1 in 3 Singaporeans expect their standard of living to fall when they retire: HSBC survey

SINGAPORE - Some 33 per cent of Singaporeans expect their standard of living to fall when they retire, far above the global average of 23 per cent who said so, a global survey has found.

In Singapore, future retirees expect their savings to last just 13 out of an average of 23 years in retirement, going by the average retirement age of 60 and life expectancy here of 83 years, said HSBC in its annual Future of Retirement report.

The survey polled more than 16,000 people in 15 countries, including 1,000 from Singapore.

In Singapore, 15 per cent of working-age surveyees believe they will never be able to fully retire - the second highest percentage globally, after Australia.

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And some 30 per cent of those nearing retirement - aged 45 and over - are neither saving nor intending to save, the survey found.

Mr Matthew Colebrook, head of retail banking and wealth management at HSBC Singapore, found the results "concerning".

He said: "Many Singaporeans are at risk of getting caught very short, financially, towards the end of their life."

But financial commitments, economic downturns and unforeseen life events also disrupt Singaporeans' efforts to save for retirement, noted the report.

Mortgage payments and other debts are the biggest barrier to retirement planning here, weighing down some 53 per cent of workers here - the third highest globally.

Economic downturns were to blame for the low savings of 27 per cent of workers here, while unforeseen illness set back 23 per cent of those polled.

"There are no guarantees in life," said Mr Colebrook.

"Singaporeans need to future-proof themselves against unforeseen events that will inevitably arise at some stage in their lives."