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Reports & Government Submissions

Mature workers

Daniela Andrei, Sharon Parker, Andreea Constantin, Marian Baird, Lucinda Iles, Gretchen Petery, Leah Zoszak, Alison Williams, Shannon Chen

By 2050, almost one third of Australia’s population will be older than 60 (p. 9). With an ageing population and workforce, Australia, like many OECD countries, faces the challenge of adapting workplaces and work practices to meet the needs and interests of this changed demographic.

This report is based on research findings from a large-scale survey (N = 2009) of Australian workers aged 18 to 81. A convenience sample was obtained using online Australian panels. Our interest is in the mature workforce, so workers over 45 years were over-sampled. Younger workers were included for comparison purposes. 51% of the sample is male, and 49% is female. The sample is mostly metropolitan based (72%) and includes workers in a broad range of occupations, industries, and job roles. The spread of jobs is similar to national samples, although caution should be exercised when making inferences from this study to the Australian population.

CEPAR industry report

Hazel Bateman, James Brownlow, Ben Culbert, Charles Chu, Christine Eckert, Bin Fu and Susan Thorp

This industry report investigates how the decision to take out a residential mortgage is interrelated with engagement with superannuation, measured by changes in superannuation contributions and interactions with service providers (the mortgage provider and the super fund). 

Elderly couple researching pension options

George Smyrnis, Hazel Bateman, Isabella Dobrescu, Benjamin R Newell, and Susan Thorp

This industry report investigates the impact of retirement income projections on superannuation contributions, investment choices and engagement from fund members.

Executive Summary:
Australian workers rely on information from their superannuation funds to ascertain if they are saving enough for retirement. Until recently, most funds gave members only their current balance to go on, leaving to the member the tough problem of translating that balance into a future lump sum or income stream. In 2013, Cbus sent approximately 20,000 members a retirement income estimate (RIE), along with their current balance, for the first time. The goal of the RIE trial was to help members grasp the implications of their current superannuation savings pattern for their retirement wellbeing.
The impact of this new message on members’ contributions, engagement, and investment choices was remarkable. We measure this impact by comparing carefully matched groups of Cbus members – a group who received the estimate and an (observationally) identical group who did not. The matched sample groups each include 15,273 Cbus members. Our analysis shows what members did up to end-June 2014, after receiving the RIE for the first time in September 2013.  This method allows us to draw inferences about the causal effect of the new communication.

John Piggott at the T20 Inception Conference in Japan

Rafal Chomik, John Piggott, and Sophie Yan

This policy brief was prepared for the T20 Task Force on Aging Population and its Economic Impact + Immigration, and, while bringing a broad perspective to these challenges, focuses its policy analysis on retirement income, the first frontier in reforming social security systems in an ageing world.

Elderly couple researching pension options online

Hazel Bateman and Susan Thorp

The submission comments on the Productivity Commission Draft Report, Superannuation: Assessing Efficiency and Competitiveness. The approach is to comment briefly on selected Draft Recommendations and, where appropriate, refer the Commission to relevant academic papers.



Marc de Cure 

This submission was prepared for the Retirement Income Policy Division on a Framework for Comprehensive Insurance Products for Retirement (Retirement Income Products).

Couple researching online

Rafal Chomik, John Piggott and Marc de Cure

This submission was prepared for the Senate inquiry into the Superannuation (Excess Transfer Balance Tax) Bill 2016 [Provisions] and Treasury Laws Amendment (Fair and Sustainable Superannuation) Bill 2016 [Provisions].

Colleagues analysing data

Hazel Bateman, Rafal Chomik, John Piggott, and Michael Sherris

This submission focuses on the use of defaults in superannuation drawdowns at retirement. It has been written in response to a request to CEPAR by the FSI to provide input on this issue.

Australian currency

James Mahmud Rice, Jeromey Temple and Peter McDonald

With demographic and economic changes on the horizon, an understanding of the production and consumption behavior of all Australians, but mature age Australians in particular, is indispensible. This project seeks to enhance our understanding of the economic lifecycle by developing National Transfer Accounts (NTA) for Australia.