You should begin the separation process in advance, at least two months before your separation date. It is recommended that you contact the UNJSPF for an estimate of your benefit options within six months of your anticipated separation date or use the interactive Benefit Estimate tool through the Member Self-Service.
To review, calculate and process your benefit, the Fund must receive the following three mandatory separation documents:
1. Payment Instructions Form
Your originalPayment Instruction (PI) on the correct form (PENS.E/6 for less than 5 years of contributory service or PENS.E/7 for more than 5 years of service) indicating the benefit option you have selected, the complete bank account information or voided check indicating the account at which you wish to receive payments, the currency of payment, and your email and mailing address with your original ink signature. The Fund must receive the original Payment Instructions form with your original ink signature.
2. Separation Notification form PF4
The original and duly completed, dated and signed Separation Notification form PF4 (financial clearance) issued and submitted to the Fund by the Payroll Office of your employing organization and signed by an authorized payroll or finance officer, detailing your pensionable remuneration and contributions since the end of the previous year; and
3. Separation Personal Action form (SEPPA)
The Separation Personal Action form (SEPPA) issued and submitted to the Fund by your employing organization, and indicating your official date of separation. Discrepancies will delay payments, so if you do not receive your payment promptly, inquire first with your member organization before contacting the Fund.
For more information on the process of separation or a detailed guide on how to fill out the Payment Instruction (PI) form, check out our comprehensive separation page. Furthermore, if you elect a periodic benefit, the Fund must receive also the following supporting documents (as applicable in your case) at the latest at the time of separation, in order for the Fund to set up all entitlements correctly:
a copy of your Birth Certificate or valid passport;
a copy of your valid photo ID document (e.g. Passport or other valid official, government issued photo ID, carrying your names, date of birth and signature – the “UN Laissez-passer” is NOT a valid ID document);
a copy of your marriage certificate/s;
a copy of your divorce decree/s;
a copy of the birth certificate/s or valid passport of your current and/or former spouse/s (or copy of his/her valid passport or other official, government issued photo ID);
a copy of the spouse’s official, government issued photo ID;
a copy of the birth certificate(s) of your dependent child(ren) under 21 years of age;
a copy of death certificate(s) for spouse(s), ex-spouse(s), child(ren), if applicable; and
You may retire from your employing organization and receive a benefit at any time after your 55th birthday, provided that you have had five years or more of contributory service in the UN Joint Staff Pension Fund (UNJSPF).
If you have had less than five years of contributory service you can, irrespective of your age, only take a withdrawal settlement.
Supposing I separate from service and wish to transfer my pension rights to the pension plan of my new employer, how may I do so?
What is the difference between the normal retirement age and the mandatory age of separation?
The normal retirement age (62 for participants entering or reentering on or after 1 January 1990 instead of 60) is the age at which a UNJSPF participant can retire with a retirement benefit un-reduced on account of age. On the other hand, the mandatory age of separation is the age at which a staff member must separate from the service of his or her employing organization.
How far in advance of my retirement date should I start the process?
You should ask the UNJSPF (or your pension committee secretariat if you work at one of the Specialized Agencies) for an estimate of your benefit options within six months of your anticipated retirement date. You can also view the Benefit Estimate Programme. The estimate will allow the planning process to begin.
What is the difference between a deferred retirement benefit and a withdrawal settlement?
A withdrawal settlement is a one-time payment that relinquishes all rights to a retirement benefit from the UNJSPF. A deferred retirement benefit means that you have decided to leave your monies in the UNJSPF until you reach any age on or after the age of 55.
However, you should be aware that a deferred retirement benefit would only accrue cost-of-living increases on and after the age of 55. Additionally, if you choose to commence payment before you reach the normal retirement age (either 60 or 62), that amount will be reduced.
If I decide to leave at age 55 or older but before the mandatory age of separation and take a benefit will I be penalized?
This reduction would be 6% per year unless your contributory service was 25 years or longer, but after 30 years the reduction is 1 per cent per year. More information may be found in our Early Retirement Benefit page.
Deferred Retirement Benefit
Opting for deferred retirement means your benefit will become payable at your normal retirement age or, at your request, anytime between the date at which you become eligible for an early retirement benefit and your normal retirement age. Should you elect to commence your deferred retirement benefit before your normal age of retirement, an according reduction factor will be applied for life to your entitlement. For participants who separated before 31 December 1989 no adjustment shall be applied to their benefit prior to reaching the age of 50. For participants separating from service on or after 31 December 1989 no adjustment shall be applied to their benefit prior to them reaching the age of 55. Such benefit carries potential surviving spouse’s benefit(s) but does not carry eligibility to a child benefit. Furthermore, if you elected a deferred retirement benefit and re-join the Fund in the future you will not be entitled to restore your prior contributory service, and instead you will have a new and separate pension account for the new period of contributory service. For more information, check out our Deferred Retirement Benefit page.
