CONFEDERAZIONE DELLE ASSOCIAZIONI DEI PENSIONATI NATO newsletter #9

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……………………. NEWSLETTER 9……………………..

Il documento è il riassunto di quanto è successo nel 2018 nei vari comitati preposti a discutere dei “fatti nostri”.
A seguire un estratto delle parti che ci possono interessare.
Alla fine della parte in italiano c’è comunque il testo inglese che fà fede su quanto riportato.

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Nel 2018 il Comitato Esecutivo della CNRCSA si è riunito il 13 febbraio (riunione straordinaria), il 7 giugno e 25 ottobre 2018 (riunione allargata).
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2.CONTRATTO DI ASSICURAZIONE DEL GRUPPO NATO E QUESTIONI RELATIVE A ALLIANZ
Il 2018 ha visto diverse riunioni dedicate al futuro della nostra assicurazione sanitaria.
Il gruppo di lavoro del CNRCSA sull’ assicurazione sanitaria, ora presieduto da Isabelle
Tezcan, si è riunito in diverse occasioni per esaminare gli sviluppi delle questioni in corso, anche in contatto con CNCSC e rappresentanti dell’ International Staff.
Durante una visita agli uffici Allianz di Bruxelles il 20 febbraio 2018, abbiamo discusso di alcuni problemi segnalati e avuto chiarimenti utili. In particolare sulle seguenti questioni:

-TEMPI ECCESSIVI PER IL TRATTAMENTO DELLE RICHIESTE DI RIMBORSO
Dopo la nostra visita Allianz ha aggiunto personale supplementare ai suoi team ed è ora in grado di trattare i claims entro 48 ore, come previsto nel contratto. Si ricorda che questo tempo non include quello necessario alla banca per accreditare il rimborso sul c.c., cosa che ovviamente non fa parte dell’accordo ed è al di fuori del controllo di Allianz.

-SERVIZIO DI ASSISTENZA TELEFONICA DI ALLIANZ 24 ORE PER 7 GIORNI
Al di fuori dei giorni lavorativi e degli orari di lavoro in Belgio, le chiamate vengono gestite da un call center di Dublino dove la maggior parte del personale parla solo Inglese. Può perciò gestire solo le emergenze (ad esempio il ricovero ospedaliero).
Le chiamate per questioni amministrative o contrattuali sulla copertura non dovrebbero pertanto essere fatte di notte, nei fine settimana o nelle pubbliche festività.
A questo proposito Allianz ricorda di non essere “scortesi” quando telefoniamo a Allianz per assistenza. Il loro personale cerca sempre di rispondere in maniera soddisfacente a tutte le nostre domande. Oltre a questi contatti diretti il gruppo di lavoro del JCB sull’assicurazione malattia si è riunito nel mese di novembre per discutere su altre questioni, come specificato di seguito.

-Argomento 1: ARMONIZZAZIONE DELL’ ASSICURAZIONE COMPLEMENTARE
Come sapete, con la assicurazione complementare, alcune prestazioni sono rimborsate al 100% invece del 90%, e alcuni massimali di rimborso sono aumentati. A seguito di precedenti impegni presi nei confronti dello Staff , nel giugno 2018, il CNCSC ha proposto di semplificare il regime assicurativo complementare introducendo un sistema unico per tutto il personale in servizio e in pensione in tutti i paesi. Cosa che ha comportato l’eliminazione di alcuni vantaggi che erano stati negoziati dalle associazioni locali del personale in alcuni paesi -supplementi A, B, C e D-
(rintracciabili sul sito di Allianz nel “NATO benefit guide 2016” pag. 5 par. 2.1-2.2-2.3-2.4).
Ciò non significa modificare i punti principali dell’ assicurazione complementare, per esempio il rimborso del 100% per le malattie gravi, e il ricovero ospedaliero.
Il supplemento C, valido in Turchia, era già stato eliminato su richiesta del CNCSC a decorrere dal 1 gennaio 2018.
A questo proposito la CNRCSA rimarca con rammarico che questa decisione è stata presa senza esserne prima coinvolta, nonostante le legittime aspettative.
CNCSC ha anche richiesto la cancellazione dei supplementi A e B, ma fin’ora l’amministrazione non ha ancora risposto facorevolmente a questa richiesta.
Solo in seguito a richiesta della CNRCSA il JCB ha deciso che il gruppo di lavoro per l’ assistenza medica esaminerà le conseguenze di questa richiesta.
In linea di principio, la CNRCSA condivide la posizione del CNCSC secondo cui armonizzare i vari tipi di assicurazione complementare potrebbe essere una misura per il controllo dei costi. Tuttavia
si presenta una serie di interrogativi di natura prevalentemente giuridica che sono stati discussi nella riunione del gruppo di lavoro del JCB
E’ stato deciso, in conclusione, che tutta la corrispondenza e i relativi dati utili alla discussione siano messi a disposizione di tutte le parti in causa, e che l’ international staff preparerà una tabella di marcia per arrivare all’ armonizzazione della assicurazione complementare.
La CNRCSA sarà direttamente coinvolta attraverso la partecipazione al gruppo di lavoro del JCB del suo rappresentante.

