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Retirement security increasingly important to employees in Hong Kong, Willis Towers Watson survey finds

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November 29, 2018

Retirement security is a growing issue in Hong Kong and the wider Asia Pacific region, according to the Global Benefits Attitudes Survey, a new survey by Willis Towers Watson.

HONG KONG, 29 November 2018 — Retirement security is a ging issue in Hong Kong and the wider Asia Pacific region, according to a survey by Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ: WLTW), a leading global advisory, broking and solutions company.

The latest findings of the Global Benefits Attitudes Survey reveals that 58% of Hong Kong employees think retirement security has become a more important issue for them over the last 2-3 years. However, only around one-third of them are confident of having enough resources to live comfortably throughout retirement.

“The survey shows that majority of Hong Kong employees do not prioritise their own finances towards saving for retirement until their 40s,” said Elaine Hwang, Head of Retirement at Willis Towers Watson. “Employees generally do understand that they should save for retirement, but the push factor is not strong at earlier ages. Employees at age 40 and above have stronger desire to save for retirement but starting from age of 40 is already quite late to accumulate adequate amount.”

“Employees also expect their employers’ retirement plans as their primary way to save for retirement, but not all employers are willing to take on proactive responsibilities for employee financial well-being beyond statutory retirement contributions,” added Elaine Hwang, “It’s time to rethink the role of employers in helping employees save or invest wisely for retirement, by providing adequate education, guidance and tools.”

Willing to pay for better retirement benefits

Up to 44% of the surveyed employees in Hong Kong are willing to sacrifice a portion of their paycheck for greater employer-provided retirement benefits, and even more (45%) are willing to make similar trade-off for more generous benefits. The same is not true for health care benefits. Only 30% are willing to pay more each month for a more generous health care plan.

“The HKSAR Government’s recent proposal to increase the relevant income cap and to offer tax incentive to employee voluntary contributions in MPF plans have coincidently addressed this needs to a certain extent, and demonstrates Government’s ongoing commitment of encouraging retirement savings,” said Elaine Hwang

Strong interest in phased retirement

The survey suggests that a considerable minority (17%) of Hong Kong employees expect to still be working in their 70s. Those who expect to work longer are more likely to be in poor health, highly stressed or disengaged with their job.

In contrast to late retirement, employees are expressing a strong interest in phased retirement. Over half (54%) of the respondents said they will keep working for some time before fully retire. Stronger interest is observed in highly engaged employees and those from age group of 40+.

“Phased retirement seems to be an excellent idea for both employers and employees. While employers may transition duties and knowledge through a smoother and more gradual process, employees can also leverage on this opportunity to continue to contribute to their employers while take a chance to become more adaptive to retirement life.”

“Phased retirement programmes are not uncommon in Hong Kong. Having said that, we observe that employers may not have a holistic programme in place, and as a result, the contract terms and benefits items are not adequately established,” remarked Elaine Hwang.

Employers can start with an easy step

Following the proposed plan of the Government to cancel the Long Service Payment offsetting mechanism from MPF balances, money in the MPF pool will be ging and entirely reserved for member’s retirement.

“It is more important than ever for employees to pay attention to their own MPF investment portfolio, while employers to play a more crucial role in enhancing member engagement and encouraging savings for retirement,” said Eric Lam, Head of MPF Advisory Services at Willis Towers Watson.

“Running regular review of MPF providers on their performance and services is the first step towards a proper governance,” Eric Lam pointed out. “Employers can proactively review whether their employees are being provided with the optimal retirement investment opportunities and services based on their different needs and life stages.

It’s a good way to showcase their care about employees and their financial future, and to improve employee engagement and the strength employer branding.”

“We observe that employees are more engaged if employers can offer more than one MPF schemes in order to address needs of different employees, especially the wide difference of investment knowledge of employees. When choices are given, it stimulates employees to think about their investment review.”

About Global Benefits Attitudes Survey

The Willis Towers Watson 2017/2018 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey measured attitudes of over 30,000 private sector employees in 22 countries — including 9,462 responses from Asia Pacific, specifically 985 from Hong Kong. The survey was conducted in July and August 2017. More information visit Willis Towers Watson’s website.

About Willis Towers Watson

Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ: WLTW ) is a leading global advisory, broking and solutions company that helps clients around the world turn risk into a path for gth. With roots dating to 1828, Willis Towers Watson has over 40,000 employees serving more than 140 countries. We design and deliver solutions that manage risk, optimise benefits, cultivate talent, and expand the power of capital to protect and strengthen institutions and individuals. Our unique perspective allows us to see the critical intersections between talent, assets and ideas — the dynamic formula that drives business performance. Together, we unlock potential.


