Accenture Global Retirement Services Survey

  • Lack of communication
  • Standard of living
  • New retirement product in three years
  • Affordability is the biggest obstacle
  • Where to get retirement information
  • Download as a PDF
 

Retirement Reality: A Pension Shortfall for Consumers, an Opportunity for Insurers

The Accenture Global Retirement Services Survey questioned more than 8,000 consumers in 15 countries to see how people around the world are preparing for retirement and whom they are turning to for retirement advice and products. Consumers are ready and willing to invest for their retirement, but are life insurers well positioned to meet this need?

Consumers See the Light

The global pension shortfall presents a significant opportunity for life insurers that have the services and distribution capabilities to capitalize on it.

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Retirement Facts and Figures

57% of those who have not taken out a private retirement product said they are currently struggling to save any money at all.


44% of respondents said they would go to their friends and family for retirement advice before consulting a life insurance company.


The majority of people globally are willing to save now for retirement.

57% of those surveyed feel they are struggling to save any money at all

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44% of responders said they would go to their friends and family for retirement advice

View data


The majority of people globally are willing to save now for retirement

View data

 

Retirement Markets around the World

Please roll over the map to view reports for each country.

France France

• 80% of consumers are worried about their retirement finances.

• Pension system is fragmented and complex, dominated by compulsory pay-as-you-go schemes. 

• Pensions are traditionally state-centered; only 20% of companies have an occupational scheme.

• Low interest in voluntary individual products despite tax benefits.

• Variable annuities unpopular due to high cost of the guarantee, yet some players believe the market has unexplored potential.

• Sales are advice-driven – bancassurance dominates distribution.

• 58% of survey respondents have limited awareness of retirement products offered by insurers, and 28% have no awareness.

• 65% selected an insurer as one of their top-three choices to help set up a retirement product, while 78% selected a bank.

Germany Germany

• 66% of consumers are worried about their retirement finances.

• Pension system is under strain as more old people are working beyond pensionable age.

• Insurers believe company schemes are a growth opportunity, yet 61% of survey respondents have limited awareness of insurers’ products and 18% have no awareness.

• Agents are an important channel – insurers have large networks.

• 55% of respondents selected an insurer as one of their top three choices to help set up a retirement product, while 50% selected a bank.

Italy Italy

• 84% of consumers are worried about their retirement finances.

• Italy has the second-highest old-age dependency ratio, after Japan, and Italians have among the longest life expectancy in Europe.

• Only 5.5 million workers have a private pension plan – less than 25% of the potential market. This is an opportunity for insurers, but many are skeptical about its profitability.

• 68% of survey respondents have limited awareness of retirement products offered by insurers, and 17% have no awareness.

• However 68% selected an insurer as one of their top three choices to help set up a retirement product, while 58% selected a bank.

Japan Japan

• No fewer than 90% of Japanese are worried about their finances after retirement.

• World’s highest percentage of retirees, with heavy dependence on state pensions.

• However, 94% of survey respondents believe a scheme set up by the government will not guarantee their standard of living after retirement.

• Defined benefit schemes are prevalent among employers.

• Bancassurance is the preferred channel to buy individual retirement products.

• Only 5% believe their current level of savings is sufficient for retirement.  

• 59% have limited awareness of retirement products offered by insurers, and 30% have no awareness.

• However 65% selected an insurer as one of their top three choices to help set up a retirement product, while 29% selected a bank.

UK UK

• 65% of consumers are worried about their retirement finances.

• Consumers relatively less reliant on state pensions, more on private investments, than in other European markets – insurers play a bigger role.

• Yet only 19% of survey respondents selected an insurer as one of their top three sources of information on retirement.

• 54% said they have limited awareness of retirement products offered by insurers, while 35% have no awareness.

• Insurers view the auto-enrollment initiatives as an opportunity, and expect an increase in pension scheme members.

• 45% of respondents selected an insurer as one of their top three choices to help set up a retirement product, while 51% selected a bank.

USA USA

• 70% of consumers are worried about their retirement finances after retirement – 50% have less than $10,000 in savings*.

• Insurers can penetrate individual retirement account (IRA) assets – consumers have accumulated $4.9tn in retirement assets which can purchase longevity products.

• Insurers also have the opportunity to push for longevity products within 401(k) employee retirement plans.

• Employer-sponsored auto-enrollment schemes growing in importance.

• IRAs account for 27% of the US retirement market, up from 16% in 1990. But insurers have only 7% of this market.

• 55% of survey respondents have limited awareness of retirement products offered by insurers, and 28% have no awareness.

• 45% of survey respondents selected an insurer as one of their top three choices to help set up a retirement product, while 51% selected a bank.

* Source: National Bureau of Economic Research

Brazil Brazil

• 90% of consumers are worried about their retirement finances – low level of personal savings and low coverage of corporate pensions.

• Only 12 million individuals have life insurance and 40 million have formal jobs out of a population of 198 million.

• The bancassurance model is more successful in Brazil than in most other countries – it accounts for the majority of sales. While only 46% of survey respondents selected an insurer as one of their top three choices to help set up a retirement product, 79% selected a bank.

• 62% have limited awareness of retirement products offered by insurers, and 23% have no awareness.

China China

• 87% of consumers are worried about their retirement finances.

• 8.2% are over 65; this will triple by 2050. This varies by market group – more than one- third in Shanghai will be older than 60 by 2020.

• Enterprise annuities were introduced a few years ago. Penetration is low, although growing.

• Insurers face strong competition from other financial institutions. 84% of survey respondents selected an insurer as one of their top three choices to help set up a retirement product, while 66% selected a bank.

