Corrections, discrepancies, and advice
This is a new initiative that is under development and legislative consultation. The information shared on our website and within this FAQ is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of writing but may be subject to change without notice.
Any content published on our website or within our FAQ’s should be taken as for informational purposes only and should not be considered to constitute legal, financial or investment advice. If there are any discrepancies between the information published in these FAQ’s and relevant law or regulations, the legislation and regulations will prevail.
For corrections, please contact us at email@example.com. For advice or legal clarifications, please proceed through your normal legal channels.
What is DEWS?
DEWS stands for the DIFC Employee Workplace Savings Plan. The plan was first introduced in February 2020 in the DIFC. As a result, employers needed to move their End of Service Gratuity liability management from a defined benefit structure to a funded, professionally managed defined contribution plan. DEWS was conceptualized after many years of consideration by working groups to transform and reform the way end-of-service benefits (EOSB) were managed and to drive a culture of long-term savings that is aligned to global best practices.
In 2022, the Government of Dubai announced their intent to launch the ‘Savings Scheme for Employees in the Government of Dubai’ and DEWS is a tailor-made and proven solution that will be introduced to deliver this initiative.
When was DEWS introduced for the Government of Dubai & Dubai Freezone Authorities?
Corresponding to Decree No. (46) of 2022 concerning the End-of-Service Gratuity Management Schemes of Employees in the Emirate of Dubai, the following became effective:
- The Government of Dubai: Education began in June 2022 and the plan was officially launched on 1st July 2022. Employee enrolment will be phased throughout 2023 and 2024 in line with the Government’s implementation plan.
- Dubai Freezone Authorities: Education began in October 2022 and the plan was officially open for Freezone Authority registration on 1st November 2022. Employee enrolment will be phased throughout 2023 in line with the Government’s implementation plan.
What is Equiom’s role?
Equiom Fiduciary Services (Middle East) Limited – the plan Operator/Master Trustee
- Leading provider of market leading flexible, comprehensive and compliant trustee solutions in the uae
- An unrivalled global professional services provider supporting clients with a full range of bespoke end-to-end business enabling and wealth protection solutions
- Established over 40 years ago, with 18 offices globally, 6 in the middle east, and over 600 staff around the world
- Dews experience
- Worked alongside difc and dews partners to help shape it into the progressive plan it is today
- Long-term provider of trustee services to middle east employer sponsored savings and retirement plans
- Trustee to some of the largest end of service gratuity structures in the gcc, including the emirates provident fund
- Oversight of the overall plan, to ensure it meets the needs of members at all times
- Align dews to global best practice policies
- Independent trustee
- Protect members’ interests at all time
- Legal owner of assets within the plan
- Ensure the security of funds within the plan for members’ benefit
- Monitor performance of the investment options with our appointed investment advisor
- Appoint and oversee the plan administrator
- Ensure plan audit is completed annually
What is Mercer’s role?
Mercer Financial Services Middle East Limited – the plan Investment Advisor
- Largest investment consultant globally, advising over USD 17.3 trillion in assets of institutional investors*.
- With over USD 415 billion in assets under management**, we’re the largest provider of Investment Solutions and OCIO services globally.
- Investment advisory and investment solutions provided to over 12,000 clients globally**across 90 countries.
- Dews experience
- Part of DIFC’s Working Group that conceptualized DEWS
- Best in class investment solutions aligned with global best practice.
- Investment funds are delivering performance in line to deliver long-term objectives for members.
- Launched new investment funds to meet the evolving needs of members.
- Investment advice to the Trustee
- Investment strategy
- Strategic asset allocation
- Portfolio construction
- Investment manager research and reviews
- Responsible investment / ESG
- Investment governance and operational due diligence
- Monitoring of investment performance
- Review and evolution of fund range to meet evolving needs of the Plan’s members
What is Zurich’s role?
Zurich Workplace Solutions (Middle East) Limited – the plan Administrator
- Zurich Group Legacy
- Founded in 1872 and with about 56,000 employees, we are a leading multi-line insurer in 210+ countries and territories
- Among the first insurers to be granted a license in the UAE over 30 years ago.
- Over USD 65Bn+ in AuM related to corporate life and pensions
- In international markets (cross border), we administer over 750 workplace savings plans with USD 8 billion in funds under administration
- Provider of award-winning International Pension solutions in the Middle East
- Dews experience
- Representation within DIFC’s working group formed to conceptualize DEWS
- Chosen by DIFC following a competitive selection process based on demonstrated track record & experience
- Launched DEWS in DIFC in 2020
- Helped companies through complex regulatory change
- Continue to provide a market-leading, digital, innovative proposition
- Service rated 90% good or excellent by our customers
- ZWS Role
- Providing the online platform and app
- Managing incoming contributions
- Placing investment instructions
- Management of employer/employee accounts
- Administering new joiners and leavers
- Processing withdrawals
- Offering bespoke tools, calculators and other collateral to support employers and educate employees about DEWS and promote financial literacy
- Servicing support
Who are the DEWS providers?It was crucial that the providers selected to manage the DEWS scheme demonstrated outstanding capabilities, a well-tested track record and alignment with international best practices. The process of vendor selection was thorough, and their selection was made after a formal and competitive RFP process completed by the DIFC. The providers are:
Equiom Fiduciary Services (Middle East) Limited – the plan Operator/Master Trustee - https://www.equiomgroup.com/DEWS
Zurich Workplace Solutions (Middle East) Limited – the plan Administrator – https://zws.zurich.ae
Mercer Financial Services Middle East Limited – the plan Investment Advisor - https://www.me.mercer.com/dews.html
Who provides ongoing oversight and governance of the plan?
