The DIFC has announced it has introduced an Employee Workplace Savings scheme. It will come into force in January 2020. Under the scheme, end-of-service benefits in the Centre will migrate from a defined benefit to a funded contribution plan. Employers will be able to opt-out of the scheme in certain circumstances, provided they have been provided with a qualifying alternative scheme certificate by the DIFC Registrar of Companies. The guidelines on this will be provided after 15 September.
A global trust services provider, Equiom will be the master trustee of the scheme, while Zurich Middle East has been appointed scheme administrator. Zurich will be assisted by Mercer as an investment adviser and Smart Pension as a technology services provider.
Ahead of the rollout a DEWS Supervisory Board will be established and its members will be representatives from the DIFC Authority, employer and employee representatives and non-affiliated individuals.
The Board will settle the DEWS trust and the scheme rules with the chosen service providers and oversee the continuing governance and commercial aspects of the scheme which are not subject to regulatory supervision. The regulatory aspects of the master trustee and scheme administrator’s duties will be overseen by the Dubai Financial Services Authority