Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 20 May 2019

UAE employers must register Emiratis for pension benefits or face fines

Failure to enrol an employee or pay monthly contributions will result in penalties, says the GPSSA

Registering Emirati employees for the federal pension scheme is mandatory by law in the private and public sector. Getty Images
Registering Emirati employees for the federal pension scheme is mandatory by law in the private and public sector. Getty Images

UAE Government and private sector employers that fail to register Emiratis for retirement benefits will be penalised, according to the General Pension and Social Security Authority.

Registration of Emirati employees and payment of monthly contributions is mandatory by law, the the federal body administering Emirati pensions said in a statement published on state-run news agency Wam.

"Any delay in the payment of these contributions will result in fines or penalties imposed on the employer only as the insured does not bear any financial obligation in this case," said Hanan Al Sahlawi, GPSSA's acting executive director, adding that there are no exemptions to this rule.

According to the UAE government, Emiratis working in government and private sectors are eligible for pensions and other retirement benefits after reaching the retirement age of 49 or serving a minimum of 20 years in total. Expatriate employees have their end of service entitlement covered by the UAE's gratuity scheme.

Mr Al Sahlawi said the registration process protects Emirati employees and their families from "occupational risks", providing the individual or their beneficiaries with "a pension salary entitlement in the event of a work-related injury or death".

"Thus, the insured should always verify his or her registration with GPSSA and should also ensure the monthly payment of their contributions to ensure the protection of their future and that of their family," she said.

While Abu Dhabi has its own pension scheme, the GPSSA is the federal body administering the pensions for the rest of the emirates. Under the scheme, if an employee contributes 5 per cent of their monthly salary, a government employer contributes 15 per cent. For the private sector, employers contribute 12.5 per cent, which is topped up with a further 2.5 per cent by the government.

GPSSA said Emiratis must check whether their employer has registered their details and is making monthly contributions to the scheme, to ensure they adhere to the pension law.

Hanan Al Sahlawi, the GPSSA's acting executive director, urged employers to settle any outstanding payments to avoid additional penalties. Wam
Hanan Al Sahlawi, the GPSSA's acting executive director, urged employers to settle any outstanding payments to avoid additional penalties. Wam

"In the event of non-registration, the employee shall contact the Authority to ensure the protection of their rights and those of their families," it said.

Ms Al Sahlawi also urged employers to settle any outstanding payments to avoid additional penalties.

Emiratis aged between 18 and 60 are eligible for the scheme and must provide a medical report - issued by GPSSA certified medical centres – to prove they are physically fit for employment. Only military retirees employed by federal government departments after November 1999 are exempt from being registered for the scheme, according to the GPSSA.

The Authority is contacting contacting free zones and tourism and hospitality employers to ensure they have complied with the law as well as government and private sector HR departments.

Updated: May 11, 2019 04:56 PM

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