There are several levels of oversight and governance for the DEWS plan. All parties to the plan (Trustee, Administrator, and Investment Advisor) are regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA).
The Trustee oversees the plan and ensures that it is operating in accordance with the Scheme documentation (Trust Deed and Scheme Rules).
In addition, there is also a Supervisory Board that has been established to oversee and review the governance and non-regulated duties of the Trustee. The Board meets on a quarterly basis.
Why will DEWS be introduced for the Government of Dubai?
To ensure and protect employee rights, providing them with the opportunity to manage and grow their savings and end-of-service benefit.
To foster financial wellness by creating awareness and assisting employees in planning for a better and secure financial future.
To support Dubai’s vision of consolidating its position as a leading talent hub globally by providing flexible and attractive employee benefits schemes to retain and attract talent.
To support Dubai’s vision to be a destination of choice to live, work, invest, retire, and prosper.To align with international best practice and standards.
What is the DEWS Supervisory Board?
The DEWS Supervisory Board is a government body (established by Presidential Directive) that is designed to oversee the operation of the DIFC Employee Workplace Savings (DEWS) Plan.
The Board has oversight of the overall DEWS plan which includes DIFC entities, Dubai Government entities, and Dubai Freezone Authorities. To ensure there is representation for all parties, the board is being expanded to include representatives from the Dubai Government Human Resources Department and the Department of Finance of Dubai. This is currently in progress and an announcement will be made when the individuals are appointed.
Where can I find a copy of the DEWS contractual agreement?
The trust deed and scheme rules are the legal documents that establish, govern, and set out the rules in relation to the scheme. These documents are available on our website under your product “DEWS for Dubai Govt & FZ Authorities” in the Documents section > Legal & Financial.
The Deed of Participation is the legal agreement between the employer and the trustee, which sets out the terms of participation within the plan. This document will be issued to independent employers for signature and a signed copy will be held in the online DEWS portal for download. The Department of Finance signed the Deed of Participation on behalf of a number of Government Entities and those entities are welcome to request a copy of this if required.
All other terms, conditions, and policies can be found on our website https://zws.zurich.ae
How do I enrol my company?
- DEWS will provide a digital onboarding link to Government Entities.
- Once you have submitted your application and we have created your entity, your designated administrator will receive a confirmation email and will be required to complete the set-up tasks which are:
- Bank details – provide the full bank details for where your contributions will originate from
- UBO details* (Ultimate Beneficial Owner) – provide us with the details of the individuals or entities that ultimately own your company
- Your designated authorised signatory will also receive an email with a link to sign the Deed of Participation which is your company’s legal/contractual agreement with the Trustee to participate in DEWS. This must be signed within 48 hours, or the link will expire, and you will have to reach out to us to re-issue this.
- Please note that the Trustee (Equiom) and Administrator (ZWS) may contact you post-registration requesting additional due diligence documentation – this is standard procedure, and we would kindly request that you provide your cooperation. If you have any doubts as to the legitimacy of any emails received, please feel free to verify with us.
- If you are responsible for more than one Government entity, you must complete the above steps for each company.
*UBO Details (Ultimate Beneficial Owner)
We would encourage you to consult with your legal/compliance teams, so that you can submit this information accurately. You will need to know:
- Whether your company is listed or if your company is a majority owned subsidiary of a listed parent company and, if so, on what exchange
- Whether your company is a Government entity or wholly owned by a Government entity and, if so, the legal name of that entity and country of registration
- The personal details of all individuals who own or exercise significant control over your company, i.e
- Individual holding 25% or more of the shares or ownership in the company
- Individual holding 25% or more of voting rights in the company
- Individual holding the right to appoint or remove the majority of the directors of the company
- Individual having significant control or influence over the company
- Your company may have more than one UBO
Who is eligible for DEWS and who is exempt from DEWS?
Reference to Decree No. (46) of 2022Article (3) Scope of application, foreign employees contracted by the following employers should be enrolled:
- the entities governed by Law No. (8) of 2018 Concerning Management of the Government of Dubai Human Resources.
- the entities stated in the list attached to the Decree; and
- any of the Government Entities or other entities to which the application of this Decree is extended pursuant to a resolution issued in this respect by the Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council.
***Mandatory enrolment in a scheme will terminate in either of the following cases:
- upon the end of the employee’s service with the entity; or
- where the employee obtains UAE nationality.
Without prejudice to the provisions of Federal Law No. (7) of 1999, for Pensions and Social Security and its amendments, a UAE National / GCC National Employee may, upon his request, be voluntarily enrolled in the Scheme, in which case, a contribution will be deducted from his total monthly salary to be saved and invested.
- When a foreign employee obtains UAE nationality, their enrolment in the plan becomes voluntary.
- Where an employee is serving a notice period at the ‘Effective Date’ i.e., the date at which they are due to be enrolled into the plan.
- Where an employee is excluded by legislation or resolution issued by the Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council
- Where an employee is entitled to a retirement pension or gratuity in accordance with Federal Law No. 7 of 1999 or any other applicable legislation
- Where a claim has been filed within prescribed limitation periods to recover financial entitlement owed by the employee in excess of any accrued gratuity
*Scheme: The scheme adopted by the DIFC for the management and investment of the Contributions and end-of-service gratuities of the DIFC Employees, or any other saving scheme for Employees to be adopted by the Executive Council upon the recommendation of the Department of Finance.