-Argomento 2: INDAGINI FRA IL PERSONALE
Un’altra questione che ci riguarda direttamente sono i due sondaggi che si prevede siano
condotti nelle prossime settimane (?) o mesi.
La prima indagine, che è la più importante e più urgente, riguarda l’aggiornamento della banca dati di Allianz sull’ “assicurazione principale”, vale a dire qualsiasi regime assicurativo nazionale o privato che copra l’assicurato e/o i suoi familiari a carico (partner, figli).
Come sapete,(“NATO benefit guide 2016” -general information- pag.24) se si è coperti da
un’assicurazione, nazionale o privata che sia, qualsiasi richiesta di risarcimento deve prima passare attraverso questa, e poi chiedere il rimborso della cifra rimanente ad Allianz. Tutto questo nell’interesse della comunità degli assicurati, in quanto riduce i costi generali e inoltre permette di essere rimborsati da Allianz fino al 100% (se la nostra assicurazione principale ha rimborsato almeno il 10% delle nostre spese).
Abbiamo chiesto ad Allianz per lungo tempo tempo di condurre un’indagine in modo da poter aggiornare la sua banca dati e attuare correttamente questa misura di controllo dei costi. Un progetto di questionario è stato presentato alla riunione del JCB Working group dell’8 novembre.
Alcuni degli aspetti pratici devono ancora essere risolti (in particolare i moduli cartacei per le persone che non usano Internet, caso di parecchi dei nostri membri), ma questi problemi sembra siano ormai in fase di soluzione.
La seconda indagine sarà un sondaggio sul grado di soddisfazione del personale.
Questa sarà lanciata solo dopo la prima ,probabilmente nel primo trimestre del 2019.

-Argomento 3: TUTELA DEI DATI PERSONALI
A seguito dell’entrata in vigore del Regolamento Generale sulla Protezione dei Dati (GDPR) del 18 Giugno 2018, Allianz ha introdotto alcune regole molto severe su come le associazioni del personale possono intervenire a nome dei loro membri. Ogni volta che un comitato del personale richiede chiarimenti sulla gestione di un caso personale (sinistro o altro), Allianz rifiuta di rispondere fino a quando la persona assicurata conferma per iscritto di avere effettivamente incaricato di agire in suo nome il comitato.
In pratica, la persona assicurata dovrà firmare un modulo di consenso che Allianz, a questo scopo, ha appena prodotto. Si tratta di un nuovo vincolo del quale ora dovremo tenere conto.
Inoltre, Allianz, ritiene che, sempre in base al GDPR, deve avere un contatto diretto con
la persona che riceve le cure, sia questa la stessa persona assicurata, oppure una persone a suo carico (partner o figli maggiorenni). Pertanto, presto si riceveranno nuove istruzioni su come compilare le richieste di risarcimento per le persone a carico nel modo corretto. In pratica, la persona a carico dovrà inviare direttamente ad Allianz la sua richiesta di risarcimento, oppure sottoscrivere una dichiarazione dove autorizza a farlo per suo conto il titolare della polizza.
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-Argomento 5: MODIFICA DELLA NOTA A PIE’ DI PAGINA DELL’ ART. 51.2 DELLE CPR(*) -RICORSO SOSTENUTO DALLA CNRCSA

