Since October 3 2008, the Association of Seniors of the European Public Service (SEPS/SFPE) has been an “ASBL” (Non-profit association under Belgian law – n°806 839 565). SEPS is pluralist and apolitical in nature and independent of political parties, authorities, European institutions and professional associations working within and outside those institutions. SEPS is not subsidised but receives logistic support from European Institutions.
The aim of SEPS is to defend the interests of former European civil servants and other agents as well as colleagues in invalidity and, as a priority, to defend their social rights.
The major objective is the effective defence of the post-active members of staff’s acquired rights such as the sickness insurance system (JSIS), pensions, the method of adjusting pensions, allowances and any other relevant questions.
The Staff Regulations for officials of the European civil service make little reference to the post-active staff members. Retired staff will not be officially involved in consultations or negotiations to defend their rights until Annex II of the Staff Regulations is adapted.
SEPS has one essential aim – an ambitious one. Retired staff must be effectively represented with voting rights in the main joint committees and negotiating groups.
To be represented and informed, SEPS invites staff members still active but near to retirement and willing to defend their future rights, to become members of the Association and of the Administrative Board.
Therefore, active staff members, members of SEPS, are part of joint committees, of social dialog and of negotiations in order to be present when rules are discussed which concern the “post-active staff”.
Communication with the members is a key subject but often difficult: retired staff are living everywhere and up to 40% of retired SEPS members are not keen on using the internet. The members’ information bulletin, issued four times a year, takes this severe limitation into account: it is distributed by post.
Information meetings are held at least four times a year to allow for discussion and understanding of the major problems to be resolved. These full-day meetings, in which each member of the association has the floor, highlight the issues to be addressed.
The use of a mobile telephone number as the call centre of SEPS-SFPE, 7 days a week for almost 24hrs a day to respond to general questions and to pensioners who wish to talk about a particular problem, a rule of JSIS, to understand a position taken by a health insurance company, potential difficulties in making contact with PMO, to find a form, in the evening, at week-ends…
Often SEPS puts a question to PMO or to the Social Services in the name of one of its members (STAFF Contact on-line or directly with the settlement office, at the PMO “Welcome Forum”, with the Head of Unit “Pensions”, or with the Head of Unit “JSIS”)
This has happened for health insurances policies, survivor’s pensions, orphan pensions, divorces, …arguments can be proposed by members or an issue may become the subject of further study, or comparison or publication…
Someone is on duty Tuesday and Thursday, at least between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the SEPS office in Avenue des Nerviens 105, to respond to questions and for obtaining documents or forms.
Hendrik Smets, lawyer by training, is our legal adviser for questions and requests from members (Statutory rights, inheritance and fiscal law). This SEPS contribution consists of straight forward advice following examination of the problem, sometimes followed by an exchange of mail or guidance to a lawyer, potentially leading to a court case (cf WOJCIECHOWSKI case, which now constitutes jurisprudence and was recently cited in the Lobkowicz case):
European officials who have not transferred their pension rights to the Community scheme and who qualify for a partial or full pension from the Community can now introduce a request for their national pension for those years worked for a national employer.
This applies also to those who have already introduced such a request and who have, so far, been denied their national pension rights.
For members who want to pose questions or obtain an appointment, volunteers are present at the office to answer questions or to note such questions to find solutions in a short time. They also deliver documents and forms.
– Mondays and Thursdays : Gina Dricot and Antonio Pinto (10h00 – 12h00 et 14h30 – 16h30). Statutary and general questions
– Tuesdays : Giustina Canu (10h00 – 12h30) ; Patrizia De Palma (12h30-16h00). General questions
– Thursdays : Helen James (10h00 à 12h30). Questions regarding JSIS and general questions
– Nadine Froment (12h30 à 15h00). General questions
SEPS is organising training sessions to learn how to use simple informatics tools such as tablets and smart phones so as to facilitate contact, access information, overcome loneliness… One particular objective of this training is to encourage retired colleagues to use My IntraComm and JSIS on-line.
SEPS is a member of the European platform of seniors’ organisations – AGE Platform Europe – a network grouping more than 140 national organisations that defend the interests of the elderly in the EU. “AGE” is financially supported by the Commission.
SEPS has also studied all the health insurance policies to supplement JSIS coverage which are offered to officials and agents of the European Institutions in order to inform and advise its members. This led to a close collaboration with Afiliatys.
You can become a member by completing the application form and paying the annual subscription of €30.
Contact Tel : +32 (0) 475 472 470 firstname.lastname@example.org www.sfpe-seps.be
– At the Council: Rue de la Loi, 175 (Office 02 40 CG 39) B-1048 BRUSSELS (Appointment)
– At the Commission: Av. des Nerviens 105 (Office N105 00/010) B-1049 BRUSSELS (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday from 10.00 to 15.00 or appointment)
Administrative Board, 01.06.2019: Serge Crutzen (President); Brigitte Pretzenbacher (Vice-President -relations with the EC active staff); Hendrik Smets (Vice-President – legal affairs); Philippe Bioul (Vice-President – health – social); Marc Maes (Treasurer and list of members); Nicole Caby (Secretary)
Members: Pierre-Philippe Bacri; Monique Breton; Giustina Canu; Jean-Louis Cougnon; Jean-Marie Cousin; Patrizia De Palma; Gina Dricot; Helen James; Annie Lovinfosse; Antonio Pinto Ferreira; Rosalyn Tanguy.