The region has been a bright spot for retirees in 2021, boosted by China’s performance in material well-being and health, Japan in the health index, and Australia and New Zealand.
In particular, the Finances sub-index was positive for Apac, recording the second-highest score.
“Once again, Asia Pacific has remained near the top of the Finances sub-index, as most participating jurisdictions reacted quickly in the face of the pandemic, which protected the economy and wealth of retirees. Overall, Apac remains in good shape compared with other regions,” said Fabrice Chemouny, head of Apac at Natixis.
This is the ninth year Natixis and CoreData have produced the GRI as a guide to the changing decisions facing retirees as they focus on their needs and goals for the future. The four sub-indices measured are finances, health, material wellbeing and quality of life.
Highly ranked in Apac
Among strong overall performers and improvers in the region, Singapore maintained its first-place ranking in terms of finances; this can be attributed to its positive performance in inflation (tied for first), tax pressure (fourth), old age dependency (seventh), interest rates (eighth), governance (ninth) and moderate performance in bank non-performing loans (16th).
China, meanwhile, remains at 39th overall in this year’s GRI. Yet it has a higher score compared with last year in the material wellbeing (36th), health (41st) and quality of life (43rd) sub-indices.
China has a lower score in the finances (12th) sub-index this year due to lower scores in the bank non-performing loans, old-age dependency, interest rates, government indebtedness and governance indicators. It has the highest score for the tax pressure indicator among all GRI countries and the sixth highest score for old-age dependency.
Managing the pandemic
As for the ongoing impact of Covid-19, retirees in Asian countries surveyed, such as Singapore, have seen very low rates of Covid-19 so far.
Like China, these countries were quick to take firm action and also learnt lessons from previous pandemics in the region, such as SARS in 2003.
As a result, Singapore was able to react swiftly to Covid-19 through the deployment of a multi-ministry taskforce, having already set up systems for surveillance, testing and tracing, and quarantine. It was also well prepared with primary healthcare facilities for pandemic outbreaks.