Dear friends in BKK , Addis and Amman:
Please read the following appeal addressed to the UN Secretary General.
There could be 1/3 lump sum+ reduced pension retirees in the NO and GS categories of your office who have been denied restitution of full pension even after the commutted period is finished. Please share the appeal with them and ask them to print out the appeal and send a signed copy to the UN Sec General office thru your office pouch. You will be doing a good social service to your former colleagues who may probably be in need of this entitlement being restored in good time.
For friend Bajaj of UNPA, New Delhi: This is just a repeat request of what I have mentioned earlier. Hope the final version has come with addl Bollywood "punch"!
For Sandy Sundaram: You may kindly forward the appeal to your ICAO colleagues in BKK and ADDIS and elsewhere.
V. Muthuswami/Chennai, India
(Camp: Sitting with Yogis in CA, USA, to learn about serenity and earn wisdom!)
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2009 09:58:35 -0800
Subject: Appeal from UN Retirees against "self-righteous attitude" in denying restoring full pension for the 1/3 Lump-Sum Recipients
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Here is the appeal to UN Secretary General, Mr Ban Ki-Moon. UN Authorities are requested to bring this to the attention of Mr Ban Ki-Moon (and/or learned deputies), failure to do so would be seen as denial of human rights (enshrined in the UN declaration!):
MY APOLOGIES FOR ADDRESSING TO SO MANY UN EMAILS, LIKE AN INDIAN LOST IN HIS NATIVE BUREAUCRATIC WOODS, THANKS TO NON-COOPERATIVE UN WEBSITE MANAGERS NOT WILLING TO LET ME KNOW THE CORRECT EMAIL TO SEC GEN OFFICE TO GET HIS ATTENTION ON THIS VERY IMPORTANT MATTER AND WHAT WE CONSIDER A HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION.
Appeal for the restoration/restitution of full pension for those (mostly, third world) retirees who had recd 1/3 lump sum + reduced pension, after the completion of the the commuted period or annuity period.
This denial of restoration of full pension continues (uncontested mainly due to ignorance of third world retiree staff) for more than two generational times. In the North American politically-correct parlance, this maybe termed as "administrative wizardry" (saving for UNJSPF by starving the poor third worlders!) but in terms of Dharma and truth, this is a simple and straight forward "cheating/stealing in broad day light" and goes against the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Praying that the UN (and its ancillary bodies) establish themselves as true models of good governance, as one of the "Millennium Development Goals" and lead from the front the rest of the world toward good transparent and accountable governments for their citizens.
Within this "grand" goal, UNJSPF should first set its working methods IN GOOD ORDER and its general conduct right by restoring equity among all pensioners and ensuring full pension for those who had earlier been "allured" into 1/3 Lump-Sum + reduced pension, after completing the period of annuity/commutation on the basis of which the original 1/3 lump was calculated.
To the extent we can read/understand the English language, there is NO mention anywhere either in UNJSPF rules and forms (E.7 et al) signed by participants/retirees to state that the 1/3 Lump-Sum seekers (mostly from Asian/African countries) will be denied full pension for life-time. Even considering the l/3 lump sum as a "loan" to the retirees, non-- disclosures such as the one above (viz. life-time denial of restoration of full pension) would amount to "untruth in lending" - an offence in the American sense!
Historical & socio-cultural background:
Until not very long ago, working within and for the UN was seen as a privilege even for the educated people of the third world; for a long time they used to believe in the western principles of justice and equality, and continued their loyalty to the organisations they worked in, despite the fact that some of western officials managing the UN outfits, even today treat third world colleagues (employees) with a somewhat condescending attitude.
