Published On: August 17th, 2023 / Last Updated: August 14th, 2023 / 2.7 min read /

DIFC Employee Workplace Savings Plan (DEWS)

DIFC Employee Workplace Savings Plan (DEWS), is a progressive end-of-service benefits plan meant to replace the traditional End-of-Service Gratuity for companies operating inside the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), it mandates businesses to pay mandatory monthly contributions to a savings scheme that commenced from February 1, 2020.

The proposal excludes UAE and GCC nationals because they already have a social security scheme in place.  They could, however, choose to join and contribute voluntarily.

DEWS allows employers to acquire an independent, professionally managed plan to ensure that their worker’s end-of-service benefits are funded when they leave the organization. It provides a flexible savings plan to which employees can voluntarily contribute in order to support their future financial goals.

Contributions from Employer

For employees under five years of service, the contribution rate is 5.83% of the basic salary, while for those who have more than five years of service; it is 8.33% of the basic salary.

Contributions from Employees

For DEWS, there is no required employee contribution. Employees can decide to contribute a fixed percentage of their wages to the DEWS plan on a voluntary basis.

The currency used for DEWS contribution is the US dollar. Also, USD or AED can be used to make contributions. If the money is sent in AED, a regular conversion rate of USD 1: AED 3.675 will be employed.

The DIFC announced the appointment of the following globally renowned service providers to oversee the DEWS Plan (the Panel):

Equiom (Master Trustee) – Its function is to act as the independent legal owner of the contributions while ensuring the beneficial interest lies with the employees.

Zurich (Plan Administrator) – It will provide support through a contact center and a DIFC-based support team.

Mercer (Investment Advisor) – As the investment adviser, Mercer brings an independent, tried, and tested investment process to the Master Trustee of the DEWS Scheme.

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 summarized below:

Length of EmploymentProposed Contribution
For each of the employee’s first five (5) years of continuous employment5.83% of monthly basic wage
For each of the employee’s additional years of continuous employment8.33% of monthly basic wage

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