How do I enrol my employees? And when employees should be enrolled?
The Government of Dubai: Employee enrolment is phased out through 2023 and 2024 in line with the Government’s implementation plan below.
- Government employees from grades 14-16, their contributions will be backdated to 1st July 2022, payable from 1st January 2023
- Government employees from grades 10-13, their contributions will become payable from 1st May 2023 (no backdating).*
- Government employees from grades 6-9, their contributions will become payable from 1st November 2023 (no backdating) *
- Government employees from grades 1-5, their contributions will become payable from Q1 2024 (no backdating). *
* Dates of grades enrolment are subject to change based on the Dubai Government implementation plan.
Dubai Freezone Authorities: Employee enrolment is phased out through 2023 in line with the Government’s implementation plan.
- Free Zone authorities will pay contributions from the date an employee is enrolled. For example, if a Free Zone Authority enrolls an employee in March 2023 (for payroll period 01/02/2023 – 28/02/2023), February 2023 will be their first contribution. If an employee is only enrolled in August (for payroll period 01/07/2023 – 31/07/2023), then the entity will start paying contributions from July 2023.
- All Free Zone Authorities can choose when their employees are enrolled (phasing this if needed) but they must be enrolled during 2023 latest. Employees grade 1-5 should be enrolled at the end of 2023.
The process for employee enrolment will depend on whether your entity is part of the Government Resources Planning Portal (“GRP”) or not. Please check our Learning Academy for educational videos on employee enrolment with and without GRP.
Is it mandatory to enroll UAE Nationals without a Family Book “who are yet to become full-fledged UAE Nationals with a Family Book”, otherwise referred to as pre-nationals?
Yes, it is mandatory to enroll any UAE national without a family book who is not receiving pension payments into the General Pension and Social Security Authority scheme(“GPSSA”). Once these individuals gain their family book and the employer starts to pay on their behalf into GPSSA, the mandatory employer contributions into DEWS can stop, the employee’s DEWS account status will be changed to a voluntary member, and they will be able to continue their participation by making voluntary contributions through salary deduction only if they wish.
What are Employee Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVC’s)?
Additional Voluntary Contributions (“AVC’s”) are an employee’s way of contributing extra money into DEWS to build the value of their savings pot.
An employee who has completed at least one (1) year of actual service with the Department, or any other term prescribed by the human resources legislation of the entity for determining his eligibility for the end-of-service gratuity, may voluntarily enroll in a Scheme.
The AVC process is facilitated by the employer through salary deduction as we cannot accept direct payments from employees. Employers should have a process in place to accept these requests from employees and may choose to implement rules for ease of administration i.e., setting out certain time points in the year where requests can be made.
Employees can choose to pay a regular amount or percentage, as well as a lump sum or one-off payment. The contributions must not exceed 100% of the basic salary in any given pay period and there is no minimum.
When the employer pays in the AVC’s they will be applied to the employee’s account and will be automatically invested in the DEWS Default Low/Moderate Growth Fund (employees of grades 6 and above) or the Capital Protection bank account option (employees of grades 1-5) unless employees have already made an active investment choice prior, in which case they will be invested in line with this choice.
Employees also have the flexibility to withdraw from their voluntary savings whilst they’re still employed. Withdrawals are limited to 2 x requests per calendar year for up to 30% of the voluntary contribution pot value each time.
Without prejudice to the provisions of Federal Law No. (7) of 1999, for Pensions and Social Security and its amendments, a UAE National / GCC National Employee may, upon his request, be voluntarily enrolled in the Scheme, in which case, a contribution will be deducted from his total monthly salary to be saved and invested.
What are Employer Mandatory Contributions?
Once enrolled, employers are required to make mandatory contributions to the plan for all eligible employees. The level of contributions will depend on an employee’s basic salary and length of service.
According to Decree No. (46) of 2022, Article (7)
- Contributions will be calculated as per the end-of-service gratuity calculation method stipulated in the human resources legislation applicable to the entity.
- For the purpose of calculating contributions, a part of a month will be rounded up to a full month unless the human resources legislation applicable to the entity stipulates otherwise.
- Contributions will be transferred in UAE dirhams.
This amount is payable by the entity in addition to the salary and should not be deducted from the employee’s salary. Contributions must be made monthly, uploaded in the first week of the month following payroll and paid on the 21st day of the month following payroll i.e., if calculating for the July payroll period (1st July to 31st July), contributions must be uploaded before 7th August and paid on 21st August.
How do I pay contributions?For employers, you will find the bank details for payment in the DEWS online portal on the upload page. The beneficiary bank details will be shown at the top of the page where you will see an IBAN, Swift Code and Beneficiary Account Name. The bank account is USD denominated and is held with Standard Chartered Bank, UAE. Kindly note that these bank details are specific to your company, so if you have more than one company that you administer in DEWS, please do not reuse these bank details between entities.
The amount paid into the bank account must always exactly match the total amount due per the upload file. If there is an error with the upload file, we will contact you and you will have the opportunity to amend and re-upload this. If there is an error with the payment amount, we will contact you and the funds will be returned within 5 working days so that you can remit a new payment. We will be unable to accept any partial/shortfall payments or refund excesses.
Please ensure all payments are sent without deduction of bank charges at our end, to ensure we receive the full contribution value i.e., choose (OUR/OWN/SENDER/REMITTER) as your transfer charge option.
