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Group of Dubai-based pilots first to sign up for the retirement savings programme

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Dubai:  A new pension scheme offers expatriates in the UAE the opportunity to build significant savings and get the retirement they’re dreaming of.

Oman Insurance has launched its Workplace and Retirement Plan that seeks to invest employee contributions and provide expatriates the option to withdraw a payout by the time they retire or decide to leave the UAE.

This is said to be a sensible option for non-UAE nationals who wish to save for retirement but don’t have access to a state pension. The retirement programme is open to any company, particularly large corporations, in the UAE.

“The majority of UAE residents are inadequately prepared for life after work. We believe that investing for the future is one of the most important subjects for the coming years and it will have a profound impact in the regional economic development,” said Patrick Choffel, OIC chief executive officer of Oman Insurance.

The first to sign up for the plan is Aircrew Protection International (API), an organisation of more than 1,700 airline pilots based in Dubai.

Through the pension scheme, each of the 1,700 pilots will have the opportunity to subscribe to a comprehensive life insurance policy up to the maximum of half a million US dollars. Members who are eligible will have their contributions invested to complement their wealth management and retirement planning goals.

All the members of API are eligible to join the pension scheme and will be self-funding their contributions.

Gladys Elkington, VP Workplace Savings and Retirement at Oman Insurance, said the pension scheme is the first “innovative plan” launched by a local insurance company in the region.  She said the programme is unique in the sense that it allows “portability” to beneficiaries, so that when employees decide to leave the UAE or move to another company, they can retain their contributions.

“The facets within the plan are unique to Oman Insurance’s Workplace Savings and Retirement Plan and are not available in other plans. The most important facet of the plan is allowing portability to plan leavers, should they relocate or change employer,” Elkington told Gulf News.

“Flexibility of funding allows recommencement or cessation of funding into the plan, enabling members to continually enjoy the flexibility of benefits throughout the lifetime of the plan.”

Sharon Shetty

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