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Bahrain - Social Security and Welfare

There is a social security system which provides a system of benefits to its citizens, but there is very little in that system which is available to expats. There is no system of deductions from wages to pay for social security benefits. The system is paid for thanks to foreign investment in the country and contributions from employers. Employees are only required to contribute towards pensions.

Benefits available for the citizens include unemployment benefit, housing benefits and disability and sickness payments. Foreign workers in the country are entitled to access the medical services free of charge but that is all, and the authorities do recommend that workers should have some sort of private medical insurance as there are some medical conditions for which it is advisable to seek treatment in another country and this will incur additional expenses.

Bahrain also has a state pension scheme which is again only open to citizens of the country. Workers have to contribute a percentage of their salary to benefit from the pension scheme. Foreign workers at international companies in the country may have access to a private corporate pension scheme. Not all companies will offer this though, so it is a good idea to continue to pay into any scheme you may have already joined in your home country. Foreign workers in Bahrain usually have more disposable income due to the tax benefits of working in the country and it is often recommended to take advantage of this by investing in a personal pension scheme.

It is a possibility, but by no means guaranteed, that an expat may be able to claim benefits from their home country if they are ill or need financial assistance for any reason. This will depend greatly on the social security system in your home country and it is a good idea to check with them before you leave to ascertain what help you may be entitled to if you need it. However, as most expats will be in the country on work visas, the end of a contract will mean a return to the home country, so for most, claiming benefits while abroad should not be an issue.

Both native and foreign workers are also covered by the scheme which compensates for work-related accidents. This scheme is paid for by contributions from employers and all companies who have more than ten employees are obliged to make contributions.

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