ABU DHABI- The UAE is preparing to host the 50th meeting of the Permanent Technical Committee for Civil Retirement and Social Security Apparatus in the GCC region at Expo 2020 Dubai on 7th-8th February, 2022. Mohamed Saif Al-Hameli, Director General at GPSSA, stressed that the technical committee meeting is organised as part of the periodic meetings held once every quarter in one of the GCC countries to discuss cooperation and coordination opportunities on the unified system for extending protection, since it is one of the leading GCC systems in extending the umbrella of social insurance outside the borders, by which a Gulf citizen who works in any of the GCC countries has the right to enjoy insurance protection, as if he/she were working in their own home country. During the session a number of topics are due to be discussed, some of which include: an initiative to review and update the system and its mechanism; conducting a comparative study on civil retirement systems in the GCC countries; activating digital integration between civil retirement agencies; developing means for training and rehabilitation in the field of social insurance; implementing an awareness campaign about the system in all GCC countries in order to raise awareness among employers and insured employees working in GCC countries; coordinate participation in international events and conferences related to social insurance to discuss mechanisms and challenges related to settling contributions with banks, and finally to propose establishing a Civil Retirement and Social Security Award for scientific research and honoring leading professionals in the field of civil retirement and social insurance. Latest statistics related to the protection extension system show that the number of insured employees registered in the system amount to 19,627 with 12,409 working in government entities; 7,218 working in the private sector and 6,849 are GCC contributors working in the UAE, while 169 Emiratis are working in GCC countries. The total number of individuals who benefited from the system so far by obtaining a pension or end-of-service gratuity since its establishment are 22,156. The decision to provide the insurance protection system to GCC citizens working in other countries was issued by the Supreme Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in December 2004 during the 25th session held in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The UAE Cabinet Resolution began implementing the system of extending insurance protection on 1st January, 2007 under law no.18, which was issued by the UAE Council of Ministers on 22 July 2007. This system ensures that at the end of the service period, GCC citizens receive a retirement pension or end-of-service benefit in accordance with the retirement laws to which he/she belongs in his own home country. GPSSA has been entrusted to implement the system of extending insurance protection for Emiratis working in the GCC region or for GCC citizens working in the UAE. Under the system, GCC citizens working in one of the GCC countries are insured by their employers across public and private sectors. This system ensures that at the end of the service period, GCC citizens receive a retirement pension or end-of-service benefit in accordance with the retirement laws related to his/her own home country. The provisions of the Pensions and Social Security Law are applicable to citizens of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries who work with an employer in the public and/or private sector in a GCC country, given that this citizen has the GCC nationality. He/she must work with an employer subject to the provisions of the civil retirement law in his/her country and this includes workers in free zones and the hotel and tourism sector; in the event of missing one of these conditions, the employee’s participation in the system will be suspended. This system is considered mandatory for business owners and the insured. A business owner bears the responsibility to register and pay contributions on behalf of the insured according to the shares prescribed for each one of them, and contributions are paid on their behalf and should not exceed the employer’s share determined by the country by which his/her work is located, noting that GCC citizen bears the differences in contributions, if any. © Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2022.