud, the new financial rules will give yet another way to monitor the Fund's activities - not separate the Fund from the UN, and client services are beginning to improve.
We see increased willingness now to address the staffing issues - especially in the area of client services - but remain concerned about the long hiring delays particularly in the Investment Management Division. We have greeted the hiring of a Director of Investments and a Communications Officer.
The 'Town Hall' meeting in the VIC on Thursday 21 July was very well attended and many people raised their concerns. Facts were presented by the CEO of the Pension Fund, the Representative of the Secretary General responsible for the Investments of the Pension Fund, the Controller of the United Nations and the Chair of the Pension Board.
At the end of the Pension Board, the Board issued a statement, that you can find on the UNJSPF web site and on our web site. The link is: http://www.aricsa.org/tiki-download_file.php?fileId=189.
We remain in contact with the Pension Fund officials and of course will continue to help mediate any open cases.
We wish you a healthy and relaxing August.
Newsletter No 79 (with a new title, "ARICSA NEWS") is now online.
The June/July 2016 Newsletter is now available on-line for members. You will need to log in with the usual User Name / Password.
ARICSA News: Statement on Late Pension Payments and a new Allianz App
ARICSA Statement on Late Pension Payments
As already reported, ARICSA is keenly aware of the problems caused to new retirees by the long delayed payment of their first pensions. Such a delay is unacceptable. Although the staff of the Pension Fund has been working extremely hard since last August, we are pleased that specific measures are now being put into place to eliminate the backlogs by early June. We are also hopeful that these measures will improve customer service and deliver the quarterly statements on pension calculations.
ARICSA has also noted that a signficant portion of the delay has sometimes arisen from processing delays in the former organizations and has volunteered to work with the Vienna-based Organizations to help provide any information that separating staff need.
Because of the progress being made, ARICSA sees no value - even a negative value - in taking protest actions, such as the petition currently circulating requesting the removal of the CEO of the Pension Fund. We recommend that our members not sign this petition.
For the entire statement, please see: ARICSA Statement on Late Pension Payments.
New Allianz Mobile App for filing insurance claims
In March 2016, the possibility to submit claims for reimbursement of pre-paid medical expenses to Allianz Worldwide Care Services by email was expanded, through the announcement below and until further notice, to all UNIDO group medical insurance plans with Allianz. In addition to the currently available possibilities to submit claims by email and by hardcopy, members now have the option to submit claims by Mobile App, subject to the conditions which currently apply for electronic claiming:
For more information and to download the Mobile App, please see the Allianz web site: http://www.allianzworldwidecare.com/myhealth
ARICSA News: 3 March 2016 Pension Fund Sets Goals for Eliminating Backlogs
On the occasion of the International Women’s Day (8 March),
the United Nations Information Service (UNIS) Vienna,
in cooperation with the National Committee for UN Women, Austria,
this human world (THW) Film Festival and Topkino,
to the Ciné-ONU Vienna screening of the movie
“Burden of Peace”
followed by a Q&A session with invited guests, free entry.
Date / Time: 7 March 2016, 18:30 hrs
Location: Topkino, Rahlgasse 1, 1060 Vienna
Updates on Pension Issues
Last Thursday the UN Joint Staff Pension Fund issued two news items that may be of interest to our members. The full texts of the items are available on the UNJSPF web site (see the links below).
Update on the implementation of the new computer system.
The UNJSPF reports that "the Fund is aware that some recent retirees are experiencing delays in receipt of their new benefit entitlement, and that queries addressed to the Fund are at times not answered as promptly as we would like. We would like you to know that we are vigorously addressing these challenges with all means at our disposal."
"To date six consecutive months of payroll for more than 72,000 retirees and beneficiaries residing in 190 countries have been paid with no interruption, accurately and on time. For the Fund's more than 72,000 beneficiaries and retirees the introduction of IPAS was seamless, with no break in benefits. The IPAS system is working efficiently and effectively, with Pension Fund staff continuously improving their proficiency in the new system. The Fund has already achieved processing rates that are significantly higher than both the previous year's average and the long term average. ..The Fund is confident that the improved processing rates will reduce the IPAS related backlog for new separations."
The complete document also reminds separating staff to ensure that all the required documents are sent by the former organization to the Pension Fund in a timely manner. Only once these required documents have been received by the Fund, will the Fund be able to start the review and processing of your benefit.
