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SINGAPOREAN workers today are anxious about their retirement prospects, and concerned that their existing planned retirement income can replace only a small share of their pre-retirement income, according to a study on retirement attitudes and expectations in East Asia.
The study, which was conducted by the Global Aging Institute (GAI) in partnership with Prudential Corporation Asia, found that 28 per cent of today's workers in Singapore expect to have a lot less income in retirement than they do today. This is more than anywhere else surveyed except Hong Kong, South Korea, and Taiwan.
That being said, most Singaporeans surveyed favour individual responsibility for retirement planning over family responsibility, and do not expect their family to be the main financial source of support in their retirement.
In South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan, a majority or plurality of respondents (between 40 and 61 per cent) feel that retirees themselves should be responsible for their own retirement income. In Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China, the Philippines, and Thailand, a majority or plurality of respondents (between 43 and 66 per cent) feel that government should assume the primary role in retirement security.
"The findings show that retirees in East Asia find themselves at a difficult juncture. Traditional family support networks have been weakening, yet adequate government and market substitutes have not yet been put in place. The result is growing economic vulnerability. The retirement outlook for today's workers is brighter in most markets, but still highly uncertain. Across East Asia, workers are very anxious about their retirement prospects, but are also very eager to improve them," said Richard Jackson, founder and president of GAI.
In every market, the share of today's workers who expect to receive income in retirement from insurance and annuity products and/or stocks, bonds or mutual funds is rising. In Singapore, 74 per cent of today's workers expect to receive income from these financial assets when they retire.