The United Nations Joint Staff Pension Board: what to expect from the forthcoming meeting?

The UN Pension Board will hold its 66th session in Nairobi (Kenya) from 22-26 July. Let’s have a brief look at why this annual meeting is important, and how this meeting fits into the overall governance of the Fund.

The Pension Board will make a recommendation to the General Assembly on the 2020 budget of the Fund. The UN General Assembly agreed to change the budget from a biennial (see the last UNJSPF budget here) to an annual cycle in 2020, on a trial basis.

An important item on the agenda will be related to the governance of the Fund, as requested by the Pension Board and the UN General Assembly. The Board will consider the recommendations of the Governance Working Group established last July that concern issues such as the size and composition of the Board and the creation of the separate post of the Secretary of the Board. It will also decide on the new CEO/Pension Benefit Administrator.

The Pension Board will decide on changes to the rules and recommends to the General Assembly changes to the regulations that affect participants and beneficiaries (see the annex to the Annual Letter 2018-2019 for the last changes).

As it does every year, the Pension Board will be briefed by the Representative of the Secretary-General for the investment of the UNJSPF assets on investments. Reports and recommendations from the Board’s Audit Committee, ALM Committee, the UN Board of Auditors and from the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services, will be presented for further considerations/decisions.

As it does every two years, the Board will decide, based on the recommendations made by the Committee of Actuaries, on the economic and demographic assumptions that are used in the actuarial valuation of the Fund. These valuations are undertaken every two years to determine whether the 23.7 percent contribution rate continues to be sufficient to meet the Fund’s benefit obligations.

The outcome of the Board meeting will be communicated soon after to the UN General Assembly (UNGA) through a report (see 2018 report here). The UNGA will review it, taking into account the opinion of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions.  UNGA ( 5th Committee)  will make final decisions on these matters with a resolution expected in December.

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