SSIF disclosures should be regular, transparent, experts say

Insurance surplus to exceed JD450m this year — SSC

(File photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — Sunday’s announcement by Social Security Investment Fund (SSIF) CEO Kholoud Saqqaf that the fund’s assets totaled JD13.3 billion at the end of June was met by experts with mixed reactions. Saqqaf told Lower House lawmakers that the SSIF’s profits stood at JD371 million, and reiterated that the government is committed to repaying its debts to the fund in a timely manner.اضافة اعلان

Economic analyst Mazen Irsheid told Jordan News that the SSIF’s assets and profits should be disclosed periodically and not only when it suits the Social Security Corporation (SSC), since these are the funds and savings of the people who are entitled to be kept abreast of the financial situation of the institution.

SSC subscribers contribute 7 percent of their monthly salaries while employers pay another 15 percent to the corporation.

Irsheid emphasized that it is necessary to build trust between the SSC and subscribers and that full disclosure about the corporation’s investments is needed.

He added that through full and transparent disclosures “we can keep track of where the investments are going and thus limit the spread of fake news”, to the benefit of both the SSC and subscribers.

Social security expert  Mousa Al-Subaihi told Jordan News that the SSIF’s profits in the first half of this year, amounting to JD371 million, were slightly lower than the profits of the Jordan Phosphate Mines Company, which recorded JD371.8 million net profits after tax. The SSIF owns 10.5 percent in that company and 16.5 percent in the Arab Potash Company.

Subaihi said that the SSIF’s profits came mostly from interest paid by the government on Treasury bonds, along with corporate dividends and interest from cash deposits.

Economist Jawad Anani said that this rise gives some reassurance that the SSC’s situation is improving and that it is able to fulfill its obligations.

He expects the corporation to make better profits next year because potash and phosphate exports have been rising, along with commodity prices.

Meanwhile, SSC Director General Hazem Rahahleh told lawmakers on Sunday that the corporation expects the insurance surplus this year to exceed JD450 million, according to media outlets.

He stressed the importance of amendments to the Social Security Law, expected to have a positive impact on social protection and stimulate the labor market, adding that the goals and objectives of the proposed amendments are to strengthen social protection and economic security for contributors, their family members, and retirees.

According to Rahahleh, financial sustainability is largely focused on early retirement and finding a balanced equation for it, as the proposed amendments to the law regarding early retirement will not include those who have served less than seven years, i.e., 84 contributions; those who served less will see their early retirement age rise to 55 for men, and 52 for women. Likewise, the draft law abolished early retirement for those whose contributions on January 1, 2026, will be less than 36 payments, and their retirement age is 62 for men and 59 for women.

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