HK's young ready to bet on stocks and bonds

PUBLISHED : Friday, 13 July, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 13 July, 2012, 12:00am


Two-thirds of young Hongkongers expect part of their retirement would have to be funded by investments in stocks and bonds.

That proportion was the highest of six East Asian markets surveyed in a study sponsored by insurer Prudential Assurance and conducted by a Washington-based think tank, the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

The study was based on a survey last summer of 800 to 2,500 people each in Hong Kong, mainland China, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan. It found 66 per cent of Hong Kong workers aged between 20 and 29 believed part of their post-retirement income would be generated from stocks or bonds.

That compared with 65 per cent in Singapore, 49 per cent in Malaysia, 42 per cent in Taiwan, 32 per cent in mainland China and 20 per cent in South Korea.

'Hong Kong and Singapore are both international investment markets, so the people are more market orientated,' said Richard Jackson, director of the CSIS global ageing initiative.

The poll also found half of Hong Kong respondents did not have nor expect to have children, compared with 31 per cent in South Korea, 28 per cent in Taiwan, 26 per cent in Singapore, 20 per cent in Malaysia and 8 per cent in mainland China.

As such, only 12 per cent of Hongkongers expected their children to take care of their retirement, compared with 40 per cent who felt they would have to take care of themselves. Meanwhile, 37 per cent said the government had a role to play, while only 5 per cent felt their former employers should take care of them.

In comparison, 63 per cent of mainland Chinese respondents believed the government should take care of their retirement and 19 per cent felt the same of their former employers. Only 9 per cent of mainlanders felt they should be responsible for their retirement income and 4 per cent expected their children to do so.

As the population aged, many respondents agreed they should delay the retirement age beyond the current 60 to 65 years old, Jackson said.

Many Hongkongers believed the city should raise minimum contributions to the Mandatory Provident Fund, which now requires employers and employees to contribute 5 per cent each of staff salaries, up to a combined HK$2,500 per month. 'This is not going to be enough and many Hong Kong people believe they will receive substantially less income after their retirement,' Jackson said.