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Indians want to work beyond the legal age for retirement- Retirement Scope India report

Axa Group has recently released the findings of its Retirement Scope India report conducted over 8 cities - Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Pune and Hyderabad).

Key Findings about regional differences in attitudes towards retirement:

• In Ahmedabad, workers’ ideal retirement age would be 65, while the national average is 59

• Pune population retire later than in other cities.

• Residents of Delhi and Mumbai are more willing to remain active once retired.

• People in Kolkata and Bangalore are more concerned about health and financial issues than people in other parts of the country.

• People retiring at the legal age of retirement are mostly found in the Southern part of India

• Imposed retirement is the highest in Delhi.

• Hyderabad people support raising the legal age of retirement, but Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Pune inhabitants are more divided.

• Approximately 90% of the working population in Kolkata, Chennai and Hyderabad have a fair knowledge about future retirement income, but only 40% in Delhi and Pune do.

According to the report, when it comes to their retirement savings, India is amongst the top ranked countries within the SE Asia region whose people put their own investment ahead of any other source,. Only 20% of the working population surveyed depends on the Government for their retirement needs, compared to 38% in a developed country like Singapore and 47% in a fast emerging economy like China. Driven by this need for self-reliance,

Indians want to work till the age of 61, 3 years beyond the legal age for retirement, whereas the figure stands at 54 years for China and an average of 57 years for SE Asia. Showing a positive outlook towards the future, Indians are the best positioned to know their retirement income: 64% of the Indian workers have a fair idea of what their future retirement income will be. What is also heartening to know is that the satisfaction/optimism levels about retirement income is also high amongst Indians and places them at no.2 after China. More than half the people interviewed were satisfied with the retirement savings they think will be available to them. The SE Asia average is at 38%, Japan is lowest on optimism where 11% workers are most optimistic/satisfied about the quantum of their retirement income.

Indians are also more involved & worried when it comes to retirement, 81% see old age and hence dependence on others as a worrying factor, and that puts India at No.1 on this parameter. Hence planning for savings is paramount.

However on a SE Asia scale, India stands in the middle range in terms of effective preparation (38%), between more anticipating countries like Hong Kong (57%) and less prepared countries like Thailand (27%).

Looking ahead, from an industry perspective, the study clearly outlines the needs and gaps in retirement planning and the opportunity for insurance companies to step up consumer awareness and engagement. With a large part of India’s population due to retire in the next 25-30 years, early retirement planning will assure a healthy and securely retired population.

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