The Pension Adjustment System of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly by resolution 37/131 of 17 December 1982 and has been amended by the Assembly a number of times since then, following recommendations made by the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Board.
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A. GENERAL DESCRIPTION
1. Pension adjustment is intended to ensure that, subject to paragraph 23 below, a periodic benefit payable by the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund never falls below the “real” value of its United States dollar amount and to preserve its purchasing power as initially established in the currency of the recipient’s country of residence.
2. The “real” value of a United States dollar amount is the base amount as determined under the Regulations of the Fund, adjusted over time for movements of the United States consumer price index (CPI), while the purchasing power of a recipient’s benefit, once established in local currency, is preserved by adjusting it for movements of the consumer price index in the recipient’s country of residence.
3. The operation of the Pension Adjustment System involves keeping a record of two amounts for a beneficiary1/:
(a) one in United States dollars, which is adjusted periodically to reflect changes in the United States CPI;
(b) the other, if applicable, in local currency, which is adjusted periodically to reflect changes in the CPI in the beneficiary’s country of residence.
B. BENEFITS INVOLVED
4. Except as otherwise noted (e.g., in paragraphs 5(d), 10 and 27 below with regard to deferred retirement benefits), the Pension Adjustment System applies to retirement, early retirement, deferred retirement, disability, widow’s, widower’s, child’s and secondary dependant’s periodic benefits. It does not apply to withdrawal or other lump‑sum payments, including those derived from the partial or total commutation of a periodic benefit, nor does it apply to any benefit arising from voluntary deposits. Adjustments operate on benefits based on standard, minimum and maximum formulae, including those that are based on flat dollar amounts.
C. DETERMINATION OF BASE AMOUNTS
5. The two base amounts for beneficiaries are determined as follows:
(a) A dollar base amount is established on the basis of the basic pension determined in accordance with the Regulations of the Fund and excluding, where necessary, any portion elected under the commutation provisions of the Regulations, but reflecting, where applicable, any special adjustment determined under section E below.
(b) A local currency base amount is calculated for the country of residence established pursuant to section N below, as follows:
(i) A cost‑of‑living differential factor is established for the country of residence and the month of separation in accordance with section D below. This factor is applied to that portion of the final average remuneration which does not exceed the pensionable remuneration, on the date of separation, in the scale referred to in article 51(b) of the Regulations, at the top step of the grades set out below:
P‑2: for separations before 1 April 1992;
P‑4: for separations on or after 1 April 1992;
for disability benefits commencing after 1 January 1991 and for other benefits derived therefrom; and for survivors’ and other benefits due to deaths in service of participants occurring on or after 1 January 1991. The resulting amount is added to the final average remuneration;
(ii) A notional dollar base amount is established on the basis of the adjusted final average remuneration as per (i) above and in accordance with the Regulations, excluding that percentage of the base pension which was commuted into a lump sum;
(iii) The local currency amount is then derived by applying to item (ii) the average, computed over the 36 consecutive calendar months up to and including the month of separation, of the exchange rates between the United States dollar and the currency of the country of residence.
(c) For beneficiaries to whom the interim and transitional measures set out in section P below apply, the local currency base amount calculated in (b) above shall be subject to the minimum determined in accordance with section P below.
(d) The cost-of-living differential factor in subparagraph 5(b) (i) above shall not apply to deferred retirement benefits.
