What is DEWS?
DEWS stands for the DIFC Employee Workplace Savings Plan. The plan was introduced in February 2020 in line with changes in the DIFC employment law. Those changes meant that 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 is the DIFC’s default plan and was chosen 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. It is also thought that a plan, such as DEWS, will become a key factor for retaining and attracting talent in the future.
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.
What is the Supervisory Board?
The DIFC Supervisory Board is a statutory corporation established by the President of the DIFC that is designed to oversee the operation of the DIFC Employee Workplace Savings (DEWS) Plan.
What are the responsibilities of the DIFC Supervisory Board?
At the outset the role of the Supervisory Board was to oversee the establishment of the DEWS Plan and the appointment of the trustee. Now the Plan is up and running, the DEWS Supervisory Board oversee the governance and commercial aspects of the DEWS Plan that are not subject to regulatory supervision. This includes overseeing the governance and non-regulated duties of Equiom, the trustee, in accordance with the Trusteeship Agreement in place.
Who are the DIFC Supervisory Board Members?
The first DEWS Supervisory Board members are:
Hamed Kazim, as the Independent Chair;
Jacques Visser and Madeya AlKtebi, as DIFC Authority (DIFCA) Representatives;
Thenji Moyo, as the Employee Representative; and
Gordon Barr, as the Employer Representative.
How were the Employer and Employee Representatives selected?
The DIFC Authority (DIFCA) invited nominations from the DIFC community for these positions. As part of the nomination process for both employee and employer representatives, DIFCA received more than 200 nominations which were then narrowed down to a shortlist of 21 highly qualified and experienced individuals. The final shortlist was then voted on by the DIFC community, which ultimately led to the final selection and appointment of the Board Members.
What is the role of the Employer and Employee Representative?
Their role is to ensure that Employees and Employers voices are heard and taken into consideration when the Supervisory Board undertakes its role in respect of the governance and oversight around the non-regulatory aspects of the DEWS Plan.
How can I contact my Employer/Employee Representative?
Thenji Moyo, Employee Representative, can be contacted by emailing: c-Thenjiwe.Moyo@dews.ae or firstname.lastname@example.org
Gordon Barr, Employer Representative, can be contacted by emailing: Gordon.Barr@difc.ae
Who are the DEWS providers?
It was crucial for DIFC 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. The providers are:
Equiom Fiduciary Services (Middle East) Limited DIFC Branch – the plan Operator/Master Trustee
Zurich Workplace Solutions (Middle East) Limited – the plan Administrator
Mercer Financial Services Middle East Limited – the plan Investment Advisor
How do I enrol my company?
As a new company, you need to enrol into DEWS as soon as you have eligible employees. To enrol your company, please follow these steps:
- Ensure that you have nominated an authorized signatory for DEWS in your DIFC Client portal by visiting > Company Services > Designate an Authorized Signatory to sign the DEWS Deed of Participation. Should you require further assistance, please reach out to the DIFC Customer Service team for assistance with this on +971 4 362 2222.
- Visit our enrolment page - https://my.workplacesolutions.ae/sign-up
- Complete your personal details – you will be your company’s DEWS administrator moving forward.
- Search for your company - you must search for the company name as it is written in the DIFC Company Registry as this is where we source our data and if you cannot find your company name it is likely your company registration is not yet complete, or you are not yet listed as ‘Active’.
- Select your company, check your details, and submit your application.
- You 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* – provide us with the details of the individuals or entities that ultimately own your DIFC registered company
- Your designated authorized 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. If you wish to see a draft copy of the Deed of Participation before registration you will find this in the ‘Documents’ area of our website.
- Please note that the Master Trustee (Equiom) 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 have more than one legal entity in the DIFC, you must complete the above steps for each company.
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
How do I enrol my employees?
Employees should only be enrolled into DEWS once they have successfully completed their probation period. If probation is successfully completed, the employer must make the back payment of contributions from the employment start date. If the probation is not successful, then no payment is due. If the employer made a payment during probation and the probation is not successful, the employee will still be entitled to this.
- Employee starts probation on 1st June for 3 months. Employer makes no contribution. Employee is confirmed on 1st September. Employer should make a retrospective contribution for June, July, and August as one lump sum before 21st September to DEWS.
