KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysians are most optimistic about retirement compared to other nationalities, an international survey conducted by Allianz International Pensions revealed.
The study examines how people from two different age groups (30-45 years and 60-75 years) across seven countries prepare for retirement.
It was found that 59 per cent of Malaysians in the first group and 62 per cent from the second group were confident about their future in the next 10 years.
In contrast, both groups from Japan and France expressed pessimism when asked the same question.
For example, only 4 per cent of Japanese aged between 30 and 45 years responded positively, said Allianz International Pensions Unit senior economist Renate Finke.
However, she said despite their high level of confidence, this did not mean that younger Malaysians got it all right when it came to retirement plans.
"It must be noted that Malaysians, while knowing the necessary rules for retirement savings such as Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and other long-term investment schemes, may underestimate some risks they could face after retirement," she said.
According to Finke, this is reflected when only 33 per cent of Malaysians in the 30-45 years' group expressed concerns about their future standard of living upon retirement, the lowest among seven countries.
"When questioned about circumstances in life which ensure security, 74 per cent of Malaysians across both age groups felt that having money or savings ranks highest.
"In addition, Malaysians also felt strongly about the security of their family, comparable to Turkey and Italy, where family security ranks highest," she said.
Finke also said Malaysians were more ready to consider working until they were older as a possibility to complement their retirement income.
"In other countries, only a minority take this into consideration.
"This is probably due to a lower retirement entry age. For example, in Germany, the retirement entry age is being increased gradually to 67, while Malaysia only increased it to 60," said Finke, who advised Malaysians who depend wholly or mainly on EPF as retirement savings to relook their plans.
"Calculations revealed that EPF savings will last for about 15 years after retirement.
Retirement savings must take into account the effects of inflation, increasing life expectancy, changing family structures and geriatric healthcare costs."