Thousands to benefit from extension of retirement age

Updated 21 May 2014
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Thousands to benefit from extension of retirement age

The Shoura Council’s recent decision to extend the retirement age of civilian employees from 60 to 62 is expected to benefit an estimated 850,000 workers on the verge of retirement.
When passed, the bill will increase the revenue of the country’s pension fund, enabling the fund to provide greater privileges to pensioners.
“The bill, which was prompted by factors such as the increase in life expectancy and receding senility thanks to the country’s excellent health care system, aims to achieve several pragmatic social and economic goals that will benefit society members and the productive and service sectors,” said Hussam Al-Anqari, a Shoura Council member and architect of the bill.
Fuad Al-Boqari, former chairman of the National Retirees Association, said the extension of the retirement age will enable the government to benefit from existing manpower for the development of the country.
He added that the country would also vastly benefit from the extensive experience and expertise of long-standing employees.
The move will also make pensioners eligible for a higher pension amount at the end of their services.
“The Public Pension Agency (PPA) will also see a spurt in its revenue after this extension,” he said.
Fouzia Akhdar, chairwoman of the female National Pensioners Society, stressed the need for considering the interests of women workers alongside their male counterparts.
“A female pensioner should be aware of her legal retirement rights, which should be clear and transparent,” she said.
“Her legal heir should have the right to benefit from her pension in the event of her death, even if the heir were getting his father’s pension.”
“Female pensioners should also have their own special identity cards specifying qualifications, past jobs, age, social status and specialization, preferably in Arabic,” she said.
Akhdar demanded setting up service offices for women pensioners to obtain their rights hassle-free.
The PPA received 31,000 applications for early retirement in 2012, registering a 16-percent increase compared with the previous year.
She said that most of the workers who took advantage of the early retirement provision were women, while 8,000 women workers retired at the normal age.
Lt. Gen. Abdul Aziz Al-Henaidi, chairman of the National Retirees Association, said women accounted for nine percent of the 850,000 pensioners included in the private sector until the end of last year.
The highest number of retired women was registered in the Makkah and Madinah provinces, followed by the Eastern Province.
Around 76,000 women workers had retired in the Kingdom last year, he said.


Sharqiah Season: What to expect this weekend?

Updated 21 March 2019
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Sharqiah Season: What to expect this weekend?

RIYADH: A bumper program of entertainment is being lined up in the Eastern Province for the biggest weekend yet of Sharqiah Season.

Concerts, a film festival, and a spectacular air race are just some of the events due to take place in the region as part of attractions for both Saudis and visitors to the Kingdom.

The action gets underway with the fifth annual Saudi Film Festival taking place from March 21 to 26 at the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) in Dhahran.

Organized by the Saudi Arabian Society for Culture and Arts (SASCA) in Dammam, in partnership with Ithra, the movie fest will honor Saudi and Gulf cinema figures and include 10 training workshops and 10 seminars.

The festival aims to promote opportunities for Saudi talent in the film industry and flicks from the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman will be included among screenings.

All participating films will be shown during the event, and there will be a Golden Palm award for best documentary about a Saudi city and best poster (based on audience voting). A winners’ presentation will take place at the closing ceremony, after which the films will be screened at the Ithra center.

Tickets can be purchased via Ithra’s website, with options for single-day, four-day, and VIP passes.

Meanwhile, the long-awaited Red Bull Air Race demo comes to Dammam from March 21 to 23. The event, organized along with the General Sports Authority, will provide spectators with a warm-up taster for the Red Bull Air Race World Championship 2019 season finale, to be held in Saudi Arabia in November.

The air-racing competition, developed in 2003 and accredited by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), is billed as “the most advanced aerial challenge in existence.”

Using the fastest, most agile, high-performance race planes, pilots fly just meters from the ground and against the clock to complete an obstacle course full of twists and turns. The air spectacular takes off at Dammam Corniche between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Saturday will also see the highly anticipated Color Run come to the South Alkhobar Corniche. The 5-km dash involves participants being doused with colored powder at the end of every kilometer. Runners start dressed all in white and emerge at the end of the run covered in the colors of the General Entertainment Authority’s logo.

The untimed run takes place between 5 a.m. and noon and rest areas offering refreshments and entertainment will be available between stops.

For concert fans the Asharqiah Music Festival will feature performances by major names at Dammam’s Life Park. US rapper Pitbull and Canadian DJ Deadmau5 will take to the stage on March 21, and March 22 will witness performances by Egyptian vocalist Amr Diab, US-Moroccan rapper French Montana, and American singer Akon.

Lovers of regional music are not left out, with appearances by Assala Nasri and Mutrif Al-Mutrif on March 22, and Nabil Shuail and Hatem Al-Iraqi on March 23, all at the Prince Faisal Bin Fahd Center in Al-Qatif.

Sharqiah Season, the first of 11 Saudi seasons of entertainment planned for 2019, will run until the end of the month with more than 83 different events scheduled across nine cities in the region.