DEWS (DIFC Employee Workplace Savings) - 10 Leaves

  • 15-04-2020
 The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has implemented a path-breaking initiative - the DIFC Employee Workplace Savings (DEWS) Plan, which will replace end of service gratuity (ESG) – a lump sum payment payable to employees upon termination of employment. This initiative will help bring about a major change in the way end of service benefits are handled – and on par with more mature economies worldwide.
 
DEWS is a savings plan for employees currently working in the DIFC. The scheme does not include UAE and GCC Nationals, since they have an existing social security scheme.  However, they could choose to enrol and make voluntary contributions.

The DIFC announced that the following internationally renowned service providers had been appointed to oversee the DEWS Plan (the Panel):

  1. Master Trustee:Equiom - Its function is to act as the independent legal owner of the contributions, while ensuring the beneficial interest lies with the employees.
  2. Plan Administrator:Zurich - It will provide support through a contact centre and a DIFC-based support team.
  3. Investment Adviser: Mercer.

The minimum contribution which DIFC employers would be required to make into a Qualifying Scheme for each eligible employee - the DIFC has declared minimum accrual rates under the existing ESG regime, as summarised below:

 

 
  Current Proposed
For each of the employee’s first five (5) years of continuous employment 21 calendar days’ basic wage 5.83% of monthly basic wage
For each of the employee’s additional years of continuous employment 30 calendar days’ basic wage 8.33% of monthly basic wage

 

In addition to this, the employee can also choose to make additional voluntary contributions into this scheme, through salary deductions.

DEWS-related payments will be made to the bank accounts of Equiom. This account is a dollar-denominated account and is currently with Standard Chartered Bank UAE. Each employer will be provided with the information of the bank account along with a dedicated Virtual Bank Account Number (VBAN) when they enrol into DEWS.

DIFC employers can choose to use a complementary scheme for DEWS, and in this case, can apply to the DIFC for a Certificate of Compliance for a ‘Qualifying Scheme’.

The DEWS Plan has already been rolled out, with first contributions due at the end of April 2020. Employees also have access to the DEWS Portal, to keep track of their fund performances.

The default risk profiles are low and moderate, but employees can switch to one or more other funds for free.

On termination of their employment with a DIFC company, employees can choose whether to receive a pay-out of their accrued benefits or alternatively, leave the relevant savings in the Qualifying Scheme for continued investment.

The annual charge is 1.33% of the funds managed (for the default fund option). This includes the trust costs, administration cost and investment management charges. The DEWS plan has no other charges such as entry or exit fees, switch charges, fixed annual fee etc.

How can we help?

10 Leaves can help you with

  1. getting registered as an employer on the DEWS Portal;
  2. Making logins for all your employees on the DEWS Portal; and
  3. Preparing payroll and contribution files on a monthly basis.

In short, we can help manage your DEWS obligations, at a competitive fee. Get in touch with us today!

 

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