Picture for illustrative purposes: Employment contract Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi Pension Fund on Tuesday announced that private sector companies in the emirate can apply to postpone paying pensions over the next three months.

The decision, which was passed by the group’s board of directors, is open to 1,154 private entities that are registered to the fund, with those companies able to submit their application for postponed payments electronically through the fund’s online portal. According to the fund, 8,765 citizens are also registered with the fund.

“The fund was keen to grant the private sector entities a package of facilities in light of the current conditions, which the country and the world as a whole are going through, in order to support and help these entities in encountering the economic repercussions that greatly affect many private sector institutions,” said Jassem bu Otaabi Al Zaabi, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Pension Fund.

For his part, Khalaf Abdullah Rahma Al Hammadi said the decision to postpone pension plans over the next three months was to help companies affected by COVID-19 avoid missing payment deadlines.

“Article 26 of Law No. 2 of 2002 in the matter of Abu Dhabi Retirement Pensions and Benefits allows the fund’s board of directors to define cases and conditions for exempting the entities from additional amounts in the event of late monthly contributions payment.

“Accordingly, the board took this decision after assessing the situation and studying the implications of the new economic situation for the majority of the private sector entities”, he added.

According to the fund, companies that want to benefit from the new regulation can apply to defer their March payments which are due starting from April, with the measure going into immediate effect.

The announcement is just the latest in a series of measures that have been announced by government entities looking to financially support the private sector in light of COVID-19.

On Monday, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation announced their own policies allowing private companies affected by the COVID-19 crisis to grant employees paid or unpaid leave, as well as to temporarily reduce their salaries.

How this affects you

In simple terms, companies that have been making monthly payments to your pension fund are going to postpone making these payments over the next three months if they are unable to meet their commitments. As pension funds are there to be paid out to you after you retire, this decision has no immediate impact on you, and is more for helping private companies with any financial strains they may face because of COVID-19.