Employers operating in Dubai International Financial Centre, the main financial services hub in the Middle East, will begin enrolling workers in a new mandatory defined contribution plan on Jan. 1.
The announcement Sunday of the launch of the DIFC Employee Workplace Savings Plan plan follows legislative developments in Dubai, including a new law that requires employers to offer a retirement plan to workers. As a result, many defined benefit arrangements are expected to be replaced with a lower-cost defined contribution plan.
DIFC appointed Equiom Group as trustee of the plan. Zurich Insurance's Middle East unit and Mercer have been selected as the plan's administrator and investment consultant, respectively. Smart Pension will provide technology services.
Contribution details were not available.
"The new DEWS scheme will reinforce our position as a jurisdiction that attracts and retains the very best professional talent from across the globe in accordance with best practice, including employee benefits. It was critical for us that the partners selected to manage the DEWS scheme demonstrated outstanding capabilities, a well-tested track record and alignment with international best practices," DIFC Authority CEO Arif Amiri said in a news release.
Employers in the DIFC will have the ability to opt out of the plan in limited circumstances provided an alternative retirement arrangement has been approved, by Dubai Financial Services Authority.