Overview of the separation process

Roles

Three parties have to work together to ensure a smooth separation process and the most efficient implementation of a UNJSPF benefit: the participants, the employing organization, the UNJSPF.

1.

The Staff Member / Participant

During UNJSPF participation, the participants must ensure that their personal data (e.g. spelling of names, date of birth, marital status, number of dependents, dependent information, etc.) as reported to the employing organization is correct to prevent processing delays due to discrepancies noted during case review by the UNJSPF.

Participants can check the data reported by their employing organization/s to the UNJSPF by referring to their Annual Statements, which are updated and published annually mid-year on Member Self Service (MSS).

Any discrepancies noted in the data provided to the Fund must be reported to the employing organization’s HR services, and any changes must be reported through the employing organization to the UNJSPF in the form of a corrective PA (not directly by the participant).

Before making a benefit election, participants should have run their own estimate/s to ensure they are aware of their benefit options and estimated entitlement amounts at the time of separation, so that they can make an informed and submit the correct benefit election on the correct Instructions for Payment of Benefits form (Pens.E6 or Pens.E7, as applicable).

At the time of separation, participants must complete and submit to the Fund the correct Instructions for Payment of Benefits form (Pens.E6 or Pens.E7) by making the correct benefit election on it (if applicable), duly completing all applicable sections in the form (Pension Fund number, Names, Date, Signature, Banking Instructions, Currency, Mailing address, Personal Email address, etc.), ensuring the same date is applied on all pages (if applicable), and providing their original signature on the form. The ORIGINAL form must be submitted to the Fund.

Participants entitled to and electing a form of retirement benefit must also provide supporting documentation to the Fund for themselves and, if and as applicable, for their entitled dependent/s (spouse/s, divorced spouse/s, children under age 21 or if recognized disabled any age).

For more information, check out our Separation page dedicated to addressing many separation related matters.

2.

The (Former) Employing Organization

During the staff members’ participation in the Fund, the organization must ensure that their staffs’ personal data (e.g. spelling of names, date of birth, marital status, number of dependents, etc.) as reported to the Fund is correct to prevent processing delays due to discrepancies noted during case review by the UNJSPF. Participants should have checked their Annual Statements on Member Self Service (MSS).

Any changes to the participant’s personal data must be reported to the UNJSPF through the employing organization’s HR services in the form of a corrective PA (not directly by the participant).

The organization should provide support to separating staff to ensure they are well informed of their benefit options and have duly completed and submitted all required documentation (PI and if applicable supporting docs).

To prevent processing delays, the organization should review the staffs’ files ahead of separation to ensure all data, and pension contributions were duly and correctly reported to the UNJSPF, and if discrepancies are noted it must be ensured these are addressed and corrected ahead of separation.

At the time of separation, the organization must issue the Separation Personal Action form (SEPPA) for the participant, which should include all relevant information on dependents, etc., and must be submitted to the Fund.

The organization must issue the Separation Notification PF4 (financial clearance), which must be signed by an authorized Finance Officer and contain all relevant information for the current year as well as, if applicable, updates on periods of SLWOP, Part time, etc. The ORIGINAL PF4 must reach the Fund.

The organization must ensure that the Separation date provided for the staff is the same on the SEPPA and the PF4.

3.

The UNJSPF

The UNJSPF must provide support to the organization and participants to ensure that participation status and future benefit options are clear as well as inform all parties of the applicable conditions and the documentation required for benefit processing.

The UNJSPF provides briefings to participants and Pension Focal Points in organizations, tailored to the needs of the audience, covering topics like participation, benefit entitlements, the separation process etc.

