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Only in AustraliaThe History, Politics, and Economics of Australian Exceptionalism$
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William Coleman

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198753254

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198753254.001.0001

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We Must All Be Capitalists Now

We Must All Be Capitalists Now

The Strange Story of Compulsory Superannuation in Australia

(p.188) 10 We Must All Be Capitalists Now
Only in Australia

Adam Creighton

Oxford University Press

The chapter deals with Australia’s unusual compulsory ‘superannuation’ scheme. In retirement incomes policy, Australia has more in common with Mexico and Chile than with the UK or the USA. For Australia is the only developed country where the scope of government sanctioned retirement incomes consists of a means-tested pension in conjunction with compulsory, privately managed, defined-contribution saving schemes. This compulsory saving scheme has produced an abnormally large quantity of pension assets in Australia and, embodying elements that appeal to both right and left—individual responsibility and state paternalism—has come to be seen as a policy triumph. Regrettably, however, the scheme is blighted by high administration costs and a lack of competition, and encumbered by vested interests that head off attempts at reform.

Keywords:   defined-contribution saving scheme, means-tested pensions, retirement incomes policy, state paternalism, superannuation

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