Saudi Pensioners Seek Better Treatment


The conference will be hosted by the Eastern Province Retirees Association (EPRA).

“We are ready to make formal our united stand for a better deal during this conference, which, we hope, the government will pay attention to,” said Bidah Mejdal Al Gahtani, President of the EPRA. During the one-day marathon assembly, Al Gahtani will present the comprehensive demands of the Saudi retirees on behalf of the National Society of Saudi Retirees (NSSR), to be followed by response from the government ministries and agencies.

The gathering will be attended by officials and representatives of the Saudi National Society of Saudi Retirees and seven other branches of the organisation.

The assembly will also be attended by officials of the ministry of social affairs, the Government Organisation for Social Insurance (GOSI), the General Saudi Retirement Organisation, which oversees retirees in the government sector, and representatives of various sectors, such as banking, transportation and general services.

“In this gathering, we will table our agenda seeking support, and hope that we could get commitments and action from the government agencies and private organisations,” Al Gahtani said.

On top of the retirees and pensioners’ list of demand are the increase in their monthly pension, reduction in the year of service from 40 to 30 years for Saudi women to qualify for lifelong retirement pay, and discounts to senior citizens in the services of the Saudi Arabian Airlines, the Saudi Railways Organisation, public transportation companies, private hospitals, schools, banks, hotels, restaurants and other service establishments. “Most of us pensioners and retirees, mainly those who retired from the private sector, are living on a SR1,500 monthly pension. We are seeking this to be increased to SR3,000,” he explained.

Al Gahtani said most of the retirees, particularly those who retired from the military service whose monthly pensions are below the demanded SR3,000 level, do not have houses of their own. Retirees are among the 80 per cent of the Saudi population, who do not own houses.

“We want to strike deals with the services sector to offer and extend to us discounts and better services like those given to senior citizens in our countries. We feel we deserve better treatment, having contributed to the development of this country,” he said. He added that the social development of Saudi retirees and pensioners should be seriously addressed.

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