Understanding the benefit options
Withdrawal Settlement (Article 31)
Opting for a withdrawal statement means your benefit will be received in a one-time payment consisting of the reimbursement of your contributions plus 3.25% interest. Your own contribution is increased by 10% for each year after your first five years with the Fund, up to a maximum of 100%. Please note that if you elect a withdrawal statement, no other benefit will be paid to you or your survivors. Should you receive a withdrawal settlement and re-join the Fund in the future you will be entitled to restore the period for which the withdrawal settlement was paid to you.
How is a withdrawal settlement calculated? See the example below to learn how withdrawal statements under Article 31 are calculated:
A participant separates from service before reaching normal retirement age with exactly 7 years of contributory service. His total contributions amounted to US$ 33,800.00 with compound interest in the amount of US$ 3,229.00.
Contributions = US$ 33,800.00
Interest = US$ 3,229.00
Total Cont. and Interest = US$ 37,029.00
Increased by 20 % since participant has 2 years of contributory service over 5 years totaling 7 years of contributory service so that;
US$ 37,029.00 x 20% = US$ 7,405.80
Withdrawal Settlement = US$ 44,434.80
Deferred Retirement Benefit (Article 30)
If you have 5 or more years of contributory service with the Fund and you separate from service prior to reaching your early or normal retirement age you are eligible to elect a deferred retirement benefit. Opting for deferred retirement benefit means your benefit will become payable at your normal retirement age or, at your request, anytime between the date at which you become eligible for an early retirement benefit and your normal retirement age. Should you elect to commence your deferred retirement benefit before your normal age of retirement, an according reduction factor will be applied for life to your entitlement.
Please note that:
- For participants who separated before 31 December 1989, no adjustment shall be applied to their benefit prior to reaching the age of 50.
- For participants separating from service on or after 31 December 1989, no adjustment shall be applied to their benefit prior to them reaching the age of 55. Such benefit carries potential surviving spouse’s benefit(s) but does not carry eligibility to a child benefit.
- If you elected a deferred retirement benefit and re-join the Fund in the future you will not be entitled to restore your prior contributory service, and instead, you will have a new and separate pension account for the new period of contributory service.
Unless you request payment earlier than at normal retirement age, the Fund will contact you prior to your normal retirement age to request that you submit the following documents:
- Payment instructions form: a duly completed, dated and signed payment instructions form 23/A. Your signature must be authenticated. If you have an email address, please make sure to write it on the payment instructions form. The Fund must receive the original form with the original ink signature either sent by mail or uploaded into your Member Self-Service account. For more information about uploading documents in MSS, check the MSS page.
- Identification document: a copy of the relevant pages in your valid passport, or other valid photo identification document such as driver’s license or local government identification, which would indicate your name, date of birth, and your signature.
Early Retirement (Article 29)
If you have at least 5 years of contributory service with the Fund and would like to separate before reaching your normal retirement age, you can opt for an early retirement benefit. If you separate at an age prior to reaching normal retirement age, a reduction factor for life is applied to your benefit. The extent of the reduction depends on your age at the time of separation and the length of your contributory service. It is possible to commute up to one-third of the early retirement benefit into a lump sum. The balance would be payable as a reduced monthly pension benefit. The higher the lump sum, the lower your monthly benefit payable for life. The early retirement benefit carries both potential survivor’s benefits and child benefit. However, payment of child benefit will commence only when you reach your Normal Retirement Age, and only for those children who will be under age 21 at that time.
- If you entered or re-entered the Fund before 01 January 2014 an early retirement benefit shall be payable to you as of the age of 55.
- If you entered or re-entered the Fund on or after 01 January 2014 an early retirement benefit shall be payable to you as of the age of 58.
Full Retirement Benefit (Article 28)
You can opt for an unreduced retirement benefit upon reaching your normal retirement age. You will be eligible to commute up to one-third of the benefit into a lump sum. The benefit carries both potential survivor’s benefits and child’s benefit.
Delaying election of benefit or payout (Article 32)
- If you have less than 5 years of contributory service with the Fund you can delay your payout of a withdrawal settlement for a period of up to 36 months.
- If you have 5 or more years of contributory service with the Fund you can delay your choice of benefit (a withdrawal settlement or a deferred retirement benefit) for a period of up to 36 months.
