(ONA) — The Royal Decree No. 50/2023, which promulgates the Bylaw of Social Protection Fund, defines the goals, areas of specialty and the administrative structure of the fund.
The decree acts as the virtual legal reference for implementing the provisions of the Social Protection Law.
As par the Royal Decree, all the assets and liabilities of the Public Authority for Social Insurance, the Civil Service Employees Pension Fund, the Ministry of Defence’s Pension Fund, the Royal Oman Police’s Pension Fund, the Royal Guard of Oman’s Pension Fund, the Pension Fund of Sultan’s Special Force, the Pension Fund of the Internal Security Service, the Pension Fund of the Royal Office and the Pension Fund of the Diwan of Royal Court are transferred to the Social Protection Fund. Liabilities and assets from the Pension Programme of Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) and the Pension Programme of the Central Bank of Oman (CBO) are also transferred to the Social Protection Fund.
As such, 11 existing pension systems, along with their assets and liabilities, will be merged into one entity. The decree aims at unifying retirement and social insurance systems from all sectors. It introduces a more efficient central apparatus capable of providing public services and developing assets.
The Social Protection Fund has a number of goals: It will implement the government’s vision, policy and programmes on social protection, provide an adequate and fair social coverage for various segments of society, establish an integrated and sustainable system for social protection, manage the Fund’s resources and invest its money to raise its value and align it with the current and future obligations to the interest of beneficiaries, creating savings tools and support programmes to enhance social protection, follow up and assess the performance of all monetary and non-monetary social protection programmes.
The fund’s administrative system will help devise social protection strategies, policies and programmes and enhance them in terms of incentives serving the covered groups, evaluate the effectiveness of the programmes and invest the beneficiaries’ funds in a manner that achieves the expected return.
The Fund also regularizes the services and policies of client care, coordinates with the authorities concerned to improve and harmonize them with the rest of the relevant initiatives.
The Fund will be managed and organized by a board of directors comprising the membership of representatives from the State’s Administrative Apparatus (government departments), Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the General Federation of Oman Workers and independent members, in accordance with the best practices of governance and the requirements of the ‘tripartite representation’ of social insurance and protection systems.
It is worth noting that the Royal Decree (No. 50/2023) provides for the cancellation of all pension funds and the Public Authority for Social Insurance, as well as retirement/pension programmes—after transferring the ownership of their assets to the Social Protection Fund.
Meanwhile, the Royal Decree No. 51/2023 acts in a similar way in terms of Military and Security Services pension funds, thus serving retirees of military units in an adequate manner.