Impact of precarious employment on retirement planning for young workers and their parents: the case of Hong Kong

Ka Ki CHAN, Tat Chor AU YEUNG

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

Abstract

Purpose
Retirement protection has been widely debated in Hong Kong over two decades. The debate about the relationship between social insecurity and retirement protection, and provoked consideration of a choice between a rights-based universal retirement system and means-tested protection for senior citizens are still contested. This study aims to explore the understanding and behaviours of young workers regarding retirement planning, their difficulties and worries with the implementation of providing support for their parents' retirement.

Design/methodology/approach
This was an exploratory study to target young workers aged 20–34 years to participate. Qualitative data presented in this study were drawn from 16 young workers. Seven were female and nine were male young workers.

Findings
The research found that young workers who have a relatively low level of income, particularly for non-standard workers and the self-employed, both are likely to find difficulties to contribute to their own retirement planning and their parents' retirement with the emerging problems of job insecurity and instability. Young working people in lower socio-classes have further limited choices and control over their own retirement planning, as well as providing support for their parents' retirement that may cause a breach of intergenerational contract.

Originality/value
With the increasing number of young workers with precarious employment or unemployment, this study has contributed to a shift in views regarding intergenerational contracts, particularly in the need to support other generations of family members in a contemporary Hong Kong society.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Sociology and Social Policy
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

This research was supported by the Centre for Youth Research and Practice, Hong Kong Baptist University and Hong Kong Policy Viewers. The author hereby declares that the advice and information in the manuscript are believed to be true and accurate on the date of its release to the press. Approval for the respective ethics issues addressed in this research was obtained from Hong Kong Baptist University.

Keywords

  • Hong Kong
  • Parents
  • Precarious employment
  • Retirement planning
  • Young workers

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