Kuwait has the lowest retirement age (55 years for men and 50 years for women) in comparison to most other Gulf countries, said a recent report.
In the interest of all, here are the details of retirement age in Kuwait for men and women working in public and private sectors:
Retirement age in Public Sector
The minimum work visa age in Kuwait is 30 years for degree holders. This is only the recommended age limit, but it is not a law as yet. For unskilled workers, the work visa age in Kuwait is 18 years.
In the public sector in Kuwait, the maximum age limit for retirement is 55 years for men and 50 years for men. However, certain job industries allow retirement at 50 years.
As for school teachers, the visa restrictions depend on your nationality, and how senior the job is at a school. Also, the oil sector is always treated separately, while other general working conditions for public and private sectors are governed by Kuwaiti law.
Meanwhile, last December, the Kuwaiti National Assembly passed a controversial retirement law allowing nationals to retire as early as 45 years of age, provided, they accept a 2 percent reduction in their pension each year. Although the National Assembly approved this law, the legislation was later rejected by the government, seeking amendments.
Maximum age limit for expats
As a part of massive official drive to address the demographic imbalance in the country, where only 30 percent of the total population constitute nationals, Kuwait has set the maximum age limit for recruiting foreigners at 60 years (earlier it was 65 years). Henceforth, no contract for any expat who turns 60 would be renewed.
Private sector retirement age in Kuwait
In the private sector in Kuwait, however, there is no specific retirement age being mentioned, as the laws regarding retirement for those already working in Kuwait and age limit for hiring people from overseas are different. In general, there is no mandatory retirement age in Kuwait, as it is only applicable to those contributing towards Kuwait’s Social Security Fund, and is mostly applicable to those working in government sector.
Generally, expatriates who are 60 years or above are not given work permit, unless they obtain a special exemption from relevant authorities. So, in case you fall under higher age group (60 years or more), your company will have to gain a special exemption for you. However, you should know that several companies don’t hire candidates over 60 years, as this involves plenty of paperwork. Moreover, as per the latest rule, Kuwait has stopped recruiting expats over 60 years of age for any kind of job roles.
As for visa cancellation on retirement, your employer can arrange for cancellation of your work permit and residence visa, when it is time for you to leave Kuwait. The procedure also involves closure of bank accounts, credit card cancellations, cancelling telephone subscriptions, electricity and water accounts, moving out of company accommodation, and all that is under the employer’s sponsorship.
For work permit cancellation, you may have to submit documents such as your original passport, sponsor’s passport copy, copy of establishment card, copy of commercial license, copies of application for cancellation prepared by typing agents with form duly signed by sponsor and the company’ seal.
For cancellations of Residence Visa, you may have to submit original passport, copy of valid commercial license, and copy of establishment card.
If you have a family under your sponsorship, it is mandatory to cancel the Family Residence Visa before starting the work permit cancellation process. The documents required for cancellation of Family Residence Visa are original passport of the sponsored family member, sponsor's passport copy, three copies of approved cancellation certificate filled up by typing agent, and copy of establishment card.
On completion of the procedures, and after cancellation of your Residence Permit, you will be issued ‘Temporary Visa 14’ for one month, in order to wind up your activities and leave Kuwait. When you cancel your residence, you will also have to ensure that the residencies of your family members in Kuwait, who are under your sponsorship, are also cancelled. On completing this, they will also be given one month temporary visa to wind up and leave Kuwait. Now, you can exit the country, or leave your family behind for the duration of their visa 14 validity.