- Employee starts probation on 1st June for 3 months. Employer makes no contribution. Employee is not confirmed after probation. Employer should not make any payment to DEWS.
- Employee starts probation on 1st June for 3 months. Employer makes monthly contributions to DEWS for June, July, and August. Employee is not confirmed on 1st September and employment is terminated. The employee will be entitled to the contributions paid.
Once you are ready to enrol your employees, you can do this by completing and uploading our ‘upload file’ into the DEWS online portal. The upload file and supporting guidance documents can be found in the Documents area. The upload file should be completed with the details of all eligible employees and if any retrospective contributions are due, they should be included as one lump sum in the ‘EmployerContributionAmount’ column.
When the file is ready, save in csv format and upload this into the DEWS online portal by logging in and visiting Main Menu > Contributions and Payroll > Upload employees and contributions.
If you encounter any errors i.e., you see ‘Fail’ or ‘Errors Detected’ during the upload process please click to view and refer to our error guide in the Documents area to troubleshoot, make any amendments and re-upload your file again.
When your file shows as ‘Success’ all your employees have been enrolled, their contributions have been created and the upload process is finalised. You can then proceed with your contribution payment.
You can verify this by visiting Menu > Contribution and Payroll > Contributions. The total amount when filtered to the current monthly pay period should match with the amount in the uploaded file. You can also extract a contribution report as a .csv or.xls file.
Who is eligible for DEWS and who is exempt from DEWS?
DIFC companies have a legal requirement to register into a qualified plan like DEWS, enrol their employees and pay in end of service benefits to be compliant with DIFC Employment Law.
DEWS is for any DIFC registered company with active employees, from small coffee carts to large multinational banks. All sizes and industries are eligible.
All full or part-time DIFC employees who are subject to a DIFC contract of employment or DIFC visa (including Golden Visa) and who are receiving a basic salary should be enrolled after they have successfully completed their probation period, or immediately upon hire if no probation period applies.
Assumed exemptions - no exemption application to be completed
There are some exemptions for individual employees, which include those who are:
- (a) required to be registered with the GPSSA under Article 65(1).
- (b) referred to in Article 4(2)(a), (b) and (c) as follows:
- (a) the Employee is working in or from the DIFC on the basis of a Secondment;
- (b) the Employee is employed in the DIFC by a local or federal government entity established by decree (or similar instrument) in the UAE, except for those established pursuant to the DIFC Founding Law; or (c) the President has exempted the Employee's Employer from being subject to this Law.
- (c) serving a notice period under Article 62 on 1 February 2020;
- (d) employed under a fixed term Employment Contract that will end within three (3) months of 1 February 2020; or
- (e) an Equity Partner, provided that an Equity Partner is only an Exempted Employee to the extent that they make drawings from a partnership, equity, capital, or profit account of the Employer or receive profit distributions or dividends from their Employer.
Please refer to the DIFC Employment Law for additional definitions.
Business owners who draw a basic salary are not exempt under point (e) above.
If you are a DIFC registered company that does not have any employees, then you do not have to enrol your company.
Individuals who are not in receipt of a basic salary are not required to be enrolled into DEWS, but employers can choose to do so if they would like to offer the employee the additional benefit. They should be added as ‘MemberType – 2’.
Non-assumed exemptions - exemption application to be completed
- Where the company is under a statutory duty in another country to make pension, retirement, saving or any substantially similar contributions into a scheme in such other country in respect of an Employee.
- Where the company is paying defined benefits to an Employee under a Group scheme where the defined benefits are in excess of the value of the Core Benefits required to be contributed in favour of Employees under Article 66(7) of the Law and where the Group scheme is available in 4 or more countries.
These exemptions cannot be assumed i.e., there is an exemption process to follow. Requests are to be submitted and renewed annually through the DIFC client portal. Employers must log in and visit Service requests > Employee services > Savings scheme services > DEWS exemption request and will see three options:
- Add – to create a new exemption request – $500 fee payable
- Amend – to amend an existing exemption request – no fees payable
- Cancel – where the exemption no longer applies – no fees payable
Exemption queries and applications should be sent to email@example.com. DEWS is not involved in the review/issuance of exemptions and will be unable to discuss any related matters.
