Pension authority snubs CMC

 05 Feb 2014 - 2:08

DOHA: Qatar’s pension authority has delivered a snub to the Central Municipal Council (CMC) after the latter urged it to improve the lot of retirees.
The General Retirement and Social Insurance Authority has rebuffed the CMC, reminding it rather tersely that it had no legal right to approach it with recommendations.
In a strongly worded reply, the pension Authority told the CMC to mind its business and remember that the law regulating it allows it to make recommendations only regarding legislation covering municipalities and agriculture.
“You have no right to raise retirees’ issues with us. The law doesn’t allow you that privilege.”
“Article 8 of Law Number 20 of 1998, especially Paragraph three and clause 2, clearly stipulate that you can make recommendations only regarding laws concerning the municipalities and agriculture,” said the letter.
Signed by the Chairman of the pension Authority, Turki Mohamed Al Khater, the letter was read out in the CMC yesterday.
Interestingly, though, after the initial rebuff the Authority replied, one by one and in detail, to the issues raised by the CMC in its recommendations.
The tone of the Authority’s letter, however, led the vice-chairman of the public representative body, Jassem Al Malki, to publicly say it wasn’t appropriate on its (Authority’s) part to talk of CMC’s rights.
“They should have simply replied to our recommendations,” said Al Malki.
This isn’t the first time the public representative body has been rebuffed by a government agency. There has been a showdown between the CMC and Ashghal as well in the past over criticism of the latter by the former.
About the CMC’s recommendations to the pension Authority that it set up a social and cultural club for retirees, the Authority said it was not part of its job profile, as per the law, to establish such clubs.
About Qataris volunteering for early retirement, the Authority said it was taking steps to prevent this phenomenon. “We are against people retiring when they are young.”
The Authority said in its reply to the CMC that it had made proposals to the authorities and if those proposals are approved, retirees would get pension equivalent to the salary they received at the time of their retirement.