Should you re-join the Fund within the 36-month deferment period from your date of separation from service, your participation will be deemed to have been continuous (provided that no benefit has been paid to you). The period in between your date of separation and of re-entry into Fund participation will be considered a period of break in service, which cannot be made pensionable.
However, if you do not re-join the Fund, you must submit your benefit election and payment instructions on the according form to the Fund at the latest by the end of the 36 months deferment period.
- If you have less than 5 years of contributory service and fail to submit your PIs within 36 months, this may lead to eventual forfeiture of your benefit if after another 24 months no claim has been brought forth.
- If you have 5 or more years of contributory service with the Fund and fail to submit your benefit election and payment instructions to the Fund within the 36-month deferment period, the Fund will automatically deem you to have elected a deferred retirement benefit.
Check our comparison charts for more information:
BENEFIT ELIGIBILITY CHART:
This is a one-page summary chart, explaining the different benefit election options available under the Fund’s Regulations and Rules and the related eligibility criteria (i.e. length of contributory service & age at the date of separation from service).
BENEFIT COMPARISON CHART:
This is a multi-page chart, explaining in more detail the key conditions attached to each of the benefits provided in the chart.
Once you become eligible to receive a retirement benefit, part of the benefit can be commuted into a lump sum which would be payable upon separation from service. The lump sum may not be greater than 1/3 of the actuarial equivalent of the full benefit and the remaining periodic benefit will be reduced accordingly (Articles 28(g) and 29(e) of the Fund’s Regulations).
If a retiree elects to commute part of his/her benefit into a lump sum, the Fund will automatically pay the maximum lump sum allowed (i.e., the actuarial equivalent of 1/3 of the benefit OR the total of his/her own contributions with compounded interest, whichever is greater). The retiree may, however, choose a lesser amount as a lump sum by specifically indicating such amount in the relevant Payment Instructions Form for less than 5 years of contributory service or for more than 5 years of service.
The lump sum is always calculated and paid in US dollars. If you want it in local currency, it will be converted at the current exchange rate applied by your bank. If you want to keep it in US dollars, be sure you have already opened an account in US dollars and that this account is the one indicated on your payment instructions form. Please note that once the Fund has implemented your benefit election, it is considered irrevocable.
The lump sum can be paid into a different bank account from where your monthly benefit is being paid.
What is the difference between a Withdrawal Settlement and a lump sum?
The Withdrawal Settlement under Article 31 is one-time benefit payment to a former participant who is not entitled to or chooses NOT to elect ANY form of periodic pension benefit that carries potential future survivors’ benefits; the former participant will receive the reimbursement of his/her own contributions plus interest, and where applicable increased by 10 per cent for each year in excess of five up to a maximum of 100 per cent. A withdrawal settlement extinguishes all other rights to any other future benefits.
At the request of the beneficiary, articles 28 and 29 allow for partial commutation of up to 1/3rd of the pension entitlement into a one-time lump sum cash payment. If elected, the lump sum represents a portion of the periodic retirement benefit and is payable at the time of benefit implementation; it can represent up to a maximum of 1/3 of the actuarial equivalent of the retirement benefit. If a beneficiary elects to commute part of his/her retirement benefit into a lump sum, the proportionately reduced balance will be paid for life to the beneficiary in the form of a periodic benefit. Payment of the lump sum does not impact the right/s to potential future survivors’ benefits.
Rolling Over into an IRA account
Next, fill out the relevant Payment Instructions Form for less than 5 years of contributory service or for more than 5 years of service and, under the Lump Sum banking information box, note to refer to an annex sheet providing the necessary IRA information. Obtain this annex sheet from your financial institution, most will provide you with a form called the Fedwire Instructions Document, detailing what the Fund needs in order to correctly issue the payment. Sign and submit this document to the Fund along with your UNJSPF Payment Instructions. In case you cannot obtain a Fedwire Instructions Document, please detail the following on a blank sheet of paper:
- Line 1: Bank name where financial institution has an account
- Line 2: Address
- Line 3: Address
- Line 4: (United States of America)
- Line 5: Bank identifier (SWIFT, ABA#, CHIPS UID) of Line 1 bank
- Line 6: Name of financial institution
- Line 7: Account number of Line 6 financial institution with Line 1 bank
- Line 8: ’s name
- Line 9: (Blank)
- Line 10: Account number of beneficiary with Line 6 financial institution
Note: Print your name, UID, and date on the paper and sign it with your original ink signature