The Fund is financially sound, and more than 80% of the new cases are processed in less than 15 business days. These were the key messages Ms. Janice Dunn Lee, Acting CEO of the UN Joint Staff Pension Fund, delivered at the 49th Annual Assembly of the Association of Former International Civil Servants/New York (AFICS/NY).
Responding to the invitation of the President of the Association, Mr. John P. Dietz, Ms. Dunn Lee provided an overview of the Fund status and orientation. She stressed that her priorities were to ensure smooth and effective operations, to enhance communications (internal/external), and to strengthen management culture.
Dunn Lee highlighted the admission of CTBTO as the 24th member organization on 1 January 2019 and the new agreement of transfer of pension rights with the African Development Bank, both changes from the 2018 resolution (A/RES/73/274) of the General Assembly (GA), which governs the Fund’s operations.
The Secretariat, she said, is working intensely on the current budget proposal for 2020, which the Pension Board will consider at its next session from 22-26 July at the UN Office in Nairobi, Kenya.
Highlighting historical differences between required and actual contribution rates, Janice stated that there was a small deficit of 0.05 % of pensionable remuneration. This is well within the corridor of +/- 2% of pensionable remuneration recommended by the Fund’s actuaries, which indicates that the Fund is very close to actuarial balance and is considered to be well-funded.
“The Fund will continue to grow significantly into the future” and this means resource planning must be made for this continued growth, she stated.
The Fund, she added, manages an overall increasing geographic dispersion of retirees and other beneficiaries throughout the world. More retirees and beneficiaries are being paid in accordance with the two-track feature, adding more complexity to the operations the Fund must manage. Increasing longevity also comes with increased administrative costs.
Dunn Lee then provided a detailed explanation on the processing of initial benefits; the Fund, she said, “is processing 81% of these cases in less than 15 business days”. She added that the Fund remains vigilant and that it is monitoring progress on a continuous basis. When indicators reveal that there is a decline in the processing rate, “we move quickly to address the problems”.
Concluding her remarks, Dunn Lee emphasized that, to improve performance on operations, the Fund is moving in a direction of functional leadership and reporting. “This means more consistent processing, and smoother and more aligned client services”, which will also help in strengthening management culture overall.
AFICS/NY Annual Assembly meeting took place in the United Nations Headquarters on 29 May 2019.