Programme, Financial and Administrative Committee
FOURTEENTH ITEM ON THE AGENDA
Report of the Board of Trustees of the Special Payments Fund
The forty-sixth report of the Board of Trustees of the Special Payments Fund, established by the Governing Body at its 143rd Session (November 1959), is submitted for information. The second part of the Board's report contains a proposal to extend the terms of reference of the Fund. The Director-General considers this matter should be the subject of further consultations within the Office and will report to the Governing Body on the outcome at a later stage.
Geneva, 25 October 1999.
Forty-sixth report of the Board of Trustees
of the Special Payments Fund
1. Since its last report, which was examined by the Governing Body at its 273rd Session (November 1998), the Board of Trustees of the Special Payments Fund has met once, on 25 March 1999.
Payments authorized for 1998
at the Board's 59th Session (April 1998)
Payments authorized for 1999
at the Board's 60th Session (March 1999)
3. At the date of this report, grants amounting to US$31,097 had been paid, out of the total amount of US$64,871 which had been authorized for the entire year. Grants paid included four grants under the extension of 1989 and six grants under the extension of 1992.
4. As in previous years, the Board of Trustees awarded grants according to the criteria in its terms of reference and gave particular attention to individual cases of hardship. The average age of recipients is 79 years.
5. Most of the payments are in Swiss francs. Expenditure in 1999 will not exceed the Fund's current balance, and 1998-99 budget provisions are adequate.(3)
Proposal for extension of the terms of reference
of the Special Payments Fund
6. When the Fund was set up to assist former officials whose careers were interrupted by the Second World War, the then Director-General stressed that "the position of those officials who had given many years of service to the ILO and who on retirement had found themselves in a position of hardship because of the inadequacy of pensions benefits currently available to them could not be ignored".(4) The Governing Body upheld this principle, and on the recommendation of the Board of Trustees decided to enlarge the scope of application of the Fund according to the needs of former officials. The Fund's terms of reference were extended successively in 1962, 1973, 1974, 1980, 1989, and 1992.(5)
7. To be eligible for assistance, former officials must meet the following criteria:
(a) have an annual net income of less than the local G1/1 grade salary(6) that is paid to General Service staff in the country of residence;
(b) have served in the ILO for at least ten years, including at least five years after the age of 45;
(c) have not taken part of the UN Joint Staff Pension Fund (UNJSPF) retirement benefit in the form of a lump sum;
(d) have not taken a UNJSPF withdrawal settlement;
(e) be at least 60 years of age.
8. The 1992 extension granted eligibility to surviving spouses of former officials, whether or not the former official had chosen to take part of the UNJSPF retirement benefit in the form of a lump sum.
9. At its meeting on 25 March 1999, the Board of Trustees examined an application from a former official who was a UNJSPF disability benefit recipient.(7) It was the first time in the history of the Special Payments Fund that such a request had been presented. The applicant met all of the criteria for an award, except for the age requirement (he was less than 60 years of age).
10. The Board of Trustees noted that the UNJSPF Emergency Fund, which provides limited assistance to meet medical expenses but will not supplement small pensions, accepts applications from disability beneficiaries regardless of age. Considering that the Special Payments Fund was created to provide ex gratia assistance to supplement small pensions and that there would be few disability benefit recipients who would meet the low income requirements specified in the terms of reference, the Board decided to propose that the terms of reference of the Special Payments Fund be extended to include former officials who are recipients of UNJSPF disability benefits, irrespective of age.
11. As the Fund's terms of reference have been amended several times, and the current proposal would extend the scope and longevity of the Fund further, the Director-General considers it would be desirable to review the broader policy and financial implications of this proposal. He will report to the Governing Body on the outcome at a later stage.
3. Programme and Budget for 1998-99, para. 290.4.
4. GB.143/FA/D.27, para. 89.
5. GB.151/FA/10/26; GB.190/FA/18/26; GB.193/PFA/17/15; GB.213/PFA/8/5; GB.244/PFA/6/24; GB.254/PFA/7/28.
6. The level of annual net income is 70 per cent of the G1/1 grade salary for applicants who are single and 75 per cent in the case of an applicant with a dependent spouse.
7. The UNJSPF disability benefit is awarded for total incapacity for employment that is likely to be permanent or of long duration. The entitlement is reviewed periodically until age 55. There is no provision for partial disability. On average, there are between two and three new disability benefits awarded in the ILO every year. The vast majority of the disability benefit recipients have income levels above those specified in the terms of reference of the Special Payments Fund.