AXA Green Crescent Insurance Company (AXA GCIC) has launched what it calls a first-of-its-kind workplace savings product that is locally developed to support efforts at narrowing the retirement savings gap for employees in the UAE.
The Employee Secure Saver product was developed specifically for the UAE market, offering employers the opportunity to provide their employees a simple and transparent savings vehicle in line with those offered across the globe, backed by one of the world’s largest insurers, AXA. Employers may tailor the product to meet their precise needs, whether ringfencing end-of-service liabilities or as a mechanism to offer enhanced benefits as a differentiator in the employment market.
Unlike other alternatives available in the UAE, the Employee Secure Saver includes a market-leading guaranteed investment option provided by AXA Group that offers full protection of a participant’s capital and past gains. This has been designed to meet the requirements of the general population, which studies have shown is often risk-averse when it comes to investments.
Commenting on the product launch, Mr Mohamed Seghir, CEO of AXA GCIC, said, “Many in the country remain unaware that the end-of-service benefit in the UAE is unlikely to be sufficient on its own for retirement — a life goal that requires careful planning. At the same time, the duration of expatriate stays in the country is increasing with minimal provisions made for pensions in most cases. Our Employee Secure Saver is designed to help address this gap between required savings and what the end-of-service benefit provides.”
The product also includes a range of investment funds alongside Sharia-compliant funds to meet the needs of those employees with a greater risk appetite or a wish to invest in accordance with Islamic principles.
Mr David Howard, senior strategy manager at AXA GCIC, said, “The future of the current defined benefit model has been on the minds of many in the UAE since the landmark announcement that the DIFC Employee Workplace Savings Plans (DEWS) will replace end-of-service benefits paid by employers. Rather than bring in a global solution pushed into multiple markets around the world, we at AXA GCIC have designed the Employee Secure Saver to reflect local conditions in the UAE.”
AXA GCIC is listed on the Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange and was created in 2014 to offer life protection and savings plans to individuals and businesses in the UAE and the GCC. It was formed following the acquisition of stakes in an ailing insurer by AXA and its local partner, Kanoo Group. They each hold a stake of 28.05% in AXA GCIC.