The online survey of 1,017 residents living in all seven emirates, conducted by YouGov between 1 and 9 September 2013, was aimed at gaining an understanding of perceptions towards retirement planning.
More than two thirds (67%) of all age groups surveyed had no formal retirement savings plan, other than the region’s end of service lump sum gratuity.
Jawed Barna, chief executive at Zurich International Life, Middle East and Africa said too many UAE residents are either wrongly assuming that the end of service gratuity or their property assets will provide enough funds to finance their retirement “or, worse still, are ignoring the need to safeguard their financial future”.
Barna said that residents in the UAE should consider prioritising long term planning over short term need to secure the retirement they want.
“It is particularly concerning that 60% of UAE residents aged over 40 do not have a retirement plan. People should not wait until later in life to start planning for retirement,” added Barna. “The best financial advice I ever received was to start saving for my retirement in my 20s.”
The combined liabilities of Gulf cooperation Council (GCC) employers are expected to rise from US$16bn in 2012 to US$75bn by 2020, according to separate research by strategic consultancy Insight Discovery.