Bulletin 27

Summer 2003

  1. President's Remarks
  2. Committee Activities
  3. Rights And Obligations Of Cern Pensioners
  4. Permanences
  5. The CERN Health Insurance Scheme (CHIS)
  6. The Pension Fund
  7. SCC Working Group on Pension Guarantees
  8. Geneva taxation

President's Remarks

(Original French)
Our General Assembly on 30 April 2003 attracted a large attendance, reflecting the vitality of our association.  There followed an Extraordinary General Assembly devoted to the new statutes. This Bulletin covers the matters raised on these occasions.

You will be requested to vote on two matters:  the adoption of the new statutes and the election of Committee members.  You are collectively encouraged to show your commitment to GAC by voting in large numbers.

Following the satisfactory outcome of the negotiations concerning the CRDS, we are taking action over Geneva taxation and the non-indexation of pensions.

Trusting that you will find this Bulletin informative, I wish you all and your families a most agreeable summer.

Philippe BERNARD

Committee Activities

December 2002 to May 2003
(Original French)
The Committee, comprising 20 members, has not been modified since the Spring 2002 elections. It will remain unchanged until 31 December 2003, when it will be partially renewed at the first elections under the new statutes.  We refer you to the article in this Bulletin on this subject.  The Committee met five times during the last half-year, with an average participation of 17 members, under the chairmanship of Philippe Bernard.  The principal matters treated were the following:

Preparation of the new statutes

Much of the Committee’s work during the half-year concerned the preparation of the new GAC statutes following the new Staff Association statutes which came into force in January 2003. We refer you to the article in this Bulletin on this subject.

Statuary activities

The period we report on terminated with the Ordinary General Assembly on 30 April 2003, with some 300 members either present or represented. The Ordinary General Assembly was followed by an Extraordinary General Assembly called for the presentation of the new statutes. Those present then gathered for the drink which traditionally rounds off this occasion.

The new statutes have been circulated to GAC members for their consideration. A voting slip for return before 5 September has been be attached.

At the General Assembly, several speakers, including our President, encouraged GAC members to put themselves forward as candidate Committee members in the forthcoming elections, to ensure that the newer, younger GAC members are represented. This is rendered all the more important by the current economic uncertainties. Those willing to serve may present their candidature by completing and returning the appropriate form which has been included with the new statutes.

Relations with the CERN Administration.

The excellent contacts established by G. Brianti have been maintained on an informal basis by Ph. Bernard. They must now be assured with the new Directorate.

Relations with the Staff Association.

Good contacts continue through the respective Presidents and Vice-Presidents, and with the participation of our seven delegates in the meetings of the Staff Council and in several paritary committees, covered in the appropriate chapters in this Bulletin, and summarised below.

Taxation of pensions.

Our delegate to the Staff Council, J.-F. Barthélemy, keeps us informed on the positive evolution in the juridical aspects of subjecting our members residing in France to the CRDS. A further fiscal problem concerns us: the substantial increase of taxes in the Canton of Geneva caused by the abolition of the partial exemption from taxes due on pensions.

Health Insurance.

J.-P. Diss, P. Lazeyras and R. Muzelier represent us on the CHISB, which supervises health insurance and the newly integrated long-term care cover. With UNIQA the CHISB works to combat the current rise in hospital and pharmaceutical costs. Our President Ph. Bernard noted at the General Assembly the need for individual members to help by selecting those pharmaceutical products, clinics and hospitals which offer the lowest costs for similar medical results. We refer you to the article in this Bulletin and to the CHIS Bull'.

Pension Fund.

J.-F. Barthélemy and F. Wittgenstein report that during the last six months, the performance of our investments has been affected by the decline in equity values in this period. We must realise that careful selection of stock and prudent management have limited the negative impact on our fund.

Our President Ph. Bernard has decided to appeal, in the name of CERN pensioners, at the BIT against the decision of the Governing Board of the Pension Fund not to pursue the request of our previous President G. Brianti for compensation for the 1.46% loss of purchasing power shown up in the latest five-year salary review.

Working Group on Guarantees in the case of Dissolution of the Organisation.

