Ordinary General Assembly 2013

Minutes of the Meeting


  1. Welcome and designation of the session Chairperson
  2. Approval of the agenda
  3. Approval of the minutes of the 2012 OGA
  4. Report on the 2012-2013 Activities and Presentation of the New Committee
  5. Treasurer's report
  6. Auditor’s report
  7. Approval of the three preceding reports
  8. Scrutineers for the 2012 Elections
  9. Report on the Pension Fund
  10. Report on the Health Insurance Scheme
  11. Report on Pension Guarantees
  12. Report on the Information sessions "Permanences"
  13. Activities for the next 12 months
  14. Approval of the 2012 budget and contributions for 2013 and 2014
  15. Any other questions

Welcome, introduction and election of the Chairperson of the Meeting

Gerrit Jan Bossen, President of GAC-EPA, opened the 2013 Ordinary General Assembly which took place this year from 14:00 to 16:30 in the Globe Auditorium. Gerrit Jan explained that we had had to change the venue on account of works in the Main Auditorium but that the drink will take place in restaurant 1; we will have to take a short walk!

He welcomed the 280 or so participating members, thanking them for attending, and to whom should be added some 80 members represented by proxy.

He pointed out that this year, like last year, the meeting can be followed live by webcast; this allows our ESO colleagues and anyone else who cannot attend the meeting to be able to follow it passively without being able to vote. (Thirty-five persons followed the meeting online.)

He then paid tribute to all those retired members who had passed away since the last Ordinary General Assembly and invited the audience to observe a minute’s silence in their memory.

Finally, the President proposed Jean-Claude Gouache as Chairman of the Meeting and this was unanimously adopted.

NB The presentations used by the speakers are to be considered part of these minutes where necessary for the comprehension.

The Spring bulletin will be distributed along with the Minutes. A lot of information given today will be there; we shall try to avoid too much repetition.

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Approval of the Agenda

Jean-Claude Gouache, Chairman of the session, welcomed the audience and proposed the adoption of the Agenda. The Agenda was adopted unanimously.

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Approval of the minutes of the 2012 OGA

Jean-Claude Gouache asked if there were any remarks to be made on the 2012 OGA Minutes; there were none.

Therefore, the Minutes of the Ordinary General Assembly of 23 March 2012, distributed in May 2012, were approved unanimously.

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Report on the 2012-2013 Activities and Presentation of the New Committee

Jean-Claude Gouache gave the floor to Gerrit Jan Bossen, President since January 2012, who gave the following report:

Gerrit Jan, after mentioning the minor incident concerning the mailing of the election papers, recalled the composition of the 2013 GAC-EPA Committee: 21 elected members and 1 invited member, an informatics expert.

Ten candidates stood for election: 7 outgoing members and 3 new candidates. Only one outgoing member did not stand for re-election, Jean-Claude Vialis, whom the President thanked on behalf of the whole Committee for his investissement wholehearted investment during 2 successive mandates over 4 years.

NameFirst nameCandidatureVotesPercentage
VITASSEMichelOutgoing candidate re-elected58195%
GOUACHEJean-ClaudeOutgoing candidate re-elected56492%
BABOULAZMichelOutgoing candidate re-elected54889%
BARTHELEMYRenéOutgoing candidate re-elected49981%
GHINETFrançoisOutgoing candidate re-elected49681%
SEISIreneNewly elected candidate48980%
DANESINMarioOutgoing candidate re-elected46676%
VANDONICarloOutgoing candidate re-elected41768%
RADERMACHERErnstNew candidate not elected28747%
DALPPierreNew candidate not elected27044%

NB: The detailed composition of the 2013 Committee, and the assignment of duties along with the results of the 2012 elections are given in the Spring bulletin.

Gerrit Jan continued with a brief comment on each function of the Committee:

Executive - Presidency

president@gac-epa.org (adress no longer in use/adresse plus en service)

No change in the Presidency or Vice-Presidency for 2013.

Gerrit Jan BOSSEN remains as President until the end of 2013, André John NAUDI as Vice-President until the end of 2013, and Jean-Claude GOUACHE remains as Vice- President until the end of 2014.

Executive - Treasury & List of Members

treasurer@gac-epa.org (adress no longer in use/adresse plus en service)

No change here either: Monique HÄUSERMANN, treasurer until the end of 2013 and Eddie ROEBUCK, assistant treasurer until the end of 2013, manage the budget, expenses, membership fees and the list of members. They try to keep the membership list up to date (with help from the Pension Fund and the Mail Office). They would also like to have your e-mail address, for communication purposes.

