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25 April 2024

UAE's first pension scheme for expats

By Staff

NBAD Trust Company (Jersey) Limited, the wholly-owned subsidiary of the National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), has launched Wealth Builder Plan, a corporate trust solution that allows employers to offer their expatriates staff greater rewards through corporate savings and pension schemes.

Wealth Builder Plan, the first pension scheme for expatriates by a UAE bank, has been specifically designed for domestic and multi-national companies that employ expatriates and seek to increase their return on human resources investment by attracting, rewarding and retaining talent.
It is essentially a packaged corporate structure underpinned by a range of investment fund options that employees can choose based on their risk appetite. The schemes are tailored for each client, and regular investments can be made solely by the company or by both employer and employee.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, expatriates account for 88.5 per cent of the UAE’s population of 8.2 million (2011). However, unlike many other financial centers, the UAE does not offer a federal pension scheme for its expatriate population.
The new service that would dramatically improve UAE as a place to live and work.
Samira Zakour, Chief Marketing Officer of NBAD Trust Services, says: “By offering employees a cost effective and professionally managed savings solution, employers will be able to demonstrate that they have the long term interests of their staff in mind. This will have a powerful and positive impact on their ability to recruit and retain high quality employees.”
The basket of investment opportunities underlying each scheme is managed by NBAD’s Asset Management Group.
“NBAD will be providing well balanced investment funds as the core of our Wealth Builder Plan service,” says Alan Durrant, the Group Chief Investment Officer and General Manager of NBAD's Asset Management Group.
The current practice dictated by the UAE Labour Law is for companies to provide their expatriate staff with an end-of-service indemnity; a lump sum that is determined by the length of an employee’s service. Managed or defined savings schemes, such as the Wealth Builder Plan offered by NBAD, are a way for employers and employees to share the burden in a manner that is both motivating and measurable.
“Employers need to maximise staff productivity and value. Competition for the best employees is also getting tougher and soon every high performing employee will be looking at their employers to show them long term trust, commitment and benefits,” says Zakour.
As part of the plan, employers and employees will have access to custom-built, secure web portals where they will be able to get instant access to their account information and plan performance.
“This plan would offer employees access to international investment options that may not be available to the individual investor. It also allows them to track the progression of selected funds and see exactly how much has been saved whenever and wherever. The portal also allows investors to change investment strategy as personal needs and circumstances change,” says Zakour.
NBAD Trust Company (Jersey) Limited will act as trustees and the administration will be carried out by RBC Corporate Employee and Executive Services. This has been designed specifically to protect employees and employers alike – any funds invested become part of a trust structure managed by trustees completely independent to the employer.
Sean Costello, Chief Representative Officer of Jersey Finance in GCC and India, says: “Jersey's practitioners are leaders in the formation of trusts to help clients effectively structure their wealth. We are delighted to see NBAD launch this new and innovative service in the UAE.”
As well as Corporate Solutions, NBAD offers a range of other trust services, from private trusts to protect the assets of Ultra High Net Worth individuals and families to Foundations and Charitable entities.