D. COST‑OF‑LIVING DIFFERENTIAL FACTORS
6. The cost‑of‑living differential factor referred to in subparagraph 5(b) (i) above is computed as follows:
(0) For participants in the Professional and higher categories:
(i) The excess, if any, of the number of classes of post adjustment in the country of residence over that of New York is determined for each of the 36 consecutive calendar months up to and including the month of separation. In this process, partial classes are converted to decimal fractions (rounded to two places) of complete classes;
(ii) A 36‑month average excess of post adjustment classes is then computed by averaging the 36 individual results (including those months, if any, when there was no excess);
(iii) If there is more than one post adjustment classification for the country of residence, the one producing the highest 36‑month average excess is used. If there is no post adjustment classification, the classification of another country with comparable cost of living is substituted, under a procedure to be developed jointly by the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Board and the International Civil Service Commission;
(iv) The applicable cost‑of‑living differential factor is finally derived from the following applicable table, the result being interpolated, when necessary, between the factors applicable for two exact numbers of classes of post adjustment:
(b) For participants in the General Service category whose country of residence after separation is other than the country of their duty station at the time of separation:
(i) A midpoint net salary, both with and without the pensionable non‑resident allowance but without the language allowance, is defined for each duty station as the average, in local currency, of the net salary at step I of the lowest level of the United Nations General Service salary scale in that duty station and the net salary at the top step of the highest level in that scale, but without taking into account the extended General Service levels;
(ii) The midpoint net salary, without the pensionable non‑resident allowance, in effect during the month of separation in the duty station of the country of residence after separation is averaged with the corresponding midpoint net salary three years earlier. If there is more than one duty station in that country, the one producing the highest average midpoint net salary is used. If there is no duty station in the country, a duty station of another country with comparable cost of living will be substituted, under a procedure to be developed jointly by the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Board and the United Nations. The resulting amount is converted into United States dollars by the application of the average, computed over the 36 consecutive calendar months up to and including the month of separation, of the exchange rates between the United States dollar and the currency in which the midpoint net salary is denominated;
(iii) The midpoint net salary, with the pensionable non‑resident allowance, in effect during the month of separation in the participant’s duty station is averaged with the corresponding midpoint net salary three years earlier. The resulting amount is converted into United States dollars by the application of the average, computed over the 36 consecutive calendar months up to and including the month of separation, of the exchange rates between the United States dollar and the currency in which the midpoint net salary is denominated;
(iv) A ratio of midpoint net salaries is then determined by dividing the United States dollar amount in (ii) above by the United States dollar amount in (iii) above, rounding the result to two decimal places and multiplying it by 100;
(v) The applicable cost‑of‑living differential factor is finally derived from the following tables, the result being interpolated, where necessary, between the factors applicable to the next higher and the next lower ratio in the following applicable table:
(c) No cost-of-living differential factor shall be determined for participants in the General Service category whose country of residence after separation is the country of their duty station at the time of separation. In other words, no adjustment shall be made to the final average remuneration of such participants for purposes of subparagraph 5(b) above.
E. SPECIAL ADJUSTMENT FOR SMALL PENSIONS
7. Whenever the dollar amount of the standard annual rate of a retirement or a disability benefit under the Regulations of the Fund, before commutation and based on 15 or more years of contributory service, is less than the highest dollar amount in the applicable table below, the benefit shall be subject to a special adjustment as follows:
8. The special adjustment for an annual amount which falls between two amounts in the above tables is obtained by interpolation with the result rounded to two decimal places. The amount resulting from the application of the special adjustment is added to the dollar base amount for purposes of subparagraph 5(a) above.
9. Beneficiaries in receipt of retirement or disability benefits which commenced before 1961 and which amounted to less than $4,000 on 1 January 1982 became entitled on that date to the special adjustment specified in paragraphs 7 and 8 above, even if their benefits were based on less than 15 years of contributory service.
10. No special adjustment shall be made in the case of early or deferred retirement benefits. In the case of widow’s, widower’s, orphan’s and secondary dependant’s benefits, a special adjustment is applied only if those benefits are derived from benefits which themselves were (or would have been) subject to a special adjustment. In that case, the special adjustment factor shall be the same as the one which had (or would have) been applied to the retirement or disability pension from which the benefit is derived.
F. SUPPLEMENTARY MEASURES
11. Beneficiaries in receipt of retirement or disability benefits or of widow’s, widower’s or secondary dependant’s benefits derived therefrom, who were aged 75 or over on 1 January 1982 and whose annual retirement or disability benefit on that date was below 50 per cent of the then net base salary of a staff member at grade P‑1, step I, became entitled from that date to receive a thirteenth monthly payment every year. The thirteenth payment shall be calculated in such a way that the total annual benefit payable to a beneficiary above the limit is not less than the amount payable to a beneficiary just below the limit.
G. SOURCES OF DATA AFFECTING ADJUSTMENTS
12. For the purposes of subparagraph 6(a) above, the number of classes of post adjustment in a given country for a given month are taken from information provided by the International Civil Service Commission.
13. For purposes of subparagraph 6(b) above, the midpoint net salaries are determined from the United Nations General Service salary scale for the particular duty station. If the duty station has been in existence less than three years, the midpoint net salary in effect during the month of separation is averaged with the corresponding midpoint net salary at the time that the duty station was established.
