Group life insurance

Introductory note. Several organizations have developed a group insurance, accessible to their staff, which covers the risk of death or invalidity. The insurance premium is normally paid in full by the staff member and is generally subtracted from his salary each month by the organization, which sends it to the insurance company. The organization limits its action to the negotiation and administration of these group insurances.

(1) At the 13th session (September 1952: CO-ORDINATION/R.132, para. 57) CCAQ noted the main features of the group life insurance policy covering the staff of UN Headquarters. It was agreed by organizations in Europe that the UN European Office should study the possibility of a group life insurance plan for staff in Geneva, with possible inclusion of staff elsewhere in Europe, particularly in Rome and Paris. At the 14th session (April 1953: CO-ORDINATION/R.142) UN undertook to correspond with agencies on details of the possible expansion of its plan.

(2) At the first part of the 16th session (April 1955: CO-ORDINATION/R.193/Rev.1, paras. 45-50) CCAQ considered the UN plan to include experts in the group life insurance. The insurance policy required, in addition to employee's contributions, acceptance of an employer's liability. Agencies which operated under broad commercial insurance schemes, which practically made no distinction between service - and non-service-incurred risks, did not favour the plan, on the grounds that an employer's contribution was entailed in factor or in principle; and that, since UN was self-insured for service-incurred risks, a death or disability which was service-incurred would result in a double payment to beneficiaries. Taking into account these objections, UN decided to re-study the question with a view to eliminating employer's liability. If after the re-study it did not prove feasible to provide coverage on the sole basis of contributions from experts, it was agreed that UN would consult the other organizations before going ahead with its original plan. At the second part of the 16th session (September 1955: CO-ORDINATION/R.207), after again discussing the question, CCAQ noted that UN would install the system as from 1 January 1956. Some agencies maintained the objections they had expressed previously.

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