Engineers syndicate defaults on pension payments, cites liquidity

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AMMAN — The Jordan Engineers Association (JEA) will not be able to pay retirees’ pension this month due to the lack of cash in the retirement fund, which faces real financial problems, according to Fawzi Massaad, deputy head of the JEA.

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The official’s comments came after some retired engineers said they received only part of their pensions, or no payment at all.


In an interview with Jordan News, Massaad said that 17,000 engineers receive monthly pensions from the fund, at a value of JD4.5 million.


According to him, the fund has been in deficit since 2014, but it worsened this year, stressing that “there are solutions, and the problem will be solved, but this needs some time”.


He said that the JEA is in the process of coming up with some amendments to the retirement system, “but the general assembly did not approve it last month”.


“The modifications will be re-examined to meet the aspirations and needs of all engineers,” he said, adding that “we are looking for options to save the fund, and it is assumed that the amendments to the pension scheme, which the association is working on, will increase the number of subscribers, raise pension contribution, and deduct part of the pension.”


He noted that the new amendments “will be submitted to the general assembly after going through the necessary legal procedures”.


Engineer Raed Shorbaji told Jordan News that pension fund revenues now are lower than expenditure; “this year they decreased by more than 50 percent”.


He attributed the decrease in revenues this year to the “engineers’ reluctance to pay monthly contributions to the retirement fund, which is of course an optional subscription, in addition to the unemployment from which engineers suffer, exacerbated by the economic crisis they are going through”.


He stressed that the problem with the retirement fund has been greatly exacerbated by the inability to find real and radical solutions in previous years, and that “tough decisions might be taken now in order to solve the problem, but there are no other solutions to control the problem”.


“I think that among the solutions there will be a drive to cancel some categories that constitute a burden on the fund, in addition to raising the retirement age and making subscription to the fund compulsory,” he explained.



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