In view of the health situation in Spring 2021, the GAC-EPA Committee decided to hold the 2021 Ordinary General Meeting by correspondence, as provided for in an ordinance of the Swiss Federal Council.
NOTE: this report should be kept for the next Ordinary General Meeting. No further distribution will be made.
In 2020, 149 beneficiaries of the Pension Fund died, including 126 former staff members. Wherever possible, the GAC-EPA extends its sincere condolences to the families of the deceased. (the list of deaths can be consulted at any time).
Results of the votes
Out of 1720 members, 205 persons returned their ballot paper in time. In addition, other ballots were returned but could not be counted as the postal voting procedure had not been followed.
Approval of the Minutes of the Ordinary General Meeting held on 20 February 2020
One vote AGAINST, three abstentions; the minutes of the 2020 AGM were approved.
Report on activities in 2020-2021 and presentation of the new Committee by the president of GAC-EPA
One vote AGAINST, one abstention; the Activity Report 2020-2021 as attached to the letter of 20 May 2021 was approved.
Dear GAC-EPA members,
first of all I would like to thank you for your support and loyalty to our association.
I would like to briefly recall the aims of our activity: to bring together pension fund beneficiaries, to defend their interests and to provide the necessary information.
All this is done through meetings, publication of the bulletin, permanence and especially participation in very important committees within CERN and ESO.
We have our own representative in the governing board of the pension fund, two delegates are members of the CHISB, a representative on the ESO health working group. We have seven representatives in the CERN Staff Council and we participate in the work of the its commissions dealing with inter alia health insurance and pension fund matters.
During this dramatic period, our committee has continued to pursue all the activities for which we are responsible with great commitment.
Pension Fund Governing Board
The Governing Board of the Pension Fund has had a turbulent year, with tense exchanges on new possibilities of purchasing a surviving spouse's pension, the non-renewal of the administrator's contract, and the resignation of the PFGB Chairperson. But the Fund's investors saved a bad start to the year, with a negative return of nearly -4% at the end of March, by taking advantage of a turbulent market to reach +9.21% at the end of the year. Within the framework of the pension fund activity, it is worth noting that Michel Baboulaz has completed his six-year term of office.
On behalf of our Committee, I would like to thank him for the enormous commitment he has carried out with great competence and efficiency.
As of 1 April 2021, Philippe Charpentier will represent the pensioners. We are counting a great deal on his competence and commitment.
Acquisition of a surviving spouse's pension.
Last year, the CERN Council approved the new possibilities to acquire a surviving spouse's pension for pensioners who have married since August 2006 or who will marry in the future. A long battle came thus to a succesful end alas with a bitter taste on the health insurance arrangements for those concerned. In the discussions, the Staff Association and GAC-EPA have strongly opposed, for formal and substantive reasons, the decrease of CERN's health insurance contributions which alters and distorts the balance of the package of measures agreed for the pension part.
Unfortunately without success, because after arbitration by the Director General, the package of changes (Pension Fund and CHIS) were proposed to the CERN Council.
CERN Health Insurance Scheme Board
Our presence and commitment has never been lacking in the activities of the CHISB, particularly in these extremely difficult times.
Regularly updated useful information about the COVID-19 pandemic can be found on the home page of CHIS: https://chis.cern and on https://hse.cern/covid-19-information. Keep yourselves informed! The strong recommendation is to get vaccinated in your country of residence as soon as possible, according to the rules in force there.
A particularly worrying possibility is that some members are voluntarily deferring diagnosis or treatment. We are all strongly discouraged to take this attitude. Such a delay may well aggravate conditions, leading to more difficult and expensive treatment afterwards.
The introduction of online reimbursement claims (myUNIQA) is judged to have been a good success, with more than 70% of claims being made this way by the end of 2020 with a reduced error rate.
As far as C2S is concerned, an extremely complex dossier has been successfully completed before the court in Bourg-en-Bresse.
CSG - CRDS liability, whether on assets or on the CERN pension, remains the main subject of the Commission's activity.
CSG - CRDS on pensions:
For some time now, there has been an upsurge in the number of pensioners who have been "nabbed" by the Treasury for regularisation requests.
The latest events give a lot of hope, when it comes to obtaining the reimbursement of the sums requested.
