UAE: What is Shourak? Why is it important for citizens?

The end-of-service continuation programme has been introduced to benefit more than 100,000 insured Emiratis


Ashwani Kumar

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Published: Thu 6 Jul 2023, 2:46 PM

Last updated: Thu 6 Jul 2023, 3:05 PM

Transitioning into a new job has now become more feasible for insured Emiratis employed in the federal, government and private sectors with the General Pension and Social Security Authority’s (GPSSA) newly launched Shourak programme. As of July 1, Shourak – an end-of-service continuation programme – has been introduced to benefit more than 100,000 insured Emiratis, may any of them wish to change careers and merge their employment years.

Mohamed Saqer Al Hammadi, GPSSA’s pension operations department head, explained to Khaleej Times how Shourak works, its benefits, and eligibility criteria among other aspects.

Mohamed Saqer Al Hammadi. — Supplied photo
Mohamed Saqer Al Hammadi. — Supplied photo

What is Shourak programme?

Shourak is the first transformational project launched by the GPSSA to provide information to insured Emiratis and their organisations on the importance of merging previous and subsequent service periods whenever they chose to change careers. This increases their years of service without incurring any additional fees. It has been introduced as part of a performance agreement launched for federal and government authorities, signed in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to support the UAE’s vision ‘We the UAE 2031’.

Who is eligible to receive Shourak?

Emiratis employed in entities that are subject to the UAE Pension Law are eligible to receive Shourak. Insured individuals transferring from another pension fund to the GPSSA may also benefit from the merge process, given that the HR regulations between their two entities do not prevent the transfer process. In such cases, the insured’s service period continues and any differences in the merger cost are covered by the subsequent entity once the end-of-service amount has been transferred.

What are the steps to obtain Shourak?

Upon termination of service, insured individuals must notify their employers of their choice to ‘not’ be paid the value of their end-of-service gratuity for their service period, but rather merge it with the subsequent employment without having to incur any additional costs that may arise from the calculation formula. The insured is then required to download an application for non-payment of the end-of-service gratuity for the purpose of merging employment periods, and to sign and obtain the signature of the employer on the acknowledgment form ‘prior to’ or ‘on’ the end-of-service date. The acknowledgement letter is then attached to the end-of-service form alongside the other required documents. The request to merge both services must be done within one month from joining the new entity.

Any case, who will not be able to benefit from Shourak?

Any end-of-service applications or submissions sent to the GPSSA prior to July 1 were rejected as per the terms and conditions that qualify an insured to benefit from Shourak. Also, Shourak is not offered to pensioners, even if they meet the eligibility criteria, nor can it be offered to individuals who have worked for less than one year, since this period does not qualify for any gratuity in the first place.

Can Shourak be cancelled after a merge?

If all the procedures are in place, Shourak is guaranteed to last until the insured is ready to retire and receive his/her end-of-service benefit. However, there are various instances where an insured will be prohibited from using Shourak, some of which includes those who voluntarily withdraw from merging their service period prior to completing the required procedures, or insured individuals who join a new employer after six months. Other factors that result in not being able to make use out of Shourak includes submitting a merge request after one month from joining the new entity, reaching the legal retirement age of 60, or the decease of the insured prior to completing the merge process.

Can an insured’s Shourak application be rejected?

In order to benefit from Shourak the insured must join an entity within six months framework from their end-of-service date, and submit a request to merge both services within one month from joining the new entity. Applicants with financial liabilities during the previous period of service, such as legal alimony debt, payment due to the government, recovery of amounts wrongfully granted to the insured or unethical conduct during working hours, will be denied Shourak.

What employers/entities need to know about Shourak?

Entities play a huge role in ensuring GPSSA’s requirements are met from the moment an Emirati is employed – by completing the required registration requirements during the first month of employment to making sure the insured’s monthly contributions are transferred on time. It is important that both employers and employees are aware of the exact merge procedures in order to warrant insurance benefits for the entire service period.


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