Qatar hikes minimum pension

His Highness the Amir of State of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani on Tuesday issued Amiri decision No 18 of 2022, increasing the pensions of retired individuals. The decision is effective starting from April 1, 2022, and is to be published in the Official Gazette.
HH the Amir also issued Law No 2 of 2022 on military retirement. The law is effective six months after the date of its publication in the Official Gazette, with the exception of Article 20 (paragraph 2) which shall be enforced starting from the date of the issuance of this law.
HH the Amir issued Law No 1 of 2022 on the Social Insurance Law. The law is effective six months after the date of its publication in the official gazette, with the exception of Article 4 (paragraph 5), Article 13 (paragraph 1) and Article 30 (paragraph 1) which shall be enforced starting from the date of the issuance of this law.
The General Retirement and Social Insurance Authority applauded HH the Amir’s decision to increase the pensions of retired individuals, and the issuance of the military retirement and social insurance laws.
In a statement, the authority explained that the generous patronage of HH the Amir included the issuance of the Amiri decision securing a minimum pension for all Qatari retirees in the country from the date of issuance at no less than QR15,000, with the addition of a special housing allowance of QR 4,000, provided that the pension does not exceed an amount of QR100,000.
The authority added that decision will continue to be implemented until the date of the two new laws coming into force for those whose service ends by reaching the age of retirement, disability or death during the transitional period, from which about 28,381 retirees will benefit, at an estimated cost of more than QR28 billion.
It said HH the Amir’s patronage also included the issuance of two laws increasing the insurance coverage on the income of the Qatari citizens, by adding the housing allowance for the civil employees, and adding the housing allowance and the specialization allowance for the military, with coverage rates not less than 70 percent and not exceeding 87 percent of the civil or military employees’ total monthly salary.
The authority explained that the percentage did not exceed more than 67 percent in the previous systems, as it included coverage for the basic salary and social allowance only, while maintaining the settlement of the pension calculation salary at 100 percent for those whose contribution period reaches 30 years and whose service ends for reasons of death, disability and reaching the age of retirement, which clearly reflects HH the Amir’s keenness to ensure a decent life for the people of this country.
The authority extended thanks to the Cabinet and the Shura Council for their joint efforts to launch a new era aimed at promoting social, economic and human development, in line with Qatar National Vision 2030 and the National Development Strategy 2018-2022.
It noted that that the issuance of the social insurance and military retirement laws confirm that the General Retirement and Social Insurance Authority is moving at a steady and escalating pace towards achieving the vision and objectives of the wise leadership, to be a safe haven for the Qatari citizen.
This is evident in the paradigm shift in pension reforms, which are based on internationally recognised social insurance foundations and standards, and on the principle of social justice.
The authority referred to the most prominent reforms, which include expanding the scope of insurance coverage to include all citizens working in the government and private sectors, and voluntary subordination to some groups who do not work for an employer such as workers for themselves and their families, and the insurance coverage of national service employees who do not occupy civilian jobs, and the military whose service was terminated without entitlement to a pension salary before the issuance of Law No (13) of 2006 on the retirement and pensions of military personnel by participation for the previous service period to obtain a pension.
The reforms also took into account the development of several advantages to motivate the citizen to engage in the private labour market and encourage the private sector to nationalise jobs, the most important of which is reducing the rate of the pension calculation salary to be on the average salary of the subscription account for the last three years instead of five years, to ensure the highest average calculation, as well as allowing the owner of the pension to combined between the pension due for service in a government entity and the salary of a job in the private sector, as well as the possibility that the states public treasury bears a percentage of the monthly contribution determined by the employer from the private sector in accordance with the controls issued by a decision of the Cabinet.
In order to motivate the citizen to stay in the labour market for as long as possible and reduce the negative impact of early retirement, which exceeded 60 percent of the total retirees, and resulted in the local labour markets loss of national expertise, which has significant effects on achieving the states vision and strategy, it was approved to grant a reward for the period of participation that exceeds 30 years for those whose service ends with death, disability or retirement age, in return for a gradual increase over a period of 5 years to the early retirement age from 40 years to 50 years, and an increase in the period eligible for pension entitlement as a minimum of 15 to 25 years.
The authority stated that the problems that faced the application of the previous retirement and pension systems were addressed to ensure that the citizen obtains his insurance rights with easy conditions and controls, including allowing the purchase of a nominal service period for those whose service has ended and did not meet the condition of the contribution period eligible for pension entitlement, and the establishment of a system for the installments of the amounts due to the fund at reduced installment rates, and approving the one-time compensation for those who are not entitled to a pension, not exceeding double the contributions that the insured paid to the fund instead of refunding his contributions only.
The two laws are flexible, allowing the Cabinet to issue its decisions to grant some insurance benefits, such as granting a periodic increase in the pension to meet the high cost of living and not eroding the pension over time, and granting advances to pensioners to meet the burdens of life, according to controls determined by the executive regulations of the law.
The two laws grant several benefits to working women, excluding her from reducing the pension in the event of resignation to care for a child with a disability, increasing the percentage of the widows share to 100 percent of the pension in the absence of other beneficiaries, and also not reducing her pension because she has not reached the age of 60 in the event of resignation at the age of 55.
The General Retirement and Social Insurance Authority confirmed that the new retirement system in Qatar is one of the most generous retirement systems around the world, as it grants high insurance benefits compared to the minimum and maximum pension, length of service, contribution rate and other conditions for pension entitlement, the most important of which is the state guarantee to fill any deficits or amounts due to grant insurance rights to Qatari citizens, the estimated cost of which amounts to billions of riyals, by bearing the public treasury for the actuarial deficit, the actuarial costs of increasing pensions and exceptional pensions, the costs of contributions for the nominal periods of some categories and cases, and other benefits that guarantee the citizen and his family dignified social protection.
The authority announced that it is preparing to launch a comprehensive media campaign to raise awareness of the content of the two laws, and to explain their provisions in an accurate manner that answers everyone’s questions.