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Maybe you Have been a member of GAC for a while, then I need not tell you that this Bulletin has the same structure as earlier ones. It informs you about the activities of the GAC Committee and its delegates to several working groups in which the CERN Staff Association is represented.
Maybe you are a newcomer, and this is your first Bulletin. Let me make a few introductory remarks.
The Bulletin is meant to inform CERN pensioners about pensions, health insurance and other important matters (even taxes) and about personal matters brought to our attention through official or private channels, for example in our monthly Permanences.
In particular, I think of information about the death of former colleagues or their spouses, also given in this Bulletin1. You might come across names which remind you of old days when, during your professional life, you were close friends with someone of whom you have not heard for years. If you wish to write a word of sympathy to the bereaved family, you can send it via the CERN Pension Fund, which has the address but is not authorised to give it to third parties.
At the end of this Bulletin you find a section entitled Useful CERN Services and Addresses2. One of these addresses might be helpful to you. If you know of an address which might be of interest to other ex-Cernois, please inform us; we shall consider including it in the next Bulletin.
Best wishes to you and your family,
Following the adoption of the new Statutes, the Committee has been elected with a good participation in the voting. All the retiring Committee members except Jörg Schmid have been re-elected, and we are happy to welcome a newly elected member: Jean-Marie Thomas. He will replace Jörg Schmid as Bulletin editor, as Jörg wished to resign as a Committee member and as editor of the Bulletin. We are all sorry to see him leave, with his competence and his commitment in a sometimes unrewarding task.
The Committee will continue to pursue the same matters as previously: pension indexation, taxation, a close surveillance of health costs etc. You will find all these matters treated in detail later in this edition, of which, incidentally, publication has been put back until Spring in order to appear after the adoption of the new Statutes.
I take this occasion, early in 2004, to send my best wishes to you and your families.
July to December 2003
The 20-member Committee met four times during this period, with an average attendance of 15 members, under its President Philippe Bernard. Principal matters covered are as follows:
The new GAC Statutes, as presented to the General Assembly on 30 April 2003 and explained in our previous 6-monthly bulletin, were the object of a vote by our members between May and August 2003. Bulletins were opened 22 September and yielded the following results
|Number of paid-up members (Jan. 2003)||1341|
|Number of votes cast||544||40.6%|
|Percent of votes cast|
|Number in favour||535||98.3%|
|Number not in favour||6||1.2%|
|Number of blank votes||3||0.5%|
The new Statutes are therefore adopted, and entered in force 1 January 2004, except that the elections to the Committee in the last quarter of 2003 were held formally respecting the new Statutes.
The Committee elected for a period of 2 years finishing in April 2004, comprised 13 elected members and 7 delegates to the Staff Council, who are ex-officio members. Following the entry into force of the new Statutes, the mandate of Committee members has been prolongued until 31 December 2004. The 2-year mandates which came to an end in May 2003 of 4 of the 7 delegates have been prolongued under the new Statutes until 3 December 2004. The mandate of the 3 others finishing in May 2004 have been prolongued until 31 December 2004. All this has been rendered necessary by the electoral calendar specified in the new Statutes. The number of delegates passes from 7 to 9, and these will now be elected within the Committee.
It was thus necessary to replace 4 delegates and to add a further 2. The 4 delegates stepping down, Mme e. Deluermoz, J.-P. Diss, P. Lazeyras and F. Wittgenstein, were available for re-election, while 3 Committee members, J. Allaby, O. Bayard and M. Ceselli were likewise willing to continue. T o keep the strength of the Committee at 20 members, it was necessary to elect 7 members, 13 exixting members remaining in office until 31 December 2004.
A call for candidatures wend out in May 2003. We received three new candidatures: J. Barnett, J.-M. Thomas and C-E. Vandoni together with the candidatures of the members stepping down, yielding 10 candidates for 7 posts.
We have also held elections for 2 auditors. Previous officials Mme Morice and A. van der Schueren and a new candidate R. Collomb put themselves forward.
