Make us save more for old age, not work longer, say workers

Apr 27 2006 by Nic Paton Print This Article

Workers around the world would prefer to be forced to save more for their retirement rather than work longer, a new survey has reported.

The study by HSBC found more than a third Ė 36 per cent Ė supported compulsory saving for retirement and more than seven out of 10 wanted to scrap mandatory retirement ages.

Workers also said they wanted to abandon traditional models of retirement in favour of self-sufficiency and a mix of work and leisure.

Just 23 per cent preferred raising the retirement age, 12 per cent saw raising more taxes as the answer, with a similar percentage arguing for a reduction in pensions.

The survey of 21,000 people and 6,000 companies in 20 countries also found most employers recognise the skills of older workers, but opportunities were still limited.

Nearly half of individuals worldwide expressed a desire to fund their own retirement either through savings or by working later, perhaps part-time.

But, while 49 per cent of the world's employers recognised that older workers were just as productive and motivated as younger ones, most were slow to make the most of the opportunity they presented.

Stephen Green, group chief executive of HSBC Holdings, said: "HSBC's Future of Retirement: what the world wants research shows that individuals increasingly expect to bear their own costs in later life, but governments and business must understand their role in continuing to support individuals.

"They cannot afford to shy away from the enormous challenges and opportunities presented by global ageing," he added.

The study also suggested that retirement in its current form may cease to exist in the next few decades.

Well over 60 per cent of the people polled said they wanted to work in some fashion after they "retired", although many were hoping to work part-time.

Men and women still wanted retirement in some form in their late fifties and early sixties, but most recognised they would still need some form of employment, it added.

Almost a quarter said they would need to work because of needing the money, but work as being a form of mental stimulation was also another key factor, with 20 per cent saying they would want to continue working because it was something meaningful to do.