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The 73rd Pension Board session concludes

21 February 2023

The United Nations Joint Staff Pension Board held its 73rd session, virtually on 16-17 February 2023.

Below is a summary of the main issues discussed and decisions.

Election of new Chair, Vice-Chairs and Rapporteur

The Board elected Ms. Annick Van Houtte (FAO/WFP Executive Heads Group) as chair, Ms. Carolina Bascones (WHO Participants Group) and Mr. David Traystman (United Nations General Assembly) as first and second vice-chairs, and Ms. Kathryn Alford (United Nations Executive Heads Group) as Rapporteur for the year 2023.

Performance of the Fund

Ms. Rosemarie McClean, the Chief Executive of Pension Administration, highlighted some of the many achievements of the Pension Administration throughout 2022, including the record figure of 93.3 percent of initial separation cases processed within 15 business days. Ms. McClean also reported that pension payments have continued to be issued on time despite operational challenges, and provided updates on the award-winning Digital Certificate of Entitlement app. With more than 15,000 digital certificates received since 1 January 2023, the number of submissions for 2023 is already close to the number of submissions received using the app in 2022.

Mr. Pedro Guazo, Representative of the Secretary-General for the investment of the assets of the Fund (RSG), reported that 2022 was a very volatile year for financial markets all around the world, with both the global bond markets and the global equity markets experiencing negative returns. Despite a decrease in the market value of the Fund’s assets by 14.6 percent in 2022, this was less than that experienced by global markets overall, and there has been a recovery of almost 5 percent so far in 2023. He further stressed that the performance of the assets remains above the benchmark of an annualized 3.5 per cent real rate of return over the long-term ensuring the financial sustainability of the Fund.

Pension Board Work Plan for 2023

The Pension Board took note of the priorities for its work plan for 2023, including the items requiring further action requested by the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in its 2022 resolution 77/258.

Ethics Policy Review Group

The Board established the Ethics Policy Review Group to review the Fund’s ethics policy and make relevant recommendations to the UNGA. 

Plan Review Group (PRG)

The Board established the Plan Review Group in April 2022. The Chair of the Plan Review Group reported on progress in the review of various suggestions that have been made by Staff Pension Committees and past recommendations on the plan that have not yet been implemented.

2022 Self-evaluation Survey results

The Board noted the outcomes of its 2022 self-evaluation survey.

This annual exercise has been implemented since 2010 and its focus is to provide lessons learned and guidance on how to improve the conduct of Board sessions and the engagement of Board members.

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