Where you are uncertain on eligibility or exemptions, please seek advice from the DIFC or through your normal legal channels. The information above may be subject to change.
What are Employer Mandatory Contributions?
Once enrolled, employers are required to make mandatory contributions into the plan for all eligible employees. The level of contributions will depend on an employee’s basic salary and their length of service.
- For employees with less than 5 years’ service, contributions must be paid at a rate of 5.83% of an employee’s basic salary
- For employees with 5 years’ service or more, contributions must be paid at a rate of 8.33% of an employee’s basic salary
Please refer to the DIFC Employment Law for basic salary requirements and definitions.
This amount is payable by the company in addition to salary and should not be deducted from the employee’s salary.
The percentages noted above are the minimum required by law and employers can over-contribute at their discretion to enhance their benefits and rewards package.
All contribution values should be rounded to the nearest 2 decimal places. Contributions and Earnings should always be entered in your upload file in USD and the exchange rate for converting AED to USD is 1 USD = 3.6735 AED.
Contributions must be made at the frequency that the employee receives their salary, and the payment deadline is the 21st day of the month following payroll i.e., if calculating for the August payroll period (1st August to 31st August), contributions must be paid before 21st September. Do note that this deadline is for payment to be credited into the trustee bank account and fully reconciled. It is therefore advisable that the contribution file be uploaded before making the payment and that payment be made with sufficient time to make any corrections, if needed.
For simplicity and cost neutrality, the minimum employer contribution rates under DEWS have been designed to broadly match minimum accrual rates under the previous end-of-service benefit system i.e., 21 and 30 days as a percentage proportion of a year.
If an employee leaves or joins mid-month, contributions are calculated on the pro-rata basic salary for that month.
If an employee crosses from less than 5 years’ service to more than 5 years’ service mid-month, the proportion of the month less than 5 years will be calculated at 5.83% and the proportion of the month more than 5 years will be calculated at 8.33%. Divide the monthly basic salary by the number of days in the month for calculation purposes. In the ‘EmployerContributionPercent’ column of your upload file specify 8.33 as this is the percentage that applies at the end of the payroll period in question.
Contributions are still payable on basic salary where an employee is on unpaid vacation leave or maternity leave.
What are Employee Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVC’s)?AVC’s are an employee’s way of contributing extra money into DEWS to build the value of their savings pot.
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. We have a template voluntary contribution request form that you can tailor/use to receive requests from your employees and you can find this in the ‘Documents’ section of our website.
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 basic salary in any given pay period and there is no minimum.
AVC’s can only be accepted from employees who are also receiving a mandatory employer contribution.
When the employer pays in the AVC’s they will be applied to employee’s account and will be automatically invested in the DEWS Default Low/Moderate Growth Fund unless employees have already made an active investment choice prior, in which case they will be invested in line with this choice.
How do I pay contributions?For employers, you will find the bank details for payment in the DEWS online portal by visiting Main Menu > Contributions and Payroll > Upload employees and contributions. 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 this IBAN is 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.
Contributions can either be paid in AED or USD to the same bank details. If paid in AED, an automatic exchange will be applied to AED payments at the rate of 1 USD to 3.6735 AED.
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 delete, 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. The correct amount must be transferred again. 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 > Bank details > Scroll down to Payment History.
For employees, you cannot pay any contributions directly into DEWS. Any AVC’s must be made through your employer by way of salary deduction.
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 > Bank details and click to edit. Please do this before sending any further payments to DEWS.
My contributions will be paid by a third-party payroll provider or a bank account that is not held in our company name, what do you need from us?Third-party payroll providers not registered in the DIFC nor enrolled in DEWS - unfortunately, due to the regulatory requirements involved in accepting contributions from third party companies outside of the DIFC, we are unable to accept contribution payments from payroll providers in these circumstances.
Third-party payroll providers registered in the DIFC and not enrolled in DEWS - unfortunately, as we are unable to facilitate acquiring and maintaining due diligence on DIFC registered companies who have not enrolled into DEWS, we are unable to accept contribution payments from payroll providers in these circumstances.
