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Retirement income in Australia: Part III – Private resources

Research brief on retirement income - part III

Rafal Chomik, Simon Graham, Sophie Yan, Hazel Bateman, John Piggott

This series of three CEPAR research briefs takes stock of the current state, and projected future, of Australia’s retirement income system, presenting the latest data and highlighting relevant research. Brief 1 described the demographic context, system structure, and overall trends in retirement resources. Brief 2 focused on the public element of retirement income provision, primarily the Age Pension. Here, Brief 3 covers private retirement income provision, focusing on superannuation. This is done by first looking at providers (i.e., industry structure) and members (i.e., financial behaviour), then investigating the accumulation (i.e., balances, contributions, and leakages) and decumulation (e.g., products) stages, as well as touching on issues related to housing, taxation, and public sector superannuation. What becomes apparent is that Australia’s superannuation system is of considerable benefit to households and the wider economy. But it continues to evolve. Its competitive environment is changing and policymakers are looking at ways to improve efficiency and developing measures for a retirement income framework in which individuals will be better able to manage risks in retirement.