Votes were counted 20 November 2003 by 12 tellers with J. Pasquali as president. The result for the Committee follows.
|Votes cast and participation||949||70.8%|
|M. Jean-Paul Diss||844||89.0%|
|Mme Edith Deluermoz||835||88.1%|
|M. Pierre Lazeyras||771||81.3%|
|M. Olivier Bayard||686||72.4%|
|M. Jean-Marie Thomas||567||59.8%|
|M. James Allaby||548||57.8%|
|Elected subsequent to the resignation of J. Schmid|
|M. Ian-James Barnett||388||40.9%|
|M. Carlo-Enrico Vandoni||331||34.9%|
Note: J. Schmid, committee member and editor of the Bulletin, having for personal reasons resigned at the beginning of December, the Committee declared the next person on the electoral list as replacement: M. Ceselli. The entire Committee regrets the departure of J. Schmid and thanks him for the work he has carried out and for the quality of the Bulletin.
The election of auditors gave the following results:
|Votes cast and participation||949||70.8%|
|Mme Félicitas Morice||621||65.5%|
|M. Raymond Collomb||613||64.7%|
|Coopted as third auditor|
|M. André Van der Schueren||562||59.3%|
Note: The Committee, using its right to co-opt members under the Statutes, decided to co-opt A. van der Schueren as a third auditor, given on the one hand his perfect knowledge of our methods and his efficiency in previous exercices, and on the other hand the high number of votes he attracted.
Following the elections, the attributions of functions were decided in the plenary meeting of the new Committee held 5 December 2003.
|Vice-Presidents||Mme Susanne Muratori
|Secretary and Assistant Secretary||Michel Mathieu
|Treasure ans Assistant Treasurer||Robert Jacob
|Pension Fund: Observer and alternate Observer||Jean-François Barthélemy
|CERN Health Insurance Supervisory Board (CHIS):
Representative and alternates
|SSC Working Group on Pension Guarantees:
Representative and alternate
|Mme Edith Deluermoz
|Delegates to the Council of the Staff Association||Jean-Pierre Dauvergne
|Persons in charge of the Permanences||Mme Françoise Beetschen-Buttay,
Mme Cynthia Sharp
|Editor of the GAC Bulletin||Jean-Marie Thomas3|
|Social and cultural activities||Alain Burlet|
|Informatics support||James Allaby|
|Mutual Aid Fund: Representative and alternate||Mme F.Beetschen-Buttay3,
3 this Committee member has a second function in addition to that already cited.
The participation of our delegates in the Governing Board of the Pension Fund, at the Health Fund, and at the Working Group on the Garantees of Pensions has been recommended by the GAC Committee to the President of the Staff Association, and has received the approval of the Staff Council.
The new Committee will be presented to GAC members at the next General Assembly on Wednesday 31 March. Please note the date. You will receive an invitation and agenda in due course.
It is important that the excellent informal contacts established with the exiting CERN Directorate be re-established with the new Directors.
Excellent relations with the Staff Association have been maintained. As reported in our previous Bulletin, the new Statutes have been drawn up and are applied within the context of this collaboration. Similarly our delegates to the Staff Council continue activities briefly mentioned below and covered more amply in the appropriate chapters of the Bulletin
J-F. Barthélemy, our delegate to the Staff Council, writes later in the Bulletin on legal aspects of the application of the CSG to pensioners resident in France, and on the considerable increase in pension taxation in the Canton of Geneva, and describes measures we have taken to resolve these problems.
Our representatives in the CHIS Board are cooperating with UNICA in attempting to moderate inflation in hospitalisation and pharmaceutical costs. We refer you to the CHIS Bulletin for their recommendations, and to their article later in this Bulletin.
Our delegates track the evolution of the values of the Fund’s real estate investments. The situation has improved following the improvements in stock markets. We take satisfaction in the best position allowed to our Fund between others Swiss Funds, in a European study on investment management directed by a financial organisation. For more details, see the relevant article later in the Bulletin.
Progress in this area remains very slow, but nevertheless some intermediate objectives have been attained as detailed in the article later.
Four Permanences staffed by four GAC members were held in the last 6 months, replying to questions from future and new pensioners and trying to help pensioners with a particular problem. As usual, fiancial problems dominated.
On Wednesday 11 December we held our usual Christmas drink, attended by some 500 members, a number which pleases and encourages the Committee, as Ph. Bernard mentioned in his address.
Olivier BAYARD – Michel MATHIEU
We refer you to the article under the above heading published in the GAC Bulletin no. 27, in this web version the list is on the Rights and Duties page. The Treasurer will send reprints to new GAC members. Copies are available from the Staff Association, the Committee Treasurer and from the editor of this Bulletin.
