Social and psychological barriers to private retirement savings in Hong Kong

Kee Lee CHOU, Kar Ming YU, Wai Sum CHAN, Alfred C. M. CHAN, Terry Y. S. LUM, Alex Y. F. ZHU

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

7 Citations (Scopus)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)308-323
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Aging and Social Policy
Issue number4
Early online date10 Jul 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014


Bibliographical note

This study was supported by grants from the Research Grant Council Strategic Public Policy Research (HKIEd 7001-SPPR-11).


  • Chinese
  • Hong Kong
  • private retirement savings
  • working adults

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