Dubai International Financial Centre Employee Workplace Savings Plan, Dubai, has attracted $127 million in assets since its launch in February 2020.
The voluntary defined contribution plan for employees of DIFC — the main financial services hub in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region — has enrolled 19,182 participants from 1,187 of DIFC's firms in the first year of operation. In February 2020, the DIFC introduced the mandatory DC plan to replace the defined benefit pension funds offered by individual DIFC employers, known as defined benefit end of service gratuity schemes.
As of Jan. 31, 75% of the plan's assets were invested in its default fund, which is a low/moderate growth option. Three-quarters of the default fund's assets are invested in active strategies, while the rest is invested in passive strategies. The fund invests 65.1% of its asset allocation in multiasset strategies, 25.3% in fixed income and 9.6% in cash.
The plan is established as a multiemployer plan, known as a master trust. Zurich Workplace Solutions is its administrator, while Mercer is the investment consultant.
"The introduction of DEWS is one of many ways DIFC has contributed to the Dubai Plan 2021 by making the emirate a pivotal ... hub in the global economy, as well as making it a preferred place to live and work. Whilst providing participants with more transparency and security over their financial future, DEWS helps the center retain its status as a world-leading international business hub that attracts the best talent who help us drive the future of finance," Arif Amiri, CEO of DIFC Authority, said in a news release on March 2.