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Reimagining PensionsThe Next 40 Years$
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Olivia S. Mitchell and Richard C. Shea

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198755449

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198755449.001.0001

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The Australian Retirement Income System: Comparisons with and Lessons for the United States

The Australian Retirement Income System: Comparisons with and Lessons for the United States

Chapter:
(p.274) Chapter 14 The Australian Retirement Income System: Comparisons with and Lessons for the United States
Source:
Reimagining Pensions
Author(s):

Rafal Chomik

John Piggott

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198755449.003.0014

Australia has an atypical retirement income system: it comprises a flat-rate, non-contributory, affluence-tested age pension, and a mandatory, defined contribution accumulation plan to which employers must contribute 9.25 percent (moving to 12 percent) of wages on behalf of their employees. This chapter first briefly compares the Australian and US economies and demographies, and then it describes the Australian arrangements. The chapter than assesses the Australian approach in terms of economic efficiency and efficacy in delivering retirement support. It focuses especially on the means testing of the first pillar in Australia and the mandated membership of pre-funded private pension plans. It concludes by considering insights for the evolution of the US pension reform debate as demographic change unfolds.

Keywords:   Social Security, pensions, means testing, Australia, retirement support

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