Third-party payroll providers registered in the DIFC and enrolled in DEWS - we can accept contribution payments from payroll providers in these circumstances and you should complete their information in the bank details area.
There is no restriction on the tasks any third-party payroll provider can complete on your behalf through the online portal in any of the above scenarios, they are simply not able to complete the payment from their bank account unless they are both DIFC registered, and DEWS enrolled and have provided the appropriate documentation.
Contributions paid from a bank account held by another entity in your group that is registered outside of the DIFC - we can accept payments from another group entity upon receipt of suitable documentation. Please contact us for guidance.
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?There is provision for penalties within DIFC Employment Law at $2,000 per employee per instance of late payment. It is therefore advisable that you adhere to the payment deadlines. Penalties will be applied at the DIFC’s discretion.
What happens to Accrued End of Service Benefits from before DEWS was introduced on 1st February 2020?
Employers have three options:
- Continue to manage this liability as you have done in the past. If this option is chosen, at service termination the employer is liable to pay the employee the accrued end of service benefits in line with the period of service as at 31st January 2021 and the salary at termination.
- The employer can transfer the accrued end of service benefits into DEWS with employee consent. The employer can get written consent from the employee and transfer an agreed amount, that is no less than the entitlement calculated under DIFC Employment Law, into the DEWS Plan. 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. In turn, the employee agrees the employer’s liability is fully met and accepts the ongoing investment risk (noting the resulting benefit may be less than if a transfer had not been taken). The employee can view and manage this money through their online DEWS account. We have a template transfer consent form on our website that you can tailor/use to receive transfer requests from your employees and you can find this in the Documents area of our website.
- The employer can transfer the accrued end of service benefits into DEWS without employee consent. This would be paid into the DEWS Plan and held in an account in the employer’s name. The assets will be held in trust by Equiom. The company can decide how the amount is to be invested and retains full control. The employer would still be liable for settling each employee’s end of service benefit entitlement when they leave service and can take withdrawals from the employer account for this purpose. This account can also be topped up as accruals rise in line with salary increases.
Please contact us to understand the above options in greater detail.
If an employee joined our organization in 2019 or 2020 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 31st January 2020.
If the employee did not go on to complete one year of service or more after their enrolment into DEWS, 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. If transfers are offered, there is also no obligation for the employee to accept.
What are the fees associated with DEWS?For employers, the only fees incurred will be the bank charges applied by your bank to send the monthly contribution payment to DEWS.
Employees are subject to an annual percentage-based fee which is designed to be fair and equitable to all members, regardless of pay scale. The fees vary depending on which investment fund, or combination thereof, that an employee selects. For the latest fee information, we would encourage you to check the individual fund factsheets which are updated monthly and held in the DEWS online portal and the Documents page of our website. Fees are built into the unit price of the investment funds and are deducted proportionately daily, so when employees refresh their valuation on the online portal, fees have already been taken into consideration.
Employees will also be subject to a bank charge when withdrawing their benefits upon leaving service.
Can the employer cover the fees for the employee?Whilst we cannot change the charging structure to invoice a company directly, employers can enhance the contribution rate to offset charges for the employee at their discretion. It is important to remember that charges will vary depending on an employee’s investment choice and their account value so we would not be able to advise employers on what a suitable uplift would be.
Can any of the DEWS providers offer employees tailored investment advice?No. Whilst we 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 financial advice to Equiom, the Master Trustee, relating to the range 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 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 carry out a simple calculation to understand how their valuation has changed over time. Current valuation — total contributions paid = growth/loss (net of fees).
Employees can also track performance at fund level by using our Fund Centre tool and by viewing the fund factsheets and investment reports.
What investment funds are there for employees to choose from?Within DEWS there are 10 investment options for employees to choose from, as follows:
- Low Growth Fund
- Low/Moderate Growth Fund(Default)
- 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)
- Mercer Short Duration Global Bond Fund 1
- HSBC Global Islamic Equity Index Fund (Sharia Compliant)
- Mercer Passive Global Equity Fund
All investment funds are denominated in USD.
Further details in respect of the funds, including performance, objectives and target returns, can be found in the Documents page of our website and/or through employee DEWS accounts.
