Bulletin 40

Year 2010

  1. President's Remarks
  2. Editorial
  3. Committee Activities
  4. Permanences
  5. Obituary
  6. The CERN Health Insurance Scheme (CHIS)
  7. The Pension Fund
  8. SCC Working Group on Pension Guarantees

President's remarks

The year 2010 saw the operation of the accelerator complexes - including the LHC and its experiments - at the centre of CERN’s scientific activities.  On 14 October the Director General announced:

“When we started running the LHC at the end of March, we set ourselves the objective of reaching a luminosity of 1032 by the end of 2010 proton running. Last night, we achieved that goal.”

The pensioners are delighted with this achievement.

2010 has also seen discussions within Council, Finance Committee and TREF concentrating on the Five Yearly Review of CERN’s Employment Conditions with of course the question of financing the Pension Fund and the future of our Health Insurance being at the centre of these discussions.
Internal discussions between the Management and the Staff Association within the SCC have started but the aim of arriving at a common agreement has not yet been reached.
At the beginning of September I invited you to examine the GAC-EPA Resolution concerning our Pension Fund. The GAC-EPA Committee had decided to prepare this resolution to express our position during the negotiations with the Management and the Staff Association. Thank you for your replies and comments. More details can be found in this report.

It remains for me to thank once more our Committee Members who continue to participate resolutely in our work and to greet our recently elected or coopted new members.

Horst Wenninger

Editorial

(Original French)

We are living longer and are being better cared for which is a good thing.  But our Member States have lacked foresight by not insuring the financial cover of these natural phenomena as well as “managerial” decisions, not however through lack of being forewarned by the actuaries.

Luckily, your devoted and competent GAC-EPA Committee is trying to square the circle: showing solidarity with the present and future staff without encroaching upon your own acquired rights; making proposals which aim at keeping everyone round the negotiating table to obtain a “no loser” result, i.e. a balance between”gains” and “losses” for each player.

In this game, the Committee and the Staff Association have launched their best campaigns: be ready to give them your whole-hearted support.

Jean-Marie THOMAS

Committee Activities

(Original French)

April to November 2009

You will have noticed this year that we have not published a “Spring” Bulletin; this is because of the workload of our Committee Members, with the question of our Social Cover being at the centre of our preoccupations.

The Committee, comprising 21 members at the end of 2009, 19 elected, 1 co-opted and an informatics expert, (the seat for our ESO colleagues being still vacant), met 11 times during the period covered, with an average participation of 17 members, under the chairmanship of Horst Wenniger or Philippe Bernard. The most important points dealt with by the Committee are the following:

Statutary Activities:

Results of the elections and composition of the new Committee

The current Committee’s term of office runs from 1st January 2010.  It stems from the 2009 autumn elections for the renewal of 11 members whose mandates expired on 31st December 2009.  In total, 15 candidates stood for election of whom 11 were outgoing members.

We also held an election for the renewal of the auditors for which we had 2 new candidates, the 2 outgoing members, Monique Hausermann and Raymond Collomb no longer wishing to stand for election.

The results of these elections were published in the previous report no. 39.
It turns out that the 11 outgoing candidates have been re-elected; however, one of them resigned from the Committee at the end of 2009, Manfred Buhler-Broglin, and during 2010, two other members resigned, Gilian Mary Howie at the end of February, and Françoise Beetschen-Buttay at the end of August. To these three members, the Committee expressed their hearty thanks for their considerable efforts in assisting the pensioners during their mandates.

This situation allowed us to integrate successively 3 new members elected by the Committee in compliance with our Statutes amongst the candidates who were standing for election; these are Gunilla Santiard and Gertjan Bossen and David Jacobs.

We are also able to count on one new coopted member, Michel Vitasse.

The new Committee comprises 20 elected members, 1 coopted member and an informatics expert.

The ESO seat remains vacant.

Allocation of tasks

All the Committee members who did not resign were re-elected and maintain their present functions. As in 2009 Horst Wenninger presides over the new Committee.

Since the beginning of 2010 Jean-Claude Vialis is representative of the Mutual Aid fund in place of Françoise Beetschen-Buttay.

As far as the 4 new members are concerned:

The new Committee for 2010 is presented on page 2 of this bulletin.

