Asia Special 2021

  • The pandemic poses only a brief interruption to the aging trend in Asia: Within the next thirty years, Asia’s population of those aged 65 years and older is expected to more than double from around 412mn today to 955mn in 2050; the share of this age group in the total population is set to reach 18% by then.
  • There are still marked differences in the development stages of the region’s pension systems, not least when comparing pension coverage ratios, which span from 3% in Cambodia to 100% in Japan. Equally huge disparities can be observed in private wealth: In Taiwan, net financial assets by households accounted for more than 400% of total GDP in 2019, while in Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines the corresponding figure was less than 50%.
  • The main cause of concern with respect to the long-term sustainability is the pension age in many markets, which does not reflect the gains in life expectancy over the last decades. And although some markets are discussing an increase in the retirement age, the planned changes might not be sufficient to level the expected increases in further life expectancy.
  • The message of our proprietary Allianz Pension Indicator (API) is clear: There is no market in Asia that doesn’t need pension reforms. The necessary breadth and depth of reforms might differ – but not their urgency. The looming demographic crisis does not allow for pension and financial system reforms to be put on the back burner.


Michaela Grimm
Allianz SE
Arne Holzhausen
Allianz SE