THE HAGUE, The Netherlands
June 7, 2012
The first AEGON Retirement Readiness Survey of 9000 respondents provides key findings:
- Current workers expect to be worse-off in retirement than current retirees
- Awareness of retirement responsibility not translating into action
- Broad support for government pension reform
- Nearly half reject increasing retirement age, despite rising life expectancy
- "Retirement cliff" giving way to phased retirement
Despite the fundamentally positive aspects of living longer, longevity increases have brought greater costs and potential reductions in retirement systems, including government and private pensions. The global economic crisis of recent years and ongoing economic uncertainty and austerity measures have put even greater pressure on these retirement systems and shifted more of the responsibility to individuals to save for their own retirement.
An international survey initiated by AEGON, one of the world's leading providers of retirement security, indicates that there is widespread pessimism about the future state of retirement. Seventy-one percent of respondents still working believe that future generations will be worse-off in retirement than current retirees - reversing the long-established notion that each generation helps pave the way for subsequent generations to enjoy a higher standard of living.
More than two-thirds of the 9000 people surveyed in eight European countries and
the United States
accept that they bear principal responsibility for their retirement security. However, only 15% are confident that they are on course to achieve the retirement income they need. This is also reflected in the AEGON Retirement Readiness Index that has been developed to measure how prepared people feel about their own retirement in the various countries represented in the report.
Most respondents support increased taxes, reduced benefits (or both) to ensure the viability of government sponsored pension systems. At the same time, nearly half of the respondents do not support raising the age of retirement, even as people are living longer, healthier lives. However, a clear majority of respondents expect to continue working in some form past traditional retirement age.