Once you have made your payment and we have processed it you can download a receipt for your records from the DEWS online portal by visiting Main Menu > Company details > Payor details > Payment History.
Employees cannot pay any contributions directly into DEWS. Any employee additional voluntary contributions must be made by way of salary deduction through their employer.
My company bank details have changed, what should I do?To ensure we can accept any payments you send from your new account you must update your company bank details through the DEWS online portal. Visit Main Menu > Company details > Payor details and click to edit. Please do this before sending any further payments to DEWS.
Can we pay our contributions by any other method?No. Contributions can only be paid by bank transfer. We cannot facilitate direct debits, cash, cheque, or any other means.
I have received a contribution payment reminder, what action should I take?Payment reminders are issued at the following intervals:
7 days before the payment deadline (issued to administrator)
5 days after the payment deadline (issued to administrator)
30 days after the payment deadline (issued to administrator)
60 days after the payment deadline (issued to administrator, signatory, and employee)
The 7-day reminder is a courtesy email to inform you that the deadline is approaching.
The 5-, 30- and 60-day payment reminders are where payments are overdue and where remedial action may be required. Within these emails we will always include the payroll period in question, the names of employees whose contributions we believe are overdue and the reason we have identified these individuals.
In these cases, if you have made the payment and/or believe everything is in order please contact us with the details of the transfer or for further clarification. If you have not made the payment, please arrange to make the payment immediately or advise us of any exemptions granted.
What is the impact of missing the monthly contribution payment deadline & if there will be any grace period or extended deadline?
The payment deadline of the 21st of each month applies to all government entities & free zone authorities and all efforts should be made to comply with the date set. Extensions would not normally be granted. Employers should note that any delay in sending payment might impact their employee’s ability to invest their monies and may also delay withdrawals for employees who have resigned and are in the process of withdrawing from the plan.
Failure to make payment would be a contravention of Decree No. (46) of 2022.
In the event of an employee’s salary change due to promotion, changing of contract, or passing a service threshold, what is required from employers regarding DEWS contributions and the impact on gratuity?
Two aspects would affect DEWS’s contributions to employees.
- When an employee passes a service threshold, the higher contribution rate should be reflected in the next monthly contribution file that you upload to DEWS.
- When an employee’s salary changes (either through promotion, or regular salary increase), the new salary should be reflected in the next monthly contribution file that you upload to DEWS and used to calculate future contributions going forward. There is no retrospective adjustment required for prior contributions paid into DEWS.
**The historic gratuity accrued before joining DEWS would be calculated based on the final salary when the employee leaves service.
I am an Employee who made voluntary contributions to the DEWS plan. Can I withdraw more than 30% twice a year?
DEWS is designed to be a medium to a long-term savings plan and should not be drawn regularly whilst in service. However, we recognize that personal circumstances may change, and the employee may need access to some of the funds whilst in service. Therefore, in-service withdrawals of voluntary employee contributions are possible but limited to two withdrawals per year, each up to 30% of the total value of the voluntary contributions as per DFSA regulations.
- The current value of the members’ voluntary contribution is $10,000.
- The employee can withdraw 30% of $10,000 in the first installment, leaving a balance of $7,000. The second installment would then be a maximum of 30% of $7,000.
Withdrawals of 100% of voluntary contributions whilst in service are only possible in cases of financial hardship and at the Trustee’s discretion. Once the employee has left employment, they can withdraw 100% of the amount if they wish; however, they can’t make further contributions after resigning.
What happens to Accrued End of Service Benefits from before DEWS was introduced for the Dubai Government and Free Zone Authorities?
Accrued end-of-service benefits refer to any end-of-service entitlement an employee has built with their employer prior to the effective date of the DEWS scheme.
Continue to manage this liability as they have done in the past either directly or via The Department of Finance (as applicable).
At termination, the employer is liable to pay the employee the accrued end-of-service benefits in line with the period of service up to 30th June 2022 (or a later date based on the employee’s enrolment in line with the Government of the UAE’s implementation plan) and based on the final basic salary.
Employers can choose to:
Transfer the accrued end-of-service benefits, which must be no less than the legal entitlement at that time, into DEWS with employee consent during their employment at any time.
In doing so, the employer is no longer liable for the payment of the accrued end-of-service benefits to the employee when employment is terminated nor any further top-ups in line with any future salary increases and/or length of service. The transferred accrued value will be considered an employer contribution and can only be withdrawn when the employee leaves service.
In turn, the employee is agreeing that they would rather receive a lump sum benefit into DEWS that will be subject to investment potential, than a defined benefit from their employer later. They agree the employer’s liability is fully met and note the resulting end benefit may be less than if a transfer of the defined benefit had not been taken. Employees accept the ongoing investment risk and can view and manage their investments through their online DEWS account.
Note: if the accrued end-of-service benefits are not transferred to DEWS during the employee’s active service, government, and free zone employers may be required to transfer this value to DEWS at the point of termination rather than disbursing to the individual directly.
Please contact us to understand the above options in greater detail.
If an employee joined our organization between 1st July 2021 and 30th June 2022 and had not completed one year of service when DEWS was introduced, will they be entitled to an accrued end-of-service benefit?
If the employee went on to complete one year of service or more after their enrolment into DEWS, then the answer is yes. The employee would be entitled to a pro-rata accrued end-of-service benefit from their start date of employment up to 30th June 2022 as per the calculation method stipulated in the legislation applicable to the entity.
If the employee did not go on to complete one year of service or more after DEWS was introduced, then no accrued end-of-service benefits are due.
