Call for reforms in UAE pension and retirement laws



ABU DHABI // The Federal National Council has called for reform of the retirement and pension systems to encourage more Emiratis to work in the private sector.

In a letter to the President, Sheikh Khalifa, FNC members have asked for amendments to the law that would increase eligibility to pensions, harmonise the two existing pension systems and bring forward the retirement age for many women.

In particular, they suggest that Emirati businessmen and owners of small and medium enterprises be permitted to register with the Pensions and Social Welfare Authority, and thus become eligible for state pensions.

"This will motivate nationals to think about working in the private sector, since the country's policy supports nationals to work in the private sector and encourages and facilitates that for them," the FNC says in its letter.

Members have also suggested that UAE nationals who have retired be allowed to seek new jobs while still collecting a state pension, “because this will encourage locals to work in the private sector”.

The FNC has also asked for an end to the anomaly that means pensions for those who retired before 2008 are less generous than for those retired after 2008, for pensions to be linked to the rate of inflation and for changes to women’s eligibility for a pension to be reversed.

Before, women were entitled to a pension after having worked for 20 years. Now, they must have reached the age of 50. Men become eligible for a pension after 35 years’ service, or at the age of 65.

Ahmed Al Shamsi (Ajman) said some occupations required an earlier start than others, and a woman could easily work for 20 years and still not have reached the age of 50.

“So she works for 20 years and should then be able to retire,” he proposed.

In their wide-ranging letter to the President, the FNC also asked for a unified health insurance system across all seven emirates. At present only Emiratis who live in Abu Dhabi are covered by comprehensive Thiqa health insurance, with coverage elsewhere patchy.

Members also asked for new rules making attendance at high school compulsory. Some members suggested that penalties be imposed on young people who fail to complete secondary education.

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2) Symptoms can include a lump, discharge, swollen glands or a rash. 

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4) Treatments include surgery and chemotherapy but early diagnosis is the key. 

5) Anyone concerned is urged to contact their doctor

 

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Rating: 3/5

BUNDESLIGA FIXTURES

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Cologne v Hoffenheim (11.30pm)

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COMPANY PROFILE

Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

Bio:

Favourite Quote: Prophet Mohammad's quotes There is reward for kindness to every living thing and A good man treats women with honour

Favourite Hobby: Serving poor people 

Favourite Book: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Favourite food: Fish and vegetables

Favourite place to visit: London

Where to submit a sample

Volunteers of all ages can submit DNA samples at centres across Abu Dhabi, including: Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre+(Adnec), Biogenix Labs in Masdar City, NMC Royal Hospital in Khalifa City, NMC Royal Medical Centre, Abu Dhabi, NMC Royal Women's Hospital, Bareen International Hospital, Al Towayya in Al Ain, NMC Specialty Hospital, Al Ain

Mercer, the investment consulting arm of US services company Marsh & McLennan, expects its wealth division to at least double its assets under management (AUM) in the Middle East as wealth in the region continues to grow despite economic headwinds, a company official said.

Mercer Wealth, which globally has $160 billion in AUM, plans to boost its AUM in the region to $2-$3bn in the next 2-3 years from the present $1bn, said Yasir AbuShaban, a Dubai-based principal with Mercer Wealth.

Within the next two to three years, we are looking at reaching $2 to $3 billion as a conservative estimate and we do see an opportunity to do so,” said Mr AbuShaban.

Mercer does not directly make investments, but allocates clients’ money they have discretion to, to professional asset managers. They also provide advice to clients.

“We have buying power. We can negotiate on their (client’s) behalf with asset managers to provide them lower fees than they otherwise would have to get on their own,” he added.

Mercer Wealth’s clients include sovereign wealth funds, family offices, and insurance companies among others.

From its office in Dubai, Mercer also looks after Africa, India and Turkey, where they also see opportunity for growth.

Wealth creation in Middle East and Africa (MEA) grew 8.5 per cent to $8.1 trillion last year from $7.5tn in 2015, higher than last year’s global average of 6 per cent and the second-highest growth in a region after Asia-Pacific which grew 9.9 per cent, according to consultancy Boston Consulting Group (BCG). In the region, where wealth grew just 1.9 per cent in 2015 compared with 2014, a pickup in oil prices has helped in wealth generation.

BCG is forecasting MEA wealth will rise to $12tn by 2021, growing at an annual average of 8 per cent.

Drivers of wealth generation in the region will be split evenly between new wealth creation and growth of performance of existing assets, according to BCG.

Another general trend in the region is clients’ looking for a comprehensive approach to investing, according to Mr AbuShaban.

“Institutional investors or some of the families are seeing a slowdown in the available capital they have to invest and in that sense they are looking at optimizing the way they manage their portfolios and making sure they are not investing haphazardly and different parts of their investment are working together,” said Mr AbuShaban.