Opting for a withdrawal statement means your benefit will be received in a one-time payment consisting of the reimbursement of your contributions plus 3.25% interest (increased by 10% for each year after your first five years with the Fund, up to a maximum of 100%). Please note that if you elect a withdrawal statement, no other benefit will be paid to you or your survivors. Should you receive a withdrawal settlement and re-join the Fund in the future you will be entitled to restore the period for which the withdrawal settlement was paid to you. For more information, check out our Withdrawal Settlement page.
If I decide to take a lump sum does it have to be a one third lump sum?
No. You may take any amount as a lump sum provided that it does not exceed the actuarial equivalent of one third of your benefit or your contributions with interest. For more information, check out our Lump Sum page.
May I have my lump sum paid into a different account than my monthly benefit?
If I wish to receive my lump sum in a currency other than US dollars how will the conversion be done? And what about the monthly pension?
Your US dollar lump sum would be converted by the bank, using the bank rate of exchange available at the time of payment. On the other hand, should you request to receive your periodic benefit in an equivalent currency, the UNJSPF itself would establish the amount payable by using the UN Operational rate of exchange in effect for the month preceding the calendar quarter of payment. See also the question above on the local or two-track pension system.
Two-Track Pension Adjustment System
What is that and would it apply to me?
If you intend to live outside the United States, you may consider having a local currency pension, adjusted by the local cost of living, rather than the dollar pension. This is called the local track under which your monthly pension is established in the currency of your country of residence and adjusted by the local cost of living, as opposed to having a dollar pension adjusted by the United States cost of living.
Such a choice avoids the fluctuation of the monthly pension in local currency and provides stability in the currency of the country of residence. Should you decide to go on the local track please bear in mind that you will be permanently on that track and will not be able to revert solely to the dollar track, unless you meet the conditions outlined in section N of the UNJSPF Pension Adjustment System.
If you are considering going on the local track you can always ask the UNJSPF for an estimate of your benefit under the double track pension adjustment system either before or after you separate from service. Further information may be found in our Two Track Pension Adjustment page.
Can I change my choice of benefit after my initial election has been processed?
The former participant cannot for any reason, subsequently change a benefit election once implemented by the UNJSPF. Therefore, if you have more than one way of taking your benefit, it is important that you consider carefully, before you choose, what your decision may imply both for you and your family, since once acted upon, your decision is irrevocable.
Will my benefit be adjusted for inflation?
Your US dollar monthly benefit will be adjusted according to cost-of-living changes as measured by the US Consumer Price Index (US-CPI), provided the minimum movement in the CPI (currently 2%) has occurred. For a beneficiary who opts to provide proof of residence in a country other than the United States, the benefit under the two-track Pension Adjustment System is adjusted by the CPI of both the United States (dollar track) and the actual country of residence (local track) and is paid in accordance with the comparison feature to account for exchange rates. Please note that when a benefit is first adjusted for a change in the cost-of-living, the adjustment is reduced by 1.5 percentage points.
Process of Separating & Forms
If I have submitted my resignation on early retirement or I am separating at the mandatory age of separation (60 or 62 dependent on when recruited), or I am separating with a withdrawal settlement what happens next?
For all types of Separations the UNJSPF needs to receive from your employing organization: (i) the separation documentation indicating the official date of your separation and (ii) the details of your pensionable remuneration and contributions since the end of the previous year and any adjustments that might be due for prior years.
What else do I do or what am I responsible for?
You must complete payment instructions (PENS.E/6 if you have less than 5 years of contributory service in the UNJSPF or PENS.E/7 if you have 5 or more years). Your payment instructions must indicate the benefit election you have made (where options exist), the complete bank account into which you wish payment to be made, the currency of payment and your mailing address.
In addition, please note that completed form bearing your original signature must be submitted to the UNJSPF; no faxes or e-mails will be accepted. For staff members who are retiring, official documents attesting to birth, marriage and/or divorce are required. These may already be available in the UNJSPF but it is best to check that this is so either with the UNJSPF or with your pension committee secretariat if you work for a Specialized Agency.
Birth certificates are also required for dependent children who are not married and are under the age of 21 and for disabled children.
Where can I obtain the Payment Instructions?
You may download them from the UNJSPF Forms page or you may request it from your local pension secretariat (if you are separating from a Specialized Agency) or the UNJSPF itself.
How do I fill it out?
There is a guide at the back of the Separation Booklet and on the UNJSPF website to help you in filling out that form. PLEASE REMEMBER THAT IF YOU DO NOT FILL OUT THE FORM LEGIBLY OR ACCURATELY THERE MAY BE A DELAY IN PROCESSING YOUR PAYMENT. Do not fill in the first page if you wish processing of your benefit to proceed expeditiously.