Il 5 settembre 2018, il tribunale amministrativo della NATO ha pronunciato la sua sentenza su un caso riguardante un pensionato che, obbligato a contribuire all’assicurazione sanitaria a partire dal 3 agosto 2016 a causa di questa modifica delle CPR, aveva presentato ricorso. Il Tribunale Amministrativo, constatato che l’amministrazione non aveva prima costituito il “complaints committee” come previsto nel regolamento, ha annullato la procedura di ricorso e ha chiesto all’ Amministrazione di ripeterla, ma questa volta in linea con quanto previsto dalle CPR. Dovrebbe essere presto istituito un nuovo “complaints committe”, con lo scopo di portare, si spera, a una decisione sul ricorso presentato. Vale a dire, sulla legittimità della modifica della nota a piè di pagina dell’articolo 51.2 delle CPR. (*)Ricordo che questa nota, nella sua forma originale, prevedeva che i membri con 25 anni di servizio, al raggiungimento dei 65 anni di età avessero diritto all’ assicurazione base di malattia senza nulla dovere). Questo indipendentemente dalla data in cui raggiungevano i 25 anni di servizio. La modifica alla nota ne introduce invece una data limite ( 3 Agosto 2016 ).
Vuol dire che chi viene in pensione dopo il 3 Agosto 2016 pur con 25 anni di servizio, non ha più diritto alla gratuità dell’ assicurazione base se questi 25 anni si sono concretizzati dopo questa data
.

3.FONDO PER LE PRESTAZIONI MEDICHE DEI PENSIONATI (RMCF)
Nella riunione del 15 novembre 2018, presieduta dal controllore finanziario della NATO, il
comitato di vigilanza di RMCF ha esaminato i recenti risultati del Fondo e ha proceduto ad uno scambio di opinioni su possibili approcci strategici per la sua sostenibilità a lungo termine.
Alla fine di novembre 2018 il Fondo ammontava a 326 milioni di euro, con un incremento, anche se lieve, rispetto a quello dell’anno precedente (323 milioni di euro). Questo nonostante l’aumento dei costi dovuto all’ aumentato numero dei beneficiari e all’ aumento del costo delle prestazioni mediche.
Tuttavia, per il futuro, è necessario definire strategie di gestione che garantiscano la copertura delle spese future.
A tal fine, CNRCSA e CNCSC hanno insistito sul fatto che il Servizio Internazionale per le
Retribuzioni e le Pensioni (ISRP) aggiorni lo studio sulle attività del Fondo.
L’ultimo si basa sui dati della fine del 2013.
Le confederazioni stanno preparando un documento congiunto da inviare all’ISRP con
proposte dettagliate per un nuovo studio aggiornato.

4.JCB (COMITATO CONSULTIVO CONGIUNTO)
Il forum più importante nelle relazioni tra il personale, i pensionati e il management è il comitato consultivo congiunto (JCB) che è presieduto dal vice Segretario Generale.
La Confederazione dei Pensionati ha due rappresentanti nel JCB.
All’ordine del giorno dell’ultimo anno, le questioni più importanti discusse nel JCB sono state le seguenti:
La SSS (Single Salary Spine), le pensioni e il nuovo regolamento per i ricorsi.
La SSS, il nuovo schema salariale proposto dalla NATO ovviamente di grande importanza per il personale attivo. Per i pensionati la cosa essenziale è che le pensioni continuino a rimanere agganciate al sistema salariale del personale al lavoro.
A questo proposito rassicurazioni, su nostra richiesta, si sono avute dalla NATO, e dal CCR di Parigi.
L’introduzione del SSS non è ancora avvenuto. Una nazione deve ancora essere “convinta” ad essere d’accordo.
____________________________________________________________________Ezio

JCB………….Joint Consultative Board
CPR……….. Civilian Personnel Regulations
RMCF……….Retirees Medical Claims Fund
CCR……….. .Coordinated Committee on Remuneration
CNCSC…….. Confederation of NATO Civilian Staff Committees
CNRCSA ……Confederation of NATO Retired Civilian Staff Association
GDPR……….General Data Protection Regulation
ISRP………….International Service for Remuneration and Pensions
SSS………… Single Salary Spine


