The United Arab Emirates has introduced significant changes in its pension and social security regulations with the implementation of Decree Law 57 of 2023. This comprehensive legislation impacts various aspects of social security and retirement provisions for Emirati and GCC nationals, working and living in the UAE. In this article, we will delve into the key provisions of this new law, shedding light on its implications for both employees and employers.
Key Provisions of Decree Law 57 of 2023:
- Registration Requirements:
UAE-based federal, government, and private sector entities are now mandated to register Emirati employees within one month of their joining date. Furthermore, they must promptly provide the General Pension and Social Security Authority (GPSSA) with the names of employees whose service concludes within 15 days of their end-of-service date. Violations of these registration requirements will result in entities facing a Dh200 fine for each day of delay per uninsured employee.
To be eligible for registration with GPSSA, individuals must be UAE nationals aged between 18 and 60, and they must be medically fit to work, according to an approved medical report. It is imperative to furnish official age documentation issued by a UAE-based authority for initial registration. Any subsequent age-related updates must be reported within one year of the contribution date.
Contributions are now calculated based on the contribution account salary rather than the total salary. The new law establishes a contribution rate of 26%, with employees covering 11%, and employers bearing 15%. The government supports Emiratis with contribution account salaries below Dh20,000 by contributing 2.5% on their behalf. Employers are required to make timely contributions by the 1st of the following month, with a grace period extended until the 15th of the month. Overdue payments incur an additional 0.1% charge per day, not exceeding the contribution value.
- Non-compliance Penalties:
Failure to pay contributions based on real salaries may lead to insured individuals being responsible for an additional 10% of the contributions due, as per UAE Pension Law regulations. Entities must provide GPSSA with necessary statements, data, or documents within ten working days to verify contribution rates. Failure to do so incurs a Dh100 fine for each day of delay per insured person.
- Shourak - Enhancing Flexibility:
As part of the "End it right" campaign, the GPSSA has introduced more flexible features within the Shourak program. Insured Emiratis can now submit merge requests within three months, retroactively since the system's implementation on July 1st, 2023, allowing for smoother job transitions.
- GPSSA Date of Effectiveness:
The provisions of Decree Law 57 of 2023 apply to Emiratis joining the workforce for the first time from October 31st, 2023, onward, with any GPSSA-affiliated employer. However, those currently contributing to GPSSA before this date will remain covered by the provisions of the existing Federal Law No. (7) of 1999 for pension and social security, even if they change employers after October 31st. The same applies to individuals receiving end-of-service gratuities in line with the current Pension Law No. (7) of 1999.
- Disbursement Dates for 2024:
For the year 2024, pension disbursements will occur on the 27th of each month, except for January, April, and July, where payments will be made on the 26th, and October, where pension disbursements will be made on the 25th of the month.
GPSSA Implementation for GCC nationals
Under the extension protection system, GCC nationals working in the UAE are enrolled in the GPSSA, aligning their pensions and end-of-service benefits with the pension laws of their respective home countries. This system also covers the insured's dependents and those financially dependent on them during their lifetime.
Mandatory registration is required for GCC nationals employed across various sectors in the UAE, including free zones and hospitality. To be eligible, individuals must hold GCC nationality and be employed under the civil retirement law provisions. Non-compliance with these criteria results in suspension from the system.
The registration process involves coordination between the pension authorities of the employee's workplace and home country. Employers are tasked with deducting and transferring the appropriate pension contributions to the designated bank account in the employee's home country.
This system allows GCC nationals to merge their employment periods with their current employer and integrate previous service periods based on the pension authority's terms in their home country. Employers are also responsible for ensuring end-of-service gratuities are paid in line with civil service regulations and labour laws, respecting existing rights and benefits.
Both employers and employees are obligated to register and contribute. Failure to do so is considered insurance evasion and is punishable by law. Employers bear the full responsibility for any additional amounts or fines incurred due to non-registration, delayed contributions, or failure to register retroactively.
Decree Law 57 of 2023 represents a significant overhaul of pension and social security regulations in the UAE, with a focus on transparency, compliance, and flexibility. Employers and employees alike must ensure they adhere to these provisions to secure their financial future and enjoy the benefits of this new legislation. Stay informed about further updates and changes by following GPSSA's news releases and social media channels.
How Equiom can help
At Equiom, we pride ourselves on our extensive expertise in navigating the diverse array of local pension schemes in the UAE. Our comprehensive approach covers the entire spectrum of pension scheme applications in the UAE market, ensuring a seamless experience for our clients. Dealing with GPSSA applications can often be complex, time-consuming, and laden with administrative challenges. Our team of seasoned experts at Equiom is dedicated to facilitating a smooth and efficient process for you, from initial entity registration through to the ongoing management of monthly contributions. With our guidance, you can navigate these pension schemes with ease and confidence.
This article has been carefully prepared, but it has been written in general terms and should be seen as broad guidance only. This article cannot be relied upon to cover specific situations and you should not act, or refrain from acting, upon the information contained within this article without obtaining specific professional advice. Please contact Equiom Group to discuss these matters in the context of your particular circumstance. Equiom Group, its partners, employees, and agents do not accept or assume any liability or duty of care for any loss arising from any action taken or not taken by anyone in reliance on the information in this article or for any decision based on it.