14. For measuring changes in the CPI for the United States and for a particular country of residence, the index used is the official CPI for the country as a whole issued by the national Government and published in the United Nations Monthly Bulletin of Statistics. Where no such index is published in the United Nations Monthly Bulletin of Statistics for a particular country or area, another regularly published index specified by the Statistics Division of Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations may be utilized. Once an index has been utilized to give effect to an adjustment, any subsequent amendment or correction of that index will not give rise to retroactive correction of the adjustment.
15. Because of the time‑lag which exists between the date when the CPI (for any country) is published in the United Nations Monthly Bulletin of Statistics and its effective date, the index used on a given adjustment date is that for the fourth month immediately preceding the date of the adjustment. As an example, the index applicable for the measurement of a possible adjustment on 1 April 2001 would be the index published for December 2000. However, if the applicable index is not available within two months after the adjustment date, then the latest available index prior to that of the fourth month immediately preceding the date of adjustment is utilized for the measurement of a possible adjustment effective as from the adjustment date.
16. For the purposes of subparagraphs 5(b) (iii) and 6(b) (ii) and (iii) above, and paragraphs 23 and 27 below, the official United Nations operational rates of exchange shall be used.
H. SUBSEQUENT ADJUSTMENTS OF THE BENEFIT
17. As stated in paragraph 3 above, each beneficiary’s record contains a United States dollar amount and, if applicable, an amount in the currency of his or her country of residence. These amounts, having first been determined in accordance with sections C, D and E above, are subsequently adjusted on an annual basis, on 1 April in accordance with the following procedure:
(a) The dollar amount is adjusted by the ratio of the United States CPI applicable on the date of the adjustment to the United States CPI last utilized;
(b) The local currency amount is adjusted in the same manner, but using the CPI for the country of residence.
18. No adjustment is made in either the dollar amount or the local currency amount if the applicable CPI has moved by less than 2 per cent since the date of the last adjustment. The ratio of the CPI at one time to the CPI at another time is rounded to three decimal places.
19. If the applicable CPI has moved by 10 per cent or more since the date of the last adjustment, the adjustment of the dollar amount or the local currency amount, as the case may be, is made on a semi‑annual basis on 1 April as stated in paragraph 17 above and also on 1 October.
20. The initial adjustments due after separation (or death, as the case may be), to both the dollar and the local currency amounts, shall be reduced by 1.5 percentage points except in the case of the benefits under section E above and the minimum benefits under the Regulations. Effective 1 April 2005, the reduction in the initial adjustments due after separation shall be by 1 percentage point; with respect to benefits to which the 1.5 percentage points reduction was applied before 1 April 2005, there shall be a 0.5 percentage point increase in the first adjustment due on or after 1 April 2005. Effective 1 April 2007, the reduction in the initial adjustments due after separation shall be by 0.5 percentage point; with respect to benefits to which the 1.0 percentage point reduction was applied before 1 April 2007, there shall be a 0.5 percentage point increase in the first adjustment due on or after 1 April 2007.
21. No adjustment is made on the date immediately following separation (or death as the case may be) even if such date coincides with the annual adjustment date. Except as provided in paragraph 22 below, all new entitlements become eligible for a possible adjustment, if applicable, on the annual adjustment date next following their effective date, at which time any adjustment due is pro‑rated according to the period since separation. For example, a cost‑of‑living increase assumed to apply on 1 April 2001, would increase benefits by:
‑ The entire percentage of increase for separations before April 2000;
‑ 11/12 of the increase for separations in the month of April 2000;
‑ 10/12 of the increase for separations in the month of May 2000;
‑ 9/12 of the increase for separations in the month of June 2000;
‑ 8/12 of the increase for separations in the month of July 2000;
‑ 7/12 of the increase for separations in the month of August 2000;
‑ 6/12 of the increase for separations in the month of September 2000;
‑ 5/12 of the increase for separations in the month of October 2000;
‑ 4/12 of the increase for separations in the month of November 2000;
‑ 3/12 of the increase for separations in the month of December 2000;
‑ 2/12 of the increase for separations in the month of January 2001;
‑ 1/12 of the increase for separations in the month of February 2001;
‑ 0 per cent for separations after February 2001.