Are employers obliged to offer Accrued Transfers and are employees obliged to accept?
No, there is no legal obligation for employers to offer accrued transfers to their employees whilst in service. If transfers are offered, there is also no obligation for the employee to accept. However, if accrual value will remain with the employer, it might be transferred to the employee’s DEWS account when they resign based on any internal verdict.
What are the fees associated with DEWS?
For employers, the only fees incurred will be the bank charges applied by their bank to send the monthly contribution payment to the DEWS bank account, owned by Equiom, as the Master Trustee of the plan.
Employees are subject to an annual percentage-based fee which is designed to be fair and equitable to all members, regardless of seniority or salary. The fees vary depending on which investment fund, or a combination thereof, an employee selects. For the latest fee information, we would encourage employees to check the individual fund factsheets which are updated monthly and held in the DEWS online portal. Fees are built into the unit price of the investment funds and are deducted proportionately on a daily basis, so when employees refresh their valuation on the online portal, fees have already been taken into consideration.
More details on fees can be found in the Annual Charges summary for each Fund Manager located in the "Documents Section under Investments".
Members choosing the capital protection bank account option will not bear any impact of fees.
Employees will also be subject to a bank charge when withdrawing their benefits upon leaving service (or when withdrawing whilst in service if the employee is making additional voluntary contributions and chooses to withdraw from this). The bank charge will vary depending on the payment amount, currency, and destination.
*The Master Trustee: An establishment operating in the Emirate, including in a Special Development Zone or in a free zone, such as the DIFC, to manage and operate a Scheme and to invest Contributions and end-of-service gratuities of Employees.
If there are partial or total losses due to market fluctuation, are charges impacted?
The charging model is fixed and will be based on the holding assets (value) in members’ accounts.
The core risk-profiled funds are highly diversified, which means each fund provides exposure to a range of asset classes, geographic regions, and fund managers. Therefore, the likelihood of the account balance reducing to nil is extremely low, as this would require the value of all the underlying investments to fall to zero at the same time. In the event there is a significant market downturn, members may consider, where possible, keeping the money invested and waiting for the market value to recover before withdrawing the benefit.
Can any of the DEWS providers offer employees tailored investment advice?
No. Whilst the providers can set out in a factual way the investment options available to enable employees to make an informed decision, we are not permitted to provide any employees with investment advice, and we would always encourage employees to seek this independently if required.
Mercer provides investment advice to Equiom, the Master Trustee, relating to the range and suitability of investment options that are made available through the DEWS plan.
Can the employer change the investments for employees?No. Any investment changes must be made by the employee directly through their DEWS online account. If the employer is qualified to provide, or willing to arrange, independent investment advice for the employees this is at their discretion.
How can an employee change their investments?
Employees can make their own investment choice once they have access to their DEWS online account. Investments can be viewed and changed by visiting the ‘Fund’ area and clicking ‘Manage my investments’.
Employees can either choose to invest wholly in one fund or make their own combination by assigning different percentages to multiple funds. Once the percentage shows as 100% the investment change can be submitted.
Employees are reminded that investment changes will apply to the full accumulated balance and any contributions received going forward.
How can an employee view what investment they hold and assess fund performance?
An employee can view their valuation and performance through the DEWS online portal or app.
Employees can also track performance at fund level by using our Fund Centre tool (we’ll share the link soon) and by viewing the fund factsheets and investment reports
What investment funds are there for employees to choose from?
Within DEWS currently, there are 10 investment options; 5 risk-profile funds and 5 standalone funds (with 3 of the standalone funds being Sharia-compliant options) as follows:
- Low Growth Fund
- Low/Moderate Growth Fund
- Moderate Growth Fund
- Moderate/High Growth Fund
- High Growth Fund
- Emirates NBD Islamic Money Market Fund (Sharia Compliant)
- Franklin Templeton Global Sukuk Fund (Sharia Compliant)
- HSBC Global Islamic Equity Index Fund (Sharia Compliant)
- Passive Global Equity Fund
- Global Defensive Bond Fund
The default fund is the Low/Moderate Growth fund (for employees who are grades 6 or above). The default has been chosen by the trustee, under the advisement of Mercer, and is a balanced fund that is expected to provide market-driven returns over the medium to long term. All contributions made into the plan will be invested in the default fund unless employees make an active investment decision. All 10 investment funds are denominated in USD.
A capital protection bank account in AED is also available for those employees who do not wish to take any investment risk. This will be the default fund for employees of grades 1-5. The objective of this option is to provide capital protection with no investment loss or gain. Members should be aware that this option is unlikely to keep pace with inflation, resulting in a reduction in the spending power of holdings over time.
Further details in respect of the funds, including performance, objectives, and target returns, can be found on our website or in the DEWS online portal.
Is there any insurance in place for gratuity protection?
There is no insurance model in place and the member will be subject to investment risk. If members do not wish to take any investment risk, they can choose the capital protection bank account, though this would not generate any return.
Are employers required to implement any new technology for DEWS?
Do employees have to consent to participate in DEWS?No. The decision to participate in DEWS mandated for Government entities, and Government employees will be enrolled by their employer in phases in line with the Government’s implementation plan. Employees cannot opt-out and side agreements cannot be made between employer and employee to circumvent this requirement or facilitate end of service benefits in any other way.
Is there still an eligibility period?
Yes, prior to enrolment in DEWS, employees should have completed one continuous year of employment (unless the employer is subject to a different law or policy which contradicts this).
