United Nations

A/RES/51/217


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

5 March 1997

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH



Fifty-first session
Agenda item 122


                  RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

               [on the report of the Fifth Committee (A/51/746)]


                  51/217.     United Nations pension system

      The General Assembly,

      Recalling its resolutions 45/242 of 21 December 1990, 46/192 of
20 December 1991, 47/203 of 22 December 1992, 48/224 and 48/225 of
23 December 1993 and 49/224 of 23 December 1994, as well as section
VII of its resolution 50/216 of 23 December 1995 and its decision
50/485 of 7 June 1996,

      Having considered the report of the United Nations Joint Staff
Pension Board for 1996 to the General Assembly and to the member
organizations of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund, 1/
chapter III of the report of the International Civil Service
Commission for the year 1996, 2/ the report of the Secretary-General
on the investments of the Fund 3/ and the related report of the
Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, 4/ 

                                       I

                               ACTUARIAL MATTERS

      Recalling section II of its resolutions 47/203 and 48/225 and
section I of its resolution 49/224,

      Having considered the results of the valuation of the United
Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund as at 31 December 1995 and the
observations thereon of the Consulting Actuary of the Fund, the
Committee of Actuaries and the United Nations Joint Staff Pension
Board, 5/

      1.    Takes note of the decrease in the actuarial imbalance from
1.49 to 1.46 per cent of pensionable remuneration, reflected in the
valuation of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund as at 31
December 1995, and, in particular, of the opinions provided by the
Consulting Actuary and the Committee of Actuaries, as reproduced in
annexes IV and V, respectively, to the report of the United Nations
Joint Staff Pension Board, 1/ that there was no requirement, as at 31
December 1995, for deficiency payments under article 26 of the
Regulations of the Fund and that the current contribution rate of
23.7 per cent of pensionable remuneration could be maintained for
funding purposes, pending a review at the time of the next valuation,
as at 31 December 1997, and in the light of future developments;

      2.    Takes note also of the reviews by the Standing Committee of
the Board in 1995 and the Board in 1996 of the interest rate used to
determine lump-sum commutations, and of the decision by the Board,
under article 11 of the Regulations of the Fund, to retain the current
6.5 per cent interest rate, which would be reviewed again by the Board
in 1998;

      3.    Takes note further of the review by the Board of further
amendments required to article 28 of the Regulations of the Fund as a
consequence of the increase in the maximum number of years of
creditable contributory service that had been adopted by the General
Assembly in its resolution 49/224 and had entered into effect on 1
July 1995;

      4.    Approves, with retroactive effect as from 1 July 1996,
amendments to paragraphs (d) and (g) of article 28 of the Regulations
of the Fund, as set out in annex I to the present resolution.

                                      II

             PENSIONABLE REMUNERATION OF STAFF IN THE PROFESSIONAL
             AND HIGHER CATEGORIES AND IN THE GENERAL SERVICE AND
                              RELATED CATEGORIES

      Recalling section I, paragraph 3, of its resolution 45/242 and
section I, paragraph 3, of its resolution 47/203 concerning its
request to the International Civil Service Commission to undertake, in
full cooperation with the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Board, a
further comprehensive review of the methodology for the determination
of the scale of pensionable remuneration of staff in the Professional
and higher categories, for monitoring the level of the scale and for
its adjustment between comprehensive reviews, and to submit
recommendations thereon to the General Assembly at its fifty-first
session, in 1996,

      Recalling also section I of its resolution 48/225, in which it
approved (a) the use of the income replacement approach to determine
the pensionable remuneration of staff in the General Service and
related categories; (b) the application of an interim adjustment
procedure similar to that applicable to staff in the Professional and
higher categories, namely, on the basis of a 1:1 relationship to
increases in the net salaries; and (c) the procedure recommended by
the Commission for determining a common staff assessment scale, with
two separate sets of rates (single and dependent), for introduction in
1997,

      Recalling further its request to the Commission, in the same
resolution, in close cooperation with the Board and as part of the
comprehensive review in 1996 of the methodology to determine the
pensionable remuneration and consequent pensions of staff in the
Professional and higher categories, to develop a common staff
assessment scale for the determination of the pensionable remuneration
of all categories of staff using the approved procedure and reflecting
the latest available tax rates,

      Noting with satisfaction that the close cooperation between the
Commission and the Board has resulted in agreement between the two
bodies on the methodologies for determining the pensionable
remuneration of all categories of staff and on the development and
application of a common staff assessment scale for pensionable
remuneration purposes, as reflected in their respective reports,

      Noting that the Commission, in accordance with article 10 (d) of
its statute, has developed the common staff assessment scale for
pensionable remuneration purposes, contained in annex IV to the report
of the Commission, 2/ taking into account the views of the Board as set
out in paragraphs 152 to 159 of its report 1/ and the considerations set
out in paragraphs 83 to 89 of the report of the Commission,

      Recalling its decision in section III of its resolution 51/216 of
18 December 1996 that the common staff assessment scale recommended by
the Commission should be applied in determining the pensionable
remuneration of all categories of staff, with effect from 1 January
1997, subject, in the case of staff in the General Service and related
categories, to the procedure set out in paragraph 107 of the report of
the Commission,

      1.    Decides, as regards staff in the Professional and higher
categories, that:

      (a)   Income replacement in New York should continue to be used as
the basis for the methodology for the determination of the pensionable
remuneration of such staff;

      (b)   The methodology to determine the current scale of
pensionable remuneration, described in annex I to the report of the
International Civil Service Commission, 2/ should continue to be used in
the future;

      (c)   The current interim adjustment procedure for adjusting
pensionable remuneration of such staff between comprehensive reviews
should be continued, as described in annex I to the report of the
Commission;

      (d)   The monitoring of pensionable remuneration and the United
Nations/ United States income replacement ratios should be carried out
on the occasion of periodic comprehensive reviews of the pensionable
remuneration and consequent pensions of such staff; between
comprehensive reviews, the Commission should review every two years
the factors affecting the comparisons of pensionable remuneration and
income replacement ratios and, if necessary, submit a report thereon
to the General Assembly;

      2.    Takes note of the decision of the Commission to carry out,
in close cooperation with the United Nations Joint Staff Pension
Board, on the occasion of future comprehensive reviews of the
pensionable remuneration of staff in the Professional and higher
categories, actuarial analyses of the pension benefits from the United
Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund scheme and those applicable to the
staff of the comparator service, and to report thereon to the General
Assembly; 

      3.    Amends, with effect from 1 January 1997, article 54 (b) of
the Regulations of the Fund, as set out in annex I to the present
resolution, to incorporate the revised scale of pensionable
remuneration of staff in the Professional and higher categories, using
the approved common staff assessment scale;

      4.    Decides, as regards staff in the General Service and related
categories, that:

      (a)   The income replacement approach and the methodology related
thereto should continue to be used for the determination of
pensionable remuneration of such staff, including the use of 66.25 per
cent of the net pensionable salary for grossing-up purposes;

      (b)   The current interim adjustment procedure should continue to
be used in the future; 

      5.    Takes note of the decision of the Commission to establish a
working group to review the methodology for identifying and
quantifying the non-pensionable components of the salaries of staff in
the General Service and related categories, as part of the
Commission's review of the General Service salary-setting
methodologies for headquarters and other duty stations scheduled for
1997;

      6.    Requests the Commission, in full cooperation with the Board,
to undertake in 2002 further comprehensive reviews of the
methodologies for the determination of the pensionable remuneration of
staff in the Professional and higher categories and in the General
Service and related categories, and for the adjustment of pensionable
remuneration between comprehensive reviews, and to submit
recommendations thereon to the General Assembly at its fifty-seventh
session.

