The coronavirus continues to disrupt our daily life. Although the forecast for the coming weeks is encouraging, it is excluded to hold a large gathering at CERN.
Consequently, this year, as in the previous year, the Committee decided, in accordance with Article 7 of our Statutes, to organise the Annual General Meeting 2022 by correspondence.
You will find attached the following documents which are submitted for your approval:
Activity report for the year 2021 and presentation of the new Committee, by the President of GAC‑EPA.
Treasurer's report (including Profit & Loss at 31.12.2021, Balance sheet as at 31.12.2021, Budget 2022 and Membership Fee 2023).
List of scrutineers for the elections of the 4th quarter of 2022.
The minutes of the Annual General Meeting of 2021, also submitted for your approval, have already been sent to you with the GAC‑EPA Fall 2021 Bulletin. They are also available on the website of our Association.
It is important to us that you exercise your right to vote, even without physical presence. To do so, please complete the attached 'Voting ballot' sheet and return it by post or electronically. The detailed modalities can be found on the ballot.
The secretariat will do the count on 25 May 2022. The result will be published on our website as well as in the Fall 2022 Bulletin.
We sincerely hope that it will be possible to organise a gathering in a pleasant and relaxed environment before the end of this year and thus to renew our contacts with a glass of friendship in hand.
With cordial greetings and good health wishes,
Enrico Chiaveri, President of the GAC‑EPA
Ballot Paper for the 2022 Annual General Meeting
Minutes of the Annual General Meeting 2021
2021 annual report and presentation of the new Committee, by the GAC‑EPA President
Treasurer's Report (Profit & Loss on 31.12.2021, Balance Sheet 31.12.2021)
Treasurer's Report (2022 Budget)
Treasurer's Report (Membership Fee 2023)
List of scrutineers for the elections of the 4th quarter of 2022
How to fill in the ballot paper and modalities for returning the form:
Use either the English or the French version of the ballot paper – NOT both!
There is a pdf version for printing or sending back by e-mail
Vote by putting a cross in one of the boxes marked (YES, NO, ABSTENTION) of the rows presenting the documents.
Place the ballot paper in an envelope addressed to GAC‑EPA. On the back of this sealed envelope, write your surname, first name, and address before sending it to:
Groupement des Anciens CERN — ESO Pensioners’ Association
Association du personnel du CERN
1211 Genève 23,
Alternatively, you can return the ballot as attachment to an email with subject AGM2022 to email@example.com, mentioning your surname, first name and postal address.
Ballot papers must arrive at the GAC‑EPA office on 15 May 2022 at the latest (post or email).
Results of the ballot
The votes requested in the previous chapter had the following results:
Of 1539 members, 253 persons returned their ballot paper in time (104 by post, 149 by e-mail).
Minutes of the AGM of 2021
Two blank votes, the minutes of the AGM of have been approved.
The 2021 report of activities as annexed to the message of 8 April 2022 has been unanimously approved.
Treasurer's Report (Profit-loss account and balance account at 2021-12-31)
Two abstentions, two blank votes; the treasurer's report is approved.
Treasurer's Report (2022 Budget)
Two abstentions, on blank vote. The tresurer's Budget for 2022 is approved.
Treasurer's Report (Membership Fees 2023)
One vote against, two abstentions, three blank votes. The Treasurer's Report (Membership Fees 2023) is approved.
Two abstentions, two blank votes, the Auditors' report is approved.
List of scrutineers
Six abstentions, one blank vote, the list of scrutineers is approved.
Report on activities in 2021 and presentation of the new Committee
by the president of the GAC‑EPA
Dear GAC‑EPA members,
First of all, I wish you and your families health, serenity and peace, more so at this difficult beginning of 2022!
In 2021, the activities of the GAC‑EPA Committee have continued with the same commitment, the same efficiency, despite the health constraints due to the COVID pandemic.