Can DEWS issue letters to support employees in obtaining loans or credit cards?
Due to the nature of the DEWS trust structure, we are unable to issue any letters providing any lien or guarantees to banking providers. It is at an employee’s discretion as to where their benefits are paid upon termination (payments can be made locally or internationally).
For letters that have been issued previously, the accrued end-of-service benefits (i.e. entitlement up to 30th June 2022 or the relevant effective date) for those individuals can still be paid to the bank upon termination. Entities should consider any existing letters that have been issued before deciding whether to transfer those accrued benefits into DEWS.
Going forward, we would expect that this process of guaranteeing payment of the gratuity to the banks will be the responsibility of the employees, and over time, banks might adapt their requirements.
I have an employee who is leaving service, what should I do and what are the employee’s options?
The employer should:
- Include the employee’s final contribution(s) in the upload file,
- Insert an exit date/reason into your upload file.
- Remove the employee’s work email address in the upload file and replace this with their personal email address.
- Take the opportunity to check all other personal information is up to date i.e., residential address, phone number etc.
- Arrange your monthly contribution payment as normal.
- Pay out any accrued end of service benefits from before DEWS was introduced to the employee as part of their final settlement or provide them with the option to transfer this into DEWS if they will be choosing to remain invested (if applicable).
Once you have done this and uploaded the file into the DEWS online portal, an email will automatically be issued to the employee advising them of their options and next steps. Employees have the option to remain invested or to take a withdrawal.
DEWS will then liaise with the employee to complete their withdrawal if requested. There is no further action required from the employer and there is no vesting so employees will always be entitled to 100% of the invested benefit.
I am an employee moving to another Government entity, can I combine my DEWS accounts?
No. Unfortunately at this time, accounts cannot be merged so if moving between Government entities you will be required to maintain two separate accounts. You will still be able to manage your DEWS account after you leave your current employer and can also take a partial or full withdrawal from that account if internal laws or policies allow the same.
I am an employee moving to another country and will participate in another workplace savings plan, can I combine or transfer my benefits?No. Unfortunately at this time you cannot combine your DEWS account with an account held with another provider or transfer benefits between your two accounts. You will still be able to manage your DEWS account after you leave the UAE or you can choose to take a partial or full withdrawal to your bank account.
I am an employee – can I make a withdrawal whilst I am in service?
You are only entitled to withdraw the benefits paid into DEWS by your employer when you leave service.
If you have chosen to make additional voluntary contributions, you can request withdrawals whilst working up to 2 x times per calendar year up to a maximum of 30% of your voluntary pot value.
I am an employee who is leaving service, what can I expect?
You are permitted to withdraw from the DEWS plan upon termination of service should you wish to do so. You may also choose to remain invested. The current withdrawal process is as follows:
- Your employer should record your termination by entering an ‘Exit Date’ and ‘Exit Reason’ in their monthly upload file containing your final contribution.
- We will send an automated email to you, once the upload file is successful, confirming that you are eligible to withdraw your benefits and the steps to submit a request.
- Should you wish to withdraw you can submit your request and documentation through the online portal.
- We’ll then review your request and verify we have all the information we need – we’ll let you know if we need anything further. If your request is complete and your documentation is in order, the withdrawal process typically takes between 7-10 working days.
- We will begin processing the disinvestment (if you are invested in the fund range) once your final working day has passed and your final contribution is paid.
- Once monies are received back, they will be sent to your nominated bank account by bank transfer (will be subject to deduction of bank charges).
I am an employer and have an employee who has died in service, what should I do?
In the first instance, please contact us with the name of the employee, the date the employee passed away, and any details you may have on your systems in respect of the employee’s next of kin/beneficiaries.
You must then follow the steps in our Leaver Guide to notify us of the employee’s death by inserting ‘Death’ as the exit reason and including their last day with your organization as the exit date.
We will then coordinate with you, the Trustee, and the beneficiaries for any additional requirements.
I am a named beneficiary of an employee who has died in service, what can I expect?
We are deeply sorry for your loss and remain available to support you throughout this difficult time.
Once the employer has confirmed the employee's death, the death in service process will begin, which involves identifying the beneficiaries and obtaining due diligence to verify their identities and the death. The requirements for verification are as follows:
- Suitably certified or original certificate of death
- Suitably certified Proof of Identity e.g. Passport or Emirates ID card
- Suitably certified Proof of Address e.g. DEWA Bill
- Picture of the beneficiary holding their proof of identity
- Fully completed Beneficiary Claim Form (please contact us for a copy of this form)
Once the necessary due diligence is obtained, the employee’s account will be disinvested, and the cash will be sent by bank transfer as instructed by the beneficiaries. This can be both locally and internationally.
In some cases, the employee may have expressed their wishes via our beneficiary nomination feature in the online portal. If no nomination is available, we will contact the employer for further assistance.
What happens if an employee has already made a beneficiary declaration to their employer?
The employee will be required to make a beneficiary nomination specifically in relation to DEWS. The DEWS portal allows all members to choose their beneficiary(ies). When choosing, a member can select ‘payable as per Sharia Law’ or choose to nominate specific beneficiaries in the event of their death. DEWS does not collect information about religious beliefs.
It is important to note that any previous employer-defined preferences are entirely separate from the member’s preference in DEWS, as DEWS funds are not held by the employer but instead held in a master trust arrangement, in the legal name of Equiom as master trustee in the beneficial interest of employees.