After a period of little activity, this group (E. Deluermoz and R. Barthelémy) has lately resumed the preparation of an experts' report for publication in judicial reviews.

Relations with present and future pensioners.

Five Permanences have been staffed by 3 members (F. Beetschen–Buttay, M. Ceselli, J.–P. Dauvergne) for interested people. Fiscal problems are still most frequently raised, but our representatives have also intervened in cases of personal difficulty, for example access to the site for widows of retired staff.

We must also mention the General Assembly and the meeting just before Christmas, and the drink following each event, where contacts with old colleagues might be renewed.

Olivier BAYARD – Michel MATHIEU

Treasurer's Report

Profit and loss account 2002  
Receipts 35'061.25 CHF
Expenses 25'542.30 CHF
Reserve 9'518.95 CHF
Subscriptions amount to 33'525.00 CHF
The Committee decided to contribute 10 CHF per member
of GAC to the Staff Association, i.e.
14'030.00 CHF
2003 provisional budget  
The provisional budget for 2003 amounts to 41'000.00 CHF

The minutes of the General Assembly of 30 April 2003 give details of the budget.

Robert JACOB, Stephan PICHLER

Permanences

December 2002 to May 2003

(Original French)
Most pension fund members are aware of the Permanences, which express solidarity with retired staff and with those preparing for retirement, who are welcome to come to discuss any problems where we may help. We are most attentive at these confidential interviews and try always to find a reply or to indicate a way forward.

Since the May 2002 General Assembly, we have held 9 Permanences and welcomed 45 visitors.

Almost always the problems concern fiscal matters - the CRDS/CSG or the reimbursement of medical expenses.

We may remind you that the Permanences are held on the first Tuesday of each month (January, July and August excepted) from 14 h to 17 h, in the Staff Association conference room (opposite the Coop cafeteria). These are not public meetings, but interviews held in strict privacy and confidentiality.

Finally, with or without a particular problem, we are always happy to receive your visit. We wish you a very good summer.

Françoise BEETSCHEN-BUTTAY, Mario CESELLI, Jean-Pierre DAUVERGNE

Obituary

We have learned with regret of the deaths of our former colleagues given below:

Mario ALLIEVI ex-SB 3 December 2002
Renée COLLET ex-ECP 7 December 2002
Odd Philip NICOLAYSEN ex-DD 26 December 2002
Alan DAVIS ex-ST 5 February 2003
Heinz RODE ex-PE 24 February 2003
Michel FERRAT ex-EP 3 March 2003
Rolf HAGEDORN ex-TH 9 March 2003
Edouard CHEVALIER ex-AT 10 March 2003
Charles PEYROU ex-EF 6 April 2003
Leo SCHERRER ex-EF 7 April 2003
Jacques DAVID ex-EP 8 May 2003
Onofrio MENDOLA ex-EP 16 May 2003
Rolland DUMOUCHEL ex-SPS 18 May 2003
Antoine MAGOURIOTIS ex-EF 31 May 2003
Floris VRIENS ex-LEP 2 June 2003
Ernest ZIMMERMANN ex-ST 8 June 2003
Lucien MONTANET ex-EP 19 June 2003
Massimo ROSSELLI ex-SPS 21 June 2003
Pietro CHIARI ex-EF 28 June 2003

and of the death of other beneficiaries of the Pension Fund:

Yvonne CAILL veuve de René, ex-SB 8 January 2003
Renée FAMY veuve de Roger, ex-EP 21 January 2003
Lillian BALL veuve de Thomas, ex-EF 13 February 2003
Francine BEAUMONT veuve de Michel, ex-EF 3 March 2003
Jeanne THOUVENEL veuve de Fernand, ex-FI 25 April 2003
Juliette PRODON veuve de Gilbert, ex-PPE 12 May 2003
Liliane BLASER veuve de Jean-Paul, ex-FI 28 June 2003

On behalf of all members of GAC, the Committee sends its sincerest sympathy to the bereaved families.

The new GAC Statutes

(Original French.
Note: At the time of writing this article, the new statutes of both the Staff Association and GAC were available only in French; official English translations did not exist. Quotations in English in the following should be considered as unofficial translations for the purpose of this Bulletin.)

