Indians only plan, don't act: Metlife Survey on retirement

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New Delhi, Jun 20 (UNI) Notwithstanding the earnest desire to have a comfortable retirement life, 80 per cent of Indians do no retirement planning apart from the mandatory government schemes they subscribe to like the Provident Fund and Pension, a Metlife global survey shows.

''The divide between employee concerns about retirement readiness and employee actions to prepare for a successful retirement is particularly pointed in India,'' the survey said.

But then, India is not alone in this regard. Many full-time workers in developing and matured economies, including the United States, have taken few or no independent steps to plan for retirement.

The survey is actually part of two studies by Metlife--'The Inaugural Study of International Employee Benefits Trends (iEBTS),' and the sixth annual 'US Study of Employee Benefits Trends (EBTS)'.

The documents catalogue the challenges faced by workers around the world in preparing for a secure post-work life.

While almost three out of four employees (71 per cent) in India said they were 'concerned' about outliving retirement money, only one out of every three (35 per cent) said they have taken steps to determine retirement needs; and only 20 per cent said they have done actual planning for retirement.

Traditionally, a family would take care of its older members, but with the geographic mobility among young people to locations far away from their home base, the family 'safety net' is becoming frayed in many fast-growing countries that lack national health or retirement systems.

In a sharp departure from the other countries surveyed, one-third (33 per cent) of Indian employees said they never expect to retire, which may account to some extent for the fact that so few plan for their retirement.

Of those Indian workers who have planned for retirement, nearly six out of ten (58 per cent) said they have either achieved or are on track to achieving their retirement goals.

Nearly half of Indian employees (48 per cent) whose employers do not offer retirement benefits would be interested in purchasing retirement planning products through their employer, even if they had to pay 100 per cent of the cost.

Nearly half of employees in the US (46 per cent) in the Survey said they have not taken any steps to determine income need in retirement.

In terms of retirement preparedness, the United Kingdom may be the most financially fit of the countries surveyed.

Indeed, 71 per cent of workers surveyed in the UK said they have taken steps to determine their households' retirement needs and 69 per cent have actually started to plan.

The survey found that many Australians are optimistic about their retitrement life, despite their apparent lack of independent retirement preparation.

Australia also has the highest percentage of employees without retirement savings goals among the countries surveyed.

While most workers plan to retire at around age 60, 15 per cent of Australians say they do not have any retirement savings goals.

The first-ever MetLife Study of International Employee Benefits Trends was conducted between November 2006 and March 2007 by GfK Custom Research in India, Mexico, Australia and the UK.

The employee survey polled 2,507 full-time employees beginning at age 18, including a mix of men and women at different employer sizes in each country.

The employer survey consisted of 1,275 interviews with benefits decision-makers at companies with differing number of employees, representing a mix of industries and geographic regions.

The Sixth Annual US Study of Employee Benefits Trends was conducted during the third quarter of 2007 and consisted of two distinct studies fielded by GfK Custom Research, North America.

The employer survey comprised 1,652 interviews.

The employee survey polled 1,380 full-time employees, aged 21 and over, at companies with at least two employees.

MetLife India Insurance Company Ltd (MetLife) is an affiliate of MetLife Inc and was incorporated as a joint venture between MetLife International Holdings Inc, The Jammu and Kashmir Bank, M Pallonji and Co Pvt Ltd and other private investors.

UNI GS SR AS1125

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