The government, on Thursday, submitted a bill to parliament proposing to permit 80 percent of pilgrimage costs to be financed using the Pension Fund.
As per the regulation, people can use their Pension Fund to cover 80 percent of the official cost of pilgrimage which is set annually by the government.
President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih's Spokesperson Ibrahim Hood stated that amendments to relevant legislation increasing the financeable amount from 50 to 80 percent was submitted to the parliament.
Hood did not disclose further information regarding the bill during the press conference held at President's Office.
The amendment to the Pension Act permitting utilization of funds for hajj financing was also submitted by the government. Participants of the pension scheme can only withdraw from their respective saving accounts if they are first-time pilgrims. Additionally, pilgrims must also meet the criteria set by Maldives Pension Administration Office (MPAO).
Among these requirements are having a minimum of MVR 336,000 in retirement saving account at the time a withdrawal request is submitted. This is the minimum amount sufficient to distribute a monthly payment of MVR 2,000 upon reaching retirement age.
If the individual has collateralized funds in their Pension Fund to purchase housing, he or she must have the minimum required amount excluding the collateralized sum.
Several have expressed concern that only individuals with more than MVR 336,000 can use their pension funds to finance their pilgrimage. Only people with high salaries can amass such a substantial sum in a short amount of time.