By Courtney Trenwith
Proposal would offer a gratuity based on the number of years service in any role
Saudi Arabia’s Shoura Council has proposed an increase to the benefits paid to retiring civil servants, which would bring them into line with expatriate workers.
Under the proposal, retirees would receive a gratuity of half a month’s salary for each of the first five years of service and one month's salary for each subsequent year, according to Arab News.
The present cap of six months’ salary would be removed.
Fahad Al-Hamad, assistant to the council president, said the increased benefits would help top up the pension, which was usually significantly less than the salary they had earned while working, helping retirees to live more comfortably and settle their financial commitments.
Expatriates and those in the education sector already receive a similar benefit, according to Arab News.
There are 1.2 million civil servants in Saudi Arabia.
Pensions have in recent years become of greater concern in Gulf countries, which do not have a mandatory superannuation scheme unlike many Western countries.
There are more than 571,000 retirees in Saudi Arabia, where the life expectancy rate is 74 years.