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AXA survey backs Anglo-Saxon retirement model

GLOBAL – A survey of global retirement trends by French financial services group AXA has found that the Anglo-Saxon retirement model leaves people happier than other systems.

“The research results show that both working people and retirees in the Anglo-Saxon countries are more positive, optimistic and active than their counterparts in elsewhere,” AXA said in research called AXA Retirement Scope.

It talks of “Mediterranean Blues” and “Anglo-Saxon Bliss”. The Anglo-Saxon countries included the UK, Canada, the US, New Zealand and Australia.

AXA carried out research in 15 industrialised countries, interviewing 9,299 people via telephone. “Our goal was to understand how attitudes and behaviours compare and contrast in various national contexts among both working people and retirees,” said AXA management board chairman Henri de Castries.

Meanwhile, HSBC has also released a similar report on worldwide attitudes to retirement.

Like AXA, HSBC found that for many people traditional retirement is a thing of the past. It said that eighty per cent want to scrap mandatory retirement while just 14% equated financial independence with old age.

HSBC chairman Sir John Bond said: "The ageing of the 'baby boomer' generation, declining fertility rates and increasing lifespans3 are combining to create new and complex demographic pressures across the globe. The resulting changes will in many cases be very positive but they also create real challenges, not least with regard to the funding of retirement.”

"Yet in this landmark study we have found that the people of the world are already creating their own solutions. For example, we found that three in every four people said that working would be part of an ideal later life, while there is a growing acceptance that we will retire later to ease the burden on pensions and taxation.”

He added that people were not simply expecting to work longer, now they want to mix work and leisure, learning and rest.

“It is critical that governments, regulators, corporations and financial institutions understand these emerging trends in behaviour and attitude if we are to successfully tackle the pressing issues before us."

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