Independent pension provider Options UK has joined forces with worldwide Halal investment specialists Wahed Invest
to launch a fully diversified, Sharia-compliant Halal Workplace Pension (HWP). The pioneering pension vehicle is designed to satisfy burgeoning demand from British Muslims for a retirement product compatible with Sharia law, enabling them to enjoy generous tax advantages without compromising on their beliefs.
The partnership between Options UK and Wahed Invest has resulted in the creation of a unique HWP which comprises Sharia-compliant funds selected for their adherence to Muslim values. Advised by its Sharia board, Wahed Invest ensures that all returns from these funds, which include investments in Wakala funds (Treasury Deposits), Gold and the Islamic Global Equity Index, are Halal.
The values underpinning Sharia-compliant pensions and other investment products are comparable to those found within the ethical and socially responsible investing sector. At the heart of Sharia-compliant investing is a belief that all natural and depletable resources should be managed in trust for ours and future generations. The investment process also involves financial screening to ensure securities are Sharia-compliant and investments in heavily indebted companies is avoided. In addition, Riba (interest) is neither held or received, while investing in industries including alcohol, gambling, firearms, tobacco and any other areas considered Haram (unlawful) is also forbidden.
Christine Hallett, Managing Director of Options UK, said: “The launch of this unique Halal Workplace Pension represents an important step in the development of the British Muslim pension market, currently valued at £47 billion. “Moreover, this unique product also means that IFAs have a unique pension platform capable of underpinning retirement and wealth management planning within the Muslim community.”
Mr Mehdi Benslimane head of Strategy at Wahed concurred. “People are constantly reminded of the need to make their own provision for the time when they retire. Workplace pensions are one of the most tax-efficient means of doing so with the added benefit of your employer paying in as well to boost the savings amount” he said. “With the launch of a diversified Sharia-compliant halal workplace pension in conjunction with our master trust partners, Options UK, ensures that Muslim investors have the opportunity to save for their retirement, while adhering to Islamic values.