22. If an adjustment is made on a semi‑annual basis in accordance with paragraph 19 above, the pro‑rating of the new entitlements referred to in paragraph 21 above is made over a six‑month period. A cost‑of‑living increase assumed to apply on 1 October 2001, for example, would increase benefits by:
– The entire percentage of increase for separations before April 2001;
– 5/6 of the increase for separations in the month of April 2001;
– 4/6 of the increase for separations in the month of May 2001;
– 3/6 of the increase for separations in the month of June 2001;
– 2/6 of the increase for separations in the month of July 2001;
– 1/6 of the increase for separations in the month of August 2001;
– 0 per cent for separations after August 2001.
I. PAYMENT OF THE BENEFIT
23. Where a beneficiary resides in a country other than the United States, the determination of the amount of the periodic benefit payable in a given month is made as follows:
The dollar amount as initially determined under subparagraph 5(a) above and then adjusted under section H above, is converted to the local currency equivalent by using the exchange rate in effect for the month preceding the calendar quarter of that payment. The resultant amount is compared to the local currency amount as initially determined under subparagraph 5(b) above and then adjusted under section H above. Except as provided in paragraph 25 below, the beneficiary is entitled, until the next quarter, to the greater of the local currency amount or the local currency equivalent of the dollar amount, subject to a maximum of: (a) 120 per cent of the local currency amount with respect to benefits payable on account of separations or deaths in service before 1 July 1995 and other benefits derived therefrom; (b) 110 per cent of the local currency amount with respect to benefits payable on account of separations or deaths in service on or after 1 July 1995 and other benefits derived therefrom. The limitations described in (a) and (b) above shall not result in a benefit being smaller than either the United States dollar base amount determined in accordance with the Regulations of the Fund or 80 per cent of the adjusted United States dollar-track amount.
24. No change is made in the two amounts during the months within each quarter. Thus, changes in the exchange rate within a quarter are ignored for all purposes, irrespective of the currency of payment chosen under article 47 of the Regulations, and no retroactive adjustment is made.
25. An exception to the rule outlined in paragraph 24 above may be made if certain events (e.g., sudden redenomination of a currency or a very high rate of inflation) result in a real loss of purchasing power of more than 20 per cent in the beneficiary’s benefit.
26. a) For countries where the application of the local‑currency track would lead to aberrant results, with wide fluctuations depending on the precise commencement date of the underlying benefit entitlement, establishment of a local currency base amount in accordance with section C may be suspended by the Chief Executive of Pension Administration with respect to future and current retirees and beneficiaries. In such cases, the Chief Executive of Pension Administration shall duly inform retirees and beneficiaries in pay status in advance of such suspension. The Chief Executive Officer shall also inform the Board of this action, as soon as feasible.
b) For countries where:
i) up-to-date CPI data is not available, after examining possible alternative sources of cost-of-living data and taking into account the particular circumstances of the beneficiaries residing in those countries; or
ii) the 36 month average of exchange rates covers different currency units or includes a currency unit that is no longer applicable and reasonable adjustment and/or conversions are not available or cannot be determined in accordance with section Q, the application of the Local Currency Track may be suspended for future and current retirees and beneficiaries; such suspensions shall apply only prospectively, with due notice given to the current retirees and beneficiaries concerned.
c) As determined by the Chief Executive of Pension Administration, the Local Currency Track benefit may be reinstated after it is determined that the economic conditions within that country create a situation where the Local Currency Track benefit will once again, as of the reinstatement date, be expected to consistently preserve the purchasing power of the monthly pension benefit as established in the currency of the recipient’s country. The following provision will be applicable with respect to the reinstatement of the Local Currency Track benefit:
i) A new local currency base amount will be established for the country of residence in accordance with section C, replacing the month of separation by the month prior to the reinstatement date wherever it occurs in that section. A new notional dollar track benefit will not be established.
ii) Section H shall apply with the adjustment occurring as of the 1 April following the reinstatement date,
iii) Section I will apply commencing on the first quarter following the reinstatement date.
iv) All retirees and beneficiaries residing in the country as of the reinstatement date will be allowed to elect payment of the local currency benefit at any time subsequent to the reinstatement date provided residence is maintained and acceptable proof of such residency is provided to the Fund. These reinstatement provisions are not applicable to retirees and beneficiaries whose benefits commence subsequent to the reinstatement date.
