DIFC rolls-out employee workplace savings plan

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DUBAI

The Dubai Internationational Financial Centre, DIFC, has announced the launch of its Employee Workplace Savings, DEWS, scheme, which will offer end-of-employment benefits, as part of a funded and professionally managed contribution plan.

According to a statement released by the centre, the new plan, set to be launched from January 2020, will offer a low-cost investment platform for receiving and managing mandatory employer end-of-service contributions on behalf of employees, and any added voluntary savings by employees, including cash or cash equivalent options for those members who do not want to take investment risks with their contributions.

“Equiom, a trust services provider, has been selected to act as master trustee of the DEWS plan, whilst Zurich Middle East has been selected as the scheme administrator. Zurich will be assisted in its duties by Mercer as an investment adviser, and Smart Pension as a technology services provider,” the statement read.

Commenting on the announcement, 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 very soon begin the enrollment process with DIFC employers required to participate in the DEWS plan.

The introduction of the new scheme will allow companies based in the 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 the DIFC will have the ability to opt out of the DEWS scheme in limited circumstances, provided that they have been provided with a qualifying alternative scheme certificate by the DIFC Registrar of Companies. The guidelines as to what will qualify as a suitable alternative will be provided after 15th September 2019.


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