Death claims will be considered and paid in accordance with the scheme rules. As per the scheme’s rules, the benefit will be paid out to the member’s nominated preference.
If the member has not indicated a preference, the Trustee will exercise its discretion considering the objects outlined within the scheme rules. Alternatively, in its discretion, the Trustee may decide to make a payment to a court/s of relevant jurisdiction for it to determine in accordance with its applicable law how the amounts should be distributed.
In the case of a merger or acquisition (an organization merged under different Employers) in which employees are not leaving the company, and the Employer will not issue a termination or end of the relationship, how will DEWS be treated?
If the company trade license has not changed then the existing accounts can continue to be used and the employer can update company details on the portal if needed after providing Zurich workplace solutions team with the new trade license showing the new company name. If the company trade license has changed then a new DEWS account must be created for the new entity and report all employees at the old entity as leavers.
When processing a withdrawal, will there be any charges or fees applied to the DEWS account?
The annual management charges will cease once the assets are disinvested. Our team will begin processing the disinvestment once the employee’s final working day has passed and all required documentation for the withdrawal has been received. Withdrawal payments will be subject to a deduction of a bank charge.
I am an Employer and have a resigned employee, how can I recover the funds from the employee DEWS account (in event of Gross misconduct)?
Generally, the plan is run in the best interests of the members however we recognize that there may be certain extenuating circumstances where the company needs to reclaim funds from DEWS. The appropriate ‘exit reason’ on the upload file should be selected (see upload file guidance notes).
The Trustee will then need to review and approve each refund on a case-by-case basis. Once the Trustee has approved, the funds will be refunded to the employer. The timeline would depend on the Trustee’s review of the case, however, if approval is granted, funds may take up to 7-10 working days to reach the employer’s bank account (due to the disinvestment process).
If the employee nominates an international bank account while withdrawing the DEWS funds, what will be the default currency conversion, and are there any set/ fixed (pre-approved) rates?
Withdrawals in currencies other than USD will be converted at the prevailing bank FX rate. Withdrawals requested in AED will be subject to the exchange rate applicable at the time of transfer. Any bank charges will be deducted from the payment i.e., they are paid by the employee.
Will Employers get a view of the details related to each Employee?
- Employees and Contributions
Employers can view and download a list of their employees and contributions per employee directly from the portal through our exports feature.
- DEWS Charges
The DEWS charges are the same for all members and details of the fees for each fund can be found on the fund factsheets, which are available on the website by navigating to ‘Documents’ and then ‘Investments’
- Investment profit/ loss
Employee investment profits and losses cannot be viewed by employers. Only employees can view their account valuations at the current market value. They will also receive annual benefit statements outlining their investment performance.
- Employees and Contributions
How are employee personal or contribution details amended (for example: name change, address change etc.)?
Employee details are amended by the process of overwriting i.e., you change the details in your next upload file and those new details will replace the old details when you upload the file into the system. There are however some exceptions to this rule. Please review the table below for details on how to amend specific employee details.
Header Action Employer ID Can never change MemberType Upload an amended file Starts On Delete the record on Contributions page and reupload a corrected file Ends On Delete the record on Contributions page and reupload a corrected file Period Type Delete the record on Contributions page and reupload a corrected file Contribution Due Date Delete the record on Contributions page and reupload a corrected file Title Upload an amended file First Name Upload an amended file Middle Name Upload an amended file Surname Cannot be corrected by file, contact ZWS Employee ID Cannot be corrected by file, contact ZWS Birth Date Upload an amended file Gender Upload an amended file National ID Number1 Upload an amended file National ID Number2 Upload an amended file Address 1 Upload an amended file Address 2 Upload an amended file Address 3 Upload an amended file Address 4 Upload an amended file Country Of Residence Upload an amended file Nationality Upload an amended file Email Address Upload an amended file Secondary Email Address Upload an amended file Phone Number Upload an amended file Visa Number Upload an amended file Employment Start Date Upload an amended file Exit Date Cannot be corrected by file, contact ZWS Earnings1 Delete the record on Contributions page and reupload a corrected file Employer Contribution Amount Delete the record on Contributions page and reupload a corrected file Employee Contribution Amount Delete the record on Contributions page and reupload a corrected file Previous Accrued Delete the record on Contributions page and reupload a corrected file Employer Contribution Percent Delete the record on Contributions page and reupload a corrected file Employee Contribution Percent Delete the record on Contributions page and reupload a corrected file
If you need to change an employee’s personal details in between your monthly uploads you can do this using our simplified upload file which you will find in the Documents area of our website.
How can I add new internal or third-party administrators to administer our DEWS account?An existing administrator or authorized signatory within your company will be able to do this via their DEWS account. They should visit Menu > Company Details > Users > Actions > New Admin
How can I check if all contributions have been successfully uploaded for a specific period?You should see the State ‘Success’ alongside your upload file entry. Alternatively, you can find a list of contributions and the opportunity to extract this to XLS or CSV by visiting Menu > Contribution and Payroll > Contributions
How can I check if all my employees have been successfully enrolled?You should see the State ‘Success’ alongside your upload file entry. Alternatively, you can find a list of employees and the opportunity to extract this to XLS or CSV by visiting Menu > Scheme Setup > Employees
How do I change who within our company receives communications relating to DEWS?
You can view and amend who within your organization receives DEWS communications by logging into the online portal and visiting Main Menu > Company details > Notification Centre. To remove someone, click the X alongside their email address – note that the same person may appear twice under the different communication categories. To add a new person, type their email address in the appropriate line and hit enter to submit.
