Bahrain raises minimum pension to $730
Manama, August 9, 2011
The least pension paid to the retired from the public and private sectors in Bahrain starting August 28 will be BD275 ($730), which includes the newly launched BD75 monthly allowance, said a senior official.
This would be an increase from the previous BD180 minimum, with a new total annual budget of around BD1.6 million, said Shaikh Mohammed bin Isa Al Khalifa, CEO of Social Insurance Organisation (SIO) - formerly General Organisation of Social Insurance.
Half of the amount will be used to fund 15 per cent rises for all civilian and military employees registered with Civil Service Bureau.
Around BD70 million will pay for a new Standard of Living Improvement allowance for low-income employees, on top of the 15 per cent salary increases.
The remaining BD30 million will be used to give every pensioner registered with SIO an extra BD75 a month.
"The government will handle the expenses of this new limit," Shaikh Mohammed said. "It will be separate from the BD30 million allocated for the extra BD75 monthly payment, taking the least pension paid to BD275 monthly.”
"The new move is in line with SIO's goals of expanding its insurance services," he added.
However, Shaikh Mohammed stressed that an age limit of 55 years has been set for those wishing to benefit from pensions following the new limit.
"The move aims at ensuring all those eligible benefit," Shaikh Mohammed said. "The age limit encourages employees to excel in their work and try to reach higher positions before deciding to retire."
Shaikh Mohammed said pensioners registered with SIO under 55 years would not be affected.
"The new regulation will only affect employees wishing to retire after the new limit is implemented," Shaikh Mohammed added.
The increases, consisting of BD75 allowance and the new salary limit, will exclude those getting paid partial disability allowance following an injury at worksite.
"The reason is those being paid this allowance are still working at the same company," said Shaikh Mohammed.
"They are receiving a monthly salary from their employer as well as this allowance for partial disability that does not exceed 30 per cent. So they are not pensioners," he added. – TradeArabia News Service
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