Dear UNJSPF Participants, Retirees and Beneficiaries,
As the new year starts, let us briefly look back at 2022 and provide you with an outlook for 2023.
The Fund is in a solid financial situation and services to clients have never been more effective, while modernization efforts continue.
The actuarial valuation as at 31 December 2021 reviewed this year by the Pension Board reported a strong surplus. Even at the most recent market value of the portfolio, the Fund continues to be well-funded with the funding ratio still higher and stronger than in 2019, when the previous actuarial valuation was performed.
It is a fact that 2022 was a challenging year in terms of investment performance. However, the Fund has partly avoided the extreme volatility in the global markets due to the effective strategic diversification launched more than a decade ago that has also resulted in a stronger performance relative to the benchmarks for the second consecutive year. When compared to our peers, we have been systematically more effective and more efficient for a sustained period.
At the same time, the Fund’s efforts in sustainable investing have strengthened and were internationally recognized. The Fund was ranked first in the 2021-2022 Responsible Asset Allocator Initiative (RAAI) Index and Leaders List Report. The Fund also became a signatory to the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP 15) Statement from the financial sector – a global initiative committing the financial community to contribute to the protection and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystems through financing activities and investments.
In terms of pension administration, more than 90% of initial pension cases have been processed within 15 business days. All payments have continued to be issued on time while, in relation to geopolitical challenges, the Fund has explored and set up new payment channels to ensure the transfer of benefit payments in some affected countries.
Meanwhile, the Fund has continued to modernize its operations, further simplifying and digitalizing interactions with its clients. We are particularly proud that one of our flagship projects, the Digital Certificate of Entitlement (DCE) app, won the 2021 United Nations Secretary-General Award for innovation and sustainability.
These efforts not only yielded great efficiency gains for the Fund, but they also saved thousands of pieces of paper and mailing costs for our clients.
In 2023, the Fund plans to further improve services to clients by expanding call centre hours, the deployment of a modern customer relationship management system and the introduction of e-pension forms.
All these efforts are made possible thanks to the strong support of the Pension Board and the UN General Assembly (UNGA), which has just adopted its 2022 resolution on pension matters, including the approval of our 2023 administrative budget. Our Governing Bodies’ sustained support in providing us with guidance and adequate resources translate immediately into outstanding results.
Along with the Fund’s 25 member organizations and the UNJSPF staff, we stand committed to serving you. We thank you for your trust and send you our best wishes for 2023.
Rosemarie McClean is the Chief Executive of Pension Administration and Pedro Guazo is the Representative of the Secretary-General for the investments of the assets of the Fund