Open letter to President of CERN Council

Geneva, 1 February 2010

Dear President of Council,

The active and retired members of the Pension Fund are very concerned and indignant about the way in which Council is dealing with the alarming question of the balance of the Fund.

Indeed, in 2004 the actuarial review had alerted Council to the matter of the technical deficit of the scheme and the insufficient funding of its benefit scheme. At that time, Council contented itself with putting in place a mechanism of under-indexation of pensions – arbitrary and discriminatory in that it called on the solidarity of the pensioners only – and with deciding on a very small increase in contributions to the Fund, a token measure having no relation to the size of the problem.

Since 2004, all that Council has done is to ask for one study after another: in December 2004, December 2005, December 2006, June 2007, and June 2008. The conclusions of the last study, carried out by the Pension Fund Governing Board, were presented on 11 November 2009. They report a technical deficit today amounting to
2 thousand million Swiss francs, which corresponds to a funding ratio of 63%. They also indicate that if nothing is done, this deficit will grow at a rate of 80 million Swiss francs per year.

This study also proposed different strategies to restore the health of the Fund. However, instead of taking a stand with regard to these strategies, to our astonishment Council asked a new working group to carry out yet another study, the sixth in five years. In the face of this obvious choice to make no decision and play for time, the members of the Fund and their representatives believe that their goodwill and patience are being held in contempt.

Therefore, I wish to tender my resignation from the Pension Fund Governing Board. As President of the Staff Association, I wish to remain entirely at the disposal of the active and retired members of the Fund, to defend their rights by using all means deemed necessary, and to obtain the implementation of measures allowing the restoration of the technical balance of the Fund. This defense cannot be carried out if I am subject to an obligation of discretion.

Despite these regrettable circumstances, I remain devoted to our organization.

Yours faithfully,

Gianni Deroma
President of the Staff Association

Cc. : Members of the PFGB
  Rolf Heuer, Director-General


by Association du personnel