Aviva Newsroom - 25 November 2008

Aviva Research shows that many Hong Kong People are postoning retirement due to insufficient savings

Over half of retirees in Hong Kong regret leaving retirement planning too late

25 November 2008

  • While 85% of respondents in Hong Kong agreed that it is the responsibility of the government to provide for the elderly, only 23% believed that the government will provide them with sufficient pension income.
  • 55% of pre-retired respondents in Hong Kong think that they may have to work beyond their normal retirement age to fund their retirement.
  • People living in Hong Kong are the most likely to save, with 68% saying that they regularly set aside money for use for retirement, but 55% of the retired respondents said they wish they had done something earlier to provide enough for retirement.
  • Only 19% of respondents said they would rather live for today than save money for tomorrow.
  • 57% of respondents preferred getting a lower, but safer or guaranteed rate of return from their savings and investments as opposed to the 33% who preferred getting the very best performance available in the market.

People in Hong Kong must look to the private sector for pensions planning in order to ensure an adequate living standard after retirement, Aviva Hong Kong Managing Director Simon Phipps said today.

"It is now widely accepted that the government cannot and will not provide a sufficient income for all those in retirement. Recent losses suffered by the Mandatory Provident Fund are also a timely reminder that people in Hong Kong need to start saving more and earlier in order for them to have enough pension fund to live comfortably in retirement,"says Phipps.

A recent survey conducted by Aviva has found that only 23% of people in Hong Kong believe that the government will provide them with sufficient pension income, even though 85% believe that it is the responsibility of the government to provide for the elderly. More than half of the pre-retired respondents (55%) expect that they may have to work beyond their normal retirement age possibly due to inadequate savings. The survey also reveals that 55% of retired people in Hong Kong surveyed in 2008 regret not having taken action sooner to provide for their retirement.

"Our research has shown that high levels of anxiety about retirement saving have not resulted in action. It may seem tempting to delay or suspend retirement saving in difficult economic conditions, but we would urge people in Hong Kong to take a longer term view. Now is the time to identify your retirement planning goals and start achieving them," says Phipps.

Aviva's five-year global Understanding Consumer Attitudes to Saving study is one of the biggest financial services insight projects in the world. Since 2004, Aviva has worked with the Futures Company, a leading international research company formerly known as the Henley Centre, to develop the study. In total, more than 100,000 people have now taken part in the annual survey since its inception, and the most recent tranche covered 28,500 people in 25 different countries across Europe, Asia Pacific and North America. In Hong Kong, Aviva interviewed a sample of 1000 people.

"Investors' risk appetite is also changing. We are seeing a shift in demand for the more traditional and conservative investment products with extra guarantees. As a leading insurer, we are repositioning our product offering to meet those needs," concluded Phipps.

For further information, please contact:

Angel Kan / Marsha Ho
Email: /
Tel: 2837 4706 / 2837 4705

About Aviva plc

Aviva is the leading provider of life and pension products in Europe with substantial positions in other markets around the world, making it the world's fifth largest insurance group based on gross worldwide premiums at 31 December 2007.

Aviva's principal business activities are long-term savings, fund management and general insurance, with worldwide total sales of £49.2 billion at 31 December 2007 and funds under management of £359 billion at 30 June 2008.

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