***Hong Kongers stay positive during the pandemic, have room for improvement on retirement planning despite more effort than previous year***
***Retirement planning motivated by aspirations for more “me time”***
Hong Kong, March 4, 2021 – Sun Life Hong Kong Limited (“the Company” or “Sun Life Hong Kong”) today revealed the inaugural Sun Life Retirement Mastery Index (“Index”) with a score of 56.3. The index finds room for improvement for Hong Kongers with respect to their actual performance in retirement planning, especially singles who are less adept in this respect than married persons.
The survey found that Hong Kongers are more enthusiatic in planning and implementing their retirement plans than a year ago, presumably driven by the pandemic and changes in the economic environment.
The Sun Life Retirement Mastery Index studies Hong Kongers’ degree of control over retirement planning, by evaluating their real performance in three pillars: “Intelligence”, “Momentum”, and “Positive Experiences”. The Company commissioned Nielsen to survey 1,000 financially capable Hong Kongers, aged 30 to 45. The survey was conducted via online questionnaire between February 1 and February 5, 2021. The final score is extrapolated and calibrated from the feedback received under the three pillars.
For the three pillars, “Intellligence” assesses the individuals’ information and knowledge of retirement planning and retirement savings; “Momentum” looks at concrete actions taken to plan and save for retirement; and “Positive Experiences” considers personal experiences on the retirement journey. Based on the responses of those surveyed, the final scores for “Intelligence”, “Momentum”, and “Positive Experience are 55.2, 56.4, and 57 respectively.
More than half of the respondents agree that mastery of “Intelligence”, “Momentum”, and “Positive Experiences” are important for planning and saving for retirement. However, only 30% are highly satisfied with their real performance under these pillars. In general, married persons are more proficient at retirement planning across the board, achieving a score of 58.6, compared to 52.4 for singles.
The survey also found that 46% of respondents considered moving to the Greater Bay Area (excluding Hong Kong) after they retire. Meanwhile, Macau (67%), Zhuhai (62%) and Guangzhou (60%) were the top destinations for retirement in the Greater Bay Area. Separately, 51% of respondents believe that new initiatives and developments in healthcare will increase their interest in moving to the Greater Bay Area post retirement.
Over half of the respondents (55%) said they enjoy on average less than two days of “me time” per week, and look forward to spending more time for themselves after retiring.
Performance Deficit Under “Momentum”, One in Five Trust Themselves Above Experts
“Intellligence” assesses the individuals’ information and knowledge of retirement planning and retirement savings. While 43% of respondents believe that “Intelligence” is very important, only 30% feel they are doing very well in this aspect. Overall, around 30% feel they are not doing well enough in understanding and digesting expert advice.
For Hong Kongers, “Momentum” had the largest deficit between perceived importance and real performance. While half of respondents agree that taking concrete action is very important, only 34% believe they have actually done well in this area, representing a gap of 16 percentage points. Around 30% of respondents are not satisfied with the frequency of seeking expert advice. Conversely, 20% do not recognize the importance of doing so, trusting themselves over experts and their professional advice.
The survey found that a third of the respondents claim they are doing very well when it comes to “Positive Experiences”. In addition, 41% felt satisfied for keeping a neutral and positive attitude towards retirement or have their family or partner support their retirement goals.
Haymans Fung, Chief Marketing and Digital Officer of Sun Life Hong Kong Limited, said, “We launch the Sun Life Retirement Mastery Index in the hope of helping Hong Kongers understand their strengths and advantages on the retirement planning journey. The survey shows that 42% of respondents have not reviewed their retirement savings portfolio due to tight schedules or lack of urgency. We understand that life can be busy, but regular reviews of retirement savings portfolio can go a long way. Our wealth solutions and suite of interactive tools help our clients plan and assess their progress on the retirement journey, putting them in control of their retirement life.”
Hong Kongers feel that they have been putting in more effort on retirement planning and retirement saving than the previous year. 48% of respondents believe they work rather hard for retirement planning today, whereas only 33% felt they did so last year. Similarly, 55% believe they are more diligent in executing their retirement saving plans, 19% higher than they were the previous year. When asked on what methods were used to keep track of performance and progress, most people used information, statements and spreadsheets from their online accounts (43%); about 30% of respondents used digital financial planning tools, or created their own data spreadsheets to track and monitor their progress respectively.
Retirement Planning Driven By Hong Kongers’ Aspirations For More “Me Time”
According to the survey, two thirds of the respondents feel that it is difficult to do what they like and live as they wish in their current lifestyle. On “me time”, 55% of respondents said they have less than two days per week on average, and 86% wish to have on average 4.8 days instead.
In general, Hong Kongers wish to spend more time on themselves after retirement. 24% claim that having more “me time” in the future gives the highest amount of satisfaction when planning for retirement. When given more time to be themselves, 81% of respondents wish to go travel, 73% hope to develop new interests, and 70% want to spend time with their family.
Fung said, “While Hong Kongers can still improve on the different aspects of retirement planning, 58% are considering or already including MPF Tax Deductible Voluntary Contributions (TVC) and/or Qualifying Deferred Annuity Policy (QDAP) as part of their retirement savings portfolio. We are delighted that Hong Kongers are taking the extra step on their retirement journey, and we will continue to work side by side with our clients to realize their ideal retirement life.”
The Sun Life Retirement Mastery Index is based on the scores for the importance and real performance under the three pillars: “Intelligence”, “Momentum”, and “Positive Experiences”. The index is calculated by multiplying the score for real performance under each pillar with the weighted score of each pillar’s importance, to measure the respondent’s proficiency in retirement planning.
Photo caption: Sun Life Hong Kong Limited revealed the inaugural Sun Life Retirement Mastery Index.
About Sun Life
Sun Life is a leading international financial services organization providing insurance, wealth and asset management solutions to individual and corporate Clients. Sun Life has operations in a number of markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bermuda. As of December 31, 2020, Sun Life had total AUM of CAD$1,247 billion. For more information please visit www.sunlife.com.
Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF. Sun Life Financial Inc. is the holding company of Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada. Sun Life Hong Kong Limited is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada.
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