Asia: SMART pensions for ageing populations
Source: Asia Insurance Review | Aug 2017
The pensions industry is facing a massive challenge. Across Asia, populations are ageing as genetics and technology add years of life, and emphasis is placed on their healthcare. Regulators are cognisant that the pension schemes of yesteryear are no longer sustainable and need to be overhauled. At the same time, affluence has created a higher demand for sophisticated retirement planning and solutions.
China, mindful of its pension gap, has been actively expanding the pension fund coverage. Nearly a third of its inhabitants will be over 60 years old by 2050. A recent Blackrock study found that four out of five Hong Kong millennials, aware of the economic uncertainties their generation faces, are already planning for retirement, leading their Asian peers. Taiwan, meanwhile, recently passed a bill reforming pensions for civil servants, raising their ire. Instead of 18% annual interest on savings, they will receive 9% from July next year until 2020, and then be reduced to zero from 2021.
All stakeholders in the pensions market including the governments, pension funds managers and the insurance industry have to actively get together and find long-term comprehensive solutions for retirement. There is an urgent need to engage the spectrum of citizens from millennials to senior citizens to ensure that pension schemes are relevant, or risk social discontent.
With a focus on “Making Pensions SMART: Sustainable. Meaty. Appropriate. Responsive. Timely.” the Asia Conference on Pensions & Retirement Planning form 18-19 September will review the various national pension schemes around the world, recent pension reforms and renewals, the security of pension provision, and costs, regulatory, financial, technology and longevity issues.