韋萊韜悅調查報告:香港員工越趨重視退休保障

[2018年11月29日˙香港]領先環球顧問諮詢、經紀服務及企業方案公司韋萊韜悅 Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ: WLTW) 最新的調查發現,退休保障議題在香港, 以至整個亞太地區日益備受關注。

全球福利態度調查報告 (Global Benefits Attitudes Survey) 最新調查結果顯示,58%的 香港員工認為退休保障在過去的兩至三年間已經成為他們越來越重視的問題。但只有大 約三分之一的受訪員工表示有信心在退休後能擁有足夠的儲蓄以享受舒適的生活。

韋萊韜悅退休福利總監黃毅林表示:「是次調查結果顯示大多數香港員工在40 歲以前仍 未將退休儲蓄劃入自己的財務規劃當中。員工一般都明白自己應該為退休生活做好準 備,但在年輕時並沒有足夠的誘因令他們付諸行動。雖然40 歲以上的員工有較強烈為退 休儲蓄的意願,但從40 歲才開始儲蓄並不足以應付退休生活的開支。」

黃毅林補充:「調查結果亦顯示員工普遍期望僱主為他們提供的退休計劃可以成為他們 退休生活開支的主要來源,然而並非所有僱主都願意承擔法定供款以外的責任,並主動 關心員工退休後的財務狀況。現在是重新審視僱主的角色的合適時機,如何通過提供足 夠的教育、指導和工具,協助員工明智地為退休儲蓄或投資。」

員工願意為更好的退休福利付款

高達44%的受訪香港員工願意以部分薪金換取僱主提供更多的退休福利,甚至更多受訪 者(45%)願意以類似的交換條件獲得更慷慨的福利。不過員工對於醫療福利並未同樣 重視,只有30%的受訪員工願意每月付出更多以享受更慷慨的醫療福利計劃。

黃毅林表示:「香港政府最近提出調整高強積金供款的月薪上下限,及為強積金自願性 供款提供扣稅優惠的建議,與上述提到香港員工的退休需求不謀而合,也反映政府一直 致力於鼓勵員工為退休儲蓄。」

階段性退休受歡迎

調查報告顯示,少數(17%)香港員工預計在70 多歲時仍會繼續工作。但計劃工作生 涯較長的人通常會更容易出現健康狀況不佳,壓力過大或敬業度下降的情況。

相對於「延遲退休」,受訪員工對「階段性退休」更感興趣。超過一半(54%)的受訪 者表示他們將在完全退休前繼續工作一段時間。敬業度較高及40 歲以上的員工對階段性 退休尤感興趣。

「階段性退休似乎對僱主和員工都是一個雙贏的安排。一方面僱主可以更順暢地以漸進 方式轉移臨近退休之僱員的工作職責和所具的相關知識,另一方面僱員亦可以獲得繼續 為公司作出貢獻的機會,並善用更靈活的上班時間以適應退休生活的步伐。」

黃毅林指出:「雖然階段性退休在香港並不罕見,但我們留意到香港僱主仍未為此制定 完整計劃,因此相關的合約條款和員工福利亦未完備。」

僱主可以從一個簡單的步驟開始

香港政府擬取消強積金對沖機制,在實施後員工的強積金資產將會不斷增加,並完全保 留予員工作退休之用。

韋萊韜悅強積金諮詢服務總監林錦濠表示:「現在是員工關注自己的強積金投資組合的 最佳時刻,僱主亦應把握機會擔當更重要角色,加強員工對強積金的關注、鼓勵員工為 退休儲蓄。」

林錦濠指出,僱主可以由對強積金服務供應商的績效和服務進行定期審查開始,踏出 良好管治的第一步。僱主可以主動檢視現況,亦確定員工有否根據他們的不同需求和人 生階段,以獲得最佳的退休投資機會和服務。僱主可以此展示他們對員工及其未來財務 狀況的關心、提高員工敬業度,並提升僱主品牌。」

「我們發現若僱主可以提供多於一個強積金計劃,以滿足不同員工的需要,員工會更加 投入於工作,尤其當員工對於投資的認識存在很大的差異。當員工獲得更多強積金計劃 的選擇,就會開始思考自己的退休投資。」

關於全球福利態度調查報告Global Benefits Attitudes Survey

韋萊韜悅就2017/2018 年度的福利趨勢調查報告Global Benefits Attitudes Survey 於 2017 年7 月至8 月期間訪問了超過30,000 名來自全球22 個國家、受僱於私營機構的 員工。本次調查一共收到9, 462 份來自亞太區的受訪者意見,其中985 份來自香港。如 需了解更多資訊,請訪問韋萊韜悅網站。

關於韋萊韜悅Willis Towers Watson

韋萊韜悅 Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ: WLTW) 是領先的環球顧問諮詢、經紀服務及企業方案公司,致力協助全球客戶將風險轉化為增長機遇。自1828年成立至今,我們的服務網絡已經覆蓋超過140個國家,並擁有40,000多名員工。我們設計及提供專業企業方案,透過管理風險、培育人才及擴充資本實力,確保機構及個人獲得妥善保障,並進一步鞏固發展。我們以獨到見解,洞悉人才、資產和意念之間關鍵的協同互動關係 — 那正是推動企業業務表現的靈活方程式。攜手並肩,釋放潛能。

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