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Mon 5 Aug 2019 01:45 PM

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Dubai's DIFC launches employee savings scheme

New DIFC investment platform to act as alternative to end-of-service payments

Dubai's DIFC launches employee savings scheme

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has launched a pension-style savings scheme for employees.

According to a statement released by the centre, the Employee Workplace Savings (DEWS) scheme, will offer a low-cost investment platform for receiving and managing mandatory end-of-service contributions on behalf of employees, similar to the pension system operated in the United Kingdom.

Employees can also add any voluntary savings, including cash or cash equivalent options for those who do not want to take investment risks with their contributions.

Equiom has been selected to act as master trustee of the DEWS plan, while Zurich Middle East is the scheme administrator. Zurich will be assisted by Mercer as an investment adviser, and Smart Pension as a technology services provider.

Arif Amiri, CEO of the DIFC Authority, said: "Based on the extensive experience and sterling reputation of the selected service providers, having implemented and participated in similar schemes in a number of other jurisdictions, also in the region, we are confident that their collective expertise of over 70 years in this field will help secure better employee end-of-service benefits for the DIFC workforce."

Zurich will soon begin the enrolment process with DIFC employers required to participate in the DEWS plan.

The introduction of the new scheme will allow companies based in DIFC to know exactly what their liabilities to employees are, without any liability once paid. Meanwhile, employees will have secure benefits, irrespective of an employer going out of business, while having the option to earn a return on an employer’s monthly contributions and to make their own contributions in a very cost-effective and simple way.

Employers in DIFC will have the option to opt out of the DEWS scheme in limited circumstances, provided that they have a qualifying alternative scheme certificate by the DIFC Registrar of Companies. Guidelines as to what constitutes a suitable alternative will be provided after September 15, 2019.

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