                                      III

                           PENSION ADJUSTMENT SYSTEM

      Recalling section IV of its resolution 46/192, section V of its
resolution 47/203, section I of its resolution 48/225 and section III
of its resolution 49/224,

      1.    Takes note of the reviews carried out by the United Nations
Joint Staff Pension Board, as described in section VII of its report, 1/
on various aspects of the pension adjustment system;

      2.    Takes note also of the results of the monitoring of the
costs/savings of recent modifications of the two-track feature of the
pension adjustment system and of the intention of the Board to
continue to monitor those costs/savings every two years, on the
occasion of the actuarial valuations of the Fund;

      3.    Approves changes in the pension adjustment system, as set
out in annex II to the present resolution, (a) to include, without
creating a precedent for other situations, with retroactive effect
from 1 January 1996, a special measure for determining local currency
track pension amounts for beneficiaries residing in countries where a
new currency unit has been introduced that significantly strengthens
the relationship of the local currency to the United States dollar,
subject to the eligibility criteria set out in paragraph 208 of the
report of the Board, 1/ and (b) to provide greater specificity in the
criteria set out in paragraph 26 of the pension adjustment system for
discontinuing the local currency track pension amounts when they lead
to aberrant results in a particular country;

      4.    Takes note of the further review carried out by the
International Civil Service Commission and the Board of the provisions
of the special index for pensioners, which are used to reduce or
eliminate the compensation made for cost-of-living differences in the
determination of the initial local currency track pensions under the
two-track feature of the pension adjustment system whenever
beneficiaries have a tax advantage in an otherwise high-cost country
of retirement, and approves the agreed recommendation of the
Commission and the Board that the current provisions of the special
index for pensioners should be maintained.

                                      IV

            ACTIVITIES RELATED TO RESOLVING PROBLEMS CONCERNING THE
             IMPLEMENTATION OF THE TRANSFER AGREEMENTS BETWEEN THE
            UNITED NATIONS JOINT STAFF PENSION FUND AND THE FORMER
                UNION OF SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLICS, THE FORMER
              UKRAINIAN SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLIC AND THE FORMER
                     BYELORUSSIAN SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLIC

      Recalling its resolutions 48/225 and 49/224,

      Noting that the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund had
transferred to the Social Security Fund of the former Union of Soviet
Socialist Republics the actuarial value of the pension rights accrued
by individual former participants, as required under the relevant
transfer agreements with the former Union of Soviet Socialist
Republics, the former Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic and the
former Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic,

      1.    Takes note of the legal opinion of the Legal Counsel of the
United Nations set out in paragraph 124 of the report of the United
Nations Joint Staff Pension Board to the General Assembly at its
forty-eighth session; 6/

      2.    Notes that the proposed agreement between the Government of
the Russian Federation and the Board, as set out in annex VI to the
report of the  Board, 1/ does not give rise to any rights or
entitlements of any kind for any person under the Regulations of the
United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund, and that the provisions of
the proposed agreement are not incorporated in any way in the
Regulations or Administrative Rules of the Fund;

      3.    Concurs with the proposed agreement, which would represent
the first step in resolving the problems that have arisen with respect
to the application of the transfer agreements;

      4.    Notes that some Member States have expressed concern that
the proposed agreement only covers certain former Fund participants
who are now citizens of the Russian Federation;

      5.    Endorses the further steps envisaged in the proposed
agreement and in paragraph 246 of the report of the Board, as endorsed
by the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions in
paragraph 32 of its report, 4/ and, towards this end, urges the
Governments of the Member States concerned to undertake direct
discussions aimed at resolving the financial issues involved in
respect of those former participants who are their citizens or
permanent residents;

      6.    Requests the Board to report to the General Assembly at its
fifty-third session on the developments in respect of the further
steps mentioned in paragraph 5 above and to submit to it
recommendations related thereto, as appropriate.

