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9 of 10 Filipinos fear retirement — Pru Life UK study

BALESIN Island, Quezon—Nearly nine of 10 Filipino workers have growing anxiety about retirement prospects, a study by insurance company Pru Life UK showed.

The Philippines ranked second among 10 countries in East Asia in terms of being worried over being poor and in need of money upon retirement, according to the study titled “From Challenge to Opportunity: Wave 2 of the East Asia Retirement Survey.”

The study conducted by Global Aging Institute in partnership with Pru Life UK showed Vietnam ranked first among East and Southeast Asian countries in terms of having anxiety about life after the working age.

It showed 68 percent of Filipino workers were expecting to receive Social Security System or Pag-IBIG Fund benefits upon retirement, while just 8 percent were expecting to receive income from financial assets such as insurance or annuity products and stocks, bonds or mutual funds.

About 82 percent of respondents believe that the government should require workers to save more for the retirement, 43 percent think that taxes should be increased to provide a basic pension benefit, 23 percent feel that retirement age should be raised and 58 percent deem it helpful to require employers to offer more jobs to elderly.

“While the Philippine market is growing increasingly discerning of the need to plan for the future, the concept of retirement planning is fairly new in the country,” said Pru Life UK president and chief executive Antonio De Rosas.

Other countries included in the survey were Indonesia (83 percent anxiety) South Korea (81 percent), Thailand (79 percent), Malaysia (68  percent), Singapore (66 percent), Hong Kong (64 percent), Taiwan (60 percent) and China (50 percent).

“The majority of Filipino workers surveyed are anxious about exhausting their savings [89 percent], being in poor health and having no one to care for them [88 percent] and being a burden on their children [80 percent] after retiring,” the study said.

The study also revealed that nearly three-fifths of Filipino retirees surveyed continue to work at least part time to supplement their income.

Meanwhile, dependence on family is very high, with 78 percent of elderly retirees in the Philippines living with their grown children, a larger share than anywhere else surveyed except Vietnam.

“One out of ten Filipinos is believing that the family should be mostly responsible for providing income to retired people,” it said.

The study said the level of support for retirement reform in the Philippines was lower than in most East Asian countries.

“The lack of a sense of urgency about reform may be explained in part by Filipinos’ optimism about their nation’s future economic prospects,” the study said.

 “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,” GAI founder and president Richard Jackson said.

About 10,019 respondents were surveyed from the 10 different markets whose age were 20 and older and were household main earners.

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