Update on 2015 Annual Statement of Benefit from the Pension Fund
The Pension Fund reported that for new retirees these statements are already being sent, and that for all others who have requested such an annual statement they will begin being sent starting now.
ARICSA News: February 2016
First, thank you to all members who have paid their annual dues promptly. Over half of our annual members have already paid their dues for 2016!
Private Meetings with the Health Insurance Providers
On 1 March 2016, representatives of Allianz Worldwide Care will be in Vienna for individual consultations on health insurance matters. In case of interest, you are invited to contact Allianz directly via email : UNIDO-UNOV at allianzworldwidecare.com or via telephone from Austria 0800 1629 1 777.
Updates on Pensions for new retirees
Access to the VIC
Approval may be granted for a retiree to sign in other guests (up to 5 persons) provided that the full name of the visitor(s), date and time of arrival are provided to Security Coordinator at the latest on the working day prior to the visitor's arrival at the gate. VICSecurityCoordinator at unvienna.org
Some (non-ARICSA) events
Carnival Procession in the Prater February 6th, 16:00
Orchid Display in the Blumengarten Hirschstetten
Enjoy the colors (and the warm air!) in the glass houses of the Blumengarten facility
Overview of the 71st Annual General Meeting
ARICSA Members may view the slides presented at the AGM, including additional comments showing results and comments and questions. See AGM71 Presentation. You must be signed in to view the presentation.
We seem to have some problems getting our Invitation published and distributed. Here is the invitation.
24 September 2015
I should like to invite you to the 71st General Meeting of our Association which will take place on Thursday, 29 October 2015, at 2:30 p.m., in the VIC, C Building, Fourth Floor, Boardroom D. Coffee and tea will be served from1 p.m. in front of the meeting room.
This is your chance to meet former colleagues, raise questions, learn more about your pension and health insurance, and elect your leadership team.
The following draft agenda is proposed:
8. Election of the Executive Committee
For your information, please find enclosed
If you wish to propose changes to the agenda, you are kindly requested to inform the Executive Committee in writing (mail or e-mail) at least eight days before the meeting.
Should you not have a valid VIC grounds pass, please inform the ARICSA office by 22 October at the latest so that we may arrange for security clearance in a timely manner.
The members of the Executive Committee hope that you will be able to participate in the discussions and decisions on important matters concerning your Association. We look forward to seeing you at the meeting.
With kind regards,
CIGNA Private Visits on October 14th and 15th in the VIC
For former IAEA staff (or others with CIGNA insurance):
CIGNA Individual Meetings on 14 and 15 October:
On 14th October 2015 in afternoon as well as on 15th October 2015 between 9:00 and 15:00 CIGNA will be able to help individual insured with their queries. They will offer staff members and retirees of the IAEA the possibility of booking an individual meeting during which they can discuss their medical claims, medical treatments, etc.
To book a meeting, please contact CIGNA though one of the following channels:+ 32 3 217 68 18
Toll Free Line 0800 29 33 59 (only in Austria)
ARICSA News: Pension Seminar 14 October
On Wednesday, 14 October 2015, starting at 16:00, representatives of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund will hold an "In Retirement" seminar for ARICSA members. It will last about one and a half hours. The seminar will take place in Board Room A in the M building.
This seminar, like last year's, will cover the topics that people who are already receiving a pension might need to know. These topics include changes that may occur in your life that may affect your pension payments, for example change of banking arrangements, two track changes, change of residence, divorce, and death.
You must have a VIC badge (or have pre-registered by October 12th) to attend. Registration is in general not necessary.
ARICSA News 24 August 2015
Greetings from the ARICSA Office. The summer seems to be moving towards autumn, and events are starting up again. Here are a few that might interest you:
ARICSA Event: 2 September: A guided tour in English of the Austrian National Library's exhibit "Vienna becomes a Metrople." The exhibition shows photos, graphic art, plans, caricatures and newspapers from the wealth of material kept by the Austrian National Library which evokes the memory of the huge process of change of the City of Vienna 150 years ago. The tour begins at 14:30 on September 2nd. The Meeting point is at the State Hall (Prunksaal) ticket office, 1010, Josefsplatz 1 at 2.15pm. Interested ARICSA members should please register with an email to Rosemarie Orkan-Lecki, romielck85 at gmail.com. max. 20 Persons. The entry fee is â‚¬9.-
UN Event: 2 September: The opening of the photo exhibition "We the People" in the VIC Rotunda. The exhibition on display in Vienna features 47 photos over the decades depicting people - UN workers, personalities and ordinary people from around the world. The unifying message, as reflected in the title, is that the UN is about the people and it works for the people. 12:30 on September 2nd in the VIC Rotunda.