                                       V

                  FINANCIAL STATEMENTS OF THE UNITED NATIONS
                    JOINT STAFF PENSION FUND AND REPORT OF
                             THE BOARD OF AUDITORS

      1.    Notes with satisfaction that the report of the Board of
Auditors on the accounts of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension
Fund for the biennium ended 31 December 1995 had revealed no material
weakness or errors in the procedures and operational systems of the
Fund, nor any evidence of fraud;

      2.    Takes note of the measures taken and under consideration by
the secretariat of the Fund to improve the procedures for verifying
continuing eligibility for benefits from the Fund;

      3.    Takes note also of the arrangements made for internal audits
of the Fund, to be carried out by the United Nations Office of
Internal Oversight Services;

      4.    Requests the Secretary-General to continue to make available
to the Fund the United Nations machinery for contracting and
procurement, as recommended by the United Nations Joint Staff Pension
Board in paragraph 111 of its report. 1/

                                      VI

                 ADMISSION TO MEMBERSHIP IN THE UNITED NATIONS
                 JOINT STAFF PENSION FUND OF THE INTERNATIONAL
                        TRIBUNAL FOR THE LAW OF THE SEA

      Noting that the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea
meets the conditions set out in article 3 of the Regulations of the
United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund for membership in the Fund,

      Decides to approve the admission to membership in the United
Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund of the International Tribunal for the
Law of the Sea, as from 1 January 1997.

                                      VII

                 ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES OF THE UNITED NATIONS
                           JOINT STAFF PENSION FUND

      Recalling section VII of its resolution 50/216 and its request,
made on the recommendation of the Advisory Committee on Administrative
and Budgetary Questions, that the United Nations Joint Staff Pension
Board review the additional staffing proposals for the Investment
Management Service that had been presented to the General Assembly at
its fiftieth session in the budget proposals for the biennium
1996-1997,

      Having considered the observations of the Board on the staffing
of the Investment Management Service and on other requests for
additional resources, as set out in paragraphs 313 to 328 of its
report, 1/

      Approves the additional staffing and other resources recommended
by the Board, in paragraphs 330 and 332 of its report, involving
expenses amounting to 1,187,200 United States dollars net for the
biennium 1996-1997, chargeable directly to the United Nations Joint
Staff Pension Fund, for the administration of the Fund.

                                     VIII

                                 OTHER MATTERS

      Recalling its decision 50/485 concerning the provisions of the
Regulations of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund governing
the suspension of benefits in cases of re-employment of retirees in a
member organization of the Fund and, in particular, its invitation to
the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Board to examine the
possibility of suspending benefits in cases of re-employment for
periods of less than six months,

      1.    Takes note of the review carried out by the United Nations
Joint Staff Pension Board, as set out in paragraphs 252 to 261 of its
report, 1/ and of its decision to defer consideration of a possible
amendment of article 40 (a) of the Regulations of the United Nations
Joint Staff Pension Fund, pending action by the General Assembly at
its fifty-first session on the report it had requested from the
Secretary-General on the question of the employment of retirees by the
United Nations;

      2.    Recalls its decision 51/408 of 4 November 1996, in which it
decided, inter alia, to set a ceiling on the amount that retired staff
in receipt of a pension benefit from the Fund who are re-employed by
the United Nations may earn per calendar year and to limit such
employment to no more than six months per calendar year;

      3.    Requests the Board to continue its consideration of an
amendment of article 40 (a) of the Regulations of the Fund in respect
of the re-employment of retirees in receipt of benefits from the Fund
under appointments of more than two but less than six months, and to
submit a recommendation thereon to the General Assembly at its
fifty-third session;

      4.    Takes note of the review by the Board of the entitlement to
survivors' benefits for spouses and former spouses, and of the
intention of the Board to examine further the various aspects of this
issue, including consideration by the Standing Committee of the Board
in 1997 of a limited modification to the Fund's administrative rule
B.4 on confidentiality and of the implications of introducing a
payment facility in respect of court orders on family support, as well
as consideration by the Board at its session in 1998 of the more
far-reaching issue of the possible revision of articles 34 and 35 of
the Regulations of the Fund;