Gerrit Jan mentioned the necessity for an increase in membership fees since a large increase in printing expenses in 2012 has led to a deficit.

Executive - Secretariat & Translations

secretariat@gac-epa.org (adress no longer in use/adresse plus en service)

Mario DANESIN, (who is probably watching the webcast), was re-elected and continues with the secretariat for another two years. He is helped by Françoise THEVENET elected until the end of 2013. Even if the work of the secretariat is not the most visible, it is essential for the Committee for the organization of meetings and the Minutes, for the organization of elections and the vote counting, amongst other things. All documents for the members are published in French and English. We manage to publish all the documents in both languages thanks to our devoted translators whom we warmly thank; we have been able to recruit two new tranlators recently (Susan Leech O'Neale and William Blair).

Executive - ESO

eso.representative@gac-epa.org (adress no longer in use/adresse plus en service)

Martin CULLUM remains the representative of ESO pensioners until the end of 2013.

In the absence of Martin, Gerrit Jan gave some information in English on his behalf about ESO pensioners who are members of GAC-EPA.

  1. The recognition of GAC-EPA as the representative of the pensioners by the ESO Management has allowed them to obtain an access card to the ESO sites and to be represented in the ESO Health Insurance working group.
  2. The recognition by the ESO Staff Association of its pensioners and their implication in the future revision of Staff Rules (the previous version had no mention whatsoever of pensioners). The new Rules should come into force in the Autumn.
  3. ESO Management recently agreed to host a GAC-EPA website devoted to ESO pensioners; a volunteer is available to act as webmaster. The site could come into service in the next 2 to 3 months.

Contacts with the Staff Associations

In order to defend the interests of pensioners, members of the Committee cooperate closely in the work of the CERN Staff Association:

Nine members of our Committee attend the Staff Council of the Staff Association with the right to vote if the subject concerns the interests of pensioners.

At ESO, Martin CULLUM is in direct contact with the executive of the ESO SA.

Pension Fund

pensions.administration@gac-epa.org (adress no longer in use/adresse plus en service)

François WITTGENSTEIN is a member of the Pension Fund Governing Board (PFGB) until 4 April 2013.

Claude GENIER is the designated successor to the post of member of the Pension Fund Governing Board (PFGB); he takes up his functions on 5 April 2013.

Results: the CERN internal audit is more implicated in the affairs of the PF; the President of the PFGB and the CEO of the PF have a better understanding of our request for transparency.

Pensions Commission

pensions.commission@gac-epa.org (adress no longer in use/adresse plus en service)

We have 7 representatives on the Pensions Commission who prepare and analyse documents and discussions:

François WITTGENSTEIN, André John NAUDI, Claude GENIER, elected until the end of 2013; Jean-Claude GOUACHE, François GHINET, Michel VITASSE, elected until the end of 2014; and Irene SEIS newly elected for 2 years.

Pensions Guarantees

pensions.garantee@gac-epa.org (adress no longer in use/adresse plus en service)

Michel VITASSE is our delegate to the working group on pensions guarantees.

Carlo-Enrico VANDONI is the deputy delegate to the working group on pensions guarantees.

They are both elected until the end of 2014.

4/ 26" 2013-05-20 Last year, and for many years previously, Edith Deluermoz indicated that this working group had been dormant, we shall see later that it seems to be coming out of hibernation. Let us hope that this is not temporary.

CERN Health Insurance Scheme (CHIS)

chis.board@gac-epa.org (adress no longer in use/adresse plus en service)

Michel BABOULAZ and David JACOBS are our 2 delegates to the CERN Health Insurance Scheme (CHIS Board): the financial situation is satisfactory after measures were taken, the governance and functioning of the Scheme could change after the internal audit undertaken in 2011. We must take care that the Rules of the Scheme which are being revised are not unfavourable to the insured.

Social Security

David JACOBS and Michel BABOULAZ are our representatives on the Social Security Commission. They are helped by other members of the Committee where necessary.

Legal Commission

Jean-Claude GOUACHE is our representative on the Legal Commission where the revision of various circulars that concern us is discussed, such as access to the site, using the flags carpark, etc. The revision of the Staff Association statutes is also discussed in this Commission.

Safety and Hygiene Commission

Jean-François MICHAUD is our new representative on the Safety and Hygiene Commission. He replaced Carlo VANDONI at the beginning of 2013. There is not much activity in this Commission.

Mutual Aid Fund

Gunilla SANTIARD is our representative on the Mutual Aid Fund which gives financial assistance to active and retired members who find themselves in temporary difficulties. Gunilla Santiard replaces Jean-Claude Vialis.

