By Imee Charlee C. Delavin, Reporter

Study shows top concerns of OFWs

Posted on November 05, 2015

OVERSEAS FILIPINOS tagged emergencies, retirement and education as their top concerns in setting aside savings, a survey commissioned by the Philippine American Life and General Insurance Co. (Philam Life) showed, although most savings are coursed in short-term instruments.

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A study on overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) conducted by Taylor Nelson Sofres (TNS) last April bared that migrant workers have long-term goals but most of them don’t have long-term investments.

According to the study, 66% of the respondents said their purpose in saving is emergency; 36% said retirement; 33% cited their children’s education; and 22% said investing in a home.

“[W]hen asked about their readiness to stay home permanently, 82% of the survey respondents said they are not ready to stay home for good for two main reasons: they do not have enough savings; and their goals have not yet been realized,” the study said.

The study also showed that an OFW wants to accumulate an average of P3 million to feel he is ready to come back for good; and that it would take the average OFW up to 18 years to save up that amount.

Philam Life said 97% of OFWs save in short-term instruments like savings accounts, while only 7% save in medium-term instruments like personal insurance, pre-need and investments.

“97% utilize bank accounts for savings, 4% in personal life insurance, 2% for nonlife insurance, 1% for pre-need plans and 0.4% for investment portfolio,” the study said.

Only 52% of OFWs also invest their money, the study said, noting that property, jewelry and business undertakings are the top investments for migrant workers.

Philam Life Chief Marketing Officer Jaime Jose M. Javier, Jr. said 10% of Philam Life’s policyholders are OFWs. Its distribution is majority through agency force of over 9,000 agents, he added.

The respondents in the study were mostly on a two-year contract with an average tenure of six years working abroad and earning an average of P50,000 per month.

Philam Life reported an P18.312 billion in premium income in 2014, the third largest in the industry, although down from the previous year’s P19.966 billion, based on its submitted annual statements to the Insurance Commission.

Philam Life’s total assets stood at P226.8 billion, net income was at P5 billion and net worth of P85.2 billion. It has close to 6,000 policyholders and more than 1.7 million insured group members.