Why do I keep hearing that the UNJSPF takes so long to process the initial pension payments?
The UNJSPF makes every effort to process benefits within 15 days of receipt of all required documentation. If there are delays, this is usually because:
the separation notification and/or details of your contributions and pensionable remuneration from your employing organization have been delayed;
you have not submitted or have been delayed in submitting your Payment Instructions or the Payment Instructions you have submitted are not acceptable;
the UNJSPF does not have complete or accurate personal data on you or your dependents such as date of birth, marital status, number of dependent children, etc.
What do I do if I find that my pension payment has not been processed as soon as I had hoped?
Contact your employing organization to ensure that all the documents required by the UNJSPF have been processed. Speak to your local pension secretariat if you worked for a Specialized Agency or the UNJSPF itself if you worked for the UN family of organizations to determine what the cause of the delay is.
If there were two or more spouses who are legally recognized (i.e. in a Moslem country where polygamy is legal), the survivor’s benefit would be divided among such spouses. Also, a benefit may be payable to a former spouse who fulfills all the criteria for entitlement to a divorced surviving spouse’s benefit.
If I marry/remarry after retirement, would my new spouse be entitled to a benefit?
No, your spouse would not be eligible for a survivor’s benefit in the event of your death. However, you may purchase a benefit for a spouse married after separation from service through a reduction in your own monthly benefit by submitting an application to the UNSJPF within 180 days of the date of marriage/remarriage.
Is my pension different if I am single or married?
No, the potential survivorship element is not taken into account in the calculation of a pension benefit. The amount of your benefit would not be different whether you are married or single when you retire.
Will my children be entitled to benefits?
A child’s benefit is payable on behalf of unmarried children under the age of 21. If you are eligible for a retirement benefit, the child’s benefit begins at the same time as your own benefit. For the recipient of an early retirement benefit, a child’s benefit is payable as from the time a participant who had separated on early retirement reaches his/her normal retirement age (60 or 62), except that payment of a disabled child’s benefit commences at the same time as an early retirement benefit. A benefit for a disabled child continues for as long as the child remains incapacitated within the meaning of the UNJSPF Regulations. A benefit is not payable for a child born after the date of your separation, unless the child was conceived before then. Nor is a child’s benefit payable if you have taken a deferred retirement benefit or a withdrawal settlement. Also, please note that the UNJSPF does not provide a benefit for children who continue their higher education after reaching age 21.
Before I retire, do I have to provide the UNJSPF with a new form indicating to whom I would like my residual benefit to be paid to should I die?
A residual benefit would only be applicable if you died before the UNJSPF had paid out the equivalent of your own contributions plus interest. In such cases, i.e. if you did NOT take a one third lump sum or if the total of the lump sum plus the amount of periodic benefits paid by the UNJSPF is less than your own contributions plus interest, a residual settlement could be due if you died without a surviving spouse, dependent child under the age of 21 who has not married, disabled child, or secondary dependent.
What do I do about after service health coverage?
Any queries regarding after service health coverage (ASHI) should be directed to your employing organization since it is that organization that bears the responsibility for such coverage.
What about taxes on my benefit?
Each country determines, based on its own relevant national tax legislation and policies, whether and to what extent UNJSPF pensions are subject to national taxation. The UNJSPF does not maintain official up-to-date familiarity with national tax laws since beneficiaries reside in over 180 countries. Therefore, for authoritative advice on tax issues, you should consult your local tax authority or an attorney or accountant who specializes in such matters. Please note that the UNJSPF itself makes no tax reimbursements to its beneficiaries under any circumstances. Any reimbursement of national income taxes that may be payable on certain UNJSPF benefits is done by the former employing organization. For more information, view our Taxation of UNJSPF Benefits page.
I.1 Entitlement to a benefit shall, subject to rules I.3 and I.4 below but without further action by an organ of the Fund other than as may be required to determine eligibility for a disability or incapacitated child’s benefit under these Rules, vest in a participant and in the child of a participant on the day succeeding the last day of contributory service; it shall vest in the widow, widower, secondary dependant, designated beneficiaries or estate of a participant on the day succeeding the day of the participant’s death in service, and on the first day of the month succeeding the death if the participant died while in receipt of a periodic benefit.
I.2 Entitlement to a benefit under article 36(a) of the Regulations shall continue to the end of the month in which the child marries or reaches the age of twenty one.
I.3 Entitlement shall be subject to certification by the Chief Executive Officer of the Fund, in accordance with article 7(c), that the conditions for payment of the benefit have been fulfilled; the Chief Executive Officer shall refer to the Standing Committee for decision any case which is not so certified.
I.4 Where, in the case of a disability benefit, a period of leave in pay status has succeeded a period of leave without pay for reasons of health, entitlement to the benefit shall vest as though the paid leave of the participant had been continuous.
