Survey Shows 2 in 3 Working S’poreans Do Not Have Savings to Last Them Beyond 6 Months


With the COVID-19 pandemic still ongoing, it has definitely affected the livelihood of many people.

It is not just our mental, emotional and physical well-being; our wallets were greatly affected too.

We have seen that at least 150,000 workers in Singapore have a pay cut of more than 25%.

In fact, it might even be the worst in Singapore’s history due to the massive number of jobs lost.

Just how bad is it for the past month for Singaporeans?

Survey Shows 2 in 3 Working S’poreans Do Not Have Savings to Last Them Beyond 6 Months

An OCBC survey was conducted last month during the circuit breaker period.

It found that around two-thirds of working Singaporeans and permanent residents had indicated that they did not have enough savings to last them beyond six months if they were to lose their jobs now.

Doesn’t sound surprising to you? I thought so. With the current economic situation due to the pandemic, it is inevitable that our finances will be affected.

On top of that, around half of the respondents had already suffered wage cuts, and were in the midst of no-pay leave or had their commission earnings reduced.

According to OCBC, the survey aimed to understand the impact of the pandemic on residents’ financial well-being.

The bank surveyed 1,000 working adults between the ages 21 to 65, earning from $2,000 a month.


When it comes to savings, more than half of the respondents remarked that their savings had suffered due to the virus crisis.

Around 20% of respondents indicated that it fell by more than 20%, while one in three said that the decline was up to 20%.

However, the good news is another 20% were able to maintain their savings level.

In fact, there were some who managed to save more. 5%  said that their savings had increased by more than 20%, while the remaining 20% had their savings increased to 20%.

Probably because bubble tea stalls are closed #justsaying

Cautious, But Hopeful 

To add on, retirement plans were impacted accordingly to age groups as well.

One-third of those aged between 40 to 54 said that they had cut their retirement savings. On the other hand, 23% of those in their 20s who had signed up for a financial plan, stated they have put aside more money for retirement.

Despite the gloomy situation, there are still some respondents expressing their hope for the next six months. 13% were not concerned about their job, which shows that they must be confident enough to say so.

However, the majority, up to 46% of respondents, were worried about getting retrenched over the next six months.

According to Ms Tan Siew Lee, OCBC’s wealth management head, it is reassuring that some are making the right choices to boost their financial health. This includes saving, spending prudently and making sound investments according to their financial circumstances.


However, she also wishes that the others who are cutting back on these aspects would not despair. She understands that crisis like COVID-19 will eventually pass, just like Sars and the Asian Financial Crisis.

Meanwhile, the government have rolled out a Fortitude budget scheme to help Singaporeans and businesses tide through this rough period.