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September 09, 2021

Sun Life Hong Kong Survey on Retirement Planning of “Slashers”

Close to 70% of Respondents have no Clear Retirement Plans

 The resulting Dilemma: “Retiring Without Retirement”

Expert Suggests Two Ways for Self-insured Retirement Planning

[HONG KONG, Sep 9, 2021] Working as a “slasher” has been the new trend in recent years. However, due to the resulting unstable income for those who dabble in multiple (slash) professions, and lack of the employee benefits provided by employers while also considering retirement a far distant future concern, slashers find planning for retirement to be a truly daunting endeavour. With this in mind, Sun Life Hong Kong Limited (“Sun Life Hong Kong”) today announced the results of its latest survey on the Retirement Planning of Slashers. The data showed that 70% of survey respondents had no clear vision for retirement planning, with the average expected age to start retirement planning to be 40. Due to this late preparation for retirement, 35% of those who start retirement planning late would need to minimise their daily expenses, and 34% said they would continue to work after retirement  to help compensate for insufficient funds.

Commissioned by Sun Life Hong Kong, the survey was conducted by Cimigo Limited.  305 working adults aged 18-40 with more than one income source were interviewed. This cohort chose jobs based on personal interests as well as professional capabilities strengths, and included jobs in same field over the past year. The interviews were   carried out from mid- to late- June 2021 via online and in-depth interviews.

The average age of the interviewees was 30, with a personal income median of HK$21,950. The results of the survey revealed that about 70% of the interview respondents had no clear vision about  their retirement planning, and considered retirement “too far away” in the future for them to worry about it now. They tended to be more focused on the short-term outlook, rather than a long-term view of retirement, with many considering it too early to even think about.

The survey results also indicated that the expected monthly retirement expenditure of the interviewed slashers without retirement planning was HK$15,675. 35% of those who start retirement planning late would need to minimise their daily expenses, and 34% said they would continue to work after retirement if their retirement savings couldn’t cover expenses.

Those slashers with retirement plans in place, said they started planning  at age 28 with monthly savings of HK$6,835 on average, mainly invested in bank savings, insurance policies, as well as various retailed funds, and stocks. And the share of MPF investment is about 6%. Those who set up early retirement plans reckon their expected retirement expenditures would increase by HK$2,800 to HK$18,443, compared to those without retirement plans.

Rainbow Pan, General Manager for Wealth & Pensions at Sun Life Hong Kong Limited, said - “This survey clearly indicates that slashers have to be more aware of the importance of early retirement planning. Due to unstable incomes and the lack of financial protection  a full-time job affords, it becomes essential to plan early and more comprehensively for retirement. Otherwise, the later one starts preparing for retirement, the lower amount   there will be of retirement savings. This will, indeed,  seriously affect the quality of one’s retirement life, and will make it difficult to meet  the heavy medical financial burdens  that inevitably come with old age.”

Under the MPF System, slashers are categorised as self-employed persons. Ms. Pan suggests that slashers can enjoy MPF protection by enrolling themselves in a self-employed person account under an MPF scheme, and make contributions monthly or annually. Ms. Pan added that “In addition to mandatory contributions, slashers can also consider making MPF voluntary contributions as part of their comprehensive retirement planning. ‘Tax-deductible Voluntary Contributions’ (‘TVC’) may increase retirement savings while also providing tax deductions. MPF members can flexibly adjust their TVC based on their personal needs and financial capacity. They can also make contributions according to different contribution cycles, while also increasing,  decreasing, suspending, or resuming contributions at any time. This is particularly suited  for slashers who yearn for freedom. It also makes retirement life more flexible and autonomous. As one of the top three MPF service providers in the market, Sun Life Hong Kong encourages clients to establish retirement and wealth management goals as early as possible.  The company also provides a wide range of wealth management products to plan for a future financially healthy retirement.”

Rainbow Pan, General Manager, Wealth & Pensions at Sun Life Hong Kong Limited encourages “slashers” to make plans for retirement as soon as possible so that they can enjoy a financial burden-free,  independent life.

About Sun Life

Sun Life is a leading international financial services organisation 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 June 30, 2021, Sun Life had total assets under management of C$1.36 trillion. For more information please visit

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.