I.5 In no circumstances shall more than one child’s benefit be payable in respect of any one child. Where entitlement to more than one child’s benefit would otherwise exist in respect of a child, the child’s benefit that is largest shall be payable.
Section J Computation and payment of benefits
J.1 The member organization by which a participant is employed shall, upon separation, inform the secretary of the staff pension committee of the participant’s last day of service and shall furnish such further information as the secretary may require for the purpose of computing the entitlements under the Regulations.
J.2 (a) The participant shall specify in writing, on a form provided for the purpose by the secretary of the committee, the benefit and any commutation thereof elected in accordance with the Regulations, instructions with respect to the method, currency and the banking or other institution, if such be the case, to which payment should be made on account of the participant. Subsequent changes in the election of benefits by the participant shall not be accepted unless:
(i) No payment has yet been made by the Fund; and
(ii) In the case of a deferred retirement benefit, in addition to meeting the condition under subparagraph (i) above, no letter of entitlement has yet been sent by the Fund.
(b) In the case of a participant who separates on or after 31 December 1984, or whose deferred retirement benefit commences after 31 December 1984, payment of the periodic benefit shall be made monthly in arrears. Payment of the periodic benefits of all other participants and of their beneficiaries shall be made monthly in advance.
(c) In the case of a participant whose remuneration under the terms of appointment was expressed in a currency other than dollars and who selects such currency for the payment of a withdrawal settlement under article 31(b)(i), the Chief Executive Officer shall be authorized [as an incident of making payment under article 47(b)] to make such payment at a rate of exchange which will ensure that the amount paid to the participant shall not be less than the amount deducted from his remuneration for the purpose of article 25, without interest.
(d) In the event of a discrepancy in the amount of a benefit paid in full in a lump sum, whether due to an error or to amendment or revision in data reported to the Fund, a correction shall be made if the discrepancy exceeds 25 dollars.
(e) Benefits payable under the Regulations to the children of a participant shall, unless there are exceptional circumstances, be paid on their behalf to the participant and, upon the participant’s death, to the surviving parent or legal guardian of each child, in accordance, mutatis mutandis, with (a), (b), (c) and (d) above.
J.3 The participant shall at the same time, where there is a prospect that a benefit may become payable under article 37 or 38 of the Regulations, specify similarly the secondary dependent or other person designated as the beneficiary, as the case may be; in the absence of such designation, payment shall be made in accordance with the designation of the participant under rule B.5 above.
J.4 The contributory service of a participant which is used as a multiple to obtain the rate or amount of any particular benefit shall be calculated in years and fractions of years, each complete calendar month being deemed equal to one twelfth of a year, and the total number of days comprised in the incomplete calendar months being apportioned by the addition of one month for each thirty days or part thereof of fifteen days or longer; a residual period of less than fifteen days shall be disregarded.
J.5 The contributory service of a participant which is used to determine eligibility for a benefit shall be calculated according to the actual years, months and days comprised therein; for the purpose of determining the final average remuneration, incomplete months shall be disregarded except as provided in article 1(h).
J.6 The contributory service of a participant shall not include unused annual leave accrued at the date of separation, for which compensation is paid, or any period in respect of which payment is made in lieu of notice of termination.
J.7 The age of a participant shall be calculated in years and fractions of years from the date of birth to the date of separation, in accordance with the method prescribed for the calculation of contributory service in J.4 above; a participant shall nevertheless not be considered to have reached age fifty five, age sixty or age sixty two until his or her fifty fifth, sixtieth or sixty second birthday, as the case may be, shall have elapsed.
J.8 The participant, and any person entitled through the participant to a periodic benefit from the Fund, shall be required from time to time to furnish, to the satisfaction of the Chief Executive Officer, proof that the participant, and any person on whose behalf a benefit is paid, remains alive and, as the case may be, unmarried; the Chief Executive Officer may, in his or her discretion, suspend payment of a benefit pending the receipt of such proof.
J.9 (a) Any payments made by the Fund to a participant, beneficiary of a participant or third person otherwise than in accordance with the Regulations of the Fund may be deducted from any future benefits payable to or on account of the participant under these Regulations or may be recovered directly from the person or estate of the person to whom any such payments were made. The Chief Executive Officer may, where such an overpayment had been attributable to the submission of incorrect information to the Fund, recover interest, as well as administrative costs of 10 per cent of the overpayment.
(b) The Chief Executive Officer may, where appropriate, waive recovery of all or part of an indebtedness to the Fund. Such waivers shall be reported to the Standing Committee annually;
(c) Two years after discovery by the Fund that any such payments were made, the Chief Executive Officer, in accordance with procedures in the Administration Manual, may deem that the amounts of such payments are unrecoverable and may authorize that such amounts be written off as uncollectible indebtedness to the Fund.