GAC-EPAʼs own activities

Information Sessions

permanences@gac-epa.org (adress no longer in use/adresse plus en service)

Gunilla SANTIARD as the responsible person, René BARTHÉLEMY and Jean- François MICHAUD as representatives run the Information Sessions.

Liaison with CERN

Liaison with CERN services is assured by Carlo-Enrico VANDONI, person responsible and his deputy Jean-François MICHAUD. We shall see how well this liaison works on the Open Days in September.

Liaison with the CERN Medical Service

After the death of Jean-Paul DISS, François WITTGENSTEIN has taken over the function of liaison with the CERN Medical Service and the Geneva University Hospitals (HUG) (study on brain ageing, internal activities of the HUG in 2012, the relevant persons will be recontacted this year).


The GAC-EPA has many means at its disposal to communicate and exchange information with its members:


Bernard DUCRET replaced Jean-Marie THOMAS as editor of the Bulletin, Jean-Marie is now his assistant.

We will now produce 2 Bulletins per year, as well as some new sections (forum, a word from pensioners). USE THEM.

The next Bulletin will be in May and will be distributed along with the Minutes of the OGA.


Responsible David JACOBS, assisted by Gunilla SANTIARD. Our addresses:


webmaster@gac-epa.org (adress no longer in use/adresse plus en service)

Internet presence: Robert CAILLIAU, resident expert

Social & Cultural Activities

social@gac-epa.org (adress no longer in use/adresse plus en service)

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Treasurer’s Report

Jean-Claude Gouache gave the floor to our treasurer Monique Häusermann, who presented the accounts for the year 2012, the profit and loss accounts, and the balance.

Expenditure 2012 and budget 2013
Staff Association20'713.0021'075.0021'000.00
Bank fees14.8012.6020.00
Postal charges41.3522.5030.00
Entertainment expenses130.10-150.00
Total expenses39'019.5545'264.3046'000.00
Receipts 2012 and provisions for 2013
Membership fees43'049.0042'494.0043'000.00
Bank interest358.60298.20300.00
Postal interest17.0512.8020.00
Total receipts43'424.6542'805.0043'320.00
Expenses excess2'459.302'680.00 
Balance at 31 December 2012
Postal account4'813.97
UBS current account8'743.04
UBS savings account110'798.05
TOTAL Own funds124'355.06
Carried over126'814.36
Deficit of 2012 exercise2'459.30
TOTAL Own funds124'355.06

Monique will talk about the 2013 budget and the increase in membership fees shortly.

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Auditors’ Report

Guy Salomon, auditor, presented the following report:

Under the mandate that has been entrusted to us at the last General Assembly, I have proceeded with the auditing of the accounts for 2012, Mr Christian Boudineau being absent from Geneva.

After checking, I found perfect agreement with the justifications at my disposal and the written accounting indicated in our books. I can but recommend to the present Assembly to give approval of the accounts to our devoted treasurers.

I congratulate our friends Monique Häusermann and her deputy Eddie Roebuck for their management, transparency and immaculate presentation of their accounts.

On account of the deficit and the foreseeable tendency, I must back the proposal for an increase in the annual membership fees starting with the 2014 exercise.

Christian Boudineau (absent) and Guy Salomon, auditors
CERN, 18 March 2013

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Approval of the three preceding reports

Jean-Claude proposed that the Assembly approve the three preceding reports (Activities 2012-2013, Treasurer, Auditors), simultaneously.

There was no opposition and no abstention.

These three reports were approved unanimously with applause.

Jean-Claude congratulated the President, the treasurer and the auditors on their presentations and on their precise and thorough work.

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Scrutineers for the 2012 Elections

The Secretary Mario Danesin being unable to attend this meeting, the Chairman of the Meeting presented the current list of scrutineers; he thanked them for their participation in the counting of the votes for the 2012 elections.

There are 16 scrutineers; they are asked to stay on. They will all be retained in 2013 unless any of them wishes to resign by contacting the Secretary.

First NameSurname

Note: Edith Deluermoz became a candidate at the 2012 OGA; we are saddened by the death on 3 April 2012 of Mario Ceselli who was a scrutineer for many years.

Finally Jean-Claude appealed for new candidates, the group’s statutes allow for 20 scrutineers; members wishing to enrol can do so by approaching the Secretary or by e-mail:

Appeal for new candidates. You wish to become a scrutineer: contact the Secretary after the meeting or send an e.mail to: secretariat@gac-epa.org (adress no longer in use/adresse plus en service), or call the Secretary on +41 22 776 19 94.

He asked the Assembly to approve the list of scrutineers, this was done unanimously.

