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Message from Rosemarie McClean and Pedro Guazo on the UN Pension Fund

30 December 2021

Dear participants, retirees and beneficiaries,

The UN General Assembly (UNGA) has adopted its 2021 resolution on pension matters, which provides strong support to the UN Pension Fund and its operations and investments agenda. The UN General Assembly has recognized and supported the Pension Board’s reform of its governance, including on ethics and changes in attendance at Board sessions. The UNGA has also adopted an ambitious 2022 budget that will allow the Fund’s priorities to be implemented.

We are pleased that trust and confidence in the Fund are reconfirmed with this resolution, as the dynamics have changed since we started in our respective positions in 2020. As a matter of fact, the Fund is in better shape than ever, while most of the Fund’s staff have been working remotely due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

On the pension administration side, 90% of pension cases have been processed within 15 business days over the past two years, despite a spike in the number of separations over the past months.

The Fund has continued its modernization to offer better services to its clients. The adoption of the digital certificate of entitlement (DCE) in February 2021 has contributed to simplify this paper-based, annual requirement for retirees and beneficiaries. Nearly 18% of the eligible population have enrolled in the DCE in the last few months; this is a real success. More improvements for the Fund’s interactions with its clients will come next year with the adoption of a modern Customer Relationship Management system, thanks to the support of the UNGA for our 2022 administrative budget proposal.

With regard to investments, the value of the assets has seen another substantial increase of more than 10% in 2021 and is expected at year-end to be at more than 90 billion USD, after a spectacular increase of 13% in 2020. The UNGA has provided the Office of Investment Management with the appropriate resources in 2022 to manage the growing volume of the assets and to implement the pilot programs endorsed by the Assembly.

As it stands, the UN Pension Fund is fully funded, and in a position to assume pension liabilities for decades to come.

Additionally, the Fund has strengthened its commitment to sustainable investment in 2021 achieving new ambitious targets to decarbonize the portfolio. In a demonstration of the continued commitment to sustainability, the General Assembly requested the Secretary-General to explore the possibility of adding the criteria of impact to a part of the portfolio.

The management of both sides of the Fund is increasingly integrated and always looking for more efficiency. The adoption of joint HR, communication and gender strategies illustrate the new “One-Fund” approach that has prevailed over the past two years. This year, the Office of Investment Management obtained ISO certification on business continuity, and both pension administration and investment sides got the ISO certification on information security. This confirms the Fund’s best practices and sound data protection strategies.

With all the UNJSPF staff, we stand committed to serving the Fund’s 25 member organizations and the participants who serve the world in so many ways, as well as our retirees and beneficiaries. Please rest assured that we will continue to be entirely dedicated to your pension security and to improving our range of services in the years to come. We thank you for your trust and send you our best wishes for 2022.

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