18 January 2019
(Annexes: 1)
Newsletter 9
This is the ninth of a series of Newsletters which the Confederation issues periodically
to keep its members updated on recent developments and major issues of relevance
to them.
All queries you may have on the topics dealt with below should preferably be
addressed to your respective associations. Do not hesitate to send your comments to
the CNRCSA Secretariat , NATO Staff Centre, Boulevard Léopold III – B1110 Brussels,
Belgium (00 32 2 707 2688).
The Bureau of the Confederation wishes all members of the four pensioners
Associations (ARO, ANARCP, NOBA and AROF) all the best for the new year with
their Seasons Greetings.
The total number of NATO pensioners has almost reached its peak. As you know, as
of July 2005, new staff could no longer join the 1974 Coordinated Pension Scheme.
Our membership will gradually grow older while there is more need for representation
in view of the growing risk of a reduction of the pensioners’ rights.
To go back in history, the Confederation has existed for about 20 years and was
created so that retirees could speak with one voice on matters of importance for all
pensioners. Active staff associations were at that time already united in a Liaison
committee. That committee (now also a confederation), can say in its relations with the
Administration that it represents all personnel. The same is not completely true for us
because it is not mandatory to become a member of a retiree association and thus not
all retirees are represented. Last year the CNRCSA Executive Committee renewed its
relationship with its delegates (formerly known as national or regional representatives)
who act as interlocutors between members and the Confederation on matters
experienced in their country. A meeting was held with delegates in the new NATO
Headquarters in October (See Annex1)


The CNRCSA Executive Committee met on 13 February (extraordinary meeting),
7 June, and 25 October 2018 (enlarged meeting). The CNRCSA Bureau, which
comprises the Chairman, the Vice-Chairman, the Secretary and the Treasurer, held
several informal meetings during the year to make suggestions and prepare the
Agendas of the Executive Committee and the JCB, including its working groups. Most
of the reports of these meetings are available on the CNRCSA website
(www.cnrcsa.nato.int). The following items on the Agendas were discussed:

