In recent years, some players in the retirement and pension industry have taken much-needed steps to digitally revolutionize the sector. Retirement is a key motivation for both the younger and older generations to invest. Successful retirement services do not solely focus on retirees, but this major life event requires building a relationship with the heirs to the throne as early as possible, which is key for retention. With simplicity and customer experience coming to the forefront of the wealth management space via technology, utilizing emerging technologies to manage pension services will be welcomed by customers. A high-tech, high-touch cross-generational retirement service will be key going forward.

The retirement market report discusses the global retirement wealth market, covering the current size of the prize and the forecast growth over the next few years. It focuses on retiree investment behavior and how it differs from pre-retirement. The report also includes an analysis of which retirement services are in demand among different demographics and how wealth managers and financial services providers are using technology to develop their retirement propositions.

What are the market dynamics in the retirement market?

HNW retirees’ general high-risk, high-reward approach to investing saw them be the only affluent group to reach double-digit growth in 2021 due to their greater exposure to riskier asset classes. On the other hand, retirement assets in a pension wrapper are often more conservatively invested than assets outside of them. Less affluent retirees, including retail investors and emerging affluent individuals, will see some limited growth in the forthcoming years. Despite HNW individuals remaining a small proportion of the overall global population, this group is expected to outgrow the rest in the upcoming years. Many retired millionaires took advantage of the post-COVID recovery and reaped the rewards of cheap stocks. Therefore, more mass affluent retirees have entered the HNW realm. Furthermore, the average age of retirees is growing as individuals are living longer. Shifts in the legal retirement age are giving this group more time to continue growing their wealth as well.

What is the regional outlook in the retirement market?

In 2020, the financial markets in Asia-Pacific had a rapid post-Q2 recovery benefitting all investors, including retirees and those planning to retire during the new decade. Asia-Pacific’s retirees are less adventurous when it comes to investing, with the largest proportion of their wealth held in savings accounts. Going forward, the region is expected to continue its coronavirus recovery ahead of the rest of the world. Europe was devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. However, due to European retiree investors’ risk-averse nature, the impact was less immediate. The retiree wealth market in North America is forecast to see the most growth of any region in 2021.

Retirement market, by regions

Retirement market, by regions

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What are the key practices in retirement planning?

Recently, many traditional players are rightly trying to incorporate more technology into their services. As this occurs, providers should also be looking to update the retirement aspect of their services. Along with old guards offering retirement services as part of their proposition, in the competitive US market, standalone retirement planning companies are also popular. Furthermore, digital retirement calculators provide customers with a forecast of their finances, giving them a view of their retirement plan, estimations of how much customers could have when they retire, and how much they could spend each month. Such services are free of charge and easily accessible to customers and non-customers via the provider’s website, which is all part of the push towards long-term goal setting.

Who are the key players in the retirement market?

Some of the key players in the retirement market are the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, Bundesbank, Office for National Statistics, Charles Schwab, Empower Retirement, Personal Capital, DBS, PensionBee, Spaceship, and Nutmeg.

Market report scope

Key players Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, Bundesbank, Office for National Statistics, Charles Schwab, Empower Retirement, Personal Capital, DBS, PensionBee, Spaceship, and Nutmeg

Reasons to Buy

  • Understand the size and forecast for the global retiree wealth market, including regional variations and market leaders in terms of value of pension assets.
  • Explore the importance of retirement as a driver for consumers to become investors and how it dominates decisions regarding their investment portfolio.
  • Gain recommendations on what wealth managers and financial services providers must do to hold on to retiree wealth and how to target different demographics.
  • Look at how technology is transforming retirement services and understand best practices in retirement planning.

Key Players

Australian Prudential Regulation Authority


Office for National Statistics

Charles Schwab

Empower Retirement

Personal Capital





Table of Contents

Table of Contents

1. Executive Summary

1.1 Market overview

1.2 Key findings

1.3 Critical success factors

2. Sizing and Forecasting the Retirement Market

2.1 The global retiree wealth market is expected to surpass $35 trillion by 2025

2.2 Regional variations in pension and investment holdings are significant

2.3 The pension market in the US is the largest worldwide

3. Investor Insight

3.1 Retirement is the core investment driver the world over

3.2 US retirees are most adventurous regarding their portfolios

4. Competitive Dynamics in Retirement

4.1 Over a third of global wealth managers do not offer retirement planning products

4.2 Targeting women with retirement services is critical

4.3 Digital wealth management providers are attracting retirees

5. Best Practice in Retirement Planning

5.1 Traditional players are beginning to focus on digital retirement services

5.2 Digitization of retirement services is needed to broaden access to retirement advice

5.3 A high-tech, high-touch multi-generational retirement proposition will give providers a competitive advantage

6. Appendix

6.1 Abbreviations and acronyms

6.2 Definitions

6.3 Methodology

6.4 Secondary sources

6.5 Further reading

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List of Tables

List of Tables

Table 1: Total pension assets by country ($ million), top 10, 2015-20

Table 2: Liquid and pension assets of retirees ($ million), 2020

Table 3: Retirement-related deals and partnerships, 2021

List of Figures

List of Figures

Figure 1: HNW retirees will have seen 11% growth in 2021, surpassing the $13 trillion mark

Figure 2: The number of HNW retirees will have recorded 12% growth in 2021, surpassing the 3 million mark

Figure 3: HNW retirees in Asia-Pacific harbor the largest proportion of liquid assets despite accounting for the fewest individuals

Figure 4: Mass affluent retirees in Europe hold just under $3 trillion in liquid assets

Figure 5: North American retirees harbor the most wealth of any region

Figure 6: Bonds and equities are the most popular asset classes in pension funds

Figure 7: Investing for retirement is the most popular reason global consumers invest

Figure 8: Retirees in Europe are the most risk averse, while the Americas are most exposed to variable assets

Figure 9: Most consumers stick with their main checking account provider into retirement

Figure 10: 40% of global wealth managers are yet to offer pension and retirement planning services

Figure 11: Over 50% of global wealth managers agree there is a risk of inheritors leaving their firm

Figure 12: Over a fifth of global retirees are open to digital providers managing new investments

Figure 13: Schwab offers a digital retirement income solution

Figure 14: A multi-channel communication experience is desired by all affluent groups in the US

Figure 15: The majority of all generations in Australia agree that tried and familiar products are more important than new ones

Figure 16: Nutmeg provides pension services and collaborates with a digital will provider

Figure 17: 60% of retirees prefer reviewing their finances and investment portfolio via digital methods

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