We report in general terms on matters treated at the Permanences, and indicate the numbers of visitors welcomed. At the Permanences, we hold personal, confidential interviews, and not public meetings. After discussion of a member’s problem, we attempt to suggest a way forward or give a contact address where help may be obtained.
Eighteen visitors were welcomed between the reopening of the Permanences in September and December. The bulk of questions concerned:
We are always happy to get "courtesy" visits.
Sometimes people approaching the "holiday" of retirement come to learn about the permanences, and to discuss aspects of retirement. Others, already retired, come just to see us, to chat about their hobbies, their health, etc.
Some have things to say about how they have resolved certain problems, or to pass on information which may help colleagues in similar circumstances. We would like many more visitors of this kind.
For the first half of 2004 Permanences will continue to be held on the first Tuesday of every month, that is:
Even if you have no special question for us, do come and say hello. Anyone unable to make their own way can write to the Staff Association mentioning “Permanences GAC”, and if desired “for the attention of …” (one of the undersigned). See you soon.
Françoise BEETSCHEN-BUTTAY, Mario CESELLI, Jean-Pierre DAUVERGNE
We have learned with regret of the deaths of our former colleagues given below:
|Denis DAVOLI||ex-ST||2 July 2003|
|Georges RENDU||ex-SB||14 July 2003|
|William BONZON||ex-ST||19 July 2003|
|Jean FAVRE||ex-EF||19 July 2003|
|Julius ZOLL||ex-ECP||19 July 2003|
|Edward POWELL||ex-DSU||26 July 2003|
|Peter STANDLEY||ex-PS||5 August 2003|
|Jean FORET||ex-ST||6 August 2003|
|Pierre LOUP||ex-EST||12 August 2003|
|Bonny BRUGGEMAN||ex-LEP||19 August 2003|
|Celestin PERUCCHINI||ex-ST||29 August 2003|
|René PERRET||ex-SB||13 September 2003|
|Louis DECURNINGE||ex-PS||23 September 2003|
|Marcel GRENU||ex-PPE||30 September 2003|
|Jules JOURDAN||ex-ST||16 October 2003|
|Lucienne FAVRE||ex-PE||18 November 2003|
|Louis DURONZIER||ex-FI||21 November 2003|
|Ehrard FRICK||ex-SPS||12 December 2003|
|Roger PERROT||ex-EP||12 December 2003|
|Arnold SCHMIDT||ex-PS||15 December 2003|
|Georges BLANC||ex-SB||17 December 2003|
|David WARNER||ex-PS||24 December 2003|
|Pierre DUTEIL||ex-EP||25 December 2003|
|André GEISER||ex-ST||2 January 2004|
|George HAMPTON||ex-DG||19 January 2004|
|Georges PAILLARD||ex-SL||20 January 2004|
|Michel BRUNET||ex-PPE||21 January 2004|
|Jean SOUVERAIN||ex-MT||21 January 2004|
|Pierre CUVET||ex-AT||8 February 2004|
|Jacques MOTTE||ex-ST||11 February 2004|
and of the death of other beneficiaries of the Pension Fund:
|Solange CHARLES (veuve de Ernst, ex-ST)||15 July 2003|
|Antoinette FEHLMANN (veuve de Albert, ex-PS)||9 August 2003|
|Walkyrie CHARMILLOT (veuve de Joseph, ex-PS)||8 September 2003|
|Mila ROMCEVIC (veuve de Alfred ASNER, (ex-SPS)||31 October 2003|
|Aglaee WIDER (veuve de Christophe, ex-SB)||21 December 2003|
|Erika RODE (veuve de Heinz, ex-PE)||5 January 2004|
|Michaela AGOSTINETTI (veuve de Pierre, ex-DD/PU)||23 January 2004|
On behalf of all members of GAC, the Committee sends its sincerest sympathy to the bereaved families.
Although the financial results for 2003 are not yet available, preliminary informations suggest a relative small increase in reimbursements, unlike 2002 when there was a considerable increase. The indications also are that reimbursements remain well within the limits of contributions, which will remain in 2004 at the same level as 2003. It seems that our warnings concerning the tariffs practised by the Hôpital de la Tour, and our recommendations of other establisments, including the Hôpital Cantonal (HUG) and the Clinique Générale Beaulieu of Geneva, have been heeded, even if clearly some CHIS members have not completely understood the new rules. No doubt there will be further clarifications in a forthcoming CHIS Bull.
