*** ----> First batch of VRS optees to be relieved by January end | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

First batch of VRS optees to be relieved by January end

Procedures have been completed to relieve the first batch of employees, who have accepted the Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) offered, said the Social Insurance Organisation (SIO). SIO, in a statement, said the employees are expected to sign their end of service forms between 6 and 10 January and will be relieved on 31 January 2019. SIO said the formalities were completed in coordination with other government entities and in accordance with the scheme’s timeline. 

An electronic system has been introduced by SIO to process the end of services forms as well as upload candidates’ information. The system facilitates Human Resource directorates in calculating candidates’ end of service package and their retirement pension. Two briefing sessions will be held by SIO on Sunday and Monday for all government human resource directorates on the new electronic system. Director-General of Organisation and Position Budget, Jamal Abdulaziz Al-Alawi, has confirmed that all government entities have formally notified all Voluntary Retirement Scheme’s (VRS) applicants of their status following the Civil Service Bureau (CSB) president’s instructions.  

According to the Civil Service Bureau, the voluntary retirement scheme is one of the six initiatives of the Fiscal Balance Programme. The scheme, CSB said, “Provides an opportunity for civil servants at government entities that are affiliates of CSB to employ their expertise in the private sector and entrepreneurship to contribute to the Kingdom’s economic growth.” For accepting the offer, the scheme provides a number of incentives including, granting 5 years of service to the actual number of years served, a oneoff direct cash compensation equal to the cost of purchasing five additional virtual service years, end of service promotion and end of service benefit. In addition to other benefits in accordance to laws and regulations. 

Requirements for beneficiaries include being an employee at government entities subject to civil service regulations, having actual years of service not less than 10 years, not being a senior employee and not returning to government service after retiring joining the voluntary retirement scheme. Ahmed bin Zayed Al Zayed also affirmed that all VRS candidates are eligible to receive the Periodic Annual Allowance, in accordance with the Kingdom’s 2019 Salaries and Benefits regulation - including the candidates that will retire on 31 January 2019 and the retiring candidates after them. The CSB earlier said it has assigned a team to ensure that all successful candidates receive their end of service promotion, in accordance with the CSB directive 4 of 2013.

As of November 10, according to   Civil Service Bureau’s President, Ahmed bin Zayed Al-Zayed, 9,000 public sector employees have applied for the voluntary retirement scheme through the Civil Service Bureau’s official website. During a workshop held by the CSB, Director of Human and Financial Resources Adnan Mohammed Bucheeri explained that the voluntary retirement scheme’s offer is for one-time, and for one month only, effective 9 October 2018, provided that the employees’ years of actual government service are not less than 10 years.

Further more, Bucheeri stressed that the voluntary retirement scheme takes into account that it shall not affect the work process and services provided by the Civil Service Bureau.