A research to determine employees’ readiness to retire found that a surprisingly large number of the respondents look forward to their lives after retirement. Countries, such as India, Brazil and China have shown relatively higher rates of retirement readiness than others.
Are you feeling hopeful about your retirement plans? If so, you’re not alone! A recent study by the Aegon Centre in collaboration with the Transamerica Centre for Retirement Studies found that employees, across 13 countries out of the 15 surveyed, feel that they are as optimistic about retirement as they were a year back. However, their preparedness regarding the same is another matter.
According to Catherine Collinson, executive director of Aegon Centre, the increase in optimism about retirement, can be attributed to factors like market recovery, rather than actual change in behaviour.
Over 14,400 respondents from 15 countries took part in the survey, which calculated their overall retirement readiness. The average score was 5.9 out of 10, which, according to Aegon’s scale, represents a lack in plans to ensure a comfortable retirement. The scores are calculated on the basis of the respondents’ understanding of retirement planning, their sense of personal responsibility and the savings they can access after they retire.
If the participants score anywhere between 6–8, it indicates that they are taking some steps towards retirement, but need to do more for a secure future. According to Aegon’s standards, only 18% of the workforce, globally, are well prepared to lead their lives after retiring from work. The survey also indicates that 6 out of 10 employees do not save habitually while 4 out of 10 do not save for retirement at all.
With increasing emphasis on personal savings, defined pension plans are being outranked by the former in places like the United States, with many more countries following suit. 26 per cent of the global workforce depends on defined benefit pensions, while another 24 per cent relies on private pensions.
If the findings are to be believed, Indian employees are the most prepared for retirement with a score of 7 followed by the United States’ 6.5. The top three countries also happen to have high interest rates, which could act as an incentive for them to save more.
Countries, such as India, Brazil and China have shown relatively higher rates of retirement readiness, which could be owing to the fact that the survey was conducted online. So, in emerging economies, Aegon managed to reach the people involved in their country’s economic growth more effectively.
The lowest rate of retirement readiness was reported in Japan with a score of 4.8. Even in western European countries, where the government plays a major role in deciding retirement-related benefits, employees had a low score.