The Former Officials’ Section met regularly twice a month, inter alia to discuss the latest developments in the Staff Health Insurance Fund and in the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund. The Bureau of the Section was renewed at the beginning of 2016.
The Bureau responded to the SHIF Management Committee’s proposal to increase contributions to the Fund by writing to all retirees to ask them not to vote in favour of the increase. It also wrote to the Fund’s Management Committee and Secretary to explain its position, as well as to the Director-General in response to his request for an external audit of SHIF’s management. In spite of the difficulties encountered in recent years, the Former Officials’ Section and retirees as a whole continue to be firmly in favour of the Fund being managed internally. In person, by mail or by telephone, the Bureau answered a large number of requests for assistance from former officials, notably on tax issues.
The annual information meeting of retired officials living in the Geneva area dealt with the recent computerization of the Fund and with members’ online access to their personal data. The Section participates in the seminar for future retirees and organizes an information stand on the first day. The Section recently set up its own website for retired officials, with hyperlinks to the SHIF, Pension Fund and other sites.
The Section’s Bureau enjoys fruitful cooperation with the Staff Union Committee and is pleased to note the strong ties it enjoys with its President and its secretariat, which make it that much easier to keep abreast of the many issues they are concerned with. The Bureau is especially keen to be in close touch with retired officials living outside the Geneva area and in non-European countries.
Message appeared twice in the course of the year, thanks to its editor and to several retired volunteers. The Executive Secretary took part in meetings of the Association of Former International Civil Servants (AAFI-AFICS), and the Section maintains good relations with the other associations of former employees in Geneva. The Arts and Decoration Circle was revived and in October 2016 it held a second exhibition in the Colonnade at headquarters.
Last but not least, the annual receptions for retired officials in May and December provide an excellent opportunity for them to catch up on each others’ news. The DG’s attendance at these receptions is always greatly appreciated.