Some clients also have a higher appetite for risk, given the low interest-rate environment that does not provide enough yield for some institutional investors. These clients are keen to invest in illiquid assets, such as private equity and infrastructure.

“What we have seen is a desire for higher returns in what has been a low-return environment specifically in various fixed income or bonds,” he said.

“In this environment, we have seen a de facto increase in the risk that clients are taking in things like illiquid investments, private equity investments, infrastructure and private debt, those kind of investments were higher illiquidity results in incrementally higher returns.”

The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, one of the largest sovereign wealth funds, said in its 2016 report that has gradually increased its exposure in direct private equity and private credit transactions, mainly in Asian markets and especially in China and India. The authority’s private equity department focused on structured equities owing to “their defensive characteristics.”

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Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

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Forwards: Romelu Lukaku, Michy Batshuayi, Loïs Openda, Charles De Ketelaere, Eden Hazard, Jeremy Doku, Dries Mertens, Leandro Trossard

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Directed by: Jeethu Joseph

Starring: Mohanlal, Meena, Ansiba, Murali Gopy

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August 25 – Non-India warm-up matches and all non-India event matches
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August 31 – India matches at Chennai, Delhi and Pune
September 1 – India matches at Dharamsala, Lucknow and Mumbai
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Engine: 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 and electric motor
Max power: 700hp at 7,500rpm
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Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
0-100km/h: 3.0sec
Top speed: 330kph
Price: From Dh1.14 million ($311,000)
On sale: Now

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Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000

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Name: Sarah Al Senaani

Age: 35

Martial status: Married with three children - aged 8, 6 and 2

Education: Masters of arts in cultural communication and tourism

Favourite movie: Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Favourite hobbies: Art and horseback ridding

Occupation: Communication specialist at a government agency and the owner of Atelier

Favourite cuisine: Definitely Emirati - harees is my favourite dish

Countdown to Zero exhibition will show how disease can be beaten

Countdown to Zero: Defeating Disease, an international multimedia exhibition created by the American Museum of National History in collaboration with The Carter Center, will open in Abu Dhabi a  month before Reaching the Last Mile.

Opening on October 15 and running until November 15, the free exhibition opens at The Galleria mall on Al Maryah Island, and has already been seen at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum in Atlanta, the American Museum of Natural History in New York, and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

 

Why it pays to compare

A comparison of sending Dh20,000 from the UAE using two different routes at the same time - the first direct from a UAE bank to a bank in Germany, and the second from the same UAE bank via an online platform to Germany - found key differences in cost and speed. The transfers were both initiated on January 30.

Route 1: bank transfer

The UAE bank charged Dh152.25 for the Dh20,000 transfer. On top of that, their exchange rate margin added a difference of around Dh415, compared with the mid-market rate.

Total cost: Dh567.25 - around 2.9 per cent of the total amount

Total received: €4,670.30 

Route 2: online platform

The UAE bank’s charge for sending Dh20,000 to a UK dirham-denominated account was Dh2.10. The exchange rate margin cost was Dh60, plus a Dh12 fee.

Total cost: Dh74.10, around 0.4 per cent of the transaction

Total received: €4,756

The UAE bank transfer was far quicker – around two to three working days, while the online platform took around four to five days, but was considerably cheaper. In the online platform transfer, the funds were also exposed to currency risk during the period it took for them to arrive.

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- July 2015: Bill to require background checks for all gun sales is introduced in House of Representatives. It is not brought to a vote.

- June 12, 2016: Orlando shooting. Barack Obama calls on Congress to renew law prohibiting sale of assault-style weapons and high-capacity magazines.

- October 1, 2017: Las Vegas shooting. US lawmakers call for banning bump-fire stocks, and some renew call for assault weapons ban.

- February 14, 2018: Seventeen pupils are killed and 17 are wounded during a mass shooting in Parkland, Florida.

- December 18, 2018: Donald Trump announces a ban on bump-fire stocks.

- August 2019: US House passes law expanding background checks. It is not brought to a vote in the Senate.

- April 11, 2022: Joe Biden announces measures to crack down on hard-to-trace 'ghost guns'.

- May 24, 2022: Nineteen children and two teachers are killed at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

- June 25, 2022: Joe Biden signs into law the first federal gun-control bill in decades.

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Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Family offices

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The story of Edge

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, established Edge in 2019.

It brought together 25 state-owned and independent companies specialising in weapons systems, cyber protection and electronic warfare.

Edge has an annual revenue of $5 billion and employs more than 12,000 people.

Some of the companies include Nimr, a maker of armoured vehicles, Caracal, which manufactures guns and ammunitions company, Lahab

 


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