You will have recently received by post the new Statutes of the CERN Pensioners' Association, dated May 2003, along with a few explanatory words. The GAC Committee has undertaken this meticulous administrative task following the total review of the statutes of the Staff Association, approved by the General Assembly of 20 November 2002, and which came into force 1 January 2003. This long document contains 11 articles specifically concerning the status of retired persons within the Staff Association, on their representation by the GAC Committee through 9 delegates at the Staff Council meetings, and on the methods of their selection. The Staff Council is the supreme representative organ of staff and pensioners (Art. V.1.1 of the Staff Association statutes). This formal integration of GAC within the Staff Association requires a revision of our statutes to ensure total compatibility between the two documents, and that the respective elections take place at the same time. The GAC statutes presented below have been approved by the Staff Council.

Summary of the Articles of the new statutes of the Association concerning GAC

Extracts form the statutes are written like this.

The Association exists to «safeguard the rights and defend the interests of the families of the CERN staff and those of the beneficiaries of the CERN pension fund.» To achieve this end, the Association uses «the setting up within itself of a CERN Pensioners' Association (GAC).» ...«Retired members pay a collective membership fee via GAC.» ...«Membership status of a retired member ceases when GAC membership ceases.»

«The members of the Staff Council are the Delegates of the staff...81 in total, ... and the Delegates of the pensioners, ...9 in total.»..«The delegates of the pensioners are elected according to the rules set up by GAC.» ....«Resignation, exclusion and replacement of the delegates of the pensioners follow GAC rulings.» The mandate of these delegates lasts for two years, from 1 January to 31 December of the year following. Yearly elections renew about half of the Delegates, who are eligible for re-election.

«Pensioner delegates participate on votes that concern retired stafff» «The Staff Council is competent to nominate representatives for all bodies where such representation is foreseen.» In the case of GAC, this concerns the Governing Board of the Pension Fund, of the CERN Health Insurance Scheme (CHIS) and the Working Group on Pension Guarantees.

A look at the new GAC statutes as compared with the old

We have drawn up new statutes to adapt our status to the Staff Association statutes outlined above. Even though GAC forms an integral part of the Staff Association, we are allowed to draw up our own rules adapted to our situation as pensioners. Thus we have striven for the best possible compatibility between the respective statutes, looking for simplicity and attempting to free future GAC Committees from these considerations. We have been more formal where we affect the structure of the Staff Association, and we have taken the opportunity to delete, revise or add articles where justified by 20 years experience of GAC.

The new statutes comprise 38 Articles, as against 26 in the previous version, grouped into 8 themes, which we shall briefly outline.

Nature and aims of GAC. Our aims have not changed, and therefore, apart from an addition to Article 1, mentioning our representation in the Staff Association, the first six articles have not been modified.

The Ordinary General Assembly remains the supreme organ of GAC. There also there are no fundamental changes in the four relevant articles. The date of the Assembly has been advanced from April to March because of the new electoral calendar (last rather than first quarter). In the light of questions raised by our members, the procedure for voting by delegation has been clarified.

The GAC Committee. In Articles 11 to 17 one finds the most important of the modifications and simplifications. The previous statutes envisaged a Committee, part of which (at present twelve members) were elected in a single operation every two years in March, and further members elected as delegates to the Staff Council, one for each 200 members of GAC. These delegates are ex-officio members of the GAC Committee, and for their election about half of the seats was put forward for renewal every year in May. The Committee defined its organigram for two years after the general elections in March and presented it to the General Assembly in April.

Our relative freedom of action has permitted us largely to simplify the procedure for forming our Committee. We shall retain just one kind of elected Committee member. Committee size is fixed at 15 persons minimum (just enough to carry out essential tasks) with an optimum membership of 20. The two-year mandate remains, but elections will now be held in the last quarter to replace or re-elect members whose term of office is expiring, and to elect new members to bring up the strength if necessary. The Committee will decide its organigramme in December for presentation to the General Assembly in March.

Direct election of delegates to the Staff Council is abandoned in favour of election by the Committee, in the same way as the President, the Secretary and the Treasurer, at the first meeting in December of the new Committee. There will be nine such members, of whom about half will be subject to renewal each year. These delegates will participate as from 1 January in the activities of the Staff Council, which will have been elected at the same time. By this system of choice we hope to find the most appropriate and available delegates for the tasks which they accept to undertake.

