New law to give Qatari retirees more benefits

January 11, 2013 - 2:44:36 am

DOHA: A law in the making would bring the social security system for Qatari and other GCC nationals working here on par with global standards, the Minister of Economy and Finance, H E Yousuf Hussein Kamal, has said.

Qatari retirees already are entitled to attractive monthly pensions and the new system would entitle them to added perks.

A retiree, for instance, received an average monthly pension of QR21,500 ($5,890) in 2011, while the pension of those who were eased out of service due to disability amounted to QR13,149 ($3,602) on average that year.

The same year, the dependents of those who died in service received an average monthly pension of QR15, 093 ($4,135), and the beneficiaries mostly included widows and unmarried daughters.

The pensioners totalled a little more than 5,000 in 2011, their number having risen steeply from 1,400 the previous year (2010). The vast majority of the pensioners (93.3 percent) were from the government sector. 

The Finance Minister, in a foreword to the 2011 Report of the General Retirement and Social Insurance Authority (GRSIA), said: “The draft of a new law is ready, prepared by the Authority, and the proposed legislation would soon see the light of day”.

The value of the retirement fund in 2011 was an impressive QR20.75bn ($5.68bn) and its revenues totalled QR719m ($197m) that year, with most of the investment (85.4 percent) parked locally, Qatar News Agency reported yesterday.

Subscribers to retirement schemes totalled 46,818 in 2011, and the government departments and private sector companies participating added up to 479, up 13 percent over the previous year.

The number of male and female subscribers was almost equal (51.3 percent male, and 48.7 percent female). Their contributions rose a huge 30 percent in 2011 due to the implementation of increased pay scales for public servants that year.

Some 47 Qatari subscribers were in other GCC states and some 68 percent of them were state employees, with most of them based in Kuwait. 

More than 2,100 citizens of other GCC states were members of the retirement scheme in Qatar and 71.8 percent of them were state employees. The majority (61.3 percent) of the other GCC citizens were from Oman.

The Minister said the GRISA was conducting analytical studies to add many more “advantages and benefits” for those who will be subject to the provisions of the proposed law.

This would ensure decent living for the beneficiaries and their dependents “based on justice and equality for all, without any discrimination”, the Minister said. He described the annual report of the GRISA as a “communication channel” between the Authority and the Qatari society.

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