The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolution 77/258, which contains the guidance and decisions of the General Assembly on pension matters, has been published here. Below are the highlights of this resolution.
The UNGA welcomed the continued implementation by the Pension Board of the governance reform plan and acknowledged that the Board considers that the reform plan has started to contribute to improving efficiency and effective decision-making.
The UNGA welcomed and approved the establishment of a Risk Management Unit aimed at strengthening the risk management capabilities of the Pension Administration.
The UNGA noted that the annual real rate of return for the Fund’s investments for the 10-year and 15-year periods remained markedly above the long-term objective of 3.5 per cent and encouraged the Fund to continue its efforts to improve the performance of its investments.
The UNGA requested continued diversification of the investments among developed, developing and emerging markets, ensuring that decisions concerning the investments of the Fund in any market are implemented prudently, taking fully into account the four main criteria for investment, namely, safety, profitability, liquidity and convertibility.
The General Assembly further approved an extension of one year for the trading of derivative instruments.
Changes to the Fund’s Regulations, Rules and Pension Adjustment System
The UNGA approved amendments to articles 1 and 24 of the Regulations of the Pension Fund to allow restoration of all or partial contributory service in the case of deferred retirement benefits.
More details about these changes can be found in the 2022 Board report. The revised Regulations and Rules in English and French will be published soon on the Fund’s website.
2023 Administrative Budget of the Fund approved
The UNGA approved the Fund’s 2023 administrative budget, with minor changes to the Pension Board’s proposal (see the 2022 Pension Board report to the UNGA here). The 2023 administrative budget will provide the necessary resources to support the Fund’s pension administration and investment, addressing a growing client base and an increasingly complex portfolio.
The UNGA requested the Pension Board to provide the requisite framework for extension of the guidelines to allow retrospective recognition of beneficiaries arising from marriages, in cases where changes under national legislation occurred after the time of the former participants’ separation from service and they separated prior to the adoption of the revised guidelines in 2016. The Board should report on this matter to the UNGA in the context of its next report (2023).
Printed versions of the 2022 Statements of Benefits, covering the period from January to December 2022, are starting to be dispatched by postal mail to retirees and beneficiaries who have opted for this service.
For retirees and beneficiaries who have a Member Self-Service (MSS) account, they can view and download it directly from there. The Statement of Benefits is available under the ‘Documents’ tab.
If you have not yet registered in MSS and don’t want to wait for the printed version of your Statement of Benefits, you can easily create an MSS account, please check this page.
The annual Statement of Benefits is made available to retirees and beneficiaries who formally request it, using the contact form here. It is then automatically generated every year after the initial request. The Statement of Benefits shows the gross amount of periodic benefits and lump sum payments (if any) that a retiree or a beneficiary has received during one calendar year.
Please note that the Fund does not submit the Statements of Benefits to the tax authorities of any country since taxation is an individual taxpayer’s responsibility. For more information on taxation of UNJSPF benefits please refer to the following resource: https://www.unjspf.org/general-principle-of-taxation-of-unjspf-benefits/.
Dear UNJSPF Participants, Retirees and Beneficiaries,
As the new year starts, let us briefly look back at 2022 and provide you with an outlook for 2023.
The Fund is in a solid financial situation and services to clients have never been more effective, while modernization efforts continue.
The actuarial valuation as at 31 December 2021 reviewed this year by the Pension Board reported a strong surplus. Even at the most recent market value of the portfolio, the Fund continues to be well-funded with the funding ratio still higher and stronger than in 2019, when the previous actuarial valuation was performed.
It is a fact that 2022 was a challenging year in terms of investment performance. However, the Fund has partly avoided the extreme volatility in the global markets due to the effective strategic diversification launched more than a decade ago that has also resulted in a stronger performance relative to the benchmarks for the second consecutive year. When compared to our peers, we have been systematically more effective and more efficient for a sustained period.
At the same time, the Fund’s efforts in sustainable investing have strengthened and were internationally recognized. The Fund was ranked first in the 2021-2022 Responsible Asset Allocator Initiative (RAAI) Index and Leaders List Report. The Fund also became a signatory to the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP 15) Statement from the financial sector – a global initiative committing the financial community to contribute to the protection and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystems through financing activities and investments.
In terms of pension administration, more than 90% of initial pension cases have been processed within 15 business days. All payments have continued to be issued on time while, in relation to geopolitical challenges, the Fund has explored and set up new payment channels to ensure the transfer of benefit payments in some affected countries.
Meanwhile, the Fund has continued to modernize its operations, further simplifying and digitalizing interactions with its clients. We are particularly proud that one of our flagship projects, the Digital Certificate of Entitlement (DCE) app, won the 2021 United Nations Secretary-General Award for innovation and sustainability.
These efforts not only yielded great efficiency gains for the Fund, but they also saved thousands of pieces of paper and mailing costs for our clients.
