Welcome the ESO Pensioners Web

This website has been created to keep ESO pensioners up to date with news and events that affect them. It is intended to complement the GAC-EPA website hosted at CERN with ESO news from both Germany and Chile.

The website also provides access to important documents relating to healthcare, for example, that have only been accessible in the past on the ESO intranet and therefore inaccessible to most pensioners.  Because some of these documents are considered by ESO to be semi-confidential, certain areas of this website are password protected. This makes it easier for us to put documents at your disposal without endless discussion with the ESO administration for each additional document. If you have difficulty in accessing these pages or have forgotten the password, please send a request to the editors.

We would be happy to receive any contributions, articles, photos or links that might be generally interesting to ESO pensioners. If you have any such contributions, please send them to the editors.


Editors: Erik Allaert / Rein Warmels
Technical Editor: Rein Warmels
GAC-EPA representative: Erik Allaert
Health Care - Cigna: Martin Cullum

Quick Links

Bulletins GAC-EPA (6-monthly)

Latest News

5 March 2023 - ESO pensioners' event 14th June 2023

The following email was sent out by ESO's Human Resources Department on 3 March.

Dear colleague

This message is sent to you as a former active staff member of ESO now drawing their pension or a spouse in receipt of a pension.

We are pleased to tell you that ESO will be holding an afternoon event on Wednesday 14th June 2023 for ESO pensioners to which you are warmly invited. Please ‘save the date’ !
This will be an ‘in person’ event at Garching HQ, and also the possibility to connect to presentations remotely electronically for those based overseas.

The exact programme and times will be sent later on with a request at that point for you to RSVP, but to say for certain now, that it will include a presentation from the Director General, time to chat and catch-up with old friends,  and a group photograph.

We are discussing with the International staff Association and GAC-EPA about the full agenda which will be sent to you nearer the time.

We do hope that you will be able to join us, and meanwhile ask you to mark your calendar.

Best wishes
Fiona Brazil
Head of HR

3 March 2023 - ISA Newsletter February 2023

The next issue of the ISA Newsletter (issue February 2023) is now available.

22 Februrary 2023 - New Year gathering

The photos of the New Year gathering on 14  February in restaurant "Made in Italy" are now available. A big thanks to the photographers for their contributions. 

31 January 2023 - ISA Newsletter January 2023

The next issue of the ISA Newsletter (issue January 2023) is now available.

09 December 2022 - Update of Retirees Email List

The Retirees Email Addresses listing has been updated with the latest information.

30 November 2022 – ESO 60th anniversary celebration on 9 December 2022

The following email below was sent by Nathalie Kastelyn (ESO/HR) to the ESO pensioners on 29 November.

Dear colleagues,

There will be an ESO 60th anniversary staff celebration on 9 December 2022 at the Garching HQ. The celebration will take place from approximately 16:00–18:00, following the all-hands meeting on that day.

We would like to invite retirees to this celebration, at which we will share a toast, followed by snacks and finger food. Please note that the event is being planned only for current staff and retirees, and that therefore we are unable to extend the invitation to spouses, partners, or other guests.

To help us better plan the catering, please could you indicate whether you plan to attend by the end of Wednesday 30 November 2022 on the registration form. Your response (whether yes or no) is not binding, but please give us your best estimate of whether you will come. We hope that you will be able to join us.

Best wishes,

29 November 2022 – GAC-EPA Bulletin 63

The latest bulletin of the GAC-EPA,  Bulletin 63, is now available.

29 November 2022 -  CERN Pension Fund Meeting 

The video recordings and the viewgraphs of the CERN Pension Fund Annual Information Meeting on 23 November 2022  (see previous News item)  are now available on the Documents and Presentations page (restricted access).

10 November 2022 - Opportunity in Garching for individual meetings with CERN PF Benefits Service members

The CERN Pension Fund Annual Information Meeting will take place on 23 November 2022 at 15:00 CET / 11:00 CLST

Fiona Brazil, Head of Human Resources, will introduce the meeting, after which the Chair of the Pension Fund Governing Board, Ossi Malmberg, and the Pension Fund CEO, Doug Heron, will provide an update of the Fund. They will be happy to answer any questions that you may have.

