FRIDAY, MAR. 16: New research results released yesterday by the Argus Group reveal that half (50 per cent) of Bermuda residents do not have a financial goal in place for retirement.
According to a press statement, the research also showed that younger residents (18-35 years old) are less likely to be comfortable with understanding their pension statement (52 per cent) than their older counterparts (68 per cent).
In addition, the vast majority (80 per cent) of respondents indicated that they have not changed their retirement plans as a result of the global recession.
The research also showed that those who had changed their plans were most likely to have adopted a more conservative approach with their money and/or investments (27 per cent).
Other courses of action taken include delaying retirement (19 per cent), changing investment strategies (17 per cent) or cutting back on expenses (15 per cent).
The statement added: “In response to these findings and to help residents better navigate retirement planning within the context of this challenging economy, Argus has launched a user-friendly online Retirement Calculator to help people, at any age, determine whether they are on track to meet their long-term financial goals and to enable them to adjust their plans accordingly.
“Argus has been specially tailored to the Bermuda market and its low-tax regulations. Argus has also introduced a Risk Profile Questionnaire to assist residents in assessing their risk tolerance.
“Both retirement planning tools can be accessed via the homepage of the Argus website, www.argus.bm, by clicking on the ‘Argus Online Tools’ button.
On April 2, 2012, Argus will be introducing the following tools:
An Annuity Calculator, to estimate the monthly pension at retirement or the premium required to provide a specified level of income.
A Retirement Drawdown Calculator, to work out the payments you can receive during your retirement, which may vary year to year depending on your age and investment returns, rather than annuities.
A Children’s Education Calculator, to assist residents in planning for their family’s financial future; and the Argus Wealth Builder, to assist people in making plans to reach their financial targets.”
Lauren Bell, executive vice president, Life & Pensions, The Argus Group, said: “At Argus we recognise that these are tough economic times for Bermuda residents on every possible level.
“It is vital that people do not jeopardise their long-term financial goals by adopting ill-advised strategies in the short-term.
“In order to help people make more informed financial decisions now and achieve their desired lifestyle in retirement, we have launched these free online tools for both Argus clients and the general public. Argus diligently manages its pension assets by focusing on capital preservation.
“We aim to protect our clients’ assets in down markets by utilizing a mix of traditional and alternative investment strategies.
“In doing so, we are able to significantly increase the diversification in our portfolios, thereby dampening the effect of market fluctuations.
“This enables us to construct portfolios that meet our clients’ long-term objectives.
“Our portfolio managers have the flexibility to actively allocate assets based upon current market conditions, which consequently means they can better manage risks through all market conditions.
“As volatility is expected to continue in 2012, our portfolios maintain their defensive positioning in a way that should lessen volatile market movements.
“Investors, as always, would need to individually assess how much risk they’re comfortable in taking.”
The press statement stated that authorised employers can access a number of summary reports online, with plan values that are updated on a weekly basis.
Employers can also submit contributions in a format compatible to their payroll system and quickly determine the value of unvested contributions.
Members have access to a wide range of online services which include producing a statement for any time period; reviewing their account details, contributions, transactions and investment strategy, accessing monthly fund fact sheets as well as updating their contact details online.
Members and employers can register for online access via the Argus website: www.argus.bm. Note that individuals will need their social insurance number to register.