Feb 05 2013

NBAD announces pension and savings plan for expats

NBAD announces pension and savings plan for expats Photo Credit:Reuters/Jumana El-Heloueh

Tuesday, Feb 05, 2013

Abu Dhabi: NBAD Trust Company (Jersey) Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of the National Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC ( NBAD ), announced on Tuesday the launch of a new corporate savings and pension scheme called Wealth Builder Plan.

This corporate service which targets expatriates in the UAE has been specifically designed for corporate entities that employ expatriates and wish to increase their return on human resources investment.

The Wealth Builder Plan works differently from the usually popular pension plans in the region by that both the employer, in this case the company, and the employee would both allocate a monthly monetary contribution to one of several investment funds.

Simon Stirzaker, Senior Manager of Development & Strategy at RBC cees International Limited, the entity which will carry the operations of the plan, told reporters that the scheme allows the company to invest in its human capital and at the same time allows the employee to save for the future.

“Employees in the UAE might leave an employer before they get to retirement, so when they leave, what do they have? All they have is an end of service gratuity, even if you’ve been working with a company for 24 years… you get a two years’ salary as a lump sum. You’re not going to retire on that,” he said.

Mark Watts, Head of Fixed Income, Global Wealth Division at NBAD’s Asset Management Group, which will manage the investment opportunities, said that clients are offered to select three levels of risks. “If you have somebody who’s near a retirement, the classic response would be that you won’t put all your money in volatile investments for the short-term, so the advice would be to go for a more income oriented strategy,” Watts explained. “For those who have a high risk taking ability, who tend to be younger, then it’s entirely sensible to take on riskier investments because they have a longer period to work.”

NBAD also believes that the service will help improve the working conditions in the UAE.

Stirzaker said the launch of such a plan could become popular, possibly compulsory, among companies in the future because it works for the benefit of both employers and employees. “Employers want to retain their employees. It’s very expensive every time you lose an employee to hire an employee, train them and get them used to the company system… Employers want to find ways of remunerating their employees for their long-term commitment to the company,” he said.

The scheme requires no salary range or financial pre-requisites. The return on the investment goes into the employee’s account on a yearly basis, which he could withdraw at the time he leaves the company, regardless of how many years he’s worked.

When asked about the risk factor, Stirzaker said that there will always be a risk factor. “At the end of day, nothing in this world is guaranteed. If you buy property, property can do down. If you buy gold, gold can go down…But, at the end of the day, the employer sets up the scheme through a trust so that the employee enjoys the protection provided of a trust, so in the event of financial distress of the employer, or of NBAD , or RBC or any body else, the employer’s money is protected because it’s held directly in the trust.”

By Samia Badih Staff Reporter

Gulf News 2013. All rights reserved.

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