J. DEFERRED RETIREMENT BENEFIT
27. (a) For participants whose date of separation was before 31 December 1989, no adjustment shall be applied to deferred retirement benefits prior to the beneficiary’s reaching age 50. Commencing at age 50 or the date of separation, if later, the base dollar pension under subparagraph 5(a) above is adjusted by the United States CPI in accordance with section H above, without retroactive effect. The two‑track adjustment system becomes operative on the date of commencement of the payment of the periodic benefit. At that time a local currency base amount is established by applying to the adjusted dollar amount the average exchange rate over the 36 consecutive months up to and including the month of first payment.
(b) For participants separating from service on or after 31 December 1989, no adjustment shall be applied to deferred retirement benefits prior to the beneficiary’s reaching age 55. Commencing at age 55 or the date of separation, if later, the adjustment procedures set out in (a) above shall be applied to the deferred retirement benefits.
K. SURVIVORS’ BENEFITS
28. Benefits payable to survivors are established at the time of the survivor’s entitlement. The starting point is the notional or adjusted pension immediately prior to the participant’s date of death, with due allowance for any pension previously commuted.
L. FLAT‑RATE BENEFITS2/
29. The initial amount of each flat‑rate benefit shall be determined on the basis of its “real” value in United States dollar terms by applying to it the movement of the United States CPI since 1 January 1973 (the date on which adjustments were first applied to the dollar amounts specified in the Regulations for these benefits).
M. DETERMINATION OF ENTITLEMENTS
30. Until satisfactory proof is submitted to show in which country the beneficiary is residing and other required formalities are completed, only the dollar amount of the pension (determined as in section C and adjusted as described in sections E and H above) is paid. If such proof is provided within six months from the date of entitlement, the local currency base amount is computed from that date, with retroactive adjustment if it results in a greater benefit. However, if proof of residence is not provided within six months from the date of entitlement, the local currency base amount becomes payable only as from the first day of the quarter following acceptance of such proof, with no retroactive adjustment.
N. COUNTRY OF RESIDENCE
31. (a) A beneficiary may at any time submit proof of residence in the country of his or her choice. Such proof must be in a form acceptable to the Pension Fund. Once proof of residence has been accepted, payment of the benefit is made in accordance with the procedures described in sections I and M above. A beneficiary who subsequently relocates may change his or her country of residence by submitting satisfactory proof of residence in the new country, but no request for a change of the country of residence will be accepted unless it is accompanied by satisfactory proof of relocation.
(b) Reversion to the United States dollar entitlement alone may be permitted on a case‑by‑case basis for beneficiaries who, for compelling personal reasons, move from a high‑cost to a low‑cost country after having provided proof of residence, subject to the following conditions:
(i) The move was to the country of nationality of the beneficiary or of a family member, or to the country of a former duty station of the retiree, or was due to other personal and compelling reasons; and
(ii) The beneficiary had been on the two‑track system for a minimum period of one year before the submission of the request for such reversion.
32. If a beneficiary changes his country of residence and provides satisfactory proof to that effect, then, starting on the first day of the quarter following arrival in the new country of residence, his or her local currency amount is recomputed as if he or she had always resided in the new country of residence. All changes in country of residence must be reported promptly, i.e., no later than six months from the date of arrival, and satisfactory proof of residence in the new country has to be provided as in section M above. If such proof is not provided within six months from the date of arrival, the local currency amount is nevertheless recomputed as if the beneficiary had always resided in the new country of residence, but it becomes effective only as from the first day of the quarter following acceptance of such proof, with no retroactive adjustment, except that the Fund has the right to recover excess benefit payments made if it is found that the benefit payments since the date of arrival in the new country would have been lower if the change had been reported on a timely basis.
O. EXISTING BENEFICIARIES
33. The 1.5 percentage point reductions referred to in paragraph 20 above shall also be applied, on the occasion of the first adjustments due after 1 January 1985, to both the dollar and the local currency amounts of the benefits of existing beneficiaries, except for benefits whose dollar base amounts had been established under either the minimum provisions of the Regulations or under section E above. Beneficiaries under section F above shall also be excluded from these reductions.
34. Existing beneficiaries, who were in receipt of a benefit on 1 January 1985 and who had submitted, prior to that date, satisfactory proof of residence in countries other than the United States, will remain entitled to the United States dollar amount of their benefits as at 31 December 1984, notwithstanding the limitation specified in paragraph 23 above. However, in the event of a subsequent upward adjustment, the United States dollar amount of their benefits shall be subject to the said limitation3/.