Two members of the CERN Pension Fund Benefits Service, Emilie Clerc and Pilar Herguedas Muñoz will be available as well to answer your questions. Staff members, fellows and retirees in Garching who would like to discuss any individual cases are invited to arrange a one-to-one meeting with Emilie or Pilar by contacting Nathalie Kastelyn in Human Resources for an appointment. Appointments (15-minutes slots) are available between 9:30 and 12:30.

The meeting will take place in the HQ Eridanus Auditorium with video links to the following meeting rooms:

  • Vitacura: Urania
  • Paranal: Residencia — Conference Room
  • La Silla: Lounge
  • Online: Please check the Documents and Presentations page for joining the meeting online.


04 November 2022 - ISA Newletter - Issue November 2022

The next issue of the ISA Newsletter (November 2022) is now available. In this issue you will find an outline of the two main strategic objectives of the ISC to be fulfilled by September 2023.

Also note that the ISC plans a special ISA assembly on Wednesday 16 November, 14:00 CET. This will be a hybrid event. Members are very welcome to attend in person at Eridanus or to join online with the link provided on the Documents and Presentations page (restricted access).

15 October 2022 - ESO's 60th Anniversary

This message from HR below was sent to the ESO pensioners on 14 October - a few days after the ESO GAC-EPA representative contacted the DG who had congratulated the active staff on the anniversary date itself by email.

Dear colleagues

Some of you might already have received the information by other means.

From small beginnings in the 1960s ESO has grown impressively and has now turned 60 years old.

In this update we would like to share with you the link to the DG’s message on the ESO website regarding ESO’s 60thanniversary, in which he recognizes, with grateful thanks,  the contribution of everyone past and present to the Organization today: https://www.eso.org/public/events/special-evt/60years/

It goes almost without saying that all colleagues who have retired from ESO in their particular role, whether that is as scientist, engineer, technician or administrator can be fully proud of what has been delivered over this time as the DG comments. 

In this web announcement it is also highlighted why the anniversary has been more low key and some aspects necessarily postponed due to the on-going difficult and distressing case of the disappearance of a visiting scientist to La Silla, Professor Tom Marsh, from Warwick University in the UK, on 16 September.  We are continuing to help and support the local authorities with the search which is on-going. This has included all modern mechanisms such as the use of drones, planes and cameras, as well as the traditional foot search and with dogs.  A number of staff have been working hard on the interface with the police and Prosecutors office, national government officials, University and the family. We remain hopeful that Professor Marsh will be found.

Best wishes,
Fiona Brazil

15 October 2022 - Annual Meeting of the CERN Pension Fund at ESO

The CERN Pension Fund Annual Information Meeting will take place at ESO on 23 November 2022 at 15:00 CET / 11:00 CLST. More details will follow soon. 

16 September 2022 - Update of Retirees Address List

The Retirees Email Addresses listing has been updated with the latest information.

23 June 2022 - Draft Version of the ISA Statutes up for vote. 

As already announced and anticipated in several GAC-EPA bulletins, the ESO International Staff Association (ISA) has iterated on its new statutes - a matter which has been long overdue. On the initiative of Martin Cullum, several years ago, this included an attempt to finally take the representation of the growing group of pensioners into account within these statutes, similar to what has been done many years ago at CERN. This has led to several exchanges and meetings o.a. between the ISA and your GAC-EPA representative, in search of adequate and acceptable definitions and formulations.

The ISA has now put the final draft of their new statutes up for vote. To be accepted, a 2/3 majority of the current 486 ISA members is required, and the voting deadline is set at 30 June.

Unfortunately we cannot really support ISA's definition of "Retired Members" and their representation as formulated in these statutes (see mainly Article 5). The ISA agreed to inform the Staff of our position, pointing them to a short document that you can also find here.

A more comprehensive explanation of our position and why we are convinced there are still open issues and even mistakes in these statutes were expressed in the latest GAC-EPA bulletin - see section 3.3 in Bulletin #62.