  1. COMPOSITION OF THE CNRCSA BUREAU
    Mr. Hessel Rutten (ANARCP) as Chairman and Mr. Robert Goyens (AROF) as
    Secretary, had been elected for a 2 years’ period in November 2017. As they agreed
    to continue their mission and they were the only candidates, Mr. Olivier Guidetti
    (NOBA) as Vice-Chairman and Mr. Erwig Marquenie (ARO) as Treasurer were
    appointed for two years by the Executive Committee at its last October meeting.
  2. NATO GROUP INSURANCE CONTRACT AND MATTERS RELATING TO
    ALLIANZ CARE
    2018 saw a great number of discussions about the future of our health insurance.
    The CNRCSA Working Group on Health Insurances, now chaired by Ms Isabelle
    Tezcan, met on several occasions, not only to review progress on ongoing issues, but also to strengthen ties with the various other stakeholders, i.e. (1) Allianz, (2) the
    serving staff Confederation (CNCSC) and (3) the Head of the Insurance Service of the International Staff.
    During a visit to the Allianz offices in Brussels on 20 February 2018, we were able to
    discuss the issues encountered by some retired staff and get useful clarifications on the following matters especially:
    a. excessive claim-processing periods. Since the visit, Allianz has added extra staff to its teams and is now able, or close to being able, to process claims within 48 hours, as per the terms of its contract. Note that this is the time for actually processing claims,
    and does not include the time it takes for the bank to make payments, which is out of Allianz’s control.
  3. b. the role of Allianz’s 24/7 helpline; outside Belgian working days and hours, calls are taken by a call centre in Dublin. Staff there do not all speak French and can only handle emergencies (hospitalization for instance). Administrative or contractual questions about coverage should therefore not be asked at night or on weekends or public holidays.
    c. One message Allianz is always keen to get across is “please do not be rude when talking to its staff”. We were able to see how devoted Allianz’s staff is and how much effort they put into satisfying all contract-related queries. If Allianz is unable to cover such or such medical benefit, they always politely explain why. If you notice a mistake, it is up to you to politely ask for correction, with the help of your representatives if necessary. But please never be aggressive towards Allianz staff. All you will do is discourage them
  4. Regarding our relations with the CNCSC, a first informal meeting was held in
    Geilenkirchen on 16 January 2018 at the invitation of Mr Lon Raets, who is both the
    President of the local civilian staff association and the Chairman of the CNCSC
    Working Group on Health Insurance. A second meeting was held in the same format in the ARNS offices in Brussels, on 27 June 2018.
    The aim of the meetings was to agree on our work priorities and to get information on the harmonization of supplementary insurances, which is something serving staff have been working on for some years already and has already been at the heart of discussions this year.
    Lastly, Ms Isabelle Tezcan has regular informal contacts with Mr Philippe Vieillemard, the Head of Insurance Service of the International Staff. These contacts are very useful and help us get our views across and stay up to date about the various insurance related issues.
    In addition to all these direct contacts, the JCB Working Group on Medical Insurance
    Matters met on 8 November 2018 to discuss the main ongoing issues, as detailed
    below:
    Issue 1: Harmonization of supplementary insurances
    As you know, with supplementary insurances some services are 100% reimbursed
    instead of just 90% reimbursed, and some reimbursement ceilings are raised or
    doubled. Following a commitment made to the International Staff in 2014, in June 2018 the CNCSC proposed to simplify the supplementary insurance regime by introducing a single system for all serving and retired staff in all countries, which meant eliminating some advantages that had been negotiated by the local staff associations in some countries (Supplements A, B, C and D). This does not mean modifying the “basic” supplementary insurance, i.e. 100% reimbursement for serious illnesses and hospitalization and for disabled children.
    Supplement C, applicable in Turkey, had already been eliminated at the CNCSC’s
    request, with effect from 1 January 2018. There was no prior coordination with the
    CNRCSA – despite legitimate expectations – causing strong concern still far from being alleviated, but from the insurer’s perspective this is a done deal unless there is a successful appeal against it.
    This is why, based on a decision taken at its meeting in June, and again in October,
    the CNCSC requested that Supplements A (applicable in all countries with no specific supplementary insurance) and B (applicable in the Netherlands and partly in Germany) be eliminated, but that Supplement D (applicable in France, based on its specific “médecine conventionnée” regime) be kept as it saves money.
    To date, the Administration has not yet responded favourably to the CNCSC’s request.
    It was only in response to a question from the CNRCSA that the JCB decided that the Working Group should look into the consequences of the request. In principle, the CNRCSA shares the CNCSC’s position that a harmonization of the various
    supplementary insurance regimes is a major cost-control measure. However, in
    practice, it raises a number of questions. These questions, which are essentially legal in nature, were discussed at the meeting of the JCB Working Group. It was decided that all correspondence and data related to this would be made available to all parties, and that the International Staff would develop a roadmap for the harmonization of supplementary insurance. The implementation date for the harmonization effort has thus been pushed back for the time being. The CNRCSA is directly involved in the discussions on this, through its participation in the JCB Working Group.
  5. Issue 2: Surveys
    Another issue that concerns you directly is the two surveys that are expected to be
    conducted in the coming weeks or months. The first survey, which is the most
    important and the most urgent one, concerns the update of Allianz’ database on “basic insurance”, i.e. any national or private insurance scheme to which the insured person or his/her dependents (partner, children) belong. As you know, if you or your family have national or private insurance, any claims you make must first go through that insurance; you may only request reimbursement of the balance from Allianz. This is in the interest of the insured community, as it brings down costs. But it is also in your interest: you are 100% reimbursed because the amount not covered by your national (or other private) scheme is covered by Allianz. We have been asking Allianz for a long time now to conduct a survey so that it can update its database and properly implement this cost-control measure. A draft questionnaire was presented at the JCB Working Group meeting on 8 November. Some of the practicalities still have to be worked out (in particular paper forms for people who do not have an Internet connection, which is the case of many of our members), but this important update finally seems well on track.
    The second survey is a customer satisfaction survey that the CNCSC plans to have
    conducted. We are working hand in hand with all the stakeholders to get the
    questionnaire ready but the second survey will only be launched once the first one has been done, probably in the first quarter of 2019