How will salary certificates and employee loans issued by the employer be impacted?There is no facility for banks to take a lien against end of service benefits in DEWS. The DEWS benefit will be paid directly to the employee to a bank account of their choice, which may or may not be the bank to whom a salary certificate was provided. The employer can choose to transfer any accrued benefits from before DEWS was introduced (if applicable) to the bank account specified within the salary certificate.
Employers cannot use or reclaim any funds paid into DEWS for an employee to settle outstanding loans.
Are employers required to implement any new technology for DEWS?
Employers and Employees can access the DEWS online platform via a web browser. Employees can download our app.
Employers should make necessary changes to systems to facilitate:
- The monthly contribution upload and payment process
- The additional voluntary contribution and accrued transfer request process for employees
Do employees have to consent to participate in DEWS?No. The decision to participate in DEWS is at employer level. Under the employment legislation, the employee cannot opt-out and side agreements cannot be made between employer and employee to circumvent or facilitate end of service benefits in any other way.
Is there still a maximum end of service benefit level of two times the annual basic salary of the employee?The two-times annual basic salary maximum applies to benefits accrued to the 31st January 2020 only, benefits accrued under DEWS will not be subject to this maximum.
Is there still a one year wait period?Under DIFC employment law, the one year wait period for end of service benefit eligibility has been removed. Therefore, the employer should start to contribute for any employee joining the company as soon as their probation is confirmed, with retrospective contributions due for the probationary period.
My company is terminating (liquidating, not renewing license etc.), what should I do?Follow the normal exit process in respect of any remaining employees and send us 30-day formal written notice of your intent to leave the DEWS plan.
My company is leaving DEWS as we have been granted an exemption or have opted for another Qualifying Scheme, what should I do?Employers may be granted an exemption by the DIFC where certain criteria are met, and employers may also choose to participate in another Qualifying Scheme which has been issued a Certificate of Compliance by the DIFC Authority.
There are various steps to be taken in these instances which may include formal written notice, so please contact us to understand the process. We will request a copy of your exemption certificate or certificate of compliance (as appropriate).
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 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 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.
We have a leaver guide in our Documents page.
I am an employee moving to another DIFC company, can I combine my DEWS accounts?No. Unfortunately at this time accounts cannot be merged so if moving between DIFC companies 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 withdrawal from that account if required.
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.
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.
I am an employee who is leaving service, what can I expect?
Employees are permitted to withdraw from the DEWS plan upon termination of service should they wish to do so. They may also choose to remain invested. The current withdrawal process is as follows:
- The employer notifies DEWS of a terminating employee by entering an ‘Exit Date’ in the upload file containing the employee’s final contribution.
- DEWS sends an automated email to the employee, once the upload file is successful, confirming that they are eligible to withdraw their benefits.
- Should the employee wish to withdraw they can submit their request and documentation online through their DEWS account.
- Our team will begin processing the disinvestment once the employee’s final working day has passed.
- Once monies are received back from the disinvestment, they will be sent to the employees nominated bank account by bank transfer. Withdrawals requested in AED will be paid using the exchange rate USD 1 to AED 3.6725. Any bank charges will be deducted from the payment i.e., they are paid by the employee and withdrawals requested in AED often carry a much lower bank charge than withdrawals requested in USD. After disinvestment, it takes approximately 7 working days for the payment to be transferred to the employee’s bank account.
I am an employee – can I make a withdrawal whilst I am in service?The money your employer adds is an ‘end of service’ benefit, so it’s only accessible when you leave employment. However if you add extra savings voluntarily, then through our online withdrawal feature you can request up to 2 x partial withdrawals per year, up to 30% of your voluntary savings pot value. You can do this digitally and at any time while you're still employed. Log into your DEWS account or app and look for the 'Withdrawals' section.
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 designed 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
- Set your security and biometric preferences
- Find useful links to the Investment Guide and Fund Factsheets
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.
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?
Log into your online DEWS account and visit Account > Security Options
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.
Where can I find further support?You can use our Help Centre for further support.
Any information published within our FAQ’s should be taken as for reference 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 the DIFC Employment Law or Regulations, the legislation and regulations will prevail.
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. In the rest of the UAE, awareness and confidence drops to 40%.
In an 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.
Keep an eye on our Zurich Magazine for articles and insights.
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