Covid-19 hastens Retirement Planning among Singaporeans

According to a study by Fullerton Fund Management, the Covid-19 pandemic has triggered Singaporeans to re-evaluate their attitudes towards retirement, and created an impetus for retirement planning.

This is especially evident in the age group between 31 to 40 years old, with 42% of them citing the pandemic as the key trigger, Fullerton Fund Management reported in a press release.

This study, ‘Rethinking Retirement: How digital technologies and Covid-19 are re-shaping the way Singaporeans are approaching retirement’, polled 1,000 Singaporeans on their evolving perception on retirement. What used to constitute the cessation of working life and “door closing” is now redefined as a “new life stage” by 8 in 10 Singaporeans. Singaporeans look towards a meaningful retirement and desire financial freedom to pursue the ideal lifestyle of their choice – be it to learn and grow; to spend quality time with loved ones; to start a new venture; or to travel.

Singaporeans looking to investments to grow their nest egg

Increasingly, Singaporeans are realising the importance of being financially prepared for this new stage of life. As such, many recognise that it's no longer sufficient to rely on traditional sources of retirement income such as the Central Provident Fund. Survey findings showed that 53% of Singaporeans aged 21 to 40 years old now expect to get most of their retirement income through investment returns.

Attitudes towards risk and return are evolving for younger Singaporeans who have the ability to invest over a long time horizon. 64% of Singaporeans aged 31 to 40 years old are willing to forego guaranteed capital for higher potential returns.

The financial volatility brought about by the pandemic has also reminded investors not to put all their eggs in one basket. There is an appreciation that risk reduction can be achieved by making investment portfolios more resilient through diversification.

Jenny Sofian, CEO, Fullerton Fund Management, said: “Singaporeans are redefining the whole idea of retirement and how to get there. Retirement is no longer viewed as a door closing. In fact, more people now look forward to financial freedom so that they can pursue a retirement lifestyle of their choice, and to learn and grow. There are also significant shifts in attitudes towards risk, with more Singaporeans counting on investment returns to fund their retirement. Technology and digitalisation are also influencing the way in which Singaporeans make investment decisions. In order for Singaporeans to grow their nest egg, they will need to plan ahead and build a sound investment portfolio to achieve their retirement goals.”

Digital tools spur financial planning

Stronger financial literacy brought about by the prevalence of digital tools is also another factor which empowers younger Singaporeans to kick-start their financial planning journey. Over 80% of those aged 21 to 40 years old mentioned that they would have delayed financial planning without these online tools and solutions.

More than 90% of those in the same age group also acknowledged that digital tools play an important role in their financial planning process, giving them more confidence in making their financial decisions.

Vincent Chan, Head of Multi-Asset, Fullerton Fund Management, said: “"Integrated and personalised digital tools will play an increasingly vital role in Singaporeans' financial literacy and retirement planning. Digital tools and intelligent technologies will also be key in helping consumers manage and formulate their financial plans more effectively.”

The Covid-19 pandemic and the acceleration of digital technologies is redefining how Singaporeans are thinking about retirement. Ultimately, the goal is to approach retirement with anticipation, not anxiety. By planning ahead and preparing for retirement, Singaporeans can achieve their new beginnings and enjoy the retirement journey.

The full report can be found at: