In terms of living conditions, one of the most important things to consider when working or migrating to a different country is their social security programme. Qatar has been one of the most popular work destinations in the Middle East and the rest of the world among foreign nationals, not only because of the high pay, but also because of the benefits residents get from the government.
To date, Qatar boasts of having the biggest capita per GDP, making it the richest country in the world. And if you’re wondering what it’s like living in the world’s richest country, let’s take a look at their social security system.
5 Things to Know about the Social Security System in Qatar
In this post, we will share some of the social welfare support programmes the Qatari government provides its citizens and expats.
- No Financial Duties to Settle.
The Middle East has been an excellent work destination for expats throughout the years, mainly because countries in the region do not impose taxes on the people’s income – which basically means higher take-home pay, minus other expenses, which even the government covers in certain places including Qatar.
To date, the only form of taxes in the Middle East is the value-added tax (VAT), which is comfortably set at 5% in select countries such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, the UAE, and soon – Kuwait.
- Numerous Welfare Services Offered.
Qatari nationals, as expected, receive the bulk of the welfare services and benefits provided by the government. Among the social services Qataris are entitled to include medical care, child care, pensions, sickness coverage, maternity benefits, and assistance to the unemployed. In some cases, the government gives its citizens free housing and benefits for the disabled.
- Limited Benefits for Foreign Nationals.
In contrast to point #2, citizens have it so much better than foreign residents, as you would expect. But the government still extends its support to expats through the use of its medical facilities. However, Qatar is now encouraging companies to provide free medical insurance to their expat employees to lessen the spending burden on the national government.
- No Pension Scheme from the Gov’t for Expats.
With very little to no benefit expats are entitled to in terms of welfare help and support, the situation only builds up to the fact that no pension scheme is designed for expats in the country. But it’s not all bad, because for those who are working for an international company, your pension may be sponsored by the corporation you are working for.
Also, if you have a state pension back home, consider keeping it, even if it means that your benefits will be reduced.
- Personalize Your Pension Plan thru Various (Private) Channels.
Despite the fact that expats have little social benefits from the Qatari government – in most cases, one’s salary is way above enough to compensate for their needs. This also allows them to set up their own pension, which can be availed through a number of companies in the country.
As in the case in most (if not all) countries in the world, governments do not offer equal benefits to nationals and foreign residents, but they make up for it through other ways such as higher salaries and other privileges in doing business or at work. The important thing, though, for expats is to get their own insurance, especially when they can afford to do so.
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