If your service ends in one member organization of the Fund but continues in another or you join another member organization of the Fund with a break of fewer than 30 days without a benefit having been processed or paid to you, no action is necessary. The member organization that employs you will automatically report your participation status to the Fund and your entitlements and obligations as a UNJSPF participant will continue.
For detailed information on the possibility to transfer acquired pension rights from the UNJSPF to an outside (non-member) organization, or from an outside (non-member) organization to the UNJSPF, the applicable Regulations and Rules as well as conditions and requirements, please check out our comprehensive Transfer Agreements page or continue reading. A complete list of organizations with which the UNJSPF has signed Transfer Agreements, as well as the complete text of each agreement can be found here. Please note that application deadlines apply. Also note that inside Member Self-Service, you can submit an initial request to Transfer-In pension rights.
If you would prefer, once your service ends in one member organization you can opt to delay your benefit payment or election for a period of up to 36 months, so that if you re-join the Fund within the 36 month period, your participation in the Fund will be deemed to have been continuous and your contributions will continue to be paid to the same pension account. Click here for more information about deferred retirement benefits.
What is a Transfer Agreement?
Pension Transfer Agreements are designed, in part, to accommodate the transfer of staff between employers, other than the Pension Fund’s member organizations, by securing continuity of their pension rights.
What do transfer rights entail?
In general terms, the “releasing” Pension Plan calculates the present value of the accrued pension rights of the transferring employee. The “receiving” Plan calculates the period of pensionable service credit granted upon receipt of the transfer payment, based on its actuarial assumptions adopted for this purpose.
What Transfer Agreements has the UNJSPF entered into?
The UNJSPF has entered into Transfer Agreements with a number of international organizations and Governments. A list of those Transfer Agreements (including those that have been terminated or suspended) is contained in Annex II and may also be obtained from the Fund’s website at www.unjspf.org. What do transfer of pension rights entail?
How many UNJSPF member organizations are there?
As of 1 January 2005, twenty-one international organizations are members of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund (UNJSPF). A list of the organizations is contained in Annex I and may also be obtained from the Fund’s website at www. unjspf.org.
What happens if I transfer from one of the Fund’s member organizations to another?
If your service ends in one member organization but continues in another, or if you join another member organization with a break of less than 36 months in your Pension Fund participation and without a beneﬁt having been processed or paid to you, your entitlements and obligations as a UNJSPF participant continue and are linked. No action would be necessary on your part since the member organizations in question would automatically report your participation status directly to the Fund.
Existing Transfer Agreements
Transfering with an Agreement
Assuming a Transfer Agreement has been concluded by the UNJSPF and my former employing organization:
(a) How does it work if I wish to transfer my accrued pension rights to the UNJSPF?
Once you become a UNJSPF participant, you should promptly inform in writing both your former employer and the UNJSPF of your interest in transferring your accrued pension rights to the UNJSPF. After your eligibility to transfer has been veriﬁed, you should ask your former employer to inform the UNJSPF of the amount available for such transfer. The UNJSPF would then give you an estimate of the additional pensionable service credit in the UNJSPF that would result. You would then have to decide whether or not to proceed with the transfer. After the transfer payment has been actually made to the UNJSPF, you would be notiﬁed of the additional pensionable service credits that you received in the UNJSPF.
(b) Can I still transfer my pension rights to UNJSPF if I have withdrawn my benefits from the Pension Scheme of my former employing organization?
No. In these circumstances the option of availing yourself of the Transfer Agreement would not be open to you. For application of the Transfer Agreement, the payment of the transfer value representing your accrued pension rights would have to come to the UNJSPF directly from the Pension Scheme of your former employing organization.
(c) Is it compulsory to transfer my pension rights to the UNJSPF?
No, because each participant decides on his or her own whether or not to elect to transfer accrued pension rights under the applicable Transfer Agreement. Any transferring employee who decides not to transfer his or her pension rights will retain all rights to individual beneﬁts under his or her current plan, as they apply upon separation from service.
(d) Is it always beneficial to transfer my pension rights?
No, because often a transferring employee would receive substantially less in pensionable service credits than he or she accrued with the “sending” Plan. The decision whether or not to transfer would depend on the combined beneﬁts that you would expect to receive from the “receiving” Plan when you eventually separate from that organization, as opposed to taking a beneﬁt from the “sending” Plan and then getting a separate beneﬁt from the “receiving” Plan.
Assuming a Transfer Agreement has been concluded by the UNJSPF and my new employing organization, how does it work if I wish to transfer my accrued pension rights from the UNJSPF?
