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GCC warms to pension funds

17 January 2014

The establishment of private pension funds could help attract talent and boost the capital markets in the Middle East. But, Hardeep Dhillon asks, will they catch on in the region?

Read more: GCC pension funds

Now that the economies and markets of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are soaring again, employee compensation and retention have resurfaced on boardroom agendas. Further economic progress will require a fresh wave of talent so companies must consider enhancing employee benefit solutions in an effort to attract skilled professionals.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar and Saudi Arabia lead the GCC region for talent, according to Insead’s Global Talent Competitiveness Index published in November 2013. Expatriates account for the vast majority of the GCC’s population, representing roughly 80% of the population in the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and about 35% in Saudi Arabia. However, there are no formal pension arrangements for expats.

Every GCC state makes it compulsory for an employer to give employees a lump sum when they leave service. This end-ofservice benefit (EoSB) or gratuity is based on a formula involving length of service and final...