In a third world environment of no government support (or any kind of general social-security safety net/systems support, like easy bank loans, easy mortgage, etc.) to fulfil the real family/public/social welfare needs of the retirees, it was no surprise that the retiring staff from these developing countries get "allured" to the 1/3 lump sum + reduced pension option without a second thought. For such a large sum at one time would help to meet their family/cultural commitments (e.g. marrying daughters, building/completing a dwelling place, taking care of serious illness, fulfilling family commitments, etc), the retirees often blindly signed the UNJSPF papers. What they did not realise was that UNJSPF was deceitful planning a denial of any restoration of full pension entitlement even after the commuting period and the full return the "loan" or 1/3 lump-sum over the years through the withholding of a part (1/3rd) of their monthly pension disbursements.
It is an elementary arithmetical calculation to see that savings accrued to the UNJSPF by not paying 1/3 pension or paying only a reduced pension to the lump-sum recipients would have been much greater within (plus or minus) 10 years, depending on a minimum interest on investment.
Look at the UNJSPF's rules/practices for violation of natural justice: UNJSPF have rules to collect interest on any delayed dues from the participants; but they themselves are immune from paying any interest for its own intentional or unintentional default or otherwise, e.g. denial to restore full pension for many retirees, for many years after commuting period.
UNJSPF has encouraged the assembly of pensioners associations, advisory bodies, et al. to help advice on pensioner related issues. Unfortunately most of these are quite useless in helping the pensioners resolve any issues. Even in this case of denial of full-pension to certain beneficiaries over two generational years is a solid example; pity is that many a "lump-sum & reduced pension" retirees, especially those in the national and general service categories, have already passed away as victims of UNJSPF's denial, probably leaving unnecessary debts for their families and being helpless against the stubborn injustice. Will/should any civilized world ever tolerate such unconscionable denial to continue for generations?
UNJSPF seems to have no real accountability (much less answerability) to its participants/beneficiaries, forgetting its basic edifice was built on the contributions made by these people and their employers in the first place.
UNJSPF accountability reports to the UN General Assembly is something beyond belief: UNJSPF's agenda items usually come before Christmas holidays in the GA (hopefully there is quorum among attending the GA proceedings) when people are planning for holidays and/or leave for their capitals to be with their families, etc. Unless there is a real (Wall-Street like) financial tsunami and mismanagement, nobody gives much attention to these bulky reports, done in many languages (most are consigned to dustbins; and nothing more than a waste of paper and felling of poor trees).
Restoration of full pension after commutation period is norm in many countries, like India, Australia, etc. Govt of France continues to pay pension even today to its old former employees in Pondicherry even though the territory was long back handed back to the Indian Republic. Indian Judicial Courts have always been prompt in restoring this benefit even in the few instances of failures. Seeking redressal through a court of justice may achieve the goal, but leaves much unwanted bad taste and avoidable sour relationship later on.
As an example of "good governance" model within UN system (during this sacred Millennium Decade goals achievement period), please ensure that all retirees are treated equally in regard to pension entitlements; not to deny the restoration of full pension even after recovering the 1/3 lump sum during annuity period.
This appeal is made on behalf of lump-sum recipient/retirees in India and based on what we believe true and correct description of the situation created by UNJSPF's continual "elitism". If you want this appeal from each of the retirees, it is not difficult to organise, but we will be clogging your email space or your mail box, if you need it in hard-copies. Sending the appeal individually in paper would amount to cutting so many trees and again leaving needless carbon foot-prints, going against climate management protocols.
Such actions will be in contravention of Buddhist/Vedic Dharma and total disrespect to "Nature". Please let me have your choice!
Yours trustworthy friend of the "slumdog" world,
V.Muthuswami/Chennai, South India
On his behalf and on behalf of fellow UN retirees in India
(Camp: Escondido, CA,USA)
1. Our thanks to the new age technology and its inventors/enhancers for, on a daily basis, helping this border-less world where grievances can be heard and addressed instantly and cost-effectively. Pray and hope UN Sec-Gen office respects such technology and its outreach to resolve issues with least waste of resources of many kinds.
2. Again, thanks to the technology, the full text of the above appeal will be posted in the public domain website: http://UNPensionerindia.blogspot.com Let's build a true world democracy of freedom, equality and fairness to all.