Arab Pensions & Social Insurance Conference 2021

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The Arab Pensions Conference is an annual event that aspires to spread the word about the importance of pension planning. Hosted by Fintech Robos in the heart of the Arabian Gulf- Bahrain, it has adapted into a free virtual event that can be attended across the globe.


In the MENA region, many people rely on the government or their families to fund their retirement. While, a huge pension gap exists for expat workers and informal sector employees, although they make up most of the population. The Arab Pensions Conference aims to shed light on these growing issues in the economy, demographics, pension systems, and cultural mindset. The world is changing, and it is time to take initiative and start planning for your pension in an informed way.

Who can join?

This event is for anyone who is unsure about their retirement. Whether they don’t have a plan or their plan hinges on just one egg in their basket. This conference is most relevant for the young workforce, those who may think they are too young to start thinking about retirement. They are the ideal group to affect change, with time to learn and make positive changes towards their future. Whether you are part of a government agency, an asset manager, an investment advisor, or just someone who wants to learn about pensions, this event is for you.

What to expect?

The Arab Pensions Conference 2021 will be held online with a virtual event platform that is ideal for networking. Attendees will login and enter the event to find a stage where the sessions will be held, a networking section for automated meetings, and a replay section to watch sessions immediately after they are finished.


What should MENA Pension Systems look like for the next 50 years?

  • It has been around 50 years since social insurance and pension systems were first introduced into the various countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The region has thrived in the first 50 years of pensions, which we can now dub “the golden years of pensions”. This was possible despite the unexpected volatile economic and labor-market conditions, and the limited single-pillar structure of social insurance through Defined Benefit (DB) pension that exists till this day. In the GCC, a strong oil-economy and a fund lifecycle where asset accumulation grew much faster than the number of retiring workers in the first 40 years, kept pension funds highly solvent and fully able to keep their promises to retirees with a golden handshake.
  • With aging populations challenging the very model upon which pensions have been built, with the majority of populations in several MENA countries working in informal sector, with millions of youths being nudged to work in the new gig-economy, with more than half of the workforce in the GCC being expat workers, and with most regional pension funds running chronic actuarial deficits, how should we design the MENA pensions systems for the next 50 years? How do we want our children and their children to retire one or two generations from today?

Event Videos

Thank you to our Sponsor

Event Schedule

10:45 am - 11:25 am Virtual - live streamed from Bahrain


Welcome, Introduction and keynote speeches.

H.E. Mohamed Ahmed Maait H.E. Mohamed Ahmed Maait Minister of Finance of Arab Republic of Egypt
H.E. Lieutenant Dr. Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulla Al Khalifa H.E. Lieutenant Dr. Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulla Al Khalifa Chairman of the Supreme Council
for Health, and Chairman
of Al-Hekma Retired Society.
11:30 am - 12:45 pm Virtual - live streamed from Bahrain

Session 1

What do pension demographics and longevity risk in MENA look like over the next five decades?

Hazem Abdel Rahman Hazem Abdel Rahman Actuarial Consultant
Dr Omar Al-Ubaydli Dr Omar Al-Ubaydli Director of Research at Bahrain Center for Strategic, International and Energy Studies (DERASAT)
Shereen Hussain Shereen Hussain Professor of Health and Social Care Policy & MENA Research on Ageing Healthy (MENARAH) Network Founder
Jean-Xavier Bourre Jean-Xavier Bourre Head of OCIO Investment - Strategy Advisory
Andrew Reilly Andrew Reilly Pension Analyst
Dr. Jarmo Kotilaine Dr. Jarmo Kotilaine Chief Economist
1:00 pm - 2:15 pm Virtual - live streamed from Bahrain

Session 2

How do we bring all, or the majority, of the region's population under pension coverage (including informal labor, resident expats)?

Will Sandbrook Will Sandbrook Executive Director
Stephanie Payet Stephanie Payet Private Pensions Analyst
Iyad Hourani Iyad Hourani Managing Partner SOLUTIONS & Actuary
H.E. Mr. Nejib Friji H.E. Mr. Nejib Friji Director, International Peace Institute, IPI (MENA Office)
2:15 pm - 2:55 pm Virtual - live streamed from Bahrain


Take a Break and start Networking: Meet 1 on 1 with new people through our dynamic chat room.

3:00 pm - 4:15 pm Ø Virtual - live streamed from Bahrain

Session 3

What lessons has the world learned about family financial resilience and social safety net before and after Covid-19?

Fatima Zahra Aziz Fatima Zahra Aziz Executive Director
Andrea Hasler Andrea Hasler Global Financial Literacy Excellence Centre (GFLEC)
Sandrine Bardot Sandrine Bardot Employee Benefits and Financial Wellness Consultant
Dr. Gustavo Demarco Dr. Gustavo Demarco Lead Economist
Zeeba Askar Zeeba Askar Head of the Centre for Banking & Finance
11:00 am - 11:05 am Virtual - live streamed from Bahrain


Welcome to Day 2 & Introduction

11:10 am - 12:25 pm Virtual - live streamed from Bahrain

Session 4

Will the next 50 years generate the same investment returns for pension funds? If not, what's the mitigation?

Dr. Alistair Byrne Dr. Alistair Byrne Head of Retirement Strategy and UK Institutional Distribution
Abdulatif Alseif Abdulatif Alseif Co-founder, Managing Director
Karim Chedid Karim Chedid Head of Investment Strategy for iShares EMEA
H.E. Kholoud Saqqaf H.E. Kholoud Saqqaf CEO
Farah Foustok Farah Foustok Chief Executive Officer
12:25 pm - 12:45 pm Virtual - live streamed from Bahrain


Take a Break and start Networking: Meet 1 on 1 with new people through our dynamic chat room.

12:50 pm - 2:00 pm Virtual - live streamed from Bahrain

Session 5

Will Fintech decentralize the regional retirement sector in the coming years by giving citizens personal control over their pension planning?

Wim Daems Wim Daems Actuary, IT Consultant, Partner
Tim Phillips Tim Phillips Managing Director
Ramzi Khleif Ramzi Khleif GM
Yasmeen Al Saffar Yasmeen Al Saffar Head of Financial Services
Omar Shaikh Omar Shaikh Founder and CEO
2:05 pm - 2:15 pm Virtual - live streamed from Bahrain

End Session

Thank you messages

  • Date : November 16, 2021 - November 17, 2021
  • Time : 10:45 am - 2:15 pm (Asia/Bahrain)
  • Venue : Virtual event live streamed from Bahrain
No Tickets Available!!

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