Women take back seat in retirement planning:Study Women in Asian countries, such as China, are more likely to take the lead in couples' retirement planning than Canadian women are, a new study suggests. The study, done by global banking group HSBC Holdings PLC, showed that among the Canadians polled who were married or living with a partner, 34% of men said they were solely responsible for the pair's retirement planning. That compared to 23% of women. In China, 36% of men said they were the sole retirement planners, compared to 33% of women. In South Korea, it was 35% of men compared to 32% of women. In Taiwan, 39% of women claimed sole ownership of the retirement planning compared to 35% of men, making it the only one of the 17 countries studied where the professed responsibility rate was higher among women than men. Some of the sharpest inequality between the sexes on this issue was seen in Middle Eastern countries such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. In Saudi Arabia, the ratio of men to women saying they did all of the family's retirement planning was 53% to 19%. In the U.A.E., it was 45% to 10%. "It is disappointing and concerning to see that there is still such inequality globally between men and women of all ages when it comes to making decisions about saving for retirement," Margaret Willis, the head of retail banking and wealth management for HSBC Bank Canada, said in a statement. "Preparing for retirement is one of the most important aspects of financial planning, and a lack of involvement is leaving women potentially exposed to financial hardship in later life." The results were based on a study that used surveys of more than 17,000 people in various countries. No margin of error was provided.