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Bahrain Approves Pension Law Revisions, Extending Benefits for Military Personnel

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on March 22, 2024, 12:48:32

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Children, civil servants, military personnel, pension

Children of deceased civil servants, private sector employees and military personnel could now receive their monthly pensions for an extended period.

MPs unanimously approved amendments to the 1975 Civil Servants Pension Law, 1976 Social Insurance Law and 1976 Military Pension Law, proposed by a group of five MPs led by Strategic Thinking Bloc spokesman Khalid Bu Onk.

The legislators aim to raise the age limit for such beneficiaries, allowing regular pensions to be disbursed to children until they reach 24 years old, rather than the current age of 22.

For those pursuing higher education, pensions would be extended until the age of 28, with payments ceasing upon completion of studies before reaching the designated age limit.

The proposed amendments have faced objections from the Social Insurance Organisation (SIO), citing contradictions with the concepts of work and retirement. Similarly, the Military Pension Fund has raised concerns, calling for a more thorough study.

Nevertheless, the Al Hekma Retired Society has endorsed Parliament's proposed amendments, deeming them equitable.
A suggestion has been made for additional funding for these payments to be sourced from the Unemployment or Future Generations Funds.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet has requested a reconsideration of a parliamentary proposal to restrict relevant job positions at ministries and government bodies to expatriates holding a Master’s Degree and possessing 10 years of work experience.

A letter outlining proposed amendments to the 2010 Civil Service Law, presented by His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, has been forwarded to the services committee for review.

Under the proposed amendment, the Civil Service Commission would only offer a two-year contract, renewable once, to those meeting the specified criteria. Additionally, they would be required to train a predetermined number of Bahraini nationals as part of the agreement.

Another letter and amendment to the 1976 Social Insurance Law, aimed at altering pension calculations, adjusting retirement eligibility periods and reducing workers’ contributions from seven per cent to six per cent, have also been referred to the same committee.

Furthermore, an amendment to the 2013 Real Estate Registration Law proposing exemptions for nationals from registration or transfer fees has been sent to the public utilities and environment affairs committee. The government has expressed concerns over such exemptions, citing potential significant revenue reductions.

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