      5.    Notes the other matters dealt with in section IX of the
report of the Board.

                                      IX

          INVESTMENTS OF THE UNITED NATIONS JOINT STAFF PENSION FUND

      1.    Takes note of the report of the Secretary-General on the
investments of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund, on the
review of the new custodial arrangements for the Fund's assets
implemented in 1994 and on the review of the arrangements for the
provision of institutional advisory services, 3/ as well as the
observations of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Board thereon
in its report; 1/

      2.    Takes note also of the observations of the Board of Auditors
on the outstanding tax refunds due to the Fund from some Member States
in respect of direct taxes imposed on the Fund's investment income, as
set out in paragraphs 41 to 43 of the report of the Board of Auditors
and reproduced in annex III to the report of the Pension Board, and
the comments of the Pension Board thereon;

      3.    Takes note with satisfaction of the increase in the number
of Member States that have granted tax exemption for the investments
of the Fund;

      4.    Reiterates its request to those Member States which do not
grant such exemptions to make every possible effort to do so as soon
as possible;

      5.    Urges those Member States which have outstanding balances on
foreign tax accounts receivable, as shown in schedule 6 of the
financial statements contained in annex II to the report of the Board,
to make every possible effort to reimburse the amounts due as quickly
as possible.


                                                          89th plenary meeting
                                                              18 December 1996


                                    ANNEX I

              Amendments to the Regulations of the United Nations
                           Joint Staff Pension Fund


                                  Article 28

                              Retirement benefit

1.   Replace paragraph (d) (i) (B) with the following:

         "(d) (i) (B)
     The maximum benefit payable under the same provisions of (b) or
     (c) above to a participant at the level D-2 (top step for the
     preceding five years) separating on the same date as the
     participant."

2.   Replace paragraph (g) (i) (B) with the following:

         "(g) (i) (B)
     The actuarial equivalent of one third of the maximum benefit that
     would be payable to a participant retiring at the normal
     retirement age, on the same date as the participant, with a final
     average remuneration equal to the pensionable remuneration on that
     date for the top step of level P-5 on the scale of pensionable
     remuneration appended to article 54."


                                  Article 54

                           Pensionable remuneration

1.   Replace the first sentence of paragraph (b) with the following:

         "In the case of participants in the Professional and higher 
     categories, the scale of pensionable remuneration effective
     1 January 1997 shall be as set out in appendix B hereto."

2.   Replace appendix B with the following:

                                  Appendix B

PENSIONABLE REMUNERATION OF STAFF IN THE PROFESSIONAL AND HIGHER CATEGORIES

                            (United States dollars)

                          (Effective 1 January 1997)

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                        Steps
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Level            I          II          III          IV           V
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
USG           175 139
ASG           161 876
D-2           134 605    137 664      140 723      143 779     146 838
D-1           119 218    121 663      124 107      126 547     128 992
P-5           105 510    107 722      109 934      112 146     114 358
P-4            87 233     89 392       91 547       93 702      95 861
P-3            72 604     74 457       76 311       78 162      80 016
P-2            59 564     61 224       62 880       64 538      66 194
P-1            46 832     47 978       49 569       51 163      52 755
----------------------------------------------------------------------------


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                     Steps
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Level             VI        VII         VIII         IX          X
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
USG                   
ASG             
D-2           149 897 
D-1           131 558    134 177      136 797      139 413
P-5           116 567    118 779      120 991      123 201     125 413
P-4            98 016    100 173      102 330      104 487     106 642
P-3            81 869     83 721       85 576       87 516      89 544
P-2            67 852     69 509       71 165       72 825      74 481
P-1            54 346     55 942       57 533       59 125      60 719
----------------------------------------------------------------------------


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                 Steps
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Level            XI        XII         XIII          XIV         XV
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
USG
ASG
D-2
D-1
P-5           127 625    129 842      132 212
P-4           108 797    110 959      113 113      115 270     117 428
P-3            91 569     93 595       95 620       97 645      99 673
P-2            76 137     77 796
P-1
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
                           

