Majority of Singapore platform workers do not feel “financially free” – Singlife

New study highlights inability to cope with rising costs, inflation

Majority of Singapore platform workers do not feel “financially free” – Singlife

Insurance News

By Kenneth Araullo

A recent study by Singlife, co-published with PwC Singapore, has shed light on the financial freedom of platform workers in the country, finding that only 17% of platform workers in Singapore consider themselves financially free, in contrast to 29% of the average Singapore consumers reported in a previous study.

The study revealed that less than half of the platform workers surveyed place a high importance on financial freedom. When asked to assess their level of financial freedom on a scale from 0 (“Not Financially Free”) to 100 (“Extremely Financially Free”), platform workers gave themselves an average score of 50. This score is 10 points lower than the average rating given by Singapore consumers.

The survey also highlighted concerns among platform workers regarding their financial resilience. Only 10% of the participants expressed confidence in managing rising costs and inflation effectively. Furthermore, just 20% reported being able to consistently save a portion of their monthly earnings after covering expenses. Retirement planning remains a low priority, with only 10% of platform workers taking steps towards securing their financial future.

The Singlife study included around 500 platform workers in Singapore, all aged 18 and above. The study also involved qualitative interviews with platform owners in Singapore, including Deliveroo, Foodpanda, Gojek, and Grab.

This research was initiated in response to the recommendations for social protection of self-employed individuals working for online platforms, published by the Advisory Committee on Platform Workers under the Singapore Ministry of Manpower in 2022. The methodology used in this study mirrors that of Singlife's earlier Financial Freedom Index (FFI), which explored financial aspirations and challenges among consumers across various income levels amid escalating inflation and living costs.

Both the current study and the FFI evaluated financial freedom across six key themes: retirement, income, spending and saving, managing recurring expenses, handling unexpected events, and contributing to society. A total of 25 indicators spanning these themes were considered in these studies.

“The gig economy is experiencing unprecedented growth and reshaping the employment landscape. This study is timely as it gives us in-depth insights into the perspectives and aspirations of platform workers as well as the challenges they face,” Singlife head of innovation and ecosystem Varun Mittal said.

Mittal will report further key findings from Singlife’s report as part of the company’s keynote presentation at the Singapore FinTech Festival on Nov. 16.

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