‘Retirement a transition from official work to social work’

  • 9 September 2016

A lecture on retirement expectations in the UAE was held in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, with the talk emphasising the importance of developing a well-structured retirement and pension system for the country.

The lecture, held at the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR), was given by Faraj Esmail Faraj Mubarak, Chairman of the Emirates Association for Retired Citizens, who discussed a wide range of issues on the subject, including the need to educate Emiratis on retirement and how they can prepare for it.

“It is crucial to discuss retirement with employees at work so that they have a better understanding [of it] and are well-prepared when it comes to retirement. This should be the role of the designated entities that are working in this field,” he said.

The chairman added that there is a need to change the perception about retirement and explain the fact that retirement is not related to a certain age. “Retirees can be of great benefit in their various specialisations and eventually become role models to younger generations,” Mubarak said.

“Retirement is not an invitation for retirees to give up on everything, in fact it’s just a transition from official work to social work,” he informed.

Mubarak explained that a main aspect of the Emirates Association for Retired Citizens is to not only make sure that retirees are well looked after, but that they are also allowed to remain productive to society.

“The vision of our association is focused on providing a decent life for retirees and raising the standards of services through several means and mechanisms, such as holding exhibitions for families, and providing aid to retirees’ families.

“Understanding the importance of social responsibility and creating a database with retirees’ experience is also important, as we can effectively benefit from them in both the public and private sectors. Retirees should be properly trained in investing their expertise and creativity in different activities,” he said.

Mubarak said that other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states such as Bahrain could be looked at as a good example to follow on implementing a suitable retirement system in the UAE.

“Other GCC countries have distinctive experiences in the field of retirement and pension, such as the Kingdom of Bahrain, where there are qualification programmes put into place that assist an individual with his upcoming retirement two years [in advance].”