The Fund strongly encourages participants to run their own estimate of future entitlements for a given separation date, so that they can make an informed benefit election. Estimates can be run on the Fund’s official website in the new Member Self Service (MSS) under the “Estimate” tab; once the estimate was run it can be viewed under the “Documents” tab in MSS. To access MSS, the participant must first register by providing their nine-digit Unique ID number (UID) (every one of the nine digits must be entered!), their full name (spelled as reported to the Fund by their employing organization) and their date of birth. The new MSS user will then be prompted to create their own user name, password and respond to a set of three security questions; once registration is complete, the participant can access their own secure MSS portal. MSS access and support is provided on the MSS Support web page which includes a HELP/FAQ page, tutorial videos and links to two dedicated email addresses where MSS users can send requests for their UID (RequestUIDonly@unjspf.org) or questions relating to other MSS related issues (MSSsupport@unjspf.org). It should be noted that the browser that usually works best is Chrome.

The Fund can provide estimates in case a participant cannot access the UNJPSF MSS Estimate tool.

The Fund provides support to and works closely with the organization to ensure that the separation process is as smooth as possible and feedback is given if and as required.

Upon receipt of the full and complete set of duly completed, dated and signed separation documents in the correct format the Fund will scan and index these to the participant’s personal file and open a Workflow to enable the review and processing of the case. If all is in good order and no discrepancies are noted during the review and calculation or audit process, the Fund implements the benefit and issues payment within 4-6 weeks from the date of receipt by the Fund of the latest of the three mandatory separation documents.

The Fund follows up with the organization or the participant in case discrepancies are noted during the review and calculation process. It is, therefore, important the Fund has access to the (former) participant’s PERSONAL EMAIL address, which should be included on the original PI.

For information regarding benefit options, click here.

Checklist for separation documents needed

1.

The participant must:

  • Be informed of his/her options (run your own estimate);
  • Submit duly completed dated and signed ORIGINAL payment instructions (PI) on either form Pens. E/6 (for those with less than 5 years of Contributory Service (CS)) or form Pens.E/7 (for those with 5 years or more of CS). Remember to provide in the dedicated fields on the PI complete banking instructions including bank identifier in the box provided on the PI. If the participant does not have a bank account and could not open one, payment in the form of a check may be sent in c/o a UN Office. Payment cannot be remitted to a mailing address nor can it be issued to a third party.

Those participants entitled to and electing a form of retirement benefit must also submit COPIES of the following supporting documents as applicable for their case, i.e.:

  • Copy of the participant’s Birth Certificate, or, in lieu of, copy of a valid passport.
  • Copy of the participant’s valid photo ID document (e.g. Passport or other official, government issued photo ID), carrying the participant’s full names, date of birth and signature (the “UN Laissez Passer” is NOT a valid ID document);
  • Copy of the Birth Certificate/s of the participant’s current and/or former spouse/s (or, lieu of, copy of the spouse’s valid Passport);
  • Copy of the spouse’s official, government issued photo ID;
  • Copy of Marriage Certificate/s;
  • Copy of Divorce decree/s;
  • Copy of the Birth Certificate(s) of the participant’s child[ren] under 21 years of age;
  • Copy of Death Certificate/s for spouse/s, ex-spouse/s, child/ren, if applicable.
  • ORIGINAL Designation of Beneficiary form A2.

2.

The (former) employing organization must:

Submit the following two mandatory separation documents to the UNJSPF:

  • Staff member’s Separation Personal Action (SEPPA), and
  • The original Separation Notification form PF4 (or finance clearance) for the case, which is issued by the Payroll office of the organization and must be signed by an authorized Finance Officer to be accepted by the Fund.

Form PF4 can only be issued once the staff has effectively separated from the organization; it usually takes at least 4 to 6 weeks from the date of separation from service, before it is issued and sent on to the UNJSPF. It is the (former) employing organization that can best advise on and provide the transmission timeline to the UNJSPF, as this is entirely beyond the Fund’s control. It is useful to follow up with the UNJSPF only ONCE the former employing organization has confirmed that both the Separation PA and original Separation Notification PF4 were issued and sent to the UNJSPF NY office.

UNJSPF processing timeline

Overview of the separation process

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