IPI-MENA Hosts Meeting on Savings and Pensions

The International Peace Institute, Middle East & North Africa (IPI-MENA) hosted a preliminary meeting of experts set to join in finding solutions to structural challenges regarding pensions and savings on both the regional and global levels.

During the meeting, held February 1, 2018 at the IPI-MENA office in Manama, experts in pensions, finance and investment from the public and private sectors emphasized the link between savings and pensions, and the importance of both in sustaining social peace worldwide.Existing pension funds suffer from an inability to meet the needs of the burgeoning number of retirees, necessitating pivotal action to promote responsible wealth management.

Ebrahim K. Ebrahim, Pension Expert, noted that any initiative in this direction must include financial literacy education for the public and take a comprehensive approach, promoting a combination of governmental, private sector and individual efforts.

Nejib Friji, Director of IPI-MENA, reiterated that strong pension schemes are instrumental to sustaining peace and stability, and that decisive action now will reassure ageing regional and global retiree populations of a sustainable future.

Mr. Friji warned that 85% of the world’s salaried populations do not have a source of post-retirement income, which exacerbates inter-generational strains over limited public resources, thereby jeopardizing long-term social peace.

Other attendees of the meeting included Fareed El Naggar, Professor and Consultant, Management House for Training and Consultancy; Nehal Al Najjar, Associate Professor, Royal University of Women; Ali Al Marshid, Head of Fixed Income, SICO; Khurram Mirza, Head of Asset Allocation, OSOOL; Jameel Abdulnabi, Senior Manager of Financial Accounting and Vice Chairman of the Employee Savings Scheme, BAPCO and Ruan Rensburg, CEO – Bahrain and the Middle East, LUX Actuaries.

Bahrain’s status as a regional financial hub makes it a logical base from which to promote a savings and pension initiative. IPI-MENA is dedicated to working closely with future partners across the region and globe to advocate for a more robust savings, wealth management and pension culture, Mr. Friji said.