P. INTERIM AND TRANSITIONAL MEASURES FOR CALCULATION OF THE
LOCAL CURRENCY BASE AMOUNT4/
35. For countries where the 36‑month average exchange rate under subparagraph 5(b)(iii) showed an overall decline during the years 1986 and 1987, the local currency base amount for certain participants in the Professional and higher categories, who separated or died in service during the years 1987 through 1990, shall not be less than the amount derived by applying, to the dollar base amount in subparagraph 5(a), the average monthly ratio between the local currency base amount and the dollar base amount during 1987. For each such country, the ratio for each month in 1987 shall be determined by dividing the local currency base amount derived from subparagraph 5(b) by the dollar base amount derived from subparagraph 5(a), for a participant at grade P‑4, step XII, retiring with twenty years of contributory service who becomes entitled to a retirement benefit as of the first day of the month following his retirement.
36. The amount derived under paragraph 35 shall be applicable:
(a) To the benefits of participants who separated from service, or died in service, during the years 1988, 1989 or 1990, and to survivors’ and other benefits derived therefrom, except for deferred retirement benefits and survivors’ and other benefits derived therefrom;
(b) To the benefits of participants who separated from service, or died in service, during the year 1987 and to survivors’ and other benefits derived therefrom, except for early retirement and deferred retirement benefits and survivors’ and other benefits derived therefrom, provided that any adjustment hereunder shall be payable only as from 1 January 1988.
37. Participants in the Professional and higher categories, who separated from service or died in service between 1 January 1991 and 31 March 1992, and who were age 55 or above on 31 December 1990, shall be entitled to no less than the local currency base amount to which they would have become entitled under paragraphs 35 and 36 above, if they had separated on 31 December 1990, at the age and with the final average remuneration and contributory service attained on that date.
Q. SPECIAL MEASURE FOR DETERMINATION OF THE
LOCAL CURRENCY BASE AMOUNT IN CERTAIN COUNTRIES
WITH A NEW CURRENCY UNIT
38. (a) For countries where a new currency unit was introduced on or after 1 January 1990 which represented, at the time of its introduction, an increase in the value of the local currency, in relation to the United States dollar, of at least 100 per cent, the local currency base amount under, paragraph 5(b) (iii) above shall be determined in the following manner:
(i) For beneficiaries separating before or during the month of introduction of the new currency unit: by applying to the dollar base amount, as adjusted under section H above to the date of introduction of the new local currency unit, the United Nations operational exchange rate in effect as of such date;
(ii) For beneficiaries separating after the end of the month of introduction of the new currency unit: by applying to the dollar base amount the average of the United Nations operational exchange rates for the new local currency unit over the period from the effective month of introduction of the new currency unit to the month of separation, up to a maximum of 36 months.
(b) This special measure shall apply to all beneficiaries who have provided, or will provide in future, proof of residence in a country which meets the criteria in (a) above.
(c) (i) The local currency base amount determined in accordance with (a) (i) above shall be adjusted by the consumer price index movement, in accordance with section H above, as from the date of introduction of the new currency unit;
(ii) The local currency base amount determined in accordance with (a) (ii) above shall be adjusted by the consumer price index movement, in accordance with section H above.
(d) The local currency amount calculated under this special measure will be paid only with effect from the first day of the quarter following submission of proof of residence, or in cases where proof of residence had been submitted earlier, as from the first day of the quarter following the date of introduction of the new local currency unit, with retroactive effect only as from 1 January 1996.
(e) Should the new local currency unit depreciate against the United States dollar by 50 per cent or more from its value on the date of introduction, beneficiaries covered by the special measure may exercise an option, within two years as from the date of implementation of the special measure, 1 January 1997, to withdraw their proof of residence and to have their pension benefits paid thereafter solely on the United States dollar track. Such reversion to the dollar track alone would be effective as from the first quarter following receipt by the Fund secretariat of the beneficiary’s withdrawal of proof of residence.
Footnotes – Annex III
1/ In this annex, the term “beneficiary” is used to designate all persons entitled to receive periodic benefits under the Regulations of the Fund.
2/ The adjusted levels of the flat‑rate benefits as of 1 April 2014, are found in the Fund’s Regulations and the latest amounts, as adjusted in accordance with the movement of the United States CPI under the Pension Adjustment System, always on the Fund’s website www.unjspf.org.
