Huda Hussein Al Marri (centre) being honoured Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: As part of celebrations for Emirati Women’s Day, held on August 28 annually, the General Pension and Social Security Authority (GPSSA) has honoured three long-serving Emirati women working in government and private sectors.

The first honour was given to Maryam Ali Ibrahim from Emirates Schools Establishment for her 41 years of service.

Award received on behalf of Maryam Ali Ibrahim Image Credit: Supplied

The authority also honoured Huda Hussein Al Marri from United Bank Limited for her 31-year tenure. The bank’s Emiratisation rate currently stands at 32 per cent.

GPSSA also paid tribute to retiree Sawsan Al Zaabi, who was honoured for working at the UAE’s pension authority for 28 years.

Sawsan Al Zaabi
Sawsan Al Zaabi (centre) being honoured Image Credit: Supplied

The honouring ceremony was organised to relay several messages, most notably to emphasise the governments support in representing one of its institutions for employees working in the private sector; praise the ability of Emirati women to transform any work-related challenges into opportunities; establish a standard of partnership and continuity of a woman’s professional support and highlight the UAE’s eagerness to encourage continuity of work for longer years in order to benefit from qualified and experienced individuals; and most importantly to acknowledge the important efforts exerted by Emirati women, who are known to contribute to the overall happiness of their nation.

Majority contributors

GPSSA statistics show that women represent 64.36 per cent of its contributors, which reflects the number of female employees working in the federal government sector, where women comprises 24,833 contributors compared to 9,896 male contributors, representing 71.50 per cent of the total contributors.

In the local government sector, the number of female contributors reached 15,559, compared to the number of males, which amounted to 13,937, representing 52.74 per cent of the total contributors.

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Equal rights

The pension law does not differentiate between women and men in terms of retirement years, offering both genders equal rights and obligations. However, the law singles out women with some advantages in appreciation of the social role they play in the community - while a man can buy five years of legal service, a woman can buy 10 years, and each year purchased offers an increase in pension of two years if a woman wants to retire after spending 20 years in service.

Additionally, the general rule in the law states that it is not permissible to combine two pensions in the authority or between a pension and a salary received by the insured from any other party in the UAE if the conditions for combining are not met. However, the law permits a widow to combine her pension with that of her husbands, or her salary from work and her share of his pension contributions. The law provides equal opportunities for both males and females when distributing the pension to beneficiaries since the pension is not considered a legal inheritance and guarantees a daughter’s rights to obtain an equal share in the inheritance to that of her brothers.

It is worth noting, that the son remains in the pension until he reaches the age of 21 or 28 years if he is studying, while the daughter remains in the pension regardless of her age just as long as she fulfils the eligibility conditions, i.e. a female’s share in the pension is detained in case she becomes employed, gets married, divorced or widowed, in which case a share is created via GPSSA’s treasury without prejudice to the shares of other beneficiaries.