Serious risk for expats of a savings gap in retirement

 

The United Arab Emirates (UAE), with its favourable climate and tax-free income savings, traditionally has been a magnet for expat workers seeking career advancement and a better quality of life.

 

An attractive array of benefits and a less paternalistic relationship with employers has been a desirable part of the package.  Increasing numbers of expats, however, are remaining in the region for longer periods of time  (seven plus years) hence coming closer to their retirement age. As a result, concerns and needs around appropriately planning and saving for retirement are becoming more pressing. 

 

What are the needs, wants and concerns of employees and the attitudes of senior decision-makers in the UAE when it comes to financial security, savings and investment? We surveyed 500 employees and 50 senior decision makers to find out.

Very few employers provide saving or pension vehicles to their employees

 

96% of the senior decision makers agreed it was very important to offer enhanced benefits but over 76% of employees surveyed do not have access to a pension or saving vehicle with their current employer.

 

Main reason raised by employers why no actions has been taken so far is that pension plans are too complex to understand, concerns on affordability and the lack of pension awareness.

 

The employers come at last when it comes to whom employees trust about financial advice – family, partner and spouse are the first people they turn to.

Handsome businessman in modern office looking out
Businessman in a modern office looking through the window.

Strong business case for enhancing employee benefits

 

Employee’s financial concerns are becoming a major problem for the employer when it comes to productivity loss.The Mercer study ‘Inside Employees Minds’ research found that on average, people spend 13 hours per month worrying about money matters at work.This impacts their engagement and productivity at work and increases stress, sickness, absenteeism and turnover.

 

What’s the cost for the employer? On average 5% of the payroll is wasted. 

 

Looking at the facts, the benefits employers are getting when introducing a savings scheme are compelling.

  • 99% claim improved savings benefits, have a positive impact on their relationship
  • 81% of employees would be less likely to leave
  • 70% would feel more satisfied with their job
  • 43% would feel more committed to their organisation

 

Financial Wellness, Meeting the evolving needs of your employees 

We are excited to share a recording for Mercer's recent webinar held on 12th of May to discuss the current situation of financial security in UAE and what are the implications and considerations needed after the COVID-19 disruption. We also discussed the huge potential for businesses to take care of employees’ financial wellness and what actions can be taken to leverage this opportunity.

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