The possibility of coopting members as in the previous statutes has been retained. We distinguish between treatment of statuary matters where only elected members have a legitimacy conferred by their mandate, and other activities where such legitimacy does not seem necessary, and may be treated by coopted members whose help and good will are always appreciated. Note that these other tasks, quite as important as statuary matters, are as adjoint, or those concerning communication. They are necessary for the Bulletin, for the Permanences and other social and cultural activities: they are necessary for the very existence of GAC.

Article 17 concerns the dissemination of information, and refers to a GAC Web-site. We need new, younger members to animate this site. If you have an informatics background, think of this when you receive the call for candidates.

Auditors of accounts: no statuary change; the electoral calendar has been aligned with that of the Committee.

Electoral procedures. The new Articles 19 to 23 concern this matter. They fix the new rules allowing the partial renewal of the Committee at the end of each year by a vote of the membership, and prescribe how the new Committee shall fill statuary positions (President, etc.), including the delegates to the Staff Council.

Don't be put off by this rather turgid (but vital) stuff: our text has been reviewed and amended by our judicial expert J.–F. Barthélemy: we take this opportunity publicly to thank him! It is easy to see that it is preferable to have one election each year rather than three spread over two years, based on differing rules.

Financial rules. The GAC accountancy works well; we have therefore not altered the relevant articles except to complete them by mentioning our annual fixed contribution to the Staff Association to cover the collective adhesion of our members.

Exceptional procedures. New articles cover the replacement of a Committee member who has resigned or who cannot continue. This circumstance was not covered in the old statutes and the Staff Association statutes require us to have our own rules to deal with it.

Articles on the extraordinary General Assembly, revision of statutes and the dissolution of GAC are adopted unchanged; indeed the rules for revision were followed in forming the new statutes.

Limit of validity. If our members approve the new statutes, they will come into force in September 2003. Vote counting is planned for the beginning of September.

A temporary procedure for adjusting to the new electoral calendar is necessary: the mandates of about one third of the Committee members, those elected in 2001, will be extended until 31 December 2003; the mandates of the remaining two thirds, elected in 2003, will be extended until 31 December 2004.

The first elections under the new statutes will take place in the last quarter of 2003. Invitations to volunteer for candidature have been circulated to members with the the copies of the new statutes.

Conclusions. To see whether you had the courage to read this right through to the end, the author would have liked to finish with a quiz (how many delegates do we send to the Staff Council?....) and to offer lots of little prizes (..a plastic duck which goes 'GAC, GAC..' in the bathwater), but he hesitated to ask the treasurer for the necessary funds, for fear of finding the 'restraint procedure', which he ill-advisably composed, applied to himself.

If this long dull read has bored you. it's not a bad sign: become a candidate for the Committee, and you will see from within that Committee life is less tedious, more useful, and generally more fun than reading the statutes may lead you to think.

Olivier BAYARD

The CERN Health Insurance Scheme (CHIS)

(Original French)
1. As you surely already know, the most important event of 2002 was the change in the reimbursement rules for hospitalisation, as part of our efforts to control expenses. Quick action was imperative after the breakdown of our negotiations with the Hôpital de la Tour at Meyrin, where tariffs were raised to an extent that we found abusive and unjustified. The agreement with this hospital was terminated 1 July last.

The new reimbursement system aims to preserve high quality medical care and encourages members to seek treatment in public hospitals, for example, amongst others, the Hôpital Universitaire de Genève (HUG, i.e. the Cantonal Hospital), or in establishments with which we have tariff agreements.

The new provisions, explained in detail in the CHIS Bull', have been applied since the beginning of 2003, together with a few transitory measure.

We must now see whether these new rules have the desired effect, and, if necessary, we must take further measures. This applies also to the other aspects of our health fund.

Statistics for 2002 show that despite the increase in tariffs at the Hôpital de la Tour, reimbursements for hospitalisation at this establishment fell from 4 MCHF to 3.5 MCHF comparing the first and second halves of 2002. Since this is for just two six-month periods, it may be taken only as an indication.