  6. Issue 3: Data privacy
    Following the entry into force of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on
    June 2018, Allianz introduced some very strict rules on how staff associations can
    intervene on behalf of their members. Every time we request clarifications on the way a case is handled (claim or other), Allianz refuses to reply until the insured person confirms in writing that they did indeed mandate us to act on their behalf. In practice, the insured person will have to sign a consent form that Allianz has just produced for that purpose. This is a new constraint that we will now have to take into account.
    Furthermore, Allianz considers that under the GDPR it must have direct contact with the person receiving care, be it the insured person himself/herself or his/her
    dependents (partner or adult children). Therefore, you will soon be receiving new
    instructions on how to address claims for your dependents. In practice, your
    dependents will have to send their claims themselves to Allianz, unless they sign a
    form allowing you to do so on their behalf.
  7. Issue 4: Fraud detection
    Thanks to its new fraud-detecting and staff-training programme, Allianz has made a lot of progress on this in the past year. At our request, at the last JCB Working Group meeting the International Staff promised to send us in early 2019 some statistics about the investigations carried out (number of suspicious cases that resulted in an
    investigation, number of actual cases of fraud, how much money was saved, etc.).
  8. Issue 5: Change to the footnote to Article 51.2 of the CPR/Appeal supported by
    the CNRCSA
    On 5 September 2018, NATO’s Administrative Tribunal rendered its judgment on a
    case which concerned a retiree who was obliged to contribute to the medical insurance scheme as of 3 August 2016 because of a change to the CPRs.
    The Tribunal noted that the Administration had failed to comply with its duty to convene a validly constituted Complaints Committee, and found that this irregularity had resulted in the complaint procedure’s being annulled. It asked the Administration to resume the complaint procedure in line with the CPRs.
    Because of this annulment for procedural irregularity, the Administrative Tribunal did
    not have the chance to rule on the substance of the case, i.e. the legality of the
    amendment to the footnote.
    A new Complaints Committee should be set up soon, which should hopefully result in a decision on the substance without further delay.
  9. What’s new for 2019?
    The CNRCSA Working Group on Health Insurances is working on a number of issues, under the watchful eye of the Executive Committee. The information we have been getting from our representatives in the various countries shows that our coverage does not always perfectly follow developments in healthcare, and it is obvious that what we need is to be able to adapt it all the time. Allianz’s “case-by-case” approach to addressing age-related health issues in particular does not seem sustainable to us.
    That is why we are considering asking the JCB Working Group to launch a study on
    better case management for our “elders”. The International Staff’s Insurance Service seems open to such an initiative, but we must not forget it has limited human resources.
    We care about your health more than ever before! Rest assured that we will do
    everything it takes to improve our health insurance.
  10. RETIREES’ MEDICAL CLAIMS FUND (RMCF)
    At its 15 November 2018 meeting, chaired by the NATO Financial Controller, the
    RMCF Supervisory Committee reviewed the Fund’s recent performance and
    exchanged views on possible strategic approaches for long-term sustainability.
    The value of the assets in the Fund was €326 million at the end of November 2018. It had remained stable throughout the year, and was even slighter higher than the year before (€323 million). This was despite the increase in costs due to the higher number of beneficiaries and to medical inflation, and despite slower income growth in a slightly contracting financial market.
    However, over the long term, policies must be defined to make sure the assets
    available are sufficient to cover future expenses. Two major factors will be
    demographic changes and how successful efforts to control costs are.
    The Supervisory Committee members agreed, as a first step, to test a number of
    hypotheses and scenarios with various changing parameters to assess what the
    financial consequences would be for the Fund. For that purpose, the CNRCSA and
    CNCSC both insisted that the International Service for Remunerations and Pensions
    (ISRP) be asked to update the study on the Fund’s assets and commitments.
    The latest update was based on data from late 2013 and does not take into
    consideration the recent changes in NATO’s personnel policy for instance. The two
    Confederations have decided to prepare a joint document to be sent to the ISRP with detailed proposals for which variables to test. This document is currently under
    development.
    On the issue of the future of the RMCF, it should be noted that both Confederations
    (CNRCSA and CNCSC) have been working together in a very positive spirit. So the
    whole situation is under control and being closely monitored both by the CNRCSA and by the CNCSC.
  11. JOINT CONSULTATIVE BOARD
    The most important forum in the relations between staff, pensioners and the
    Administration is the Joint Consultative Board (JCB). We have two representatives in
    the JCB. The JCB consists also of representatives of the active staff Confederation
    and of major elements of the Organisation. It is chaired by the Assistant Secretary
    General (ASG) for Executive Management. All proposed changes to the CPRs must
    be examined by the JCB. The Advisory Panel (AP) consists of HR managers from all Agencies and HQs and reports to the JCB. The JCB has its own working groups.
    On the agenda in the last year the most important issues to be mentioned were the
    Single Salary Spine (SSS), Pensions and the Complaints and Appeals regulations.
    The SSS, the proposed new salary scheme in NATO that does away with the current A, B and C grades is of great importance to active staff. For pensioners it is essential that our pensions remain based on the existing salary scheme so that there will not be a degradation. This promise has been made at our request both by NATO and by the responsible committee in the CCR structure in Paris. The introduction of the SSS has not yet taken place. One Nation must still be convinced to agree.
    As to the Pensions, the Defined Contribution Pension Scheme (DCPS) that came in
    effect in July 2005 was discussed at length in the JCB and in a special Working Group, because this scheme has failed to provide annuities that should have made it a real pension fund. Various proposals were made with cosmetic changes, none of which could repair the basic flaw. Last year we, together with the active staff Confederation have pressed the Administration to come up with a real pension scheme so that NATO would no longer be ashamed to be the only Coordinated Organisation that does not have a real pension scheme for its new employees as of 2005.The 3rd Council of Europe pension scheme was proposed to be copied, a scheme that is certainly not optimal in what it offers, but it is a real pension scheme.
    Early in the year, the Nations will be presented with a draft. There was a unanimous
    spirit in a WG of the JCB to create the new pension scheme. It will provide minimal
    coverage, but it should be acceptable to Nations because it will cost less to them than the DCPS.
    In July 2013, new Complaints and Appeals regulations entered into force. A major
    reason for the change was that the appeal was not seen as a real appeal because it
    was the first as well as the last step and there was not a second instance. The end
    result in 2013 was in our view worse than the old rules. The Appeals Board was
    renamed Administrative Tribunal. It would only decide after an administrative review
    and a complaints procedure. Time limitations were introduced that did in practice only bind the claimant and in the end the Tribunal would not do justice per se but simply rule on the compliance of the decision with the CPRs. In reality it turned out it did not work, the percentage of cases won by claimers dropped dramatically compared to the old situation and often the Tribunal declared itself incompetent to decide.
    The CNRCSA found the active staff Confederation on its side to set up a JCB WG. The end result after many, many meetings was not really the result we and the actives were
    looking for but we have achieved improvements that have been agreed in the JCB and
    were agreed by Nations end of last year. We have obtained that pensioners do not
    have to go through a complaints committee as was the rule since 2013. Active staff
    still has to. Secondly, the Tribunal will have to follow International Administrative Law
    instead of just the CPRs. Time limitations have also been amended.
    It can be seen from this short compilation that retirees have influence on matters that are important to them in the relevant NATO fora. This role is laid down in the CPRs.
    The wording does not completely mirror the wording used for the active staff
    representation yet, but we have proposed corrections which were discussed in the JCB and did not meet objections. We trust that our proposal will be accepted in due course.
    Furthermore, the CNRCSA assists members in litigation, if this is seen as a matter of importance for all retirees by the Confederation. We have assisted this year a retiree who was a bridger with nearly 25 years but just a month short (see Health Insurance Matters above). It should be noted that active staff, sometimes with over 25 years of service, have lost their cases.
    As of the beginning of the year the Confederation assisted its Turkish members who
    were confronted with the rescinding of Supplement C. They felt left aside in the
    decision making, and had to learn from their payslip that rescinding had taken place.
  12. AAPOCAD AND CCR
    The CPRs include wording that the Confederation is supposed to represent its
    members in AAPOCAD, the Association of pensioners of all Coordinated
    Organisations. However, in the AAPOCAD Board of Governors only voting members decide. Voting members are those that have been elected as persons, not because they represent an association, though Chairmen of associations may sit at the table. In reality each of the four NATO Associations is well represented by elected members in the Board. NATO is also well represented in the Bureau by i.a. a Vice Chairman.
    The CPRs mention AAPOCAD because AAPOCAD is represented in the Committee of Representatives of the Personnel (CRP). The CRP together with the Committee of Representatives of the Secretary Generals (CRSG) is the interlocutor of the Committee of Coordinated Remuneration (CCR) that decides on recommendations to the Organisations on coordinated matters like remunerations and pensions.
    The Council has approved the CCR recommendations of this year on the salary
    adjustment. The result stayed within the limits of the so called moderation clause that was introduced a year ago. .
    After long talks, the CCR had given its initial approval for the creation of a salary scale for Luxembourg as of 1 January 2021. NATO delegates to the CRSG were not happy with this proposal, and the CCR therefore decided, after meeting in closed session, to bring the creation of the salary scale forward to 1 January 2020. The CRP noted the CCR’s decision.
    The CCR will convene again in March and will focus on our 1974 pension. During the last years, all allowances have been reviewed and now a holistic review of the pension is on the agenda. The CCR received last year a report from its own Legal Adviser and Vice Chairman, who argued that, since the 1974 pension scheme was frozen when new schemes were introduced in all Coordinated Organisations, the vested rights of pensioners would not allow any major changes with the exception of possibly a rise in the pensionable age. This report was published but did apparently not impress the CCR.
    As you can read, the time is over where pensioners could relax, enjoy their pension
    and be happy that no one dared to touch their rights. Your representation is of
    importance and your membership is no longer just about being a local member of an Association. Our rights are at stake and we together must do everything we can to uphold our status.
    That is why the Confederation is important to represent you at NATO and why
    AAPOCAD is important to represent you in the CRP on all aspects of pension because the pension rules are the same in all Coordinated Organisations.
  13. CNRCSA WEBSITE AND DATABASE
    Mr. Alec Grant and Mr. Michel Geeraerts, in charge of the Website and the IT
    environment of CNRCSA, are still working on the Website, Database and the CNRCSA
    wide Member Application Form (MAF). They were not helped by the problems of the
    move of our Secretariat and the disconnection, among others, with the Translation
    Service. The MAF should become available early 2019. The Secretaries of the four
    Associations are invited to follow more strictly the rule of at least quarterly updates of the database of their members. Reinforcement of the IT crew will be a goal for 2019.
  14. TRANSFER OF THE CNRCSA SECRETARIAT TO THE NEW NATO
    HEADQUARTERS
    It took more than three months to move the CNRCSA Secretariat to its new premises in the NATO Sports and Leisure Centre of the new Headquarters and to provide it with the required offices, furniture, telephone and computer connections. During that period, we have been totally disconnected from our community but we were totally dependent
    from the Executive Management and its good will in finding “quick” fixes to our problems.
    The new offices are open from Monday to Friday (8.30 a.m.- 4 p.m.) and manned by
    the CNRCSA Assistant, Irene Jongbloed, supported by a number of retired volunteers.
    The telephone number remains unchanged: 00 32 2 707 2688.
    At the CNRCSA Executive Committee meeting held in October, it was agreed to
    provide all the constituent associations with new email addresses based on the
    “cnrcsa.nato.int” domain name. This has been done and the CNRCSA Secretariat one
    is: confed@cnrcsa.nato.int. The other new email addresses are:
    aro-arns@cnrcsa.nato.int for ARO
    noba@cnrcsa.nato.int for NOBA
    anarcp@cnrcsa.nato.int for ANARCP
    arof@cnrcsa.nato.int for AROF
    These new addresses should be used as from 1st February 2019.
  15. RETIREES’ DAY
    You may remember that the NATO Pension Unit had proposed to organize a Retirees’
    Day in the new NATO Headquarters in Brussels where all NATO retirees would be
    invited, among others, to visit the new premises. The idea had to be postponed, due
    to the organization of two Summits, but it has been revamped recently and the Pension
    Unit has confirmed that it would re-contact the CNRCSA Secretariat in the coming
    weeks to discuss the practicalities of the event.

