According to the statistics of the Ministry of Finance in Iraq, there are around five million former government employees who are currently receiving their retirement payments every month. Many Iraqi citizens are unaware of the laws related to retirement and the rights or benefits they may be entitled to. This article aims to shed some light on some important aspects of retirement law and how to access rights and entitlements for employees working in the public sector in Iraq.
What is Retirement under the Iraqi Law?
Retirement refers to a legally prescribed age from which a person stops or withdraws from employment permanently. In Iraq, retirement is regulated under Law No. 9 of 2014 on Unified Retirement Law, which prescribes the rights and obligations of Iraq citizens in relation to retirement. In Iraq, the legal age of retirement is 60 years old.
Who is included in the provisions of the Retirement Law?
The law applies to all employees of state departments, the public sector, temporary public service employees, those assigned to public service, state employees working for both the public and private sector who were appointed before 09 April 2003, and retirees in the following cases: who have reached the retirement age or seniority, in cases of illness or disability, or death.
When can a Person Retire?
The employee is eligible for retirement in one of the following two cases:
First: Upon reaching the age of 60 years, the legal age for retirement, regardless of the length of his\her service (unless the law stipulates otherwise). The employee may continue working after he or she reached the legal age of retirement but may not work beyond the age of 65 years.
Second: If a competent official medical committee determines that he or she is unfit for further service.
There are exceptions to the requirement of retiring at 60 years old for certain professions:
- Academic professors and assistant professors
- Forensic doctors, anesthesiologists, and psychiatrists
- Advisors and assistant advisors in the State Council
- Those who are included in the Iraqi Law on Employment Termination based on political grounds.
- The relatives of first- and second-degree martyrs covered by the Law of the Martyr’s Institution and the Law of the Institution of Political Prisoners
- Civil pilots who hold a valid work permit at the time.
How do I apply for Retirement?
- Obtain a letter of employment service summary in the department or workplace (administrative order for the first employment).
- The decision to refer to retirement approved by the authority or ministry to which the employee belongs. Example: The teachers obtain a referral decision approved by the Education Directorate in their governorate after it is approved by the Ministry of Education.
- A copy of the following personal documents: Iraqi ID, nationality certificate, ration card, housing card, and 4 passport-size photographs.
- Obtain Clearance from public funds from the place where the person works.
- For male employees, the period of compulsory military service spent by the person and any other services where the person has worked with a ministerial contract will be added to his retirement service salary.
- In case the employee wants to be referred to retirement, a request is submitted to the department in which they work, and then the application is submitted to the related Ministry for approval in addition to the same documents mentioned above.
- In the case of death of the employee - their salary is automatically transferred to the General Retirement Directorate - the documents required for this type of retirement are the following: - - A copy of the death certificate.
- A copy of the Legal Qassam (legitimate allotment).
- A custody proof certificate if the deceased was married and has underage children.
- A copy of the population registry of the deceased in the Civil Status Directorate.
- A letter about the end of service of the deceased person from the related department.
- At the end, after completing the required documents and papers mentioned above, all are submitted to the General Directorate of Retirement, based in Baghdad, that will send a copy of the approved Request to the Retirement Directorate in the person’s governorate after calculating the salary and years of service. Then, the retirement ID is issued to the retired person from the Retirement Directorate in the -respective governorate.
Note: The process begins with the submission of the request for a retirement referral. Subsequently, within 45 days from the date of the application's registration, if a decision is not obtained, the employee is referred to retirement by the end of the mentioned period and the employee becomes entitled to the retirement rights.
Is it Possible to Work Past the Age of 60?
Not everyone, the employee's service can be extended for 3-5 years maximum, after the age of 60, depending on a few conditions:
- Is your job prioritized and highly needed?
- How scarce are your skills/specialization?
- Is there a high demand for those skills?
- if you have martyrs related to you till fourth degree, you can ask to extend your service for 3 year maximum or if you were detained for a political reason by the previous government from (1968-2003) you can ask to extend your service for 5 years.
Is it Possible to Retire before the age of 60?
Yes, an employee can retire before the age of 60 in the following cases:
First: if they are 50 years old and above or have completed 25 years of service.
Second: For female employees, a married, widowed, or divorced woman who has custody of her children may request to retire before the age of 60 if she satisfies one or more of the following conditions:
- She has worked for 15 years in the same job.
- She has three or more children aged under 15 years.
- The reason for her retirement is to take care of her children.
Third: Referring the employees of companies and self-financing departments that lose financially (when their income is not allowing them to be financially independent) for a period of 3 consecutive years, to retirement if they have service of at least 15 years, regardless of their age.
Fourth: The employee is referred to retirement regardless of the length of the service if he\she suffers during the service from an illness that requires treatment for a long period or is an incurable disease and the medical committee decided that he or she is not fit to work permanently. The retirement service of the employee, in this case, will be calculated as 15 years directly Even if the actual service is less than that. Such employees are exempted from paying retirement contributions for the added period and their retirement salary will be paid regardless of their age. The employee, the department, or the authority can object to the decision of the medical committee in front of the appeal medical committee within 30 days from the date of notification.
Retirement rights of the employee in the event of injury during service If the employee was injured twice during the service/employment, and a doctor rates the disability for the two injuries as 65% or more, then the retirement pension should be calculated:
The employee covered by the provisions of this article is granted a one-time disability bonus. If the work injury leads to the death of the employee, the retirement pension shall be calculated regardless of the service period, and the pension will be received by the immediate family. Once the injured person or their dependents request the allocation of the retirement salary, the employee's department sends the investigative papers and the decision of the medical committee to the authority to make the assessment.
Is the retirement service salary deducted from my Monthly Salary?
Yes, each month, 25% of the total salary of a public employee is deducted and put towards their retirement fund.
Of the 25%, 10% is paid by the employee and 15% by the public treasury.
When does the retirement service not Added to my Salary?
- Any period of service in which the retirement contributions were not paid.
- The periods of absences and unpaid leaves.
- Periods of imprisonment.
- The employee's service period before completing (18) eighteen years of age.
Note: The period of leave is calculated with half of the salary. The Authority may not accept a term of service and calculate it as a retirement unless it is proven with official documents or records.
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