Together with the CERN Staff Association, the Committee was able to make progress on a number of issues, always with a view to safeguarding the interests of the beneficiaries of the CERN Pension Fund and Health Insurance Scheme. I thank:
Michel Baboulaz — end of term March 2020 — André Naudi — for January to March 2021 — and Philippe Charpentier — beginning of term April 2021 — who worked in the Pension Fund Governing Board (PFGB);
Michel Vitasse and Sylvain Weisz who represent us in the Working Group on Pension Guarantees (and health insurance) in the case of the dissolution of CERN;
David Jacobs and Morna Robillard, our representatives in the CHIS Board;
The members of the Committee assisting them through the Pensions and Social Protection Commissions and more broadly within the Staff Council.
I would also like to warmly thank the members of the Committee who respond to the many requests for advice and assistance from our members - concerning taxation, access to CERN, assistance through the CERN Mutual Aid Fund, pensions, including reversionary pensions, health insurance, etc.
Finally, I do not forget the ESO representative, Erik Allaert, who is the essential link between ESO pensioners and the GAC‑EPA, but also between the International Staff Association of ESO (ISA) and the ESO administration.
Below, you will find more information on the different activities of the GAC‑EPA, a grouping that, thanks to its work, plays a key role in CERN, among others.
Finally, I would like to thank once again all the members of the GAC‑EPA Committee for their dedication and expertise and, in particular, Gertjan Bossen, Bernard Ducret, Françoise Thévenet et René Barthélémy who have worked for many years in the Committee; I welcome Philippe Bloch who has been elected as a member and joined the Committee early 2022.
Your President, Enrico Chiaveri
Activities of the Pension Fund Governing Board
The Pension Fund Governing Board (PFGB) met by video-conference during the whole of 2021 and the beginning of 2022. Discussions have been much quieter than during the previous year. They mostly concerned the preparation of the triennial actuarial review (due by March 2022) and reports on the fund’s investments.
Return on investments in 2021 has been very good: 6.59% over the whole year, despite all uncertainties due to the pandemic. Year 2022 may be more complicated due to the extreme volatility of the financial markets as well as geopolitical uncertainties.
The pension fund actuary presented all the parameters that will be used in 2022 to evaluate the funding level of the fund for the coming years. The most sensitive parameter is the return on investments, for which the expectations have been reduced with respect to 2019’s actuarial review. It is thus expected that the projection to 2041 of the funding level decreases notably to a level slightly lower than 100%.
For what concerns the acquisition of a surviving spouse pension, following the new possibilities approved in 2020 by the CERN Council, the 41 beneficiaries concerned have been contacted. 24 of them have requested an evaluation of their corresponding contributions and 10 have confirmed their request (5 with a 20% yield, 5 with a 55% yield).
CHIS Board activities
The CHIS Board continued to meet monthly in 2021 except that the March and April meetings were merged and there was no meeting in July. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, video conferences were used for all meetings.
CHIS - both health and long-term care - is funded by the contribution of each of its members (complimented for most by a contribution from CERN as set out in the CHIS Rules). Fund managers are responsible for the investment of some 95% of this. Following some years of poor returns the number of managers was extended to five (Sarasin, Lombard, UBS, Candriam, Vontobel) in autumn 2020. All are judged to be performing satisfactorily and the CHIS Board was pleased to see that returns have been in the region of 2-4% since mid-2021.
The CERN management has been contemplating a GRAD (Graduate) scheme to streamline the offerings for young people who want to train there. In July, the CHIS Board was asked by the Standing Consultative Committee (SCC) to comment on the likely effect that this would have on CHIS income over time. The prospective GRAD programme was presented to the Board in July, along with an actuarial forecast. A large loss of income (27MCHF over 15 years) was predicted, and the Board returned a highly critical report in September recommending modifications. A revised programme was presented to the Board in December, reducing the CHIS income loss to a small amount by basing contributions on total, rather than basic, salaries. The CHIS Board thus did not object to this scenario, also because the principle of solidarity and mutuality between generations was now respected. Further comment can only be given in the light of experience.
Regularly updated useful information about the COVID-19 pandemic can be found at https://chis.cern and on https://hse.cern/covid-19-information. Keep yourselves informed. It should be noted that COVID-19 tests for private travel are not reimbursed by UNIQA.
