UNJSPF Call Centre

Creating Real Value for Clients in a Digital Business Environment

Service Desk as a Service

Sergio B. Arvizú, Chief Executive Office at the Fund, writes in the UNJSPF Annual Letter 2017 that, in 2016, there were a number of positive developments at the Fund. First and foremost, the Fund successfully transitioned from operating with an old fragmented and vulnerable IT environment to operating with a modern and flexible platform.’ The new system also increases processing capacity and secures the viability of operations for years to come.

In accordance with its mandate and strategic objectives, the Information Management System Service (IMSS) of the Fund implemented numerous initiatives this biennium aimed at improving ICT services and sharing electronic information with clients, while ensuring security and availability. The success stories shared in this publication present the details of some of the tangible results delivered by the Fund, thanks to the collaboration with the member organizations and the partnership with ICC. Building on these fundamental processes, the Fund will expand the scope of its ICT operations and strengthen the system of internal controls to better service its clients. Dino C. Dell’Accio, Chief Information Officer at UNJSPF a growing demand and a new service offering for ICC.

The success criteria translates into 75-80% success rate for processing cases fully and within a month. This plus an agile approach to its Client Services – with a new member self-service platform – means huge benefits for all. The letter goes on to highlight pilot initiatives to support optima client responsiveness including the MSS self-service site and a New York Call Centre though ICC services. The letter highlights the real benefits of digital business solutions across the landscape of IT infrastructure, and service delivery.

The UNJSPF Strategic Framework spells out the Fund’s mission to provide retirement, death, disability and other benefits and related services to its participants, retirees and beneficiaries, including a commitment to service orientation. Here ICC is helping out across a number of service areas with clear Key Performance Indicators to make criteria for success.

Longer-term objectives also include strengthened governance (which includes recent certifications in ISO 270001 information security and ISO 20000-service management system); ensuring the Fund is an agile organization; enhancing the service-oriented nature of the Organization; and using Information Technology as an agent for change.

This includes areas of staff development, training and skills identification as well as business processes that are simplified, streamlined, and harmonized, with a shift in emphasis shift to not only “state of the art” client servicing, but also “state of the art” IT systems that enable enhanced knowledge management as well as knowledge generation.

For instance, for an enhanced quality of client-oriented services to the Pension Fund clientele, a Key Performance Indicator would be increased percentage of incoming correspondence through mail and e-mail responded to within 15 business days.

I have collaborated with ICC on many projects over the years and I continue to be astonished by the organization’s flexibility in providing creative solutions to very complex problems. I continued to be impressed with the development by the ICC of the UNJSPF Call Centre, the establishment of which had a profound impact on the Fund’s ability to better service its Client requests, as our valued stakeholders deserve. I congratulate the ICC on their overall performance and their ability to provide the UN common system with first-class computing solutions. Paul Dooley, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Fund.

Operations Success Criteria

  • Effective processing of Pension Fund benefit entitlements – Increased percentage of withdrawal settlements, retirement benefits and other benefits processed within 15 business days
  • Enhanced quality of client-oriented services to the Pension Fund – Increased percentage of incoming correspondence through mail and e-mail within 15 business days.

The United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund (UNJSPF) has taken important steps to improve their client services, with some of the most recent initiatives being the introduction of a new self-service website (Member Self-Service or MSS) and the establishment of a Call Centre.

With a membership of 28 Organizations, UNJSPF services over 200 000 active members and beneficiaries using 15 different currencies across 180 countries. In the Fund’s benefit plan, participant and employing organizations each contribute a set percentage towards the participants’ pensionable remuneration (presently 7.9% – participant and 15.8% – organization) for a total contribution of 23.7%.

Contributions are used to pay for future benefits, often lifetime annuities. Contribution rates are determined on the basis of average amount needed to fund benefits. Assets are further derived from investments, deficiency payments and receipts from other sources.

Participants and beneficiaries usually contact the Fund to understand the rules surrounding but not limited to participation, validation, restoration, legal guardianship , emergency fund, disability, survivors benefits and separation options and benefits as they pertain to their individual circumstances. Over the period 1998-2014, the population serviced by the Fund has grown by approximately 73%. This alone speaks volumes as to the need for streamlined services and continued improvements in the way the Fund supports its clients.

Call Centre Value


From the UNJSPF Annual Letter 2016


From the UNJSPF Annual Letter

Call Centre Team

The Call Centre team at UNJSPF has extensive experience in providing client-facing support within the UN family. This team is currently located at the Fund’s premises in New York and is building additional capacity to start full operations in Valencia later this year.

Fast Facts

The Call Centre Service leverages knowledge, tools, and industry proven processes to improve efficiency and support work goals in the most cost-effective manner. The current service to UNJSPF includes:

  • Answering incoming phone calls and responding to emails for MSS and UNJSPF general enquiriesResponding to the death call hotline
  • Logging, classifying and prioritizing requests based defined categories
  • Triggering an initial workflow and escalating to UNJSPF’s Client Services for issues that cannot be resolved at first point of contact
  • Coordinating with other UNJSPF escalation teams as and when required
  • Producing and consolidating service reports that are can assist UNJSPF in decision-making.

Today the service is fully manned by English speaking personnel with 12-hour coverage (7.00 am – 7.00 pm Eastern Standard Time) Monday to Friday excluding NY UN holidays. The Call centre also provides skeleton French support. The ICC Call centre and services to UNJSPF is manned entirely by UN system staff members.

UNJSPF provides operating procedures, including standards for categorisation and prioritisation of calls. UNJSPF has trained and continues to provide guidance to ICC Call centre staff on:

  • Pension (business) rules and regulations
  • MSS scope, features and interfacesWorkflow procedures escalation parameters, and interfaces.

After more than 100 hours of training and knowledge transfer providing by UNJSPF, the team is now able to respond to not only MSS related issues but general pension enquiries such as questions about Statement of Benefits, Certificates of Entitlement, Fluctuation of Benefit queries e.g. ASHI and Cost of living adjustment, Separation status queries, requests for copy of official benefit statement, letter of Estimate queries etc. This has resulted in improved response times and high first contact resolution rates.

As at end of June 2017, the Call Centre team had handled more than 13 000 emails and answered approximately 4000 calls with an average time in queue of just under 3 minutes. The team were able to provide a first call response rate of over 90% having escalated under 900 issues to the Pension Fund Tier 2 Client Services team.

As ICC and UNJSPF continue to work closely together in ensuring the Call centre receives regular training sessions. It is expected that the ICC team will be able resolve more complex general pension enquiries easing the burden on the Client Services team and enabling UNJSPF to focus on the more complex and time consuming cases.

Call centres in today’s service and economic environment must be accessible, handle increasingly complex contacts, meet customer expectations, support initiatives throughout the organization and deliver a healthy return on investments. This partnership has worked effectively to date and can be seen as a model for a growing demand and a new service offering for ICC.