COVID-19 hastens retirement planning among Singaporeans

A survey by Fullerton Fund Management found that the pandemic was a key trigger for Singaporeans to kick start their retirement planning, especially for those aged 31 to 40
Fullerton Fund Management
2021-04-07 10:38 5955

SINGAPORE, April 7, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- 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.

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.

"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," notes Jenny Sofian, CEO of Fullerton Fund Management.

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.

"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," says Vincent Chan, Head of Multi-Asset at Fullerton Fund Management.

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:

About the survey

An online survey of 1,000 Singaporeans and three focus groups were completed in the first quarter of 2021. Respondents polled were aged 21 and above, with minimum personal monthly incomes of S$3,000, and own some form of investment. Respondents were selected to get a good cross-section across age, gender, ethnicity, marital status and monthly household income.

About Fullerton Fund Management

Fullerton Fund Management Company Ltd ("Fullerton") is an Asia-based investment specialist, focused on optimising investment outcomes and enhancing investor experience. We help clients, including government entities, sovereign wealth funds, pension plans, insurance companies, private wealth and retail, from the region and beyond, to achieve their investment objectives through our suite of solutions.

Our expertise encompasses equities, fixed income, multi-asset, alternatives and treasury management, across public and private markets. As an active manager, we place strong emphasis on performance, risk management and investment insights.

Incorporated in 2003, Fullerton is headquartered in Singapore, and has associated offices in Shanghai, London, and Brunei. Fullerton is part of a multi-asset management group, Seviora, a holding company established by Temasek. NTUC Income, a leading Singapore insurer, is a minority shareholder of Fullerton.

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This survey is commissioned by Fullerton Fund Management and conducted by Blackbox Research.

About Blackbox

Blackbox provides clients with decision science solutions, offering consumer, business, and community-wide perspectives on contemporary problems and challenges. It gathers data, constructs advanced analytical approaches, and develops a deep understanding of Asia and its diverse people – monitoring emerging trends both regionally and globally with the main aim of signalling potential changes of significance before they occur.

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Chin Gon Yew
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Source: Fullerton Fund Management