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Manulife Investor Sentiment Index:

Filipinos only set aside 3.6 months’ worth of personal savings for retirement

April 5, 2019

Manila, Philippines – The results of the 2018 Manulife Investor Sentiment Index (MISI) have been released. MISI reveals that Filipinos have the lowest personal income saved for retirement across the markets surveyed. On average, Asian investors have enough retirement savings for 2.9 years. Investors in Taiwan have the highest retirement savings, with personal income set aside good for 4.5 years. They are followed by investors in China and Indonesia who both have retirement savings that can last for 4.1 years. Filipino investors however, only have personal income equivalent to 3.6 months set aside for their retirement.

Wide retirement savings gap in the Philippines
​A huge gap lies between Filipino investors’ current and ideal retirement savings. Across all age groups, the retirement savings gap averages at over Php 4 million. In addition to this, Filipinos also expect the lowest amount as sufficient for retirement. They believe that savings equivalent to 2.1 years’ worth of personal income is enough. This is remarkably low compared with the regional average of 12 years, and with the regional highs of Taiwan’s 19.6 years, and China and Hong Kong’s 15.4 years.

​Active Retirement for Filipinos
​As much as 84% of Filipino investors are looking into continuing working after retirement, either on a full-time or part-time basis. Top reasons for active retirement across age groups include keeping busy and occupied (66%), physical and mental health (65%), pursuing interests and enjoying life (63%), as well as financial considerations such as maintaining or improving living standards (59%), and saving additional money for the future (56%).
​The rise of digital enabled jobs could provide new opportunities for Filipinos to continue working after retirement. According to MISI, there is strong interest among those 50 years old and above to pursue digital work, either on a full-time or part-time basis.

Filipinos keen on leveraging opportunities offered by digital careers
​MISI reveals that more Filipinos participate in digital jobs compared to most parts of Asia. 19% of Filipinos already work in full-time digital jobs, and 34% participate in these part-time. This is higher than the Asian average of 14% in full-time and 30% in part-time digital jobs. The Philippines ranks third in terms of number of investors participating in digital jobs following Indonesia with 30% in full-time and 44% in part-time digital jobs, and Thailand with 19% in full-time and 43% part-time digital jobs. “Earning income” is considered as the primary objective of doing digital jobs, while “flexible working hours/places”, and “getting satisfaction from an interesting job” are other key reasons.
​Freelance work and e-commerce top the list of prevalent digital jobs in the country, accounting for 71% and 55% respectively of full-time digital jobs. These are followed at some distance by sharing content to attract audiences and generate revenue, and creating a start-up company to develop new technologies, which account for 30% and 18%, respectively of digital jobs.
​“Digital transformation provides more job opportunities, flexibility, and options for Filipinos to bridge the retirement savings gap. However, Filipinos should still save and invest regularly to prepare for retirement,” said Melissa Henson, SVP and Chief Marketing Officer, Manulife Philippines. “Manulife is passionate about helping Filipinos live better lives after retirement. We have a wide range of financial products and professional advisors that can help them make easier financial decisions.

Manulife Investor Sentiment Index 2018
Manulife’s Investor Sentiment Index in Asia (MISI) is a proprietary survey measuring and tracking investors’ views across eight markets in the region on their attitudes towards key asset classes and issues related to personal financial planning. It is based on 4011 online interviews in Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Indonesia. Respondents are middle class to affluent investors, aged 25 years and above who are the primary decision maker of financial matters in the household and currently have investment products. A special survey was conducted in 2018 to understand retirement preparation and participation in digital-enabled careers among people in key Asian markets.


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About Manulife Philippines

The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company opened its doors for business in the Philippines in 1907. Since then, Manulife’s Philippine Branch and later The Manufacturers Life Insurance Co. (Phils.), Inc. (Manulife Philippines) has grown to become one of the leading life insurance companies in the country. Manulife Philippines is a wholly-owned domestic subsidiary of Manulife Financial Corporation, among the world’s largest life insurance companies by market capitalization. Learn more about Manulife Philippines, follow them on Facebook (, Twitter (@ManulifePH), and Instagram (@manulifeph).

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As of December 31, 2018, we had over $1.1 trillion (US$794 billion) in assets under management and administration, and in the previous 12 months we made $29.0 billion in payments to our customers. Our principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States are where we have served customers for more than 100 years. With our global headquarters in Toronto, Canada, we trade as 'MFC' on the Toronto, New York, and the Philippine stock exchanges and under '945' in Hong Kong.


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