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Dubai's gratuity investment scheme for expats: Enrolment, returns; what you need to know

Scheme will provide expats with opportunities to invest or protect their end-of-service benefits.



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A Staff Reporter

Published: Tue 15 Mar 2022, 6:14 PM

Last updated: Tue 15 Mar 2022, 7:54 PM

Authorities have announced more details about an end-of-service savings scheme for expatriates working in Dubai Government departments.

The scheme will provide expats with opportunities to invest or protect their end-of-service benefits.

It would provide several investment portfolios with varying returns and risks, as well as Islamic Shariah-compliant options. All employees will be enrolled by default in the capital protection portfolio, at which point they have the right to choose their preferred investment approach.

The employee can deposit all savings in one investment portfolio or choose multiple ones. For instance, an employee can deposit 100 per cent of the savings in a medium-risk portfolio, while another can split it between high-, medium- and low-risk options.

These came as the steering committee of the savings scheme held its first meeting to discuss the action plan for enrolling foreign employees. The committee also discussed other implementation mechanisms that will ensure that employees are protected and provided with opportunities to invest and develop their savings.

Enrolment and contributions

Under the supervision of DIFC, the board of trustees and international investment institutions will apply global best practices to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of the scheme.

Joining the scheme will be by default for foreign employees working in government entities, “according to job grades and over successive time periods”.

The employer and the Department of Finance will lead this.

“The employer will contribute the total end-of-service gratuity to the scheme, starting from the date of joining, without including the financial dues for previous years of service to which current legislation applies. The percentage of the contribution to the scheme will equal the end-of-service benefits due to the employee. In the event the employee is promoted or has changed roles, a change in contributions will become effective,” said the steering committee.

Rate of returns

Returns will depend on the amount invested by the employee, how it is distributed across available investment portfolios, and the risks associated with it. Employee participation in the scheme will stop upon the end of their service.

At this point, employees have the right to withdraw their entire end-of-service gratuity amount, or choose to continue.

In addition to the end-of-service gratuity that the employer is mandated to pay, the employee may make personal contributions to the scheme. He/she can add or withdraw any personal savings at any time.

The steering committee is currently working on developing a roadmap that will enrol Dubai government employees in phases. “Further details will be communicated in the next stages of the plan.”

Protecting employees’ rights

The scheme was launched by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai.

Abdulla Al Basti, secretary-general of the Executive Council of Dubai and chairman of the steering committee, said the scheme will play a “key role” in enhancing the economic and social stability that Dubai offers its employees.

“The scheme ensures financial security, fortifies employer-employee relationships, and most importantly, presents a robust opportunity for employees looking to invest their savings. The scheme is one of many initiatives that have highlighted the government's commitment to ensuring employee satisfaction, in appreciation of their efforts and dedication. With this, Dubai will continue to be an attractive career destination that appeals to outstanding talent and a preferred destination for personal and professional stability.”

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