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Social Security

The FICSA Standing Committee on Social Security and Occupational Health and Safety advises the Executive Committee on:

Pensions: including items for the Pension Board sessions such as impact of currency devaluation on pension benefits; benefits for divorced spouses; purchase of additional years of pension; investment policy, etc.

HIV/AIDS in the UN workplace: including participation in the Task Force to provide input to the development of information and learning material; ensure equitable access to care, treatment and health insurance coverage for all staff; fight against stigma and discrimination.

Long-term care health insurance: collect and exchange information on the various health insurance policies offered by UN organizations.

Staff well-being: collect and exchange information on staff well-being policies such as the work-family agenda and promote best practice; monitor absenteeism and causes of disability: collect and exchange information on long-term care policies and advocate for a system wide long-term care coverage.

Main issues raised at the 70th FICSA Council (13 to 17 February 2017)

Pensions: Discussion focused on the delays in payment. Concerns were expressed that the staff federations were denied the opportunity to deliver a speech as in previous years. Good news regarding recognition of personal status “when the union is lawfully entered into and legally recognized by the competent authority of the location where the status is established and as long as the union has similar legal effects as a marriage, specifically conferring pension rights.”

After service health insurance (ASHI): The working group was guided by the request of the UNGA to undertake a survey of current health care plans for active and retired staff within the UN system to explore all options to increase efficiency and contain costs. Of concern is the increasing practice of short term contracts which makes it difficult for staff to meet eligibility requirements for ASHI and their difficulty in finding private insurance coverage on retirement.

Dignity at work policy: One organization presented its “Respectful Workplace” campaign.

Return to work policy: One organization reported that initial steps were taken towards drafting and implementing a “return to work” policy.

Update on the UN Mental Health Strategy Working Group: Group organized in July 2016, TORs approved. Now the work begins.

UN Cares: The future of UN Cares is still under discussion. A number of participants testified to the importance of its work, particularly in the field.