VIC, Room A0401
Wagramer Strasse 5, A-1400 Vienna, Austria
tel: +43 1 2600 26116 office at aricsa.org
Note from the ARICSA President following the FAFICS Meeting at the end of July
Dear ARICSA members, former colleagues and friends,
Our President, Jerry Barton, will be reporting more fully once he returns from the FAFICS Council in Geneva, but he sends the following message:
"After presentations by and discussions with the CEO of the Pension Fund, Sergio B. Arvizù, and the Representative of the Secretary General for Investments, Carol Boykin, I can assure you that your pensions were not and are not in danger of risky speculation. There never were nor are now any changes in responsibility between the CEO and the RSG. We also have the statement from the UN's Head of Internal Audit that none of the allegations of fraud raised earlier this year are true. Our pension fund is unique, not only in the quality of our pensions and the health of the investment fund, but also in its complexity. The Pension Fund secretariat is working to ensure that the staff serving us are as knowledgeable and diligent as possible. Your pensions are safe. ARICSA is arranging for another "In-Retirement" seminar by representatives of the Pension Fund this autumn. More details will be available later."
Newsletter No 76 is now available
This newsletter contains an invitation to the ARICSA outing to the Schallaburg on 25 June. It also contains information about the recent allegations concerning the Pension Fund, as well as some funny 'funnies'. Please send us more contributions of this type to liven things up! If you are a member of ARICSA, you can read the newsletter here.
Further Statement Regarding the UNJSPF Situation and Petition (originally issued 11 May 2015)
Dear ARICSA member,
As I mentioned in a previous mailing, you have elected the ARICSA Executive Committee and we, in turn, have elected the President of the Federation of Associations of Former International Civil Servants (FAFICS), its vice presidents and representatives to the annual meetings and committees of the Pension Board. These representatives have been active in obtaining more information regarding the petition. The President of FAFICS, Linda Saputelli, has recently sent us a report on
The report is too long to include directly here, but you can read it on our web site by following the link:
Regarding the petition that is currently circulating, initiated by the New York staff union, you are of course free to have your own opinion, but I will not be signing it. Many of the items mentioned in the petition are incorrect. There is no attempt being made to remove the Pension Fund from UN ethics and rules. And most importantly, the agreement being renegotiated between the UN and the Pension Fund does not change any of the investment practices or responsibilities. It is, however, disturbing that it has taken over a year for the revised agreement to reach consensus between the CEO of the Pension Fund, the UN Human Resources, and the staff.
We will continue to keep you updated on these issues as we move forward towards the annual meetings of the Pension Board and the FAFICS Council.
Response to the Current Allegations about Mismanagement of the Pension Fund
In the last two weeks the Staff Unions of the United Nations in New York and Geneva have again started circulating serious allegations about the management of our United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund. As President of ARICSA, I cannot support the manner that these allegations are being circulated and I wish to assure you that ARICSA is in contact with various officials and will keep you informed of any developments.
The Pension Fund is one of the most highly watched funds that I know. Because of its unique nature the Pension Fund oversight is multifaceted: the Pension Fund is a special UN body - the only one that accepts income from staff and pays monthly sums of money (namely our pensions) to people around the world. It has twenty three member organizations. Investments are managed by the UN Investment Management Division on behalf of the Pension Fund. Oversight includes not only the UN's internal audit and external audit, but also the Pension Board, the Assets and Liabilities Monitoring Committee, an additional Pension Fund Audit Committee and a Risk Management Working Group.
The Pension Fund is not about to be 'privatized' or in any way separated from its current regulatory framework. The investment policy is not about to change. Our pensions are not in danger. On the contrary, the value of the fund is at its highest ever and the actuarial balance is better than any time since 2007.
Concerning the serious allegations of fraud and hiring abuses, I find it strange that the staff representatives chose to go first to public 'town hall' meetings without first having established facts through the several oversight opportunities. It seems to me that such actions are inflammatory and hinder, rather than help, the work of the Pension Fund.
The CEO of the Pension Fund has issued a statement to all participants and beneficiaries. You may read the statement here:
Update April 11: A Statement by the Under Secretary General for Management can be found here Statement by USG Mgmt 20150410.pdf
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