3/ When the limitation specified in paragraph 23 above was introduced, effective 1 January 1985, the General Assembly decided by resolution 39/246 that beneficiaries who had submitted, before 1 January 1985, satisfactory proof of their residence outside the United States be given a one‑time option, with a specified time‑limit, to withdraw their proof of residence and thereby elect to have their benefit adjusted solely in accordance with the movement of the United States CPI as from 1 January 1985. Subsequently, the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Board decided and reported thereon to the General Assembly in 1991 that the beneficiaries who were receiving, on 1 April 1991, less than the local currency equivalent of the dollar amount, because of the maximum payment provision under paragraph 23 above, should be given the option to move off the two‑track system, prospectively.
4/ Under the interim and transitional measures, the corresponding minimum ratios between the applicable local currency and dollar base amounts are as follows: Afghanistan ‑ 55; Austria ‑ 17.63; Belarus ‑ 0.765; Belgium ‑ 51.12; Cuba ‑ 0.863; Cyprus ‑ 0.557; Czechoslovakia ‑ 11.32; Democratic People’s Republic of Korea ‑ 2.37; Denmark ‑ 9.21; Finland ‑ 5.54; France and other French franc countries (French Guiana, Martinique and Monaco) ‑ 7.86; Germany ‑ 2.51; Guadeloupe ‑ 7.87; Iran (Islamic Republic of) ‑ 84.37; Ireland ‑ 0.839; Italy ‑ 1,668; Japan ‑ 220; Jordan ‑ 0.371; Kuwait ‑ 0.294; Luxembourg ‑ 51.12; Malta ‑ 0.413; Mongolia ‑ 3.42; Myanmar ‑ 7.76; Netherlands ‑ 2.83; New Caledonia ‑ 141; Norway 7.90; Romania 12.94; Russian Federation ‑ 0.765; Rwanda ‑ 93; Sao Tome and Principe ‑ 41.20; Seychelles ‑ 6.61; Spain ‑ 152.04; Sweden 7.74; Switzerland ‑ 2.10; Ukraine ‑ 0.765; United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland ‑ 0.724; CFA franc countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Côte D’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo) ‑ 394.
UNJSPF EMERGENCY FUND*
1. General Introduction
The Emergency Fund is financed from the assets of the UNJSPF and voluntary contributions, and is utilized to provide financial assistance to beneficiaries who are currently receiving a periodic benefit from the Fund. It is intended to provide relief in individual cases of proven hardship owing to illness, infirmity or similar cases, including funeral arrangements. It is not intended to supplement pensions that may be considered insufficient, whether due to general or local economic situations or limited contributory service. Also, the Emergency Fund cannot be utilized as a source for loans, scholarships or further education for the retiree or his/her beneficiaries, home building/purchase or improvements (unless justified for medical reasons), or for dowry or wedding expenses. Applications are examined without a rigid set of rules, and attention is paid to a number of factors such as age, number of years of contributory service, amount of the UNJSPF benefit, the country in which the pensioner resides, availability of insurance, other possible sources of income and/or assistance and the circumstances surrounding the expenditures. There is no formal means test and much flexibility is exercised as to which applicants receive assistance from the Emergency Fund.
2. Procedures for Dealing with Cases
(a) In the case of the United Nations and its family of entities (e.g. UNDP, UNICEF, and UNHCR), requests are submitted directly to the Fund in New York/Geneva since the Fund serves as the Staff Pension Committee for the United Nations. In the case of the other member organizations, whenever possible, requests are submitted through the secretaries of local staff pension committees on behalf of their former staff or the latter’s survivors. The secretaries examine the request, provide information on the nature of the emergency, the after-service medical insurance coverage, the proportion of the expenditures covered by that insurance or that would have been covered if coverage had been provided, the circumstances surrounding the hardship experienced by the beneficiary and any other relevant facts which might be ascertained. In many cases a beneficiary chooses not to participate in ASHI (After Service Health Insurance) because of coverage by other insurance schemes; in such case, information is sought on the reimbursement provided elsewhere.
(b) If a beneficiary who was formerly with one of the member organizations of the Fund (other than the UN) writes directly to the Fund, the matter is referred, in the first instance, to the secretary of the relevant staff pension committee for clarification and further information along the lines indicated in (a) above.
* This note provides information on the general principles for the operation and application of the Emergency Fund. It is not in any way a detailed, precise formulation of the Regulations and Rules.