Auditors

The 2 candidates who put their names forward, Eddie Roebuck and Guy Solomon, were elected.

They will exercise the task of auditing the accounts for 2010 and 2011.

2010 Elections

You were informed by mail on 7 September 2010 of the call for candidates for the partial renewal of Committee members for the period 2011-2012; 8 members are outgoing at the end of this year; 9 candidates have come forward of whom 5 are outgoing and 4 are new candidates.  The elections are taking place at the moment and the vote counting will take place on 25 November 2010.

This year there will be no call for candidates for the two auditors, since they were elected last year.

General Assembly

The General Assembly was held on 23rd March 2010 with about 300 members present and 173 members represented. The situation of the Pension Fund and the Health Insurance Fund were at the centre of the discussions, not forgetting pension guarantees; the presentations given by the delegates of the different bodies concerned left no doubt as to the difficulties which face our present social security system.

Gianni Deroma, President of the Staff Association, invitee, completed the information with a clear and convincing presentation on the state of the Pension Fund; he explained the reasons which led the Staff Association to call for the mobilisation of active and retired staff to defend their acquired rights and to encourage the CERN Council to take the necessary measures in order to save our Pension Fund.

We should also mention the presentation given at the beginning of the session by Mrs. Linda Orr-Easo/DG, invitee, on the new project “CERN Knowledge and Alumni Network” which aims at uniting the CERN community at large, i.e. including retirees, for an exchange of knowledge for the common good.

The detailed minutes of this meeting (french only) were distributed to you during the summer.

Relations with the CERN Administration

On 9th February, 2010, a restricted committee met again with the Director General to discuss the problems of our social security system; the Director General listened to our concerns and concluded that it is necessary to undertake certain mesures; however, since the new management of the Pension Fund came into force in 2007, he does not feel free to act as he would wish and only has an indirect impact on the decisions related to the Fund’s development, even if he is represented on the board (1 seat).

Our contacts with the Administration are also aimed at trying to dispel the sometimes negative perception the retirees have when dealing with the latter; for example we had discussions with Messrs. S. Lettow and E. Mosselmans when the 2009 «Preparing for Retirement» seminars were set up, and also passed on the message that the retirees would appreciate, if necessary, help and advice on different administative questions; we also invited C. Ducastel, responsible for access into the CERN sites, to clearly define the access conditions for retirees. See the previous Bulletin.

In collaboration with the CERN Medical Service, we have on-going contacts with the HUG on subjects related to elderly peoples’ health, as for example cerebral aging.

Relations with the Staff Association

It should be pointed out that our Association is connected to the Staff Association and as such nine delegates of our Committee participate in the Commissions set up by the Staff Association, which mainly deal with the Social Security system.

In view of the alarming climate resulting from the unhealthy situation of our Pension Fund, we have had various opportunities to join forces with, and support, the actions undertaken by the Staff Association at the end of 2009, and more recently the large gathering of active staff members and retirees on 18 March 2010 as well as that of 25 August 2010. The latter was mainly to demonstrate that staff members and retirees stand together in order to defend research budgets.

With the encouraging start-up of the LHC, CERN is taking a new important scientific step. However, it is just as important that it should undertake to re-establish the balance of our Pension Fund in partnership with ESO.

We shall also carefully observe, during this five-yearly review, the decisions taken concerning our Health Insurance Fund, which is facing a large increase in costs especially in the area of hospitalisation; our delegates are very active on the CHIS Board, whose task it is to prepare proposals for the TREF.

Relation with the retirees present and future

During the period covered, there were 9 “permanences” run by 3 committee members. The principal preoccupations concerned tax declarations and taxation. It should be pointed out that our Association can only play a consultative role and cannot intervene directly with the tax authorities and members have to address their respective authorities with the official reference texts, which the Association can provide.

A large number of retirees responded positively to the invitation to our Christmas drink on 25th November 2009, where several speeches were made, as already reported in our previous Bulletin.

Many of you expressed your opinions after our resolution of 10 September 2010, concerning the Pension Fund situation, was set out: we can thus show that the pensioners have firmly decide to refuse any additional degradation of their social protection and that they are ready to demonstrate alongside the active members in this cause as well as that of maintaining budgets which are compatible with the research aims of the organisations.

