Many Chinese women unprepared for retirement risk: survey

Tracy Li
Penetration of commercial pension protection among Chinese women is quite low, and many delay retirement planning, according to a new study.
Tracy Li

There is not enough awareness amongst Chinese woman concerning risks associated with retirement, a new study finds.

The first retirement risks management white paper focusing on women, done by Manulife-Sinochem with the Fudan Development Institute, found less than half (47.4 percent) of those interviewed said they have pension insurance policies.

In terms of the choice of protection, interviewees were generally worried about large medical expenditures, accessibility to care services, accidents and insufficient income.

China’s population is aging – a trend that is expected to reach its peak somewhere between 2030 and 2050. The proportion of women among the total population aged 65 years or over is projected to rise as well.

The study shows that females have longer life expectancy, which leads to higher demand for wealth accumulation. However, the current penetration of commercial protection coverage among Chinese women is quite low, showing a significant gap in demand for retirement protection.

Zhang Kai, CEO of Manulife-Sinochem, said increased awareness leads to better solutions and it is necessary for women to put together retirement plans at an earlier stage with appropriate wealth management and risk considerations.

The white paper noted that health risk management is a key requirement amongst women planning for retirement. Almost 80 percent of women interviewed named health as their top retirement priority.

Seventy-two percent of women interviewed considered being “capable of affording medical costs” as important, at the very least, while 54 percent agreed that “access to medical resources” was very important.

In addition, the health risks women face are also worrying, as research shows that 30.8 percent of female interviewees responded that they consider themselves to be of under sub-healthy status.

Risk of illness is also higher for older women.

According to statistics, 77.6 percent of Chinese women over the age of 60 have more than one chronic disease (higher than men, at 75 percent).

Moreover, the gap in women’s retirement preparedness is also significant. The women interviewed started to plan for their retirement at an average age of 43.8 years old.

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