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Report on the Pension Fund

The Chairman of the session gave the floor to François Wittgenstein for this important topic of pensions.

François began by thanking the members of GAC who have shown their appreciation and had confidence in him over many years.

NB: François’s presentation should be considered a part of these Minutes.

He started his report by assuring the audience that his goal is not to darken the picture of the state of the Fund, but rather to give some optimism to the auditorium without hiding the difficulties faced by our Fund.

François is very confident about the management of the Fund at the moment as shown by the two trophies awarded to it in 2012 and which appear in the first two slides.

He then returned to a part of his presentation of last year (OGA of 23 March 2012) evoking the unsteady state of the markets where the traders are struggling and even the central banks are at a loss.

It is in this cloudy atmosphere that pension funds, including our own, have to try to come out on top.

François reaffirmed that the current situation does not allow the Fund to compensate for the loss of capital in 2008 by the simple addition of the returns on assets and contributions of members (slides 3 to 7).

He came back to the restructuring put in place by the CEO in 2010 and 2011 and which led in 2012 to very positive results and an increase in the rate of coverage by 2.2 points (slide 8).

In the next slide he showed us the spread of the classes of assets and comments that the capital of the Fund is at almost 4000 MCHF on 12 March 2013: an increase of more than 300 MCHF since 31 December 2011, which he considers to be a good performance.

In the next slide he showed a comparison of our PF with that of other Swiss funds with a capital >1000 MCHF (UBS information), and we see that we are following the general trend.

Another slide shows the difference in returns between different financial instruments and thus the need for diversification; it is noteworthy, for example, that since the beginning of the year shares have approached a return of 9% whilst bonds are at almost 0%; but we cannot conclude that the trend will continue.

François then showed us the distribution of asset classes in our portfolio.

He reminded us of the mandate given by the CERN Council to the CEO of the PF which is above all to preserve the capital of the Fund so that we do not relive the experience of 2008 when we lost 25% of our capital; this requires strict risk management. Progress has been made in the estimation of these risks: we estimate that we have a risk of 5% of losing 8% of our capital, this is the upper limit fixed beyond which we must liquidate to go into cash.

He then informed us of ESO’s request to adapt the PF according to the salary scale of new recruits of that Organization.

François finished his speech with a comment on his own situation, regretting that the GAC-EPA Committee considered it necessary to put an early end to his PFGB mandate. He underlined that that decison, even though not irregular, surprised the Chairman of the PFGB and several members of the board, and also many members of GAC. But he accepts the decision and wishes good luck to his successor who is not his heir.

He thanked the audience for their attention.

Jean-Claude Gouache thanked François warmly for his presentation, commenting that he has managed to maintain optimism amongst the pensioners despite his final bitter remarks.

Jean-Claude considered that we should be most thankful for the devotion and energy that François has consistently expended in the defense of the interests of the Pension Fund and pensioners and asks for a round of applause.

An attendee is surprised that the Committee decided to replace François in the PFGB following all his work. Gerrit Jan indicated that the Committe took the decision to replace François in the PFGB before the end of his mandate and that this difficult decison was taken in the Committee after much thought and by a secret ballot. Gerrit Jan asked members to read the GAC-EPA Autumn 2012 Bulletin where all this was explained. He considers that repeating the arguments will add nothing.

Jean-Claude Gouache gave the floor to Michel Baboulaz for the next important item on the agenda.

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Report on the Health Insurance Scheme

Michel Baboulaz remarked that David Jacobs and himself are the two representatives of GAC-EPA on the supervisory committee of the Health Insurance Scheme, namely the CHIS Board.

He presented the main points of his presentation but says that this will not be complete since UNIQA was unable to supply all the statistics because of a fire in their Geneva office. In addition, the financial situation at 31-12-2012 is not yet known.

NB Michel’s presentation should be considered a part of the Minutes.

  1. The 2012 statistics show us the insured population of 13714 persons of which 5051 are pensioners, the amount of reimbursements of 66.7 MCHF of which 68.1% are for pensioners, the principal cost items for which hospitalisation comes out on top (no surprise there) for a total of 30.1 MCHF, the increase in the number of beneficiaries of the LTC to 175 persons.

  2. The 2012 financial situation is not yet known but preliminary figures point to its being positive. There will be a progressive increase in the rate of contributions until 2015 when they will be at 13.37%.

  3. At the beginning of each year the CHIS actuary evaluates CERN’s financial engagement for health insurance according to IPSAS standards; from the hypotheses retained on 31-12-2011, this engagement amounts to the colossal sum of 3428 MCHF.

