Indians Getting Better at Retirement: Survey
While we anticipate the findings of the 7th edition of Aegon Retirement Readiness Survey, we relook at the results of the 2017 edition, and how citizens of the world and India fared in it. For the uninitiated, the survey is undertaken annually by The Aegon Centre for Longevity and Retirement, and the findings of the last year’s survey were based on responses from 14,400 workers and 1,600 retired workers in the countries of Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States. India has been a part of the study since 2014.
The survey takes a hard look at how people across the world are viewing retirement and tries to establish how traditional ways around the concept are undergoing a change. ‘Successful Retirement – Healthy Aging and Financial Security: The Aegon Retirement Readiness Survey 2017’ is an informative and authoritative source for governments, employers and employees to comprehend retirement and its many dimensions. The Aegon Retirement Readiness Index, which constitutes the foundation of the survey is determined based on a diverse set of factors: personal responsibility, awareness, financial understanding, superannuation planning, financial preparedness and income replacement. India scored the highest score in the Index, and came atop, surpassing the threshold for ‘high’ retirement readiness. Let’s take a look at a few others India-specific findings of the survey:
- Indian employees, according to the survey are gaining more confidence and maturity in managing their retirement, as compared to just three years ago.
- Retirement readiness has actually been steadily improving in India for the last few years, the survey suggests. As a matter of fact, Indians are the best places in superannuation preparedness among all the countries.
- While for most Indian employees, retirement is associated with freedom, opportunity, and leisure, a few also look at it as the arrival of insecurity, loneliness, ill health, and boredom.
- Indians also seem to be habitual savers, because 43% (the highest among all countries) of the respondents are of the view that they would rely on their own savings and investments in retirement as opposed to workplace retirement plans or government social security schemes.
- While 82% of the Indian respondents were of the view that their health was in excellent shape, they are also the most concerned about their health than their global peers.
- Indian workers, alongside those of Brazil and Turkey, are generally more receptive towards workplace health and benefits programs as compared to others.
- The expected age of retirement in India is 60, only ahead of Turkey (57) and China (56). However, 17% also expected to retire at an age after 70, and 1% said they never expected to retire from work.
- Indians also seem to aspire to an active retirement more than their global counterparts. Responses like ‘volunteer work’, ‘continuing work in the same field’, ‘studying’, ‘continuing work in another field’, and ‘starting a business’ all saw the highest responses from Indian employees.
- Furthermore, 68% of the Indian respondents also reported to having a retirement backup plan, again, the highest among all countries.
While Aegon admits that “the survey is not indicative of the general population and is conducted among middle and high income-earning organized workers in cities”, one can easily identify the ‘save-first’ attitude that Indians are known for, in the findings. It is not a mere coincidence that a majority of Indians expect to rely on their savings, or continue an active retirement, or have a backup retirement plan, as the mentality to save resources for the future is deeply ingrained in our culture. On the other side, the report is critical of the lack of effective social security schemes offered by the state and also discusses the disparity in health care provisions between urban and rural areas in the country. The survey provides a holistic global perspective on retirement readiness across different countries and has several important resources to help and guide readers about the best practices in saving for retirement.
Watch this space for updates on the upcoming 2018 edition of the survey.
You can view and download the full survey here.