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J Aging Soc Policy. 2014;26(4):308-23. doi: 10.1080/08959420.2014.939840.

Social and psychological barriers to private retirement savings in Hong Kong.

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  • 1a Professor and Head, Department of Asian and Policy Studies , The Hong Kong Institute of Education , Hong Kong , China.


Using a phone survey conducted among Hong Kong workers, we examined the association of institutional, social, and psychological factors with engagement in both private retirement savings and the total amount of savings. Alarmingly, this study demonstrates that approximately 42% of Hong Kong workers do not save privately for their retirement. We found that age, education, number of children, support from spouse and friends, social regulation, perceived financial knowledge, and financial management capacity are associated with engagement in private retirement savings. Among those who saved, age, education, perceived financial knowledge, and financial management capacity are related to the amount of savings. Measures that could increase the social support for retirement savings as well as enhance their financial knowledge and management ability should be developed and implemented so that more workers engage in private retirement savings. A promising policy option for the Hong Kong government is to offer a tax incentive to promote additional savings for old-age income protection.


Chinese; Hong Kong; private retirement savings; working adults

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