  4. An internal audit of CHIS in April 2011 should lead to measures being taken in the functioning of the Board and its composition. UNIQA was also audited and this led to a delay in the calls for tender for the management of the scheme; the UNIQA contract will be extended until the end of 2014.

Jean-Claude Gouache thanked Michel Baboulaz for his excellent report and since there were no questions, he gave the floor to Michel Vitasse for the report on pension guarantees.

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Report on Pension Guarantees (and Health Insurance)

Michel Vitasse is glad to announce that things seem to be moving on the pensions guarantee front as can be seen from the two indicators: the restart of discussions of the Working Group in June 2012 and the document presented in December 2012 by the Management to the Finance Committee and CERN Council entitled ‘Obligations of the Member States of CERN upon leaving the Organization’.

NB Michel’s presentation should be considered part of the Minutes.

He then reminded us of the composition of the Working Group.

According to the document presented by the Management, engagements of the CERN Member States at the end of 2012 amounted to more than 8GCHF, which corresponds to eight annual contributions. These engagements include, amongst other things, the long-term cost of the financial balance of the social security schemes of the Organization.

Michel then reminded us of the two stages retained in order to guarantee pensions in case of a dissolution of the Organization, namely:

There are four aspects to these measures:

Jean-Claude Gouache thanked Michel and since there were no questions he gave the floor to Jean-François Michaud for the report on the Information Sessions.

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Report on the Information Sessions « Permanences »

Jean-François is one of the three musketeers who, with Gunilla Santiard and René Barthélémy, put a lot of themselves into listening to the grievances of our members every first Tuesday of the month except in January, July and August.

Jean-François, in the name of the whole team, assures the members of their will to finding solutions to the problems that pensioners have by trying to inform them and direct them to the relevant services.

The text presented:


The team tries as much as humanly possible, to best inform all persons encountering problems in their retirement: insurance, health, tax etc.

This year after the scare in 2012 about the declaration of accounts held abroad (abroad meaning outside France) there was a rush to the sessions.

Even though we tried to obtain written information from the French tax authorities, the replies that we obtained to your questions were only verbal and will most probably remain that way.

Apparently there is no limit to the sums that can be held in these accounts, but officially the existence of these accounts must be declared.

All accounts: current, savings, portfolios, etc. must be declared by giving the name and address of the bank and account number(s).

It is not necessary to indicate the amounts in these accounts; it is the authorities who will look into them if they want.

The verbal replies obtained were reassuring in that even though the vast majority of retired functionaries have never indicated on their tax forms the possession of such foreign accounts, it is, however, recommended to regularise their situation by either filling in Form 3916 or giving a list on paper. We can understand that this is disquieting for some, especially if the sword of a fine is held over their heads. But as indicated, the tax authorities know full well that most CERN and international functionaries have a salary account through which their pension transits.

This is what we can say on the subject of these demands for the moment.

What is clear is that each person can make their own decision about this regularisation.

We remind you that Form 2047 (pink) must be filled in for all pensions and private income received from abroad.

Jean-Claude heartily thanked Jean-François and seeing that there were no questions gave the floor to Gerrit Jan Bossen for the next topic.

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Activities for the next 12 months

Gerrit Jan briefly recalled that the activities for this year will be to continue to maintain the best possible conditions for our social protection.

We must also keep in contact with the Administration so that the pensioners are not forgotten and so that access to the sites can be made without difficulties.

We must also continue our efforts to have good communications with members of GAC and move towards an electronic future.

Jean-Claude gave the floor to Monique for the presentation of the 2013 budget and membership fees for 2014.

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Approval of the 2012 budget and contributions for 2013 and 2014

Monique Häusermann presented the 2013 budget, assets and expenditure, as shown in paragraph 5: Treasurer’s Report and if there are no objections asked that the budget be approved whilst pointing out that there will be a deficit of 2680.00 CHF.

She also proposed an increase in the annual membership fees from 25 to 30 CHF. Jean-Claude put to the vote the 2013 budget and the membership fees for 2014:

The 2013 budget and the 2014 membership fees were approved.

Monique asked the members to take the necessary steps with the bank to modify standing orders, or to ensure that the fees are paid each year before March 31.

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Any other questions

  1. A member of the audience pointed out that one can deduct these membership fees on one’s tax declaration to the French authorities.
  2. Another member regretted that the list of names of those who have left us has no longer been displayed during the minute of silence at the beginning of the OGA for the last few years. Jean-Claude replied that this will be remedied in future.

Minute taking: Mario Danesin and Françoise Thévenet

NB: The printed edition (which is sent to you in the post) of these Minutes must be kept for the next Ordinary General Assembly

There will be no further distribution.


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