Singapore-based employees have voiced concerns about their financial security, with 70% of working adults in the city reporting that they do not have enough savings to sustain them beyond a 6 month period, according to a recent OCBC Financial Impact Survey.

Conducted during the circuit breaker period last month, the survey interviewed 1,000 working adults in Singapore, aged 21 to 65, to find out how COVID-19 has affected their financial health and how they are responding to the crisis. 

Despite extensive government support, 55% expressed worry over their income and job stability as well as their personal financial situation – amongst the biggest job fears, 46% of respondents expressed concern over retrenchment.

Roughly half (47%) of the respondents also indicated that their jobs had been affected by the crisis, with nearly a quarter suffering a wage cut. Over half have already seen a decrease in savings, with 22% of respondents having already reduced their savings by over 20%. 

As financial pressure continues to mount, many Singaporeans have taken measures to future-proof themselves. A third of respondents are working harder to avoid losing their jobs, while 35% intend to take a second job in order to sustain their lifestyles. 

Singaporeans are not alone in their worry. An earlier study conducted by Kantar found that Asia’s populations were most worried about the threat of economic repercussions in the wake of the pandemic – a fear that surpassed even that of catching the virus. As global financial markets have remained volatile, the survey found that 60% of respondents were most concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on their financial security. 

“It is encouraging that some are doing the right thing to boost their financial health, by continuing to save, spending prudently and making sound investments according to their risk appetite and financial circumstances,” said OCBC Bank’s Head of Wealth Management Singapore, Tan Siew Lee. “But we also hope that those who are cutting back on these aspects, which are crucial to building a nest egg for retirement, will not despair.”


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