Senior citizen allowance to be raised to MVR 7,000

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih a campaign rally held at Maaveyo Magu in Male’ City on September 21, 2023. (Photo/MDP)

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has announced his administration’s decision to raise the state-provided monthly allowance for senior citizens to MVR 7,000.

He made the announcement during a campaign rally held at Maaveyo Magu in Male’ City. In this regard, he said the allowance, presently placed at MVR 5,000, will be raised to MVR 7,000.

He cited the allowance’s adequacy as a concern raised by many members of the public.

“We have decided to give MVR 7,000 for each individual above the age of 65 in the future, by the will of Almighty,” he said.

He also announced the decision to raise the retirement age to 70, from 65, making retirement at 65 a discretion of the respective individual.

Opposition PPM-PNC coalition’s candidate Dr. Mohamed Muizzu has also pledged to raise the retirement age earlier.

The decision to raise the senior citizen allowance being included in his manifesto for a second presidential term was announced by President Solih during a community dinner held at Addu City in June.

The legislature to introduce the allowance was first drawn up during former president Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom’s administration. However, it was implemented during former president Mohamed Nasheed’s administration, Maumoon’s successor. MVR 2,000 had been the allowance rate back then.

During former president Dr. Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik’s administration – the allowance was raised to MVR 2,300. It was raised to the current MVR 5,000 during former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom’s administration through an amendment to the law.

President Solih had pledged to work on raising the senior citizen allowance during his campaign bid for the current term in 2018.