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GUIDE TO NATIONAL TAXATION OF UNITED NATIONS JOINT STAFF
PENSION FUND BENEFITS, WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO UNITED
STATES TAXES

The present updated edition of the guide is based on a previous version (JSPB/G.11/Rev.6 of 23 June 1989), which had been prepared by the Office of Legal Affairs of the United Nations with the substantial assistance of Buck Consultants (the consulting actuary of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund (UNJSPF)), primarily for use by those offices of the United Nations (including all entities for which the Secretary-General has administrative responsibilities) that are concerned with the taxes that may be imposed by national Governments or local authorities on benefits received from UNJSPF. It is also designed to inform present and former members of the staff of the United Nations and their beneficiaries about these questions and about the relevant practices of the Organization. Except for the portions that relate specifically to such practices (paras. 4-6, 16 (last sentence), 20, 37 and 66-68), the present guide may also prove useful to other UNJSPF participants and their beneficiaries.

The present version of the guide is specifically applicable to persons who retired after 1992. Persons who retired earlier should consult the corresponding earlier versions of the guide. 

CONTENTS

Paragraphs
PART ONE GENERAL 1 - 6
I. National taxation of pensions 1 - 3
II. Refund of taxes by the United Nations 4 - 6
PART TWO UNITED STATES TAXATION 7 - 71
III. Federal income tax 7 - 53
A. Liability to pay federal income tax 7 - 10
B. General principle of taxation of UNJSPF benefits 11 - 15
C. Withdrawal settlement (full lump sum) 16 - 32
1. General 16 - 20
2. Participants with more than five years of contributory service who were 50 years of age before 1 January 1986 21 - 25
3. Participants with more than five years of contributory service, over 59-1/2 years of age at date of distribution, and who were not 50 years of age on 31 December 1985 26
4. All others 27 - 28
5. Early and excess distribution taxes 29 - 32
D. Commuted retirement benefit (partial lump sum) 33 - 38
E. Retirement benefit 39 - 44
1. Simplified General Rule 40
2. General Rule - "exclusion percentage" 41
3. General 42 - 44
F. Disability benefit 45 - 47
G. Child's benefit 48 - 49
H. Survivor's benefits 50 - 53
IV. State and local income taxes 54 - 57
V. Federal estate tax 58 - 62
VI. Social security 63 - 65
VII. United Nations assistance in determining United States taxes on UNJSPF benefits 66 - 68
VIII. Examples 69 - 71
A. Withdrawal settlement 26
B. Retirement benefit (no survivors): 28
Simplified General Rule 29
General Rule - "exclusion percentage" 32
C. Retirement benefit (with wife and son): 37
General Rule - "exclusion percentage" 38
D. Retirement benefit: change of status 43
E. Retirement benefit: change of status 44
F. Disability benefit, before age 60 45
G. Widow's benefit: death benefit exclusion 46
Simplified General Rule 48
General Rule - "exclusion percentage" 49
H. Withdrawal settlement - New York State tax on non-resident 50
I. State tax 51
J. Federal estate tax 51
Annex. IRS Determination: Copy of letter recognizing qualified nature of UNJSPF under IRC section 401(a) 60
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