2. In this context, a list of public and 'approved' establishments in the neighbourhood exists. Discussions are under way to set up agreements with the clinic 'La Métairie' at Nyon and with the clinic at Genolier, a high quality establishment offering particularly interesting tariffs.

3. UNIQA has provided the results of the 2002 exercise. There is a significant increase in costs and in reimbursements: 8.7% globally, and 6.8% omitting the long-term care figures. Hospital costs are the main factor responsible for this increase with a 12% increase over 2001.

The CHIS covers the needs of 11'197 persons of whom 3'817 are pensioners and their families. Reimbursements to pensioners amount to 26.3 MCHF against 20.8 MCHF for Staff. Respective contributions amount to 19.1 and 35.4 MCHF.

Once again the effect of age on medical expenses is clear; we must note the solidarity towards us manifested by the younger CHIS members.

4. Long-term care insurance is in place. By the end of 2002, the cases of 85 persons had been examined, of whom 22 are now deceased and 47 currently benefitting from the insurance. Mr Berthouze, actuary, has been requested to carry out an actuarial analysis as an initial verification of the original financial estimates.

Allocations for daily help paid in 2002 amount to 1.1 MCHF and paramedical costs for the same period to 0.3 MCHF.

Jean-Paul Diss, Pierre Lazeyras, Robert Muzelier

The Pension Fund

1. Composition of the Governing Board of the Pension Fund

Appointed by the CERN Council:
J. BEZEMER - Chairman F. BELLO - Alternate
P. LEVAUX - Member J.–P. RUDER - Alternate

Appointed by the CERN Director General:
A.J. NAUDI - Vice-Chairman F. CLIFF - Alternate
J. VAN DER BOON - Member V. HATTON - Alternate
until 30 April 2003 W. ZAPF - Alternate as from 1 May 2003

Appointed by the ESO Director General:
R. FISCHER - Member K. BANSE - Alternate

Elected by the Members of the Fund:
E. CHIAVERI - Member F. SONNEMANN - Alternate
G. MAURIN - Member Mme F. RANJARD - Alternate
S. MYERS - Member C. HAUVILLER - Alternate
Mme I. SEIS - Member G. DE LA FUENTE - Member

Appointed by the CERN Staff Association:
J.–P. MATHEYS - Vice-Chairman M. GOOSSENS - Alternate

Appointed by the Governing Board in agreement with the CERN Staff Association:
J.–F. BARTHELEMY - Observer F. WITTGENSTEIN - Alternate

C.CUENOUD is the Administrator of the Pension Fund, appointed by the CERN Council on the proposal of the Governing Board with the CERN Director-General's agreement. He is not a member of the Governing Board of the Pension Fund.

2. Activities of the Governing Board of the Pension Fund

Since our previous Bulletin the Board has met four times, 5 November and 3 December 2002 and 4 February and 8 April 2003.

On 5 November 2002 the Board

On 3 December 2002 the Board

On 4 February 2003 the Board

On 8 April 2003 the Board

3. 2002 in Retrospect

The economic recession so evident in 2001 continued in 2002.

Falling commercial revenues, bankruptcies of well-established concerns, and scandals caused by doubtful accountancy, together with the behaviour of certain high level staff anxious to pocket funds for which they were responsible, have affected the market and demoralised stock exchanges throughout the world. Bonds have suffered a little less than equity, but the danger of a 'bubble' invites prudence. A resurgence of international terrorism and preparations for war have also had their negative effects on stock exchanges during the last year.

Before going into details about figures concerning our fund, a few graphs to illustrate our comments.

The graph of stock exchange indices shows how the Dutch and German markets fell to 40% of their maxima and have recovered to only 50%, while American markets have been stronger. Monetary markets have not been spared their difficulties, as ilustrated by the evolution of the Swiss Franc against the Euro.

It is interesting to note that in 2002 foreign investments in China have overtaken those placed in the USA. The heavy US war-related expenses as a proportion of their GNP is clear from the table and indicates the relative effect of the current conflict on markets.

As for our fund, it is noteworthy that the total membership has fallen by 4% while the number of beneficiaries has increased by 6.4%.

