Gulf expats happy with pension packages
Dubai, June 25, 2008
Pensions are an increasingly important feature of an employee’s benefits package for expatriates living in the Gulf region, according to a recent research from Zurich International Life (Zurich)
The second wave of the Zurich Wealth Monitor, a research probe into the attitudes and future financial plans of Zurich’s core customer groups, questioned 700 expat professionals living in the UAE, Bahrain and Qatar during April.
The research revealed, on average, almost half of all expats (49 per cent) living in the region said their employer offers adequate employee benefits.
With 21 per cent of firms in the UAE and Bahrain and 13 per cent in Qatar already including pensions as part of their overall package to employees, the pension penny is beginning to drop.
But do these findings suggest there is still some way to go in terms of corporate pension provision in the Middle East?
“Attracting and retaining employees is a major challenge for companies around the world, not least in terms of cost. But in the Middle East, a market where finding and retaining staff is increasingly difficult and employees are looking to secure their future, offering pensions is now a vital component of the employment offer,” said Zurich’s Middle East regional director Paul Haran.
“Not only are pensions a very attractive benefit from the employees perspective, they can also prove appealing for employers in terms of helping to retain staff.
“With only 20 per cent of employers in the Middle East actually offering corporate pension schemes, but with 56 per cent of respondents agreeing the single most important factor in deciding who to work for was the employee benefits offered, it is clear the potential benefit of offering a pension as part of an employee’s package could be beginning to be realized by employers,” added Haran. – TradeArabia News Service