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Only one in two people is financially confident – retirement provisions are a worry

31.10.2018

  • According to a representative survey carried out in Switzerland, France, Germany, Austria and the United Kingdom, only 46% of respondents in total feel confident about their current financial situation.
  • The least financially stressed are the Swiss (27%), while the French (53%), the British (42%) and the Germans (40%) are the most stressed.
  • People are most worried about not having enough money in their old age (42%). Just under a third of respondents have only limited faith in national pension systems.
  • Three out of four respondents feel obliged to save for their old age. Personal responsibility is rated particularly highly in Switzerland (86%), and somewhat less so in the United Kingdom (78%), France (71%), Germany (70%) and Austria (69%).
  • Over 80% are prepared to adjust their current lifestyle to maintain the desired standard of living in their old age. A good half of respondents would be prepared to save more for retirement, 40% to retire later.
  • Millennials are particularly sceptical: just under three-quarters of the younger generation have no idea about what their financial situation will be in old age. This is made worse by the fact that a third of people do not know whom they can consult about the subject of finance.

Patrick Frost, CEO of the Swiss Life Group: “Confidence in one’s own finances is a prerequisite for people to lead a self-determined life. The survey results show that people are concerned about their financial resources in old age and that faith in national pension systems is limited. As a result, the respondents see it as their duty to do more for their own future provisions.”

Low financial confidence – significant geographical differences

The results of the study show that financial confidence is low: only 46% of respondents overall claimed that they were confident about their current financial situation. This varies considerably across the different countries: 65% of Swiss respondents feel satisfied with their finances, and only 27% feel financially stressed. In contrast, financial confidence is significantly lower in Austria (48%), Germany (44%) and the United Kingdom (41%), while in France the figure is just 32%. At the same time, 53% of French people feel stressed by their financial situation. This is based on a representative survey by Swiss Life of 4157 persons in Switzerland, France, Germany, Austria and the United Kingdom, which was published on the occasion of today's World Savings Day.

Personal responsibility is rated highly

Concerning the causes of stress, 42% express uncertainty about having enough money in their old age; this is even the main concern among young people. Meanwhile, 32% have limited confidence in the national pensions systems. Respondents’ concerns about their own health ranked only third (30%).

Three-quarters of respondents feel responsible for their own retirement provisions, with the highest share in Switzerland at 86% (United Kingdom: 78%; France: 71%; Germany: 70%; Austria: 69%). 44% consider the state to be responsible for their retirement provisions. Concerning personal pension planning, however, only 48% feel that their current provisions will provide them with sufficient financial resources in their old age. However, in terms of ensuring their desired standard of living in old age, all generations are prepared to adjust their current lifestyle and increase their provision for the future. The most popular measures are saving more (52%), retiring later (40%) and investing savings (36%).

Patrick Frost: “World Savings Day is more relevant than ever:  the importance of taking personal responsibility for future provisions will continue to grow with demographic change. People are also aware of the relevance of this issue, but it is a concern for them. This is where Swiss Life wants to assume its role in society, take responsibility and support people in living a self-determined life.”

Download: Infographic on the survey

About the survey

At the behest of Swiss Life, the LINK Institute carried out a study on the subject of "Financial Confidence" from 5-13 April 2018. A total of 4157 persons, from Switzerland (838), Germany (830), France (830), Austria (829) and the United Kingdom (830) aged between 18 and 79, were asked to answer questions on the subject online. Each national group of respondents was composed of equal parts of each of the following generations: Millennials (18 to 35-year-olds), Generation X (36 to 50-year-olds), Babyboomers (51 to 65-year-olds) and Veterans (66 to 79-year-olds). The study is representative.

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Swiss Life

The Swiss Life Group is one of Europe's leading comprehensive life and pensions and financial solutions providers. In its core markets of Switzerland, France and Germany, Swiss Life offers individuals and corporations comprehensive and individual advice plus a broad range of own and partner products through its sales force and distribution partners such as brokers and banks.

Swiss Life Select, Tecis, Horbach, Proventus and Chase de Vere advisors choose suitable products for customers from the market according to the Best Select approach. Swiss Life Asset Managers offers institutional and private investors access to investment and asset management solutions. Swiss Life provides multinational corporations with employee benefits solutions and high net worth individuals with structured life and pensions products.

Swiss Life Holding Ltd, registered in Zurich, was founded in 1857 as Schweizerische Rentenanstalt. The shares of Swiss Life Holding Ltd are listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange (SLHN). The subsidiaries Livit, Corpus Sireo, Mayfair Capital and Beos are also part of the Swiss Life Group. The Group employs a workforce of around 8000 and approximately 5000 certified financial advisors.

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