Population changes of the Pension Fund

Total, Beneficiaries 2'406 2'561
Deferred pensions 106 102
Orphans 45 40
Surviving spouses 384 411
Disabled 61 62
Retirees 1'810 1'946
Total, Members (CERN+ESO) 3'163 3'039
Departures 326  
Retirees 168  
Disabled 7  
Transfer values 148  
Deaths 3  

The monthly yield of our investment portfolio presented on the following graph shows a negative result over the year of 10%, a good result by comparison with benchmark indices.

Half-year results of the Pension Fund (rounded figures)

Benefits and contributions Account [MCHF] 30.06.02  31.12.02 
Contributions 60.0 121.2
Benefits -90.5 -184.7
Compensations 16.5 5.8
Payments, including transfer values -2.5 -7.0
TOTAL -16.5 -64.7
Profit and Loss Account [MCHF] 30.06.02 31.12.02
Income 66.7 137.1
Expenditure -8.1 -17.0
Results on operations 52.6 –43.5
Revaluation -249.0 -302.0
TOTAL -137.8 -225.4
Balance sheet [MCHF] 30.06.02 31.12.02
Current accounts, deposit accounts and loans 448.5 847.9
Liquidités extérieures 5.7 1.7
Securities 2'318.9 1'805.6
Real estate 389.5 410.0
Amount owing from CERN 482.3 466.5
Other debitors 114.7 0.0
Creditors -106.4 0.0
TOTAL 3'653.2 3'531.8
Total 31.12.2001 3'805.0  

We note that members’ contributions to our Fund currently cover 2/3 of the expenses, which approach 200MCHF. Our capital diminished in 2002 by 225 MCHF.

In the balance sheet, the assets represent 3'531.7 MCHF, as compared with 3'805.7 MCHF on 31 December 2001.

The covering fund stands at 94%.

Taking into account inflation at 0.9%, the net global annual performance is -6.39%.  Latest (rounded-off) results may be compared as follows:

Year 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 00 01 02
Net return % 4.3 4.5 -1.8 2.1 15.0 7.6 5.0 12.0 -1.6 -4.2 -6.3
Capital GCHF 2.3 2.5 2.5 2.7 3.1 3.3 3.5 4.0 4.0 3.8 3.5

Which gives an accumulated average rate of growth of 3.15% net with an accumulated average yearly inflation rate of 1.015% (11 years).

It is interesting to compare the ratio of the overall adjustments in pensions with the cumulated cost of living indices over different periods.

Period 01.01.83-01.01.03 01.01.93-01.01.03 01.01.95-01.01.03
Rapport d/col(%) 96.754 96.231 94.234

Finally the last graph shows the distribution of capital at the close of the exercise:

Jean-François BARTHÉLEMY, François WITTGENSTEIN

SCC Working Group on Pension Guarantees

(original French)
The CERN Council decided in December 1996 to examine four aspects of the problem of pension guarantees, judged indissociable from the creation of a Foundation in the case of the dissolution of CERN:

  1. The withdrawal of one or more member states during the existence of the Organisation and the consequences for the Pension Fund;
  2. The maintenance of the benefits paid by the Foundation after the dissolution of the Organisation and the preservation of the purchasing power of beneficiaries;
  3. The guarantee that, in the case of dissolution, the Organisation will repay its debts to the Pension Fund;
  4. The Health Fund of the Foundation beneficiaries.

At CERN’s request, a report concerning essentially points (1) and (3) has been prepared by a three experts in international law.

The working group considers that the publication of this report, particularly interesting from a judicial point of view, would contribute to spreading knowledge of CERN and of the consideration that CERN has given over several years to the guarantee of pensions in the case of the withdrawal of a member state or of the dissolution of the Organisation.

After some editing, the report is now ready for publication and will be submitted to the Director General, via the President of the SCC, for authorisation to publish. Editorial modifications accounted for comments made by the working group and by the CERN management.

The working group has agreed to continue to examine the outstanding questions (2) and (4).

Rights and Obligations of CERN Pensioners

(Original French)
This list has been transferred to the page "Rights and Duties".

Tax business

(Original French)
(in French only as this is only of interest to people living in France or in Geneva).

Jean-François Barthelemy