Aon finds HK employers buffing wellbeing support for older employees

Many believe this will be a key business issue over the next five years

Aon finds HK employers buffing wellbeing support for older employees

Insurance News

By Mary Or

Forty-four percent of Hong Kong employers see an urgent need to retain older employees in their labour force and see this as a key issue for the next five years, new research shows.

Aon has released its 2022 older age workforce study – the first of its kind in Hong Kong, where there is no mandatory retirement age. It aims to help organisations craft compelling benefits packages for their older employees by analysing human resources practices and employee benefits and retirement plan data.

The study revealed that 44% of employers in Hong Kong saw an increased need to retain older employees and expected this to be a key business focus over the next five years, reflecting the worsening talent shortage in Hong Kong. More than half (57%) of all employers have already allowed their employees to work beyond contractual retirement age by mutual agreement, while an additional 10% allowed employees to do so upon the employee’s indication.

Aon said a majority of respondents wanted to retain their employees’ experience in their organisation and were monitoring retirement age trends in Hong Kong’s public sector.

Companies’ increasing concern with their older workers revealed themselves in more retirement-related benefits, with a third of respondents (34%) providing employees additional support around retirement options and financial wellbeing and another 17% providing an ex gratia “golden handshake”, which could include a cash bonus, gift coupons, and celebratory meal.

“Aon’s study finds Hong Kong is in the midst of a talent crunch, with the reported size of the labour force having dropped to the lowest level in a decade given net emigration and continuing restrictions in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Ashley Palmer, Aon’s regional managing partner and head of wealth solutions for Asia Pacific. “Organisations need to be more proactive in retaining and engaging the talent they already have…. Employers with an effective older workforce strategy are able to drive agile succession planning, retain key skills, and provide a soft exit through flexible retirement options.”

Stella Ho, head of wealth solutions for Hong Kong, said business leaders usually underestimated employees’ need for financial wellbeing and retirement support.

“The long-term success of an organisation is underpinned by its investment in driving a more flexible, engaged, and resilient workforce,” Ho said. “…Financial stress is not based on income or age but is closely linked to mental health, and in times of increasing costs of living, supporting employees to make better financial decisions has never been more important to drive workforce resilience and productivity.”

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