                                   ANNEX II

                   Changes in the pension adjustment system


                          I.  Payment of the benefit 

1.    In paragraph 26, replace subparagraph (a) with the following:

            "(a)  For countries where the application of the local
      currency track would lead to aberrant results, with wide
      fluctuations depending on the precise commencement date of the
      underlying benefit entitlement, establishment of a local currency
      base amount in accordance with section C may be discontinued by
      the Secretary of the Pension Board.  In such cases, the Secretary
      shall duly inform the Board or the Standing Committee of this
      action, as soon as feasible;"

2.    In paragraph 26, add a new subparagraph (b) reading:
      
            "(b)   Aberrant results in (a) above may be due to, inter
                   alia:

            "(i)   A very high inflation rate and an exchange rate which
                   either remained fixed or whose fluctuation was very
                   limited in relation to the level of the inflation
                   rate;

            "(ii)  The 36-month average of exchange rates covered
                   different currency units or included a currency unit
                   that was no longer applicable;

            "(iii)      Substantial depreciation of the local currency,
                        combined with non-existent, inconsistent or
                        outdated information on the movement of the
                        country's consumer price index."

3.    Renumber paragraph 26 (b) as 26 (c).

4.    Add a new section Q reading:  

      "Q.   Special measure for determination of the local currency base
            amount in certain countries with a new currency unit

      "38.  (a)   For countries where a new currency unit was introduced
      on or after 1 January 1990 which represented, at the time of its
      introduction, an increase in the value of the local currency in
      relation to the United States dollar of at least 100 per cent,
      the local currency base amount under section C, paragraph 5 (b)
      (iii), above shall be determined in the following manner:

            "(i)  For beneficiaries separating before or during the
                  month of introduction of the new currency unit:  by
                  applying to the dollar base amount, as adjusted under
                  section H above to the date of introduction of the new
                  local currency unit, the United Nations operational
                  exchange rate in effect as of such date;

            "(ii)       For beneficiaries separating after the end of the
                        month of introduction of the new currency unit: 
                        by applying to the dollar base amount the average
                        of the United Nations operational exchange rates
                        for the new local currency unit over the period
                        from the effective month of introduction of the
                        new currency unit to the month of separation, up
                        to a maximum of 36 months;

            "(b)  This special measure shall apply to all beneficiaries
      who have provided, or will provide in future, proof of residence
      in a country which meets the criteria in subparagraph (a) above;

            "(c)  (i)   The local currency base amount determined in
                        accordance with subparagraph (a) (i) above shall
                        be adjusted by the consumer price index movement,
                        in accordance with section H above, as from the
                        date of introduction of the new currency unit;

                  "(ii)       The local currency base amount determined
                              in accordance with subparagraph (a) (ii)
                              above shall be adjusted by the consumer
                              price index movement, in accordance with
                              section H above;

            "(d)  The local currency amount calculated under this
      special measure will be paid only with effect from the first day
      of the quarter following submission of proof of residence, or, in
      cases where proof of residence had been submitted earlier, as
      from the first day of the quarter following the date of
      introduction of the new local currency unit, with retroactive
      effect only as from 1 January 1996;

            "(e)  Should the new local currency unit depreciate against
      the United States dollar by 50 per cent or more from its value on
      the date of introduction, beneficiaries covered by the special
      measure may exercise an option, within two years as from the date
      of implementation of the special measure, 1 January 1997, to
      withdraw their proof of residence and to have their pension
      benefits paid thereafter solely on the United States dollar
      track.  Such reversion to the dollar track alone would be
      effective as from the first quarter following receipt of the
      beneficiary's withdrawal of proof of residence by the Fund
      secretariat."


                                     Notes

1/    Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-first Session,
Supplement No. 9 and corrigendum (A/51/9 and Corr.1).

2/    Ibid., Supplement No. 30 (A/51/30).

3/    A/C.5/51/4.

4/    A/51/644.


5/    See Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-first
Session, Supplement No. 9, sect. III.A.

6/    Official Records of the General Assembly, Forty-eighth Session,
Supplement No. 9 and corrigendum (A/48/9 and Corr.1).

 

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