Pension Not A Priority For UAE Expats

Most expatriates would prefer to invest a sudden windfall in property, finds survey.



Most UAE investors would prefer to spend an unexpected windfall on property or gold rather than save it towards a pension.

That’s according to the latest Friends Provident International (FPI) Investor Attitudes survey.

The survey found that if respondents received a windfall of Dhs300,000 ($81,682) tomorrow, the highest proportion (17 per cent) said they would use the money as a deposit for a property.

Another 15 per cent said they would invest in a balanced portfolio of stocks and shares and 11 per cent would buy gold and jewellery as an investment.

Only six per cent claimed they would invest the money in a pension or retirement plan, though the number rose to 10 per cent among 45 to 64 year olds.

Matthew Waterfield, FPI general manager, MEA said: “While I appreciate that some respondents may view investing in assets such as gold and jewellery as part of their retirement planning, it is surprising that saving specifically for a retirement pension features so low on our younger respondents’ list of priorities.

“It’s never too early to start saving for retirement. The earlier people start to save for their retirement, the less costly it will be in the long run,” he added.

Most financial planners criticise expatriates in the UAE for neglecting to proactively plan for the future.

A study conducted by Standard Life earlier this year found that only 10 per cent of non-resident Indians (NRIs) in the UAE invest in any retirement plans and 75 per cent expected to be cared for by their children after retirement.

“Risk aversion and lack of professional advice is leading to critical gaps in financial and retirement planning among UAE based NRIs,” said the study.