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GFBTU Objects Stopping Annual Raise of Retirees' Salaries

2020-07-09 - 7:16 p

Bahrain Mirror: The Secretary-General of the General Federation of Bahrain Trade Unions (GFBTU) Abdulqadir Al-Shihabi said that the Board of Directors of the Social Insurance Authority is considering a package of amendments to the social insurance system, most notably the elimination of the 3% annual increase for retirees, among other benefits.

He stated that the Board of Directors had recently reviewed the actuarial expert's study and the reforms he had proposed to the retirement system, most notably merging the pension funds, increasing the workers' contributions and abolishing the early retirement. Al-Shihabi stressed that the GFBTU will push for solutions to address the actuarial deficit of social insurance funds without compromising the earnings of retirees, stressing the importance of social dialogue between the parties.

He noted that the social insurance system is one of the best systems in the field of social protection and that it should be maintained. He added that the federation will not accept any infringement of pension benefits.

Regarding merging the pension funds, he said "It is not permissible to merge social insurance funds, the participation rates and the collection system vary between the public and private sectors, and we need to apply the best feature system according to resolution 3/2008 and not merging two funds. We are looking for improvement for the better and not accelerating for the worse."

As for canceling the retirees' annual increase, he said "the annual increase for retirees is only 3%, which is lower than the 5% annual inflation rate." In the same context, the GFBTU issued a statement calling for not infringing the rights of workers and retirees. All the adopted international labor standards reject the infringement of any acquired rights for workers and retirees, considering that "the ongoing efforts to stop the estimated 3% annual increase on retirees' pensions are an infringement on the rights of retirees."

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