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Legal Encounter on Joining the Pension Fund: Process and Procedures

Monday
January 21, 2013
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The Birzeit University Institute of Law (IoL) on October 18, 2012 sponsored, alongside the Birzeit University Union of Professors and Employees, a legal encounter on Joining the Pension Fund: Process and Procedures. The encounter focused on mechanisms for subscribing to the public pension fund, an important topic for university employees given .

 

 

In the context of ongoing Negotiations underway between the Federation of Unions of Palestinian University Professors and Employees, on the one hand, and university administrations and the Palestinian Pension Authority (PPA) on the other, this topic is now particularly significant for professors and employees at Palestinian universities.

Mr. Ahmed Khaled opened the event by welcoming speaker Mr. Mohammed Abu Rahmah, PPA Branch and Office Manager, and the audience. Mr. Khaled explained that the Federation of Unions of Palestinian University Professors and Employees embraced the idea of joining the public pension fund. Since 2010, the Federation has led negotiations to materialize this goal.

Ms. Rula Abu Dahu, member of the Birzeit University Union of Professors and Employees, highlighted the importance of pension regulations in any society. The Union has communicated its vision of subscribing to the public pension fund to the niversity administration and the university is currently examining the proposal. Ms. Abu Dahu expressed her thanks to the IoL for its continuous efforts and legal insight in various areas. The IoL has organized a series of legal encounters designed to enhance legal expertise, that will benefit society as well as specialized groups and individuals.

Mr. Mohammed Abu Rahmah explained that the establishment of a Palestinian civil pension authority in line with the Law of Public Retirement No. 7 of 2005 helps create a social security system that covers all of those employed and unemployed. Subscription to the public pension fund safeguards the future of workers and their dependents. Shedding light on the reality of pension and historical background of the pension authority, Mr. Abu Rahmah cited laws that regulated pension in the West Bank and Gaza Strip before the Palestinian Public Retirement Law had been enacted. Some provisions under these laws are still applicable to a certain category of government employees. However, the variety of pension-related laws has confused the activity of the PPA.

Mr. Abu Rahmah explained the procedures for appointing the PPA director general and its board members. Enjoying financial and administrative independence, the PPA provides pensions to beneficiaries on an equal footing and works towards creating a social security system that covers the spectrum of Palestinian society. The Public Retirement Law addresses not only public sector workers, but also new categories, prescribing mechanisms for joining the public pension fund. The law does not draw a distinction between public and private sector personnel. Two pension systems are in place: a compulsory system with defined benefits and an optional system with defined contributions (the savings fund). Subscription to the public pension fund does not prejudice an employee’s right to benefit from other pension systems.

The Public Retirement Law entered into force on September 1, 2006. The law sets out the retirement age, early retirement age, physical disability, death, resignation, and termination of service. Pension applies to a base salary, with fixed and periodic increments and a cost of living allowance. The law also provides a mechanism for the purchase of years of service by agencies and institutions that newly subscribe to the public pension fund.

In the discussion after the presentations, interlocutors calling for an expedited subscription to the public pension fund. Mr. Jamil Salem, IoL director, asserted that the IoL will present an integrated legal concept paper on the public pension system to the Birzeit University Union of Professors and Employees.

 

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