Posted on December 10, 2016

With deliberate steps, the General Retirement and Social Insurance Authority (GRSIA) continues to promote its reserve and investment funds in order to meet future obligations and sustain funds for future generations, while taking into account social and economic dimensions and demographic changes. 

Since its inception, the GRSIA has been reviewing and reforming pension systems to achieve long-term sustainability, to mitigate unexpected risks, to fulfill subscription commitments and to offer retirees a good standard of living and meet state’s obligations in this regard. The GRSIA has made unremitting efforts to promote insurance protection and expand its coverage umbrella to include all citizens working in public and private sectors both internally and externally to provide a decent life for them and their loved ones. 

Over the past fourteen years, the GRSIA has consolidated its contributions and accomplishments and made great strides in modernization efforts built upon solid foundations derived from the Qatar National Vision 2030, and upon extensive studies of global insurance systems, which contributed to the upgrading of the pension systems, and the dissemination of its culture locally. In 2016, the Authority continued the course of progress initiated in 2002 and made persistent efforts to attain more accomplishments to push forward for more development, while aspiring to occupy a prominent position among its counterparts regionally and internationally. 

Thanks to its professional personnel and technical capabilities, the GRSIA managed to keep abreast with developments and is promising to continue this path of progress to secure a decent life for its contributors by enhancing economic and social protection. The Authority will continue to implement its systems and develop its procedural rules to manage and invest pension fund monies as well as facilitate and improve services provided to subscribers. 
This year, the GRSIA sought to create partnerships and reach contracts with several companies and entities to bring a range of discounts for the retirees.
These discounts ranged between 5 and 50% and in the first phase were offered by 70 firms including airliners, car agencies, hotels, insurance firms, travel agencies, restaurants and cafeterias. Efforts are afoot to include new partners in the second phase. The Authority received top rating in information and database safety and security from Oracle. It is a global test conducted by the company through a dedicated team to examine all procedures relating to database safety and ability to resist attempts by external penetration. 

The GRSIA’s reception of the ISO 27001 – 2013 certification for information security management system (ISMS) paved the way for winning the top rating. ISO 27001 – 2013 certification is an internationally recognized best practice framework for an information security management system (ISMS), which is a set of policies concerned with information security management or IT related risks. As for the planning and development of work systems, the Authority is currently working within a team preparing the social protection sector of the National Development Strategy (2017-2022). It has completed its own performance standards, and prepared the Authority service directory. It is also seeking to obtain the ISO 9001 quality management certificate. 

In the field of research and studies, the GRSIA attaches great importance to funds and reformation of military and civil retirement systems to sustain these funds, explore risks and find suitable solutions. As part of its actuarial valuations conducted every three years, the Authority began early 2016 examinations for civil and military pension funds in cooperation with an external actuarial office, in addition to conducting certain studies and financial reporting on pension benefits. It also updated a study on civil retirement and Gulf social insurance in collaboration with GCC retirement bodies. The study analyzed the status quo of the systems in the region, and the challenges and risks they may face and how to address them. 

Regarding cooperation and foreign missions, the GRSIA participated in the periodic meetings of the standing technical committee of the GCC retirement bodies, the latest of which was the 38th meeting that was held in Kuwait during the period from 26-28 September. At the technical level, the Authority carried out projects including: upgrading networks and asset management system, designing a Fortinet firewall information security, developing security management operations, increasing data storage to meet future requirements, implementing service portal project for employers, and completing queue management project in visitor hall. 

In parallel with the said accomplishments, the Authority made several legal contributions by following up legal disputes to which the Authority is a party. It updated customers' statistical database, developed a means of communication with other entities, renewed international cooperation database and designed another for the social security system, developed digital library system, prepared periodic statistical reports of civil and military retirement and pensions, and developed the organizational structure of its departments. 

According to the statistics in September 2016, the GRSIA is serving nearly 11,873 alive retirees, an increase of 7% in 2015; and 6349 beneficiaries for 2195 deceased retirees, with total pension exceeding QR 2.7 billion. Total active civilian contributors reached 64,124, of which females accounted for 52 % of the total, and they are working 377 entities subject to the provisions of the law, with an average monthly salary contribution amounted to QR 24,993. The GRSIA’s investments in pension funds increased to 85.6 billion. And due to the stability of the local economy and in order to support Qatari capital markets, the Authority settled 98.2% of which in the state. 

At the end of September 2016, revenue exceeded the threshold of QR 6.11 billion. The funds’ net insurance revenues accounted for 46% compared to 54%, thus achieving a surplus of QR 3.4 billion. The Authority attaches great importance to training and to developing professional national human resources, as well as to measuring outcomes and analyzing their effects to realize its desired goals. It has organized several workshops to introduce employees to hedge funds and investment portfolios and equip them with the required management skills. 

It continued efforts to nationalize jobs, as its Qatarization target exceeded 75% and is striving to nationalize all jobs. The GRSIA has sent 85 personnel on training missions inside and outside the country and has implemented the Government Resource Planning System (Mawared) in cooperation with the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs. The GRSIA accomplished various tasks like providing information technology solutions and programs designed to meet the needs of employers and beneficiaries. The Authority used various means of communications to build a communication bridge between it and all parties concerned. 

To implement the state’s vision and strategy related to social development, the GRSIA continues to prioritize the interest of retirees and is working hard to ensure a decent life for them and their families. It has also kept pace with the latest developments in retirement and social insurance sector to offer the best contributor service possible and sustain its retirement and pension systems.