The Pension Fund Liaison Offices in Bangkok and Nairobi are part of the Fund’s Client Services Service and a key resource for UNJSPF participants, retirees, and beneficiaries in their regions. These offices provide essential services, including outreach, policy interpretation and capacity building, to support UNJSPF members, partners and operations. Each Liaison Office consists of a Benefits Officer and a Benefits Assistant who work closely with the other UNJSPF offices in New York and Geneva to provide services to members in their respective regions. The Nairobi Office opened in 2017, while the Bangkok Office started operating in November 2020 and was officially opened in March 2021. The UNJSPF Bangkok and Nairobi Liaison Offices are greatly supported by UNESCAP and UNON, respectively, with the Nairobi physical office shared with UNON HR Management Service (HRMS), while the Bangkok Office has its own office on ESCAP premises.
The Liaison Offices respond to client queries via email and offer one-on-one consultations, both remotely and in-person. They carry out pension briefings and town halls to disseminate information on pension matters in a clear and concise manner, ensuring that they are adapted to the needs of local audiences. These briefings cover a range of topics, including participation, separation, pre-retirement and in-retirement. They are targeted to all-participants, retirees, beneficiaries as well as pension focal points in member organizations or retiree associations. While most briefings are provided virtually, in-person missions to various duty stations have resumed and the Liaison Offices are now able to connect with clients in a more personal way.
Since their inception, the Liaison Offices have carried out over 250 briefings, reaching some 15,000 staff members and beneficiaries in their respective regions. For the Nairobi Liaison office, these included both in-person missions and virtual briefings to offices in and around Nairobi, Alijungur, Dadaab, and Mombasa, and to organizations in various countries including Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Iraq, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and to all English speaking UN Peacekeeping missions in Africa. Besides regular pension outreach carried out locally in Thailand, the Bangkok Liaison Office has completed recent in-person missions to provide briefings in Lao PDR, Viet Nam, Bangladesh and China, with an upcoming visit scheduled to Myanmar. Numerous virtual briefings have been delivered to UNJSPF members in various duty stations, including Malaysia, Indonesia, Timor-Leste, Mongolia, Japan, Philippines, and Cambodia.
The Benefits Officers in Bangkok and Nairobi mutually support each other for all virtual outreach events by answering written questions in live time to clarify participants’ queries and provide additional information as needed throughout these sessions. Through in-person and virtual briefings, the Liaison Offices will continue to expand their outreach to more countries in their respective regions.
The Liaison Offices play a crucial role in supporting retirees and beneficiaries in their respective regions, especially in the annual pre-suspension exercise to minimize the number of suspended benefits due to non-receipt of the certificate of entitlement.