CSG -CRDS on assets:
C2S remains an intermediary, the majority of the files being taken in charge by the Staff Association.
Working group on pension guarantees
The working group on pension guarantees in the event of dissolution has continued its work, even in difficult conditions.
In the context of the working group, it is proposed to add
"CERN shall guarantee the benefits acquired under the Regulations by the Members of the Scheme until the last Member's rights have expired.
In the event of the dissolution of CERN, the Council shall take the necessary measures to guarantee the rights acquired on the day of dissolution."
The ESO representative has always given us a very clear and precise picture of the situation regarding the activities of their pensioners.
Pensioners' access to the CERN computing infrastructure
The CERN Task Force (in which we are not represented!) made some progress, but the intended implementation date of end-2020 was not met and pensioners will suffer another year of being cut-off from essential information like which regulations apply to access the CERN sites, our rights and obligations towards CERN etc.
I would like to point out, though, that our file is still having difficulty concluding, the first contact with the new Director of Administration Raphael Bello has been very constructive and positive. All this bodes well for a continued active dialogue, fundamental for the recognition of our presence within CERN.
You will find much more detailed information on these subjects in the spring 2021 GAC-EPA Bulletin.
All this thanks to the great commitment of our committee members.
I would like to thank you sincerely for your present and certainly future loyalty.
I would also like to take this opportunity to express my deep gratitude to the members of the GAC-EPA Committee, who have done an outstanding job with great commitment and competence.
I would especially like to thank on behalf of the whole committee, Jean Claude Gouache for the extraordinary contribution he has made to our work during all the years he has been a member of the committee.
Special thanks to Catherine Duvaux who has accepted with strong motivation to take over ad interim the responsibility of the vice-presidency replacing Andre Naudi.
Enrico Chiaveri, president
Treasurer’s Report (Profit and Loss and Balance Sheet as at 31.12.2020)
One vote AGAINST, two abstentions; the Treasurer's report - Profit and Loss and Balance Sheet as at 31.12.2020 – was approved.
Notes concerning the accounts closed on 31 December 2020:
"Profit & Loss" account
In the detail of the expenses, you can notice, for the heading "Drinks, meals" the difference between 2019 and 2020. It is explained as follows. In 2020 we were unable to offer our members the traditional aperitif due to the sanitary provisions to be observed at that time. The sum corresponding to this event is CHF 7,000.00. The committee then decided unanimously to donate this amount to the Staff Association, Long-term collections, mention EMERGENCY COVID-19. This is why you will find this amount under the heading "Donations".
Regarding the section "Experts' fees", you can notice that we find the sum of CHF 1,872.04 in EXPENSES, then in INCOME, thus settling this account. This amount represents legal fees incurred for certain cases. At the end of the year, we record these costs as a debit from the "Legal provision" account that you find on the liabilities side of the balance sheet.
On the liabilities side of the balance sheet, we have a “Transitional liability” of CHF 12'281.73, for the following reason. At the start of the year, we still have bills to pay for the year we are closing. In this case, we have paid invoices received in 2021, but for 2020 corresponding to the above amount.
The annual membership fee will remain CHF. 30.00.
Monique Häusermann Treasurer
PROFIT AND LOSS AT 2020-12-31
Balance Sheet at 2020-12-31
Treasurer’s report (2021 Budget)
Two votes AGAINST, one abstention; the Treasurer's report – 2021 Budget – was approved.
(see third column in first two tables above)
Treasurer’s Report (Membership fees 2022)
One vote AGAINST, three abstentions; the Treasurer's report – Membership fees 2022 – was approved.
One vote AGAINST, three abstentions; the Auditors' report was approved.
Under the mandate given to us in the last election, we have audited the accounts for the year 2020.
After checking, we noted the perfect agreement between the supporting documents made available to us and the accounting entries appearing in our books. Accordingly, we can only recommend to our members to give discharge to our treasurer.
We congratulate Monique HÄUSERMANN for the management, clarity and perfect presentation of her accounts.
Christian BOUDINEAU Adrianus VAN PRAAG
CERN, 10 May 2021
List of scrutineers for the elections of the 4th quarter of 2021
One vote AGAINST, four abstentions; the list of scrutineers was approved.
List of scrutineers for the elections of the 4th quarter of 2021
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