• However, 67% of respondents have limited awareness of retirement products offered by insurers, and 18% have no awareness.

• Insurers are exploring innovative business models e.g. extending the retirement-business value chain (such as building retirement villages).

Russia Russia

• 92% of consumers are worried about their Retirement finances. Only 4% of survey respondents say their current level of savings is sufficient, and 93% believe government schemes will not guarantee their standard of living. 

• Few companies offer pension schemes, and consumers prefer bank deposits and property investment.

• ±80% of occupational pension assets are managed by state-owned Vnesheconombank. Reforms will be a key driver, and should create opportunities for insurers – the government plans a larger role for private pension funds.

• Yet 58% of respondents have limited awareness of retirement products offered by insurers, and 34% have no awareness.

• 50% selected an insurer as one of their top three choices to help set up a retirement product, while 53% selected a bank.

Mexico Mexico

• 92% of consumers are worried about their retirement finances, and only 12% say their current level of savings is sufficient to prepare for retirement.

• Occupational pensions are mandatory, but the large number of informal workers are not covered.

• Voluntary savings and coverage of voluntary personal pensions is low (1.6% of the working-age population), yet this could change with reforms, economic growth, and the shift of casual workers into the formal sector. The emerging middle-class is an attractive target for insurers.

• Although 71% of survey respondents selected an insurer as one of their top three choices to help set up a retirement product, 69% have limited awareness of retirement products offered by insurers, and 22% have no awareness.

Spain Spain

• Almost all Spaniards (91%) are worried about their retirement finances.

• Spain had the highest proportion of respondents (82%) who said they do not know how much they need to save to guarantee their standard of living after retirement (the global average is 67%).

• The number of private pension investors is high, but the amounts invested are low.

• Profitability of corporate plans is poor.

• Insurers could target consumers in higher income bands (>€40,000), since state pensions typically offer lower income-replacement rates above that income level.

• 71% of survey respondents have limited awareness of retirement products offered by insurers, and 19% have no awareness.

• However, 69% selected an insurer as one of their top three choices to help set up a retirement product, while 68% selected a bank.

Poland Poland

• 89% of consumers believe the state pension will not guarantee their standard of living after retirement. 87% are worried about their retirement finances.

• Yet only 30% believe it is “very important” to save now, and levels of private savings are low.

• Voluntary personal pension enrollment is also low – only 1 in 20 professionally active Poles has an individual retirement account.

• 72% of survey respondents selected an insurer as one of their top three choices to help set up a retirement product, while 46% selected a bank.

• However, 67% have limited awareness of retirement products offered by insurers, and 8% have no awareness.

India India

• 84% of consumers are worried about their retirement finances. Occupational pensions cover only the organized sector (12% of workers), while unorganized workers have no formal retirement plans.

• Of the 90 million people over the age of 58 – the retirement age for most Indians – only 7 million receive a government pension.

• 86% of survey respondents believe it is very important for them to save now for retirement, and 39% say their current level of savings is sufficient (global average is 16%).

• 78% selected an insurer as one of their top three choices to help set up a retirement product, while 61% selected a bank.

• However, 58% have limited awareness of retirement products offered by insurers, and 20% have no awareness.

South Korea South Korea

• 95% of consumers are worried about their retirement finances. South Koreans are among the least confident about their current level of savings; only 8% of survey respondents said they are saving enough (global average 16%).

• The individual annuity / savings market could benefit from structural demand to attract the cash and deposits which are preferred by Koreans. However, 69% of respondents have limited awareness of retirement products offered by insurers and 19% have no awareness.

• The newly introduced corporate retirement pension plan could trigger significant asset growth for insurers, although margins are likely to be thin.

• 76% of respondents selected a life insurer as one of their top three choices to help set up a retirement product, while 68% selected a bank.

• Bancassurance, with a 68% share, is the dominant channel for savings-type insurance products.

Australia Australia

• Australian baby boomers hold approximately AU$850 billion of the $1.4 trillion in superannuation assets, and will be transitioning from accumulation to drawdown in the next 20 years.

• 69% of consumers are worried about their retirement finances, with only 15% of survey respondents saying their current level of savings is sufficient to prepare for retirement.

• The superannuation industry is being transformed by mergers of industry funds and major retail funds, and government reforms such as the low-cost, no-frills MySuper.

• 48% of respondents have limited awareness of retirement products offered by insurers, and 44% have no awareness.

• 48% selected a life insurer as one of their top three choices to help set up a retirement product, while 66% picked an independent advisors.

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45% have never received simple retirement planning information

Many consumers groping for information

While most consumers recognize that the onus is on them to provide for their retirement, many lack the knowledge and information to act with confidence. To learn more, they are most likely to turn to people they can trust: friends, family and independent advisors. What should life insurers do to position themselves as the preferred provider of retirement advice and products?

Find out more


Press Release

Majority of People Globally are Worried about Outliving their Money at Retirement, Accenture Survey Finds


On the Blog

Accenture retirement services survey in the news

Waking up to the pensions crisis

Accenture report on global retirement services survey


In the News

You Think You Can Never Retire? The Rest of the World Feels Even Worse (Forbes)

Accenture: Retirement Worries Highlight Opportunities for Financial Advisers (The Wall Street Journal)

Americans Less Fearful Than Most about Retirement Savings (Reuters)

Vast Majority Concerned about Post-Retirement Financial Situation (Insurance Networking News)

Most People Don't Know How Much They Need to Retire (Business News Daily)

Accenture Global Retirement Services Survey - Accenture 
Review key facts and findings on pensions, retirement and life insurers from the 2012 Accenture Global Retirement Services Survey.
retirement services, pensions, life insurers, Accenture Global Retirement Services Survey
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