We also hope that you will accept our invitation which has been sent to you for our 2010 Christmas drink which will take place on Thursday 25 November at 4 pm. It will be preceded by an information meeting in the main building amphitheatre at 2.30 pm when you will be updated on the latest developments concerning our two social protection systems, the Pension Fund and the Health Insurance Scheme, as well as on the result of the elections for new members of the Committee.

Our Website continues to improve under the control of our expert R. Cailliau.

Finally, in order for us to communicate quickly with as many of you as possible, should it prove necessary, we would encourage you to send us your e-mail address in an e-mail to gac-epa@gac-epa.org.

Mario Danesin

Permanences

(Original français)

NOSTALGIA!!!

Françoise Beetschen-Buttay, after more than 14 years at the heart of the GAC Committee and on duty at the Permanence, is obliged to resign for health reasons.

Françoise – we, René Barthelemy and myself (Antoine Blin), on behalf of the “Permanence” Executive, salute you and thank you for all the work you have done during your different mandates.

When we could not “help” or “advise” people coming to see us at the Permanence, we exchanged information we had gleaned and pooled our resources by telephone! (Our telephone conversations were sometimes quite long!)

Then you called the people or we sent them an e-mail …

Frequently you called the Tax Office and quite a few other services …

All this voluntarily as with everyone at GAC-EPA!!!

René has been on the GAC-EPA Committee for several years, myself only three years …

Straight away I appreciated your frankness, your spontaneity, your smile …

Always well-dressed, very feminine, never greedy for information, knowing CERN people very well, you were our “Guide”, our ray of sunshine

THANK YOU Françoise

René and Antoine

December 2009 to October 2010

The PERMANENCES take place every first Tuesday of the month, except in January, July and August, in the Conference Room of the Staff Association, see the calendar.

These interviews are anonymous and personal.

Around 40 people came to see us – future pensioners, pensioners, spouses, etc.

Briefly – on questions asked

Fiscal problems in France, Switzerland or other nations. Many people during the period of tax declaration.

Example: a small pension in France, but living in Switzerland!!! Where to make one’s declaration, when and how? How to go about obtaining the pension acquired in different countries before coming to CERN.

Some questions on pensions after death.

Change of domicile, within Europe, after several years of retirement.

Problems with reimbursements from UNIQA.

What to do in case of severe dependence.

Some people were interested in the spin-offs from CERN’s research (medicine, astrophysics, LEP …).

Visits from future pensioners asking about the purpose of the CERN-EPA, how we can help them, how to join …

Questions on bank accounts in Switzerland (for people living in France).

“Courtesy” visits.

Thanks, by e-mail or visits, for the help we give.

Other questions, which are sometimes outside our field of competence but to which we give an attentive ear.

We always try to “direct or advise” the different people. This is not always possible to do during the “Permanences”, so we find things out by telephone, e-mail or other means. It happens too that we go elsewhere in order to obtain information.

This is why we are asking you for feedback which will be useful for others.

The Executive of the GAC-EPA (Françoise, René and Antoine), wish you excellent health, lots of happiness with your family and friends and hope to see you soon at the “Permanences”.