Faced with the refusal of the “Caisse Primaire d'Assurance Maladie (CPAM)” to issue proofs of non-affiliation, on the pretext that there was no case law of the judgement rendered on 7th December 2020, the lawyer who assists us brought the case to the Social Court of Bourg-en-Bresse, which had rendered this judgement, with the request that it confirms the jurisprudence. This appeal was filed in November 2021. The latest news (27/01/2022) from the lawyer is: "to date, the appeal has been registered by the Court and I am waiting for a summons, but I dare not give a date.... ». As you know we waited four years before being summoned in October 2020 to the Court that rendered the judgement of December 7, 2020!
To date, a pensioner residing in France and receiving pensions from both CERN and France must still pay his social security contributions on his French pension and - unless he/she provides proof of non-affiliation to the CPAM - on that of CERN. However, a ceiling is applied, i.e. the amount of social security contributions on his CERN pension may not exceed the amount of his French pension.
Sanitary conditions have still not allowed us to have face-to-face information sessions in 2021. As soon as possible we will resume our sessions as before, in the Staff Association meeting room between 13:30 and 16:00. The dates can be found on the GAC‑EPA website (https://gac-epa.org/).
Mutual Aid Fund
The Mutual Aid Fund had little or no activity in 2020 and early 2021. In the second half of 2021, the number of applications for assistance was very high. Of the applications processed, one was from a retired person; it should be recalled that CERN pensioners and their dependent family members are eligible to apply for financial assistance, subject to income conditions.
To apply to the Mutual Aid Fund or for information, please use the contact form, choose Mutual Aid Fund.
Note on the accounts as at 31.12.2021
Profit & Loss Account
In the details of the expenses, under the heading "Frais d’experts” (Expert fees) we find the sum of CHF 8,759.19 both in the EXPENDITURE and in the REVENUES, thus balancing this account. This amount represents legal fees incurred for certain sensitive cases. At the end of the year, we record these costs by debiting the "Provision Juridique” (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 600.00. This sum corresponds to membership fees for the year 2022 received in 2021. The adjustment will be made when reopening the 2022 accounts.
You will notice that the result for the 2021 financial year shows a surplus of CHF 10,612.96. This result is explained by the fact that this year again, and unfortunately, we were not able to organize the annual reception for our members. This was due to the sanitary restrictions in force at that time. We see some light on the horizon and we very much hope to meet again in 2022 for this very pleasant event.
The Membership Fee is maintained at CHF 30.00.
Balance Sheet at 2021-12-31
Current account UBS
Savings account UBS
Result for the year 2021
Profit and Loss at 2021-12-31
En vertu du mandat qui nous a été confié lors des dernières élections, nous avons procédé à la vérification des comptes pour lannée 2021.
Après pointage, nous avons constaté parfaite concordance entre les pièces justificatives mises à notre disposition et les écritures comptables figurant dans nos livres. Nous ne pouvons que recommanderà nos membres de donner quitus, par correspondance, à notre trésorière.
Nous félicitons Monique HÄUSERMANN pour la gestion, la clarté et la parfaite présentation de ses comptes.
Le Vérificateur aux comptes:
Adrianus VAN PRAAG
CERN, 2 Mars 2022
From the Committee
Dear Members of the GAC‑EPA,
This period of pandemic has created relative isolation for many of us and has disrupted our habits.
This has also shown the interest of being able to quickly transmit important information to our members, such as, the conditions of access to the sites, the facilities offered for vaccination or, more recently, warnings about a fraud concerning pensions.
Although we put this information on the GAC‑EPA website, it would be useful and more effective to draw your attention to this information by email. Being closer to each other, being informed in real time is a necessity.
This will also allow us to notify you by email of the availability of the electronic versions of the Bulletins and other documents, rather than sending you the paper copies, thus reducing the printing and shipping costs that have increased significantly in recent times.
You can also use the update form for any other change in your personal information, such as postal address, phone etc.
Our group plays a fundamental role in the representation of pensioners on key issues such as the sustainability of pensions or that of our health protection system: a massive membership of the GAC‑EPA strengthens the weight of the group.
Members of the Committee are also at your disposal to give you advice and help you in various procedures.
In addition, we would like to ask you to invite your friends who are CERN or ESO pensioners (retirees, recipients of a survivor's pension) to join the GAC‑EPA. We recall the link to the membership form: