MUSCAT, Sept 30 – An increasing number of retired people are now looking for a second stint in the job market to increase their income. This includes those who have sought premature or voluntary retirement.
Data from the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI), civil service and manpower ministries show more than 50 per cent of employees, including women, retire either relatively early or resign from both public and private sector jobs.
According to statistics, pensioners in the Sultanate registered an annual growth of 8.9 per cent with the total number rising to 84,479 in 2016 compared with 77,540 in 2015.
The number of women leaving their jobs stood at 5,027 in 2016.
While medical experts are in favour of people taking up jobs after retirement to avoid idleness, several of them are forced to seek jobs to supplement their retirement income.
But there is also a group that opts for retirement with an eye on enhancing their career and income by cashing in on the availability of senior positions as a result of Omanisation of various professions in the private sector.
“This very often leads to jamming up the job market denying opportunities for the existing senior staff in the same company,” said a job consultant.
Azad al Saleh is 58 and is now heading the human resources department of a money exchange company.
He said his decision to retire early proved fruitful as he now earns more than before.
“I took retirement last year from my government job. I knew that many companies look for the services of retired people for their experience,” Saleh told the Observer.
There are also people who opt for early retirement to enable them to start a business to have additional income. For many, buying property and stocks are favourite pursuits.
Anwar al Balushi got into real estate business after his retirement.
“Although the business does not provide me with a regular income, when it happens it comes in the form of lump sum amount. So my pension can remain untouched,” said Al Balushi.
There are also a number of pensioners doing part-time jobs, especially in public relations.
Tareq al Nabhani does liaisoning and public relations job for more than two companies.
“There are many companies that need the services of people like us. For them, the cost to hire a full-time employee has gone down as they can get someone to work for the same job at a lower price”, he said.
In the Sultanate, there are different pension funds in the public sector, including funds at the Civil Service, Diwan of Royal Court, Royal Oman Police, Royal Guard of Oman and Central Bank of Oman.
Pension funds in the private sector are at PASI, Petroleum Development Oman and Oman Refineries and Petrochemicals Company.
While the total of value of pension funds in Oman jumped to more than RO 399 million in 2016 compared with RO 357 million in 2015, the total number of pensioners registered with the public sector pension funds increased to 69,202 in 2016 compared with 63,349, a growth of 9.2 per cent.