René BARTHELEMY, Antoine BLIN,

Obituary

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

Janetta AUGSBURGER (1920) ex-SB 10 October 2009
Monica GYGI-HANNEY (1933) ex-ISR 31 October 2009
Mirella CRICO (1935) ex-PE 12 November 2009
Paul DELERCE (1932) ex-PS 2 December 2009
François ROHRBACH (1936) ex-EP 9 December 2009
Jean ROCHE (1939) ex-CMS 12 December 2009
Georges DUBAIL (1935) ex-SL 17 December 2009
Bernard VANEL (1940) ex-ST 17 December 2009
Jan Hendrik CUPERUS (1940) ex-AB 17 December 2009
François PETTOELLO (1941) ex-ST 25 December 2009
Aimé VINCENT (1926) ex-SB 29 December 2009
Jean-Maurice ROBERT (1936) ex-MT 15 January 2010
Juan Antonio RUBIO (1944) ex-ETT 17 January 2010
Pierre GERVASONI (1943) ex-PH 17 January 2010
Roger FLORENT (1922) ex-DG 31 January 2010
Bernadette LACROIX (1927) ex-EP 1st February 2010
André SANSELONE (1931) ex-ST 17 February 2010
Jean-Pierre ANCHISI (1928) ex-DA 19 February 2010
Brigitte LORENZ (1942) ex-AS 26 February 2010
Jean SOUDAN (1929) ex-ST 9 March 2010
William O.LOCK (1927) ex-DG 19 March 2010
René LAUDE (1944) ex-LHC 20 March 2010
François LOUIS (1928) ex-EP 23 March 2010
Gabriel CROCHAT (1932) ex-MT 27 March 2010
Henri BOBILLIER (1934) ex-AT 7 April 2010
Delecurgo BROZZI (1933) ex-DD 16 April 2010
Graham MACLEOD (1929) ex-DD 17 April 2010
Amato MIELE (1920) ex-SB 18 April 2010
Jean CHAPUIS (1938) ex-EST 22 April 2010
Tuan VUONG-KHA (1927) ex-SPS 30 April 2010
Albert FOURNIER (1929) ex- LEP 8 May 2010
Madeleine GALLEAU (1923) ex-EP 27 May 2010
Bronislaw JUSZCZAK (1947) ex-AB 24 June 2010
Gerhard BECKER (1928) ex-EP 28 June 2010
Gianfalco POZZO (1926) ex-PPE 30 June 2010
Robert LEVY-MANDEL (1923) ex-LEP 3 July 2010
Helmut ROTTSTOCK (1928) ex-SL 14 July 2010
Lucien DEPARDON (1924) ex-SB 21 July 2010
Georges MARCHAND (1932) ex-MT 8 August 2010
Ugo UBALDI (1927) ex-PPE 9 August 2010
René BRECHES (1927) ex-SB 19 August 2010
Maurice RACLET (1934) ex-ST 2 September 2010
Michel MONESI (1934) ex-EST 4 September 2010
Albert RUCK (1937) ex-PS 6 September 2010
Marie-Anne MERCIER (1929) ex-SPS 13 September 2010
Claude RENAUD (1932) ex-TIS 22 September 2010
Gaston LAFFIN (1932) ex-PS 28 September 2010
Georges CHARPAK (1924) ex-EP 29 September 2010
Daniel-Louis BRARDA (1934) ex-ST 30 September 2010
Charles E. HILL (1942) ex-AB 4 October 2010

and of the death of other beneficiaries of the Fund:

Celine BONNIN (1922) (veuve de Henri BONNIN, ex-PS) 3 December 2009
Haidee Beryl KRIENEN (1932) (veuve de Frank KRIENEN, ex-EP) 8 January 2010
Renée PELLOUX (1934) (veuve de Léon PELLOUX, ex-ST) 9 March 2010
Dora MOURAVIEFF (1915) (veuve de Nicolas MOURAVIEFF, ex-DI) 14 April 2010
Béatrice LACROIX (1944) (veuve de Paul LACROIX, ex-TC) 23 April 2010
Rina PESANTE (1918) (veuve de Giovanni PESANTE, ex-PS) 24 April 2010
Monique NUSSLI (1918) (veuve de René NUSSLI, ex-EF) 3 May 2010
Liliane PENSEYRES (1924) (veuve de René PENSEYRES, ex-DD) 11 May 2010
Irma RAVEN-VAN GROOTEL (1924) (Veuve de Jan RAVEN, ex-FI) 27 May 2010
Doreen VAUGHAN (1924) (veuve d’Arnold VAUGHAN, ex-LEP) 3 June 2010
Brahim LEKHAL (1937) (veuf de Julienne LEKHAL-DE WINTER, ex-PS) 15 June 2010
Renée SCHWARZ (1939) (veuve de Marcel SCHWARZ, ex-PS) 23 June 2010

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

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.

The CERN Health Insurance Scheme (CHIS)

(Original French)

There follows new information concerning our Health Insurance Scheme.

In the last bulletin (no. 39) we gave you the basic information about our health insurance. We would like to update this here, whilst reminding you that two successive CHIS bulletins (no. 31 and 32) in turn provided important information to keep you abreast of developments in our health insurance system.

