x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Early retirement for UAE women before Federal National Council for debate

FNC member will argue that those taking early retirement after working for 15 years would give way to other UAE job seekers, helping to reduce unemployment.

FNC members will question officials about cooperative stores, early retirement for women, pensions for federal employees and small business policies today before a break for about four months. Fatima Al Marzooqi/ The National
FNC members will question officials about cooperative stores, early retirement for women, pensions for federal employees and small business policies today before a break for about four months. Fatima Al Marzooqi/ The National

ABU DHABI // Pensions, food security and social support will be debated tomorrow at the Federal National Council's final session of this term.

Mariam Al Roomi, the Minister of Social Affairs, will be asked by Ali Al Nuaimi (Ajman) about the ministry's supervision over cooperative society stores.

Mr Al Nuaimi said that because the stores were non-profit and aimed to provide a service to society, they came under the auspices of the Ministry of Social Affairs.

"Their role is social," he said.

The minister will then be asked by Hamad Al Rahoomi (Dubai) about establishing a centre to treat and rehabilitate cases of severe disability among residents, and autism affecting nationals.

Previously, the Minister of Health, Dr Abdul Rahman Al Owais, was faced with similar questions, mostly relating to residents with Down syndrome.

Although Ms Al Roomi was asked to appear before the council to discuses the country's first child protection law, this discussion was delayed until the next term begins in October, because of the council's tight schedule and her lack of attendance last week.

The Minister of State for Finance Affairs, Obaid Al Tayer, was also scheduled to attend.

Mossabeh Al Kitbi (Sharjah) will question him on the opportunities for early retirement for women, and Dr Abullah Al Shamsi (Ajman) will question him about pensions for Emiratis who retired before 2008, and making it easier to register deaths with the pension fund.

"Today we have a problem in the population structure," Mr Al Kitbi said. "There are complaints from female employees over retirement, and [obstruction] with raising children."

He said early retirement would also give way to other job seekers, helping to reduce unemployment. Retirement, he said, should ideally be after a women completes 15 years of work, the standard in Abu Dhabi. Currently, women in other emirates can retire after 20 years.

"Then she is still young, she can get another baby," he said. "This woman can also raise her own children herself, so the maids do not raise the children. Also, they need the money."

Mr Al Rahoomi will request that Emirati federal employees who have worked long enough to receive a pension be allowed to continue to do so, even if they are still working for a combined monthly pension and salary of more than Dh9,000.

Currently, those earning less than Dh9,000 can receive a pension in addition to their salary. However, Mr Al Rahoomi said that since pensions have been raised to a minimum of Dh10,000, the cap should be raised as well.

Mr Al Tayer faced the same questions last month, but he refused to answer them as the pension authority was going through a reorganisation. After he was appointed deputy of the authority,