Insofar as beneficiaries are concerned, a new agreement has been concluded with the Cantonal Hospital in Geneva on the various tariffs. Flat rate charges are to be abolished. The agreement covers hospitalisation costs in the various categories as well as nursing costs for the next two years. Other agreements have been signed or extended. In particular the outstanding question of the basic tariffs for out-patients at the Clinique Générale Beaulieu is practically settled. The list of establisments with which we have agreements is available from UNIQA. Amongst others we may indicate the particularly interesting agreement with the Clinique de Genolier, an establisment of excellent quality.
An audit carried out by UNIQA together with a representative from the group of UNO Organisations of the charges practised by the Hôpital de la Tour has shown notable overcharging in comparison with the tariffs which this hôpital had agreed to respect. New discussions will now take place.
Payments into the long-term care fund covering insurance for hospitalisation costs in the “EMS” or equivalent institutions is proceeding as expected. A new actuarial study, 18 months after the inception of the fund, has confirmed the initial estimates of the number of dependent persons.
The CHIS Board has identified a number of important questions needing to be treated in 2004 and has established three working groups:
Jean-Paul Diss, Pierre Lazeyras, Robert Muzelier
(This article closely follows the summaries published in the CERN Weekly Bulletin of 24 June and 28 October, 2002)
During this period the active portfolio (in MCHF) has evolved as follows:
On 30 October 2003, the total assets of the Fund were reckoned as 3632 MCHF (3532 MCHF at Dec. 2002)
In recent months this trend has continued in all the major stock exchanges.
These considerable gains have, however, caused some profit-taking which has frequently depressed the market. From mid-June to mid-September there occurred a drop in bond values provoked by the prospects of growth in the American economy. Fears for the durability of this upturn arrested the increase in interest rates.
In Europe future projections indicate that the market will pick up, despite significant profit-taking in September on the German stock exchange.
Three months results of American enterprises have exceeded the forecasts of analysts in two cases out of three. The Japanese economy is performing better than expected, but by measure of prudence the Fund is little involved.
For the current year, it seems likely that the positive yield of the Fund will be around 7 to 8%, after three yields of negative yields. The contrat of one fund manager has been cancelled for reasons of inadequate performance and replaced by a new contract with another firm. The optimisation of our cash holdings necessary to cover our commitments is being examined, taking into account the levels of benefits being paid out and fluctuations in the market.
Jean-François BARTHÉLEMY, François WITTGENSTEIN
(original French, not yet translated)
"Retired people not spared by the Financial Authorities"
Such is the title of an article which appeared in the 1 October 2003 of the Tribune de Genève. In fact, since 1 January 2002, in the establishment of communal and cantonal taxes, the previous financial deduction of 10% allowed for "2nd pilier" pensions has been suppressed for pensions drawn in 2002 and later.
The President of the Finance Department has admitted that the 2002 taxation has been a shock for some taxpayers. Taken along with the introduction of the new law, it has provoked strong feelings of injustice. The Conseil d'Etat has mandated two experts to assess the effects of the new law on different categories of taxpayer and to establish the consequences. This report should have been presented at the end of August, but the deadline was put back to the end of October.
For federal taxes a reduction of "2nd pilier" pensions was also applied and is retained for pensions payable before 1 January 2002, so long as the "rapport de prévoyance" existed before 1 January 1987. A proposal for a cantonal law in this sense (PL9010) has been put forward, but even if this proposal were to be accepted, no retroactive adjustments would be possible.
In vue of all this, the GAC Committee has written directly to the President of the Finance Department, drawing particular attention to the fact that, for taxpayers with small incomes, th new law would mean increases in cantonal and communal taxes of up to 80%. The experts' report has been available on the web since 27 January 2004 and devotes a few pages to the taxation of "rentes de prévoyance professionnelle" (LPP) and recommends the reintroduction into the taxation rules concerning LPP benefits a partial reduction in favour of those persons who benefitted from such a reduction up to 31 December 2001, within the limits of the transitional arrangements contained in the federal fiscal legislation. This recommendation is precisely in accord with the sense of the legal project 9010 laid down in May 2003, currently being considered by the Commission fiscale of the Grand Conseil.
We shall continue to follow up this matter.
Jean-François Barthelemy et François Wittgenstein