No early retirement plan for Bahraini women: Govt


The Cabinet in a letter to the parliamentarians said the optional early retirement for working women would cost the government an average of BD64 million annually if only 50 per cent of the 4,166 employees who would benefit from the proposal wanted to retire.

The proposal that was passed with majority by parliament early this year has been submitted at least three times since 2002 by MPs and rejected by the government for its high cost.

The MPs argued that the government was making public organisations more preferable to women and female activists for violating the gender equality principles.

According to the proposal, female employees who want to take early retirement would be treated on par with those retiring on health ground or superannuation and that might cost Pension Fund BD33.2 million in the first four years of the implementation of the programme.

Each woman worker will buy five years from the Pension Fund and get no more than 80 per cent of salary as pension. The Pension Fund, which offers services to public sector employees, objected the proposal saying it could not include more services in its retirement schemes because of the financial problems it might cause.

The fund said the number of employees under the early retirement scheme had been on the increase, reaching 4,141 or 45 per cent of the manpower in the government sector in 2002. Pension regulations stress early retirement after 20 years of services and the proposal allows staff to retire after 10 years.

The proposal recommends that woman employees get 80 per cent of salaries as pension after they complete 32 years of service instead of 40.

The government explained that the proposal would harm women and not benefit them as public organisations would stop recruiting them to avoid losing their expertise when they quit jobs after receiving good training.

The government said the proposal would affect badly the health and education sectors that depended on a large number of women who work as doctors, nurses and teachers.


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