After your eligibility to transfer has been veriﬁed, you may request the UNJSPF to provide you with an estimate of the transfer value, to enable you to learn what you would receive under the “receiving” Plan if you were to proceed with the transfer of your accrued UNJSPF pension rights. Should you decide deﬁnitively to go ahead with the transfer, the precise transfer value under the applicable Transfer Agreement would be determined and the UNJSPF would remit the amount in question to the “receiving” Plan.
Is there a deadline to request a transfer of pension rights?
Yes, information on the deadline and other eligibility conditions is contained in each Transfer Agreement. As the terms and conditions of the individual Transfer Agreements differ, it is strongly recommended that you read the agreement relevant to your case.
May I apply for transfer of pension rights while on leave-without-pay (LWOP)?
No, you must separate from service before applying for transfer of your pension rights. Transfer of accrued pension rights at the end of a leave-without-pay period is governed by the provisions of the applicable Transfer Agreement and can be done only after your LWOP is terminated.
Is assignment on a reimbursable loan or secondment covered under Transfer Agreements?
No, the UNJSPF Regulations and Rules make no provision for the assignment of Fund participants on a reimbursable loan or secondment to non-member organizations of the Fund. Annex III.
Transfering without an Agreement
In the absence of a Transfer Agreement, can I still transfer my pension rights from my former employing organization to the UNJSPF?
No, transfers of pension rights into or from the UNJSPF are only permitted where an applicable transfer agreement is in effect.
Calculations & Estimates
Are the same calculation methods applied to the various Transfer Agreements?
No. As regards transfers to or from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), and the World Trade Organization (WTO) the amount of funds transferred is set forth in the applicable agreements and the period of service credited under the “receiving” Plan is equal to that accrued under the “sending” Plan on a straight one-to-one basis. This is known as an “Inner Circle” agreement.
However, the majority of the Transfer Agreements are so called “Outer Circle” agreements, because the pension schemes of the respective organizations/governments are not substantially equivalent to that of the UNJSPF. For these Agreements (i.e. all agreements with the exception of those with IMF, IADB, and WTO), the amount of the transfer value payable by the “sending” Plan is computed under the terms and conditions laid down in the Transfer Agreement.
For transfers to the UNJSPF, the transfer value remitted would result in the recognition of additional pensionable service credits in the UNJSPF, with the length of such service being determined through an actuarial calculation performed by the Consulting Actuary for the UNJSPF.
For transfers from the UNJSPF to a “receiving” Plan, the transfer payment is determined as the larger of the actuarial value of the accrued UNJSPF pension rights or the withdrawal settlement due under Article 31 of the UNJSPF Regulations.
Can I get an estimate from the UNJSPF of my accrued pension rights?
Yes, you should submit a written request for such an estimate. However, a ﬁnal determination can be made only after your separation from service and conﬁrmation that you are eligible to transfer your accrued pension rights under a Transfer Agreement.
Can I get an estimate from the UNJSPF of the pensionable service credits to be granted in the UNJSPF?
Yes, once you know the transfer amount from your “sending” Plan, you can request an estimate of the length of the additional pensionable service credits to be granted in the UNJSPF, before making the deﬁnitive decision to transfer your pension rights to the UNJSPF.
(a) The member organizations of the Fund, on the date of entry into effect of these Regulations, are the United Nations and the following: (For list please refer to Annex I)
(b) Membership in the Fund shall be open to the specialized agencies referred to in Article 57, paragraph 2, of the Charter of the United Nations and to any other international, intergovernmental organization which participates in the common system of salaries, allowances and other conditions of service of the United Nations and the specialized agencies.
(c) Admission to membership in the Fund shall be by decision of the General Assembly, upon the affirmative recommendation of the Board, after acceptance by the organization concerned of these Regulations and agreement reached with the Board as to the conditions which shall govern its admission.
The Board may, subject to the concurrence of the General Assembly, approve agreements with Member States of a member organization and with intergovernmental organizations, with a view to securing continuity of pension rights between the governments of such States or organizations and the Fund.
(a) Every full-time member of the staff of each member organization shall become a participant in the Fund:
(i) Upon commencing employment under an appointment for six months or longer or upon accepting such an appointment while in employment; or,
(ii) Upon completing, in the same or more than one member organization, six months of service without an interruption of more than thirty days, whichever is earlier, provided that participation is not expressly excluded by the terms of staff member’s appointment.
(b) Participation shall cease when the organization by which the participant is employed ceases to be a member organization, or when he or she dies or separates from such member organization, except that participation shall not be deemed to have ceased where a participant resumes contributory service with a member organization within 36 months after separation without a beneﬁt having been paid.
L.1 A participant in the Fund may avail himself or herself of the provisions of any agreement entered into by the Fund for the purpose of securing continuity of pension rights under article 13 of the Regulations of the Fund, in accordance with the terms of the relevant agreement.