We invite all ESO pensioners to have a look to these various documents, and count on your continued support, also in this matter. Comments remain of course welcome.

Kind regards,
Erik Allaert
ESO's GAC-EPA representative

PS: in case you need the credentials to access the protected pages on the ESO pensioners' website, please don't hesitate to contact me.

19 July 2022 - Update of Retirees Address List

The Retirees Email Addresses listing has been updated with the latest information.

21 June 2022 - Viewgraphs for the ESO General Assembly June 2022

The viewgraphs of the latest ESO General Assembly on 10 June 2022 have been added to the Documentation page.

26 March 2022 - Message from the GAC-EPA Webmaster

Once again COVID prevented us from organising an in-person event for the Annual General Meeting (AGM). You are therefore invited to read the on-line documents about the 2022 AGM here: https://www.gac-epa.org/History/OGA/2022-03-24-AGM/AGM2022-en.html

11 March 2022: Emeriti and retirees will be allowed to come back to the premises.

As part of the restored Covid-19 Phase 4 measures, emeriti and retirees will be allowed to come back to the ESO premises as of 4 April 2022.
As it is expected that the safety measures in Germany and Bavaria will change prior to the end of their current deadline (19 March 2022), an internal review of the safety guidelines applicable to ESO HQ will be conducted in March leading to possible updates. Any relevant changes will be communicated before the start of Phase 4 on 4 April 2022.

11 March 2022 - Changes in Health Insurance benefits as of 1.1. 2022

As 1 January 2022 new reimbursement rates and ceilings apply for the following health insurance benifits: dental care and orthodontic treatment. For further details please refer to the Cigna document.

26 December 2021 - Update of Retirees Address List

The Retirees Email Addresses listing has been updated with the latest information.

12 November 2021 - Update of Retirees Address List

The Retirees Email Addresses listing has been updated with the latest information.

09 November 2021 - Bulletin 61 and Information about the Elections

The latest bulletin of the GAC-EPA,  Bulletin 61, is now available. Please also read the letter of the GAC-EPA concerning the election for the partial renewal of the GAC-EPA Committee and for the Auditor for the years 2022 and 2023 

9 September 2021 - GAC-EPA: Call for Candidates 

GAC-EPA is an organisation that informs and defends the interests of CERN and ESO pensioners. Its committee has even a delegate in the CERN Pension Fund Governing Board. Hence, that it is important for the ESO pensioners as well to have a representative in that GAC-EPA committee speaks for itself. A formally elected representative of the ESO pensioners is also important to interact with ESO management. Many of you are already a GAC-EPA member, and the ones who are not yet, should really consider  to become member (the electronic registration form is here - but please don't forget the standing order for your bank too).

GAC-EPA committee members are elected for a period of 2 years. Erik Allaert's 2-year period as ESO's GAC-EPA representative will soon come to an end. Elections for the period 2022-2023 are being organised. Erik is a candidate for a second period, but that should not hold other ESO GAC-EPA members off from applying too. You will receive postal mail with all necessary information, but as nowadays this can take some time to arrive, the draft electronic versions are already made available:

If you'd have questions about what it entails to be ESO's GAC-EPA representative, please contact Erik Allaert.

24 August 2021 - Guidelines for Voluntary Work and Emeriti released.

On initiative from GAC-EPA, and taking only some of our feedback into account, ESO has published two documents that provide the management framework for retired ESO staff members. For details see the page Rights and Duties.

16 August 2021 - Picture of Pensioners get-together 

Some pictures of the recent get-together of the ESO Pensioners in Haag a.d. Amper have been uploaded onto the Social Events page (password protected). The acknowledgement goes to Gero for making these pictures available.

2 August 2021 - Update of Retirees Address List

The Retirees Email Addresses listing  has been updated with the latest information. 

1 August 2021 - ESO Pensioners get-together postponed until next week, 8 August

Due to the unfavorable weather predictions for today the ESO pensioners get-together is postponed until next week Sunday, 8 August. So, please all keep fingers crossed for better weather next week and to meet, same time, same place, in Haag on Sunday, 8th August, 3 pm.