Mercer, one of the global consulting leaders in advancing health, wealth and career, and a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies on January 29 announced findings from a new survey focused on financial security.

Mercer’s Healthy, Wealthy and Work-wise – new global research identifies critical imperatives for financial security. The study, which was conducted across 12 countries, seven regions with 7,000 adults 18+ and 600 senior decision makers from private and public sectors, showcases relevant data and outlines potential actions to improve financial security, including the following findings:

• People are not confident they will have enough money to retire: People expect to spend 15-20 years in retirement (13-18 years in the UK), but without better planning, many will outlive their savings. With personal savings not enough, research demonstrated that only 26% of pre-retirees (25% in the UK) are confident they will save enough for retirement.

• The retirement age is gone: The expected retirement age no longer applies, as people are working longer either out of choice or from economic necessity with people in the UK more likely than other nations to see themselves retiring at 70+. Around two-thirds (68% globally, 65% in the UK)) expect to keep working in some capacity or never retire. As working longer requires a degree of physical fitness, health is now vital to wealth. Yet only 39% (43% in the UK) profess to be in excellent/good enough health for the job they have today.

• People are not proactively saving: Eighty one percent of adults (87% in the UK) feel personally responsible for their retirement income, yet many do not take requisite actions. Various factors (stress, affordability, access and confidence in investing, age, gender and stage of life) affect people’s ability to save and invest. Currently, one-third of those surveyed globally and almost half (45%) of those in the UK indicated they have not made any financial calculations to understand their retirement needs– and the largest work force segment (millennials) change jobs more frequently which also has significant impact on savings. Women face a gender gap in salary inequity and career continuity; and “gig” or informal economy workers are virtually on their own.

• Employees trust employer savings advice: Survey results demonstrate that people have a high degree of trust in employers’ advice, with 79% (82% in the UK) of those surveyed claiming they trust employers to give sound, independent advice on planning, saving and investing. This data point demonstrates opportunities for employers to play a crucial role in addressing current investment roadblocks for individuals. By comparison, only one out of six (13% in the UK) of those surveyed said they have consulted a financial advisor to calculate retirement savings, perhaps because only 56% (49% in the UK) of survey respondents indicated they trust financial advisors.

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