Bulletin no. 31 reminded us amongst others about the necessary tariff adjustment issues which have to be faced in the context of the five-yearly employment conditions study. Whilst awaiting the final decisions which have to be taken at the end of the year, the amount of the annual franchise has been maintained at CHF 200 and the contribution rate for mandatorily insured persons at 4.02% of the last basic salary indexed for pensions. The contract with our administrator UNIQA has been extended until the end of 2011. Various tariff agreements with care providers have been renewed (see details in the CHISBull).

Bulletin no. 32 dealt in particular with the 2009 statistics; health costs are increasing and receipts no longer cover expenses. Expenses related to ambulatory care tended to stabilise whereas those related to hospitalisation evolved with an increase of more than 40% in three years. Details are given in the CHISBull and thus it is not necessary for us to repeat this information. It should be noted that the dependency insurance was profitable in accord with the actuarial forecast.

The CHISBoard met regularly once a month and then during the summer during extra sessions.

The working group on the rules has finished its task; modifications to the rules were notified to you on 28 May and foremost concern the delay for sending in reimbursement requests which are now counted from the date that the invoice is issued instead of that of the treatment; the period foreseen to submit the request is shortened from two years to twelve months. The territorial coverage of the insurance is now worldwide. Other modifications, which only concern certain categories of insured persons, are also listed in this HR department note.

The Working Group on the future of CHIS has held numerous meetings devoted to the presentation to be made at SCC and TREF (Tripartite Employment Forum).
This presentation includes a section dedicated to the comparison of our health insurance scheme with those of other international organizations based in Geneva; TREF had asked for this study to be made. The conclusion is that our health insurance scheme is on the whole equivalent to the other schemes studied although differences can appear in the area of benefits and often linked to definition of the “family” (for example we have an insurance by family whereas the other organizations have an insurance where each insured person is counted individually).

Discussions have continued on essential measures required for our health insurance scheme, but, at the time of writing this report, a definite conclusion has not yet been reached. The last meeting of TREF was held on 5th October; the main proposals are to increase the contribution rate by 8% for 2011 and by 4% for the following three years. It was also requested that the Director General be given the power to examine directly the necessary measures for adapting our insurance to the conditions which exist in the domain of our care providers and possible measures required for the plan of benefits provided by our insurance, without having to ask each time for Council’s approval. The reply to these requests will be given before the end of the year and we will inform you as soon as possible of the decisions taken.

Alain Burlet, Pierre LAZEYRAS, Jean-Paul DISS

The Pension Fund

What is happening?

(French only)

François WITTGENSTEIN, Jean-Claude GOUACHE

SCC Working Group on Pension Guarantees
part 2

(original French)

The SCC Working Group on Pension Guarantees continues its work.

We remind you that a Working Group – WG2 – was set up by the Governing Board of the Pension Fund. This Group is responsible for proposing measures to ensure the full capitalization of the Pension Fund.

The following questions are covered by or linked to the work of WG2:

It was thus decided at the SCC that, while waiting for the conclusions of WG2 on these questions, the Working Group on Pension Guarantees should give priority to examining the question relating to the health insurance.

The Working Group will then take into account the conclusions of WG2 and the proposals it will have to submit to the SCC on the questions as a whole.

Several aspects must be studied relating to the health insurance question, notably the legal and financial obligations weighing on the Member States in the case of their withdrawal or dissolution of the Organizaiton.

The work is difficult – the proposals for solutions have to be studied very carefully.

Edith DELUERMOZ, Carlo VANDONI

Presence on the internet

Our presence on the internet is based on a hosting service at Infomaniak in Switzerland and has several components:

Several small improvements to the public site have been made over the year.  We achieved making the presentations at the General Meeting directly in web format, so that making the texts and figures available could be done rapidly.

For communicating with our members a newsletter service was started and several messages have been sent out using this channel.

I take the opportunity to appeal once more for sending us your preferred and correct e-mail address: only if we have that in our mailing lists can this service work with effect. To date only 585 addresses are in our list.  Please send your e-mail address together with your full name to gac-epa@gac-epa.org and we will add it to the distribution list.

The committee has a private section of the hosting for its own discussions.  A forum has been put in place there to facilitate asynchronous discussion, thereby avoiding some of the classic problems of discussions by e-mail. It remains to use this facility to its full potential.

I plan to make an on-line obituary.  This would be the concatenation of all separate lists that are already available in the issues of the bulletin.

Robert Cailliau