Savings: the French split between prudence and the desire to profit


After a year marked by the health crisis, the French are still divided on the behavior to adopt (Photo credit: 123RF)

The Savings Circle and Ipsos have published the results of the annual Barometer “The French, savings and retirement”. After a year marked by the health crisis and a record level of savings, the French are divided between the desire to take advantage of the present time and caution.

The French and savings

After a year marked by the health crisis during which the French will have set aside some 100 billion euros in savings, they are still divided on the behavior to adopt, between the desire to take advantage of the present time and the will to save in the face of hard knocks. Thus, around 40% of them think that it is better, in general, to “spend and profit from the present because we do not know what the future is made of”, while 37% think that it is necessary to “Set aside and save just in case, or for the future”. Compared to last year, many more young people want to take advantage of the present moment (+4 points to 45%).

The French remain generally cautious: 32% of them intend to save more next year, a stable score compared to last year but much higher than in previous years (27% in 2019, 23 % only in 2018). More and more of them are interested in the subject of savings and financial investments (44%, + 4 points in one year) and follow the news related to these subjects (27%, +2 points) .

They are more particularly interested in low-risk and very liquid investments even if they bring little return (50%), or even low-tax investments for heirs (47%).

The issue of social responsibility in investment is not yet a priority for everyone: around a third favor an investment that pays a lot but does not include social responsibility in its objectives, a third favors the reverse, and a small third does not position itself.

If life insurance remains at the top of the best savings products according to the French (34%), it is followed by regulated savings accounts whose popularity is rising sharply (30%, up 9 points). The new PER is gaining ground at 14%.

Almost one in two French people (48%) say they know the new PER, but only 1 in 10 say they know it well enough. More than three-quarters (78%) of people holding a former retirement savings product (PERP, Madelin, etc.) intend to transform it into PER.

In total, almost 8 out of 10 French people say they have a Livret A, 38% a life insurance and 12% a PER. In terms of the potential of new subscribers, life insurance is in the lead with 12% of French people interested, followed by the retirement savings plan, at 11%.

If the French save, it is above all to build up precautionary savings (55% of savers), prepare for retirement (24%), insure against the risk of dependency (20%) or even help their children or grandchildren (19%).

The French and preparing for retirement

The French are overwhelmingly worried about their retirement (78%) and its financing is the top priority for the coming years (58%), ahead of health insurance (44%) and long-term care (29%).

To improve their retirement income, half of them would be ready to increase the amount of their contributions throughout life, 39% would be ready to subscribe to a pension fund, 30% to lower their retirement age retired. A third of the working population (33%, +6 points) would be ready to continue a professional activity after having fulfilled the conditions allowing to receive a full pension in order to have additional income.

Finally, one in four workers (24%, still up 7 points) now regularly saves to finance their retirement, 37% only doing so when possible and 39% not doing so at all.

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