In 2023, the Fund plans to further improve services to clients by expanding call centre hours, the deployment of a modern customer relationship management system and the introduction of e-pension forms.
All these efforts are made possible thanks to the strong support of the Pension Board and the UN General Assembly (UNGA), which has just adopted its 2022 resolution on pension matters, including the approval of our 2023 administrative budget. Our Governing Bodies’ sustained support in providing us with guidance and adequate resources translate immediately into outstanding results.
Along with the Fund’s 25 member organizations and the UNJSPF staff, we stand committed to serving you. We thank you for your trust and send you our best wishes for 2023.
Rosemarie McClean is the Chief Executive of Pension Administration and Pedro Guazo is the Representative of the Secretary-General for the investments of the assets of the Fund
Each year, retirees and beneficiaries have to send to the Fund their proof of life and location, the Certificate of Entitlement. Since February 2021, this can be done with the Digital Certificate of Entitlement (DCE) app using a smartphone or tablet.
Retirees and beneficiaries can enroll and issue their 2023 Digital CE from 2 January until 31 December 2023.
Guidance materials on how to enroll in and use the Digital CE app are available on the Digital CE page.
Using the Digital CE app to issue your 2023 CE
If you have successfully enrolled in the Digital CE app, you can use the same device to open the app and issue your 2023 CE in a few minutes.
If you have not yet enrolled in the Digital CE app, you can follow these instructions to enroll in the app and proceed with your 2023 CE exercise.
Please note that a video call with the Fund’s Call Centre is required as part of the initial enrollment process.
2023 paper CE form
If you prefer to submit the 2023 CE in paper form to the Fund, please note that the Fund will mail the form to you in June 2023. If you are not paid under the two-track system, you will also be able to download the CE from your Member Self-Service account. The Fund will announce the mailing of the 2023 CE forms on our website when the process begins.
We strongly encourage you to try the Digital CE app. Since its launch last year, more than 15,000 retirees and beneficiaries have issued their CE using the app.
This week, the Fund became a signatory of the UN biodiversity Conference (COP 15) Statement from the financial sector – a global initiative committing the financial community to contribute to the protection and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystems through financing activities and investments. The Statement was also a call for action sent to world’s leaders for clear and mandatory alignment of financial activities to biodiversity goals.
“We are proud to take this step in our continuous efforts to address the climate and biodiversity challenges through our investments. As a universal asset owner, we play a critical role in supporting the global shift towards net zero and this cannot be achieved without strong commitments to address biodiversity through issues such as deforestation and nature loss, as these crises are strongly entwined,” said Pedro Guazo, Representative of the Secretary-General for the investment of UNJSPF assets.
The COP 15 Statement emphasizes the need for action from all stakeholders, including governments, corporations, and financial institutions. By supporting this initiative, the Fund commit to continue contributing to global efforts in protecting and restoring biodiversity, alongside our existing ambitious climate targets.
COP 15, which ended on 19 December 2022, reached a landmark agreement to protect 30 per cent of the world’s lands and oceans among other ambitious goals and targets adopted. It adopted a new set of goals to guide global action through 2030 to halt and reverse nature loss, including finance for biodiversity and alignment of financial flows with nature to drive finances toward sustainable investments and away from environmentally harmful ones.
The transfer agreement between the UNJSPF and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has been suspended with effect from 9 December 2022, pending finalization of a new agreement. The list of current transfer agreements can be found here.
The Fund has just released 20 videos covering almost every aspect of pensions for participants, retirees/beneficiaries, and survivors. The series, available in English, French and Spanish, offers a new way to learn about your pension in an entertaining, clear and concise manner – most of the videos are less than 3 minutes.
If you are thinking about retiring or separating, we recommend you also watch these videos:
You can watch all videos here:
The new version of the Digital Certificate of Entitlement (DCE) App, version 3.1.0, is now available for download. It includes bug fixes for certain Samsung devices and an improved user interface among other fixes.
If you already have the app installed on your phone or tablet, please go to the App Store (iOS) or Google Play (Android) and click on “Update”. This will guarantee that you are using the latest version of the app.
To learn more about the Digital CE app, check our dedicated Digital CE page.
The Fund has just updated all its forms to include a barcode. The new forms are available on our website https://www.unjspf.org/resources/forms/ and inside your Member Self-Service account (those also come pre-completed with your name, UID, retirement and pension number as the case may be). Please use the new barcoded forms to speed up the processing of your requests.
These newly barcoded forms are compliant with the new scanning and automated signature verification system of the Fund, which will increase productivity and efficiency of the form processing.
Additionally, to expand the set of proof signature reference documents, two additional signature forms have been created:
• S1 – Participant Signature Specimen Form
• S2 – Guardian Signature Specimen Form
You can use these forms to register your signature with the Fund. Participants should use Form S1 prior to completing their payment instructions form. and Guardians should use Form S2 once appointed. Having a signature on file with the Fund may reduce the time necessary to process benefit payments.