Please note that even if you remove your plan authorized signatory from these sections, we are still required to email them where we identify that contributions are 60 days overdue.
How do I personalize the view for our employees on their DEWS accounts?You can select imagery, upload your own logo, and add a personalised message which your employees will see when accessing their DEWS account. To do this, visit Main Menu > Company Details > Company Branding.
I need enrolment or contribution reports from the DEWS portal, how do I get them?You can find exports by visiting Menu > Contribution and Payroll > Exports. We would encourage you to check your browser settings and pop-up blockers to ensure that your browser allows downloads.
Is the online portal GDPR compliant?Yes. The online portal is fully compliant with the relevant Data Protection regulations. The system is hosted by Amazon Web Services in Dublin and all employee data is stored there.
What does my upload file ‘State’ mean?
- Processing – upload in progress, wait for 5-10 minutes, if you see no progress then contact us.
- Fail – your whole file has failed. Please click view to understand why and review our ‘error messages’ tab 1. Make appropriate amendments and re-upload your file.
- Errors detected – your file has been partially successful. Please click view to understand why and review our ‘error messages’ tab 2. Then make appropriate amendments and re-upload your file.
- Success - your upload is complete.
How do I download the Zurich for DEWS app?
The app is exclusive for employees and is available on the App Store for Apple devices and Google Play for Android. You can download the app by clicking on the below links. We would suggest activating your account on your desktop device first and then logging in via the app.
When downloading the Zurich for DEWS app you will be presented with an option to enable ‘biometrics’. Biometrics is your way of accessing the Zurich for DEWS app quickly and securely by verifying your identity through fingerprint or facial recognition, rather than manually entering a password. If you would like to use biometrics you can click ‘Set Biometric ID’ and if you would prefer not to, you can click ‘No Thanks’. Should you subsequently wish to deactivate biometrics, you can do so in the ‘Security’ section of the app by moving the ‘Biometric ID’ slider to the left.
When you log in to the app you will be taken to your portal dashboard. From here you can start to manage your plan. Swipe to view your contribution summary, your to-do list, a message from your employer, your fund options, and your security options. You can also navigate the app either by clicking the options at the bottom of the screen or from the main menu.
On the DEWS app you can:
- View your contributions
- Request a valuation of your funds
- View your personal details
- Nominate your beneficiaries
- Manage your investment strategy (where permitted)
- Set your security and biometric preferences
- Find useful links to the Investment Guide and Fund Factsheets
I haven’t received a welcome email, or a password reset email what should I do?
Firstly, speak to your employer and ensure that they have arranged your enrolment and that they have provided us with your correct email address. The welcome email is issued automatically when your employer completes your enrolment.
If so, ask them for your ‘Account Name’ which is specific to your company. Use this to follow the ‘Forgot your password’ process on our employee login page here and click the link within the reset email to set a new password.
If you have not received a reset email, please firstly check your spam/junk/quarantine folders. Then ensure that firstname.lastname@example.org is added to your safe senders list and try the reset process again or use a different device. If the issue persists, try using the incognito/private mode of your browser or clear your browser cache/cookies and repeat the process again. If it still doesn’t work, please contact us.
How do I nominate my beneficiaries?
Log into your online DEWS account and visit Account > Nomination of Beneficiaries. You then have two options depending on your preferences:
- Opt to have your benefits paid in accordance with Sharia Law by selecting the first tick box; or
- Opt to nominate specific individuals by selecting the second tick box. Then click ‘Add new’ to open a form to provide the individual’s personal details and percentage. You can do this as many times as required.
Please ensure that you keep your beneficiary nomination up-to-date, particularly in line with any life events. You can delete beneficiaries by editing your existing submission.
This submission ensures that we can distribute your benefits in line with your wishes in the unfortunate event of your death and to support your loved ones throughout the process. We would therefore strongly encourage you to ensure this is completed.
I hold other Zurich policies; can these be added to the Zurich for DEWS app?
No. The Zurich for DEWS app can only be used to view your DEWS account.
What is ‘Tax Information’ or ‘AEI’ and what do I need to provide and why?
The ‘Tax Information’ section on your online account enables us to collect the necessary information from you to fulfil our Automatic Exchange of Information (AEI) reporting obligations.
Where do I update my password?
Where can I find further support?
Do you have any insights or feedback from other customers?
In an employer survey conducted by the DIFC in 2018 there was an overwhelmingly positive result for the reform; with over 85% of respondents in favour of a transition to a Defined Contribution scheme from the existing Defined Benefit scheme.
In the 2021 Insight Discovery Middle East Panorama, 71% of 1000 respondents said they now have a high level of confidence about receiving their gratuity payment when leaving their employer in the DIFC and whilst not specifically included within the survey response this is likely attributable to the introduction DEWS. In the rest of the UAE, awareness and confidence drops to 40%.
In a DIFC employee survey conducted by Zurich in 2021, almost 80% of respondents said that they felt the move to DEWS had positively or very positively impacted their control over their end of service benefits.
In a YouGov survey commissioned by Zurich in 2021 end of service benefits ranked in the top 5 priorities for employers and employees after mandatory benefits.
In a DIFC employer survey conducted by Zurich in 2022, 94% of employers said they were satisfied with the implementation of the DEWS scheme.
Keep an eye on our Zurich Magazine for articles and insights.
Is this FAQ static?This FAQ database will be continually enhanced based on legislation, new developments, and feedback from our customers. Please check back again soon for the latest.
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