    Annex 1
    18 January 2019
    LISTE DES DELEGUES CNRCSA – LIST OF CNRCSA DELEGATES
    ALLEMAGNE/GERMANY ITALIE/ITALY ROYAUME-UNI/
    UNITED KINGDOM
    M. Rüdiger NEITZEL M. Vicenzo ARZENI M. Denis RAIT
    E- ruediger.neitzel@online.de E- varzeni@libero.it E- ukrep.anarcp@yahoo.com
    M. Franco VELTRIi M. David WOODCOCK
    E- f.veltri@alice.it E- david.woodcock@skynet.be
    BELGIQUE/BELGIUM LUXEMBOURG TURQUIE/TURKEY
    M. Marc STEVENSON Mme Daniele DEGROTTE M. Suleyman Acar
    E- stevensonmarc@hotmail.com E- mamylu@pt.lu E- slymn.acar@gmail.comD
    M.Yves SANDERS M.Yigit.Gücer
    E- Yves.sanders@skynet.be E- ygucer@yahoo.com
    DANEMARK/DENMARK NORVEGE/NORWAY ETATS-UNIS/UNITED
    STATES
    CANADA
    M. Gert L. THORSEN M. Jan Frederik EIKEN VACANT
    E- gertlt@mvbmail.dk E- jan.eiken@online.no
    M. Torstein HAMMARGREN
    E- Thorstein.hammargren@gmail.com
    FRANCE PAYS-BAS/NETHERLANDS
    M. Günter FRANZREB M. Jelle BATSTRA
    E- sgfranzreb@orange.fr E- jellebatstra@gmail.com
    M..Graham ROBERTSON M.Klaas VAN DEN BROEK
    E- g.robertson@orange.fr E- klaas@v-d-broek.nl