"Ostrich generation" neglecting pensions - HSBC
LONDON (Reuters) - Britons fear a cash-strapped retirement but fail to plan for their old age, while Asians look forward to bumper pensions for which they are actively planning, a study by HSBC bank showed Thursday.
Fifty-seven percent of the 1,000 respondents aged between 30 and 59 years expect work-based pensions to become less and less generous, but their global peers are streets ahead in their efforts to plan for the likely shortfall.
"The emergence of this ostrich generation is a real concern. Britons know that they need to plan and save more for their retirement, yet they are not turning this knowledge into action," said David Wells, head of investments, pensions and savings at HSBC.
Mark Twigg, executive director at Cicero Consulting and report author, said women in their 50s, who often have little or no personal pension savings, are the most pessimistic.
Among UK respondents, people who think they will be worse off than their parents outnumber those who think the opposite by 22 percent -- the largest percentage after France and the United States, where reforms to generous state and corporate pensions are also set to cut pension incomes.
Pension reforms aimed at avoiding poverty in old age by encouraging savings have not yet sunk in with Britons either.
Only 42 percent of the UK sample has heard of the new National Employment Savings Trust (NEST), the pension scheme designed to cater for low to medium income workers with no pension schemes from 2012.
Meanwhile, a separate study sponsored by the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) found earlier this week that 3 million workers are pinning their hopes on winning the lottery to finance their retirement.
Active pension planners amass nearly two and a half times more -- or 132,000 pounds -- than the average, the HSBC study found.
END OF GOLDEN AGE
Indian, Chinese and Malaysian respondents, who contributed to a global poll of 17,000 people, were the most optimistic that they would be better off than their parents in retirement, helped by their booming economies and a saving culture.
That optimism carried through into their investment approach, with only 12 percent of Chinese respondents describing themselves as conservative investors, compared with the 31 percent global average.
"A new era in retirement is dawning as the West's golden age of pensions comes to an end and the first generation of 'prosperous pensioners' appears in the world's emerging economies," the report said.
(Reporting by Cecilia Valente, Editing by Sinead Cruise and Will Waterman)
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this