Survey reveals 76% of UAE residents plan to delay retirement

Residents were found to be avoiding retirement for financial and social reasons



More than three in four UAE residents plan to continue working in some form when they reach retirement age, according to a new report.

The survey of 130 people with more than $50,000 invested with an investment professional conducted by Old Mutual International and Quilter Cheviot showed many respondents felt too young to stop working, with 41 per cent saying they would continue to do so for social reasons.

Another 35 per cent said they would continue working for financial reasons.

Just 8 per cent of respondents said they would stop working altogether when they retire and 16 per cent were undecided.

While of those that planned to continue working, 77 per cent planned to be self-employed, suggesting a more flexible work schedule.

“There is much less certainty on what retirement looks like now and no two experiences will be the same. It is interesting that so many will turn to self-employment, which means the onus will be firmly on the individual to plan accordingly and ensure they are not exposed to financial uncertainty in later life,” said Paul Evans, head of region, Middle East & Africa, Old Mutual International.

The survey also revealed uncertainty regarding the gratuity system in the UAE.

Although 77 per cent expect to receive an end of service gratuity when they retire, 13 per cent are not sure they will receive one.

While the amount of money respondents expected to receive varied significantly.

Less than a quarter (24 per cent) of respondents expected a gratuity of more than $20,000 and 68 per cent expected less than $20,000.

The average expected was $11,500 and only 12 per cent indicated they would completely rely on their final payment to fund retirement.

More than half (51 per cent) expected to rely on the gratuity payment a little and 34 per cent said they would not rely on it at all.

This was partly because respondents on average expected their retirement to be 20 years.

The UAE’s current retirement age is 65, at which point expatriates are no longer granted work permits and will most likely have to return to their home country.

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