(c) All requests should be accompanied by substantiating documentation; in cases involving medical expenses, that documentation must include a medical statement
regarding the nature of the illness, the type and cause of treatment provided by the physician and/or hospital, and proof of the expenditures and payment for each. If the request has been channeled through the secretary of a staff pension committee, certain documentation can sometimes be waived as it will already have been verified and approved by the organization’s health insurance scheme. UN family cases are similarly referred to the UN Insurance Section.
(d) Documentation not already evaluated through a medical insurance procedure is forwarded to the Medical Director of the United Nations for advice and evaluation in his/her capacity as Medical Consultant to the Pension Board, or, as the case may be, to the Joint Medical Service in Geneva.
(e) Other entities, such as retiree associations or social service agencies sometimes present requests on behalf of beneficiaries. For example, a number of cases have been submitted by AFICS affiliated associations on behalf of some of their members. Wherever possible, such organizations assist in obtaining the required substantiating documentation. (Requests for assistance emanating from Europe, Africa and the Middle East shall generally be handled by the Fund’s Geneva office, acting in coordination with the central secretariat in New York as required).
(f) Cases involving expenses other than medical are similarly evaluated in the light of all the evidence provided.
3. Types of Expenditure Covered by Emergency Fund Assistance
The types of expenditures considered for possible assistance from the Emergency Fund can be grouped roughly into the following categories:
A. Medical Expenditures
To the extent that they are not covered by any insurance:
(i) Direct Medical costs: physicians’ fees, medication, hospital costs, surgery, and diagnostic and laboratory fees;
(ii) Other Medical costs, such as: wheelchairs, prosthetic devices or equipment;
(iii) Service costs, such as: nursing and/or domestic assistance for a period required for convalescence or, in certain circumstances, on a continuing basis;
(iv) Certain Transportation costs: emergency ambulance costs to and from the hospital where treatment took place. If a specific medical service is not available in the city where the applicant resides, assistance may be provided towards the cost of transportation between the city of residence and the nearest location where appropriate treatment can be provided;
(v) Dental treatment: that is essential for health reasons and not merely for cosmetic purposes;
(vi) Medical costs for eye treatment: including the cost of eyeglasses, but not of expensive frames obtained for cosmetic purposes.
B. Funeral Expenses
Assistance may be provided in hardship cases towards funeral expenses for immediate dependent relatives. The present ceiling for reimbursement, which reflects the movement of the United States Cost-of-Living Index from 1974 (when this assistance was added to costs that could be reimbursed) to 2012, is $1,209 – subject to subsequent adjustments. (Click here)1
C. Other Expenditures
Other emergencies that do not fall into the above categories but which may create hardship can also be considered. Regional disasters creating hardship should first be directed to international disaster relief organizations and/or local authorities. The following are examples of such cases:
(i) Removal costs due to an emergency that may have been caused by the destruction of living quarters by fire or flood, for example, or a change of residence on medical grounds, provided that detailed documentation with regard to the expenses involved is submitted;
(ii) Temporary shelter needed because of the destruction of and/or major damage to living quarters, and replacement of a minimum of household effects in the case of fire, or natural disasters;
(iii) Repair or changing of heating furnace in order to avoid a hazardous health situation;
(iv) While there is no provision for rental subsidies as such, assistance may be provided in certain cases when pensioners must spend time residing in an assisted living facility or nursing home. Coverage of this service must be fully documented and the facility must provide a breakdown of expenses. In this connection, expenditures that are not “medically-related” and are not covered by health insurance, such as telephone calls, TV rental, etc. are not considered for reimbursement.
4. Further General Information
Requests falling under any of the general headings in section 3 above may be considered; however, assistance is not automatically granted either in full or in part and all relevant factors are to be taken into account in reaching a decision in a particular case. All possibilities of obtaining assistance from other sources are also explored; while flexibility is essential in operating the Emergency Fund, the latter should not be used to relieve other organizations, institutions or governments of their legal and moral obligations. Beneficiaries may also be given the address of the local AFICS, since the retiree organizations are sometimes able to assist when the UNJSPF cannot.
Generally, the Emergency Fund is not be used to pay premiums to health insurance schemes, as member organizations should fulfill all their obligations towards their former staff members in providing necessary coverage. However, requests for assistance in medical emergencies from those who have no medical insurance, or from those who have such insurance but who, for various reasons, are suffering hardship in trying to cover the proportion not reimbursed by insurance, can be reviewed.