Journal Article

The Australian Retirement Income System: Structure, Effects and Future

Bill Martin and Ning Xiang

in Work, Aging and Retirement

Volume 1, issue 2, pages 133-143
Published in print April 2015 | ISSN: 2054-4642
Published online March 2015 | e-ISSN: 2054-4650 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/workar/wav003
The Australian Retirement Income System: Structure, Effects and Future

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  • Business and Management
  • Human Resource Management
  • Organizational Theory and Behaviour
  • Labour and Demographic Economics
  • Gerontology and Ageing

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Australia’s retirement income institutions are under scrutiny in response to population ageing and economic uncertainties, like those of many other advanced industrial societies. This article provides an overview of the current system of retirement income institutions in Australia. It places them in the context of Australia’s distinctive welfare state and population ageing patterns, along with retirement patterns. The article describes Australia’s “four pillar” system, consisting of a means tested, noncontributory age pension, compulsory private superannuation, voluntary private superannuation, and home ownership. This system largely reinforces inequalities generated during Australian retirees’ lifetime employment, while further exaggerating the differences between home owners and others. The article outlines the main political–economic risks generated in the system, and ends by summarizing how the system’s main features are likely to frame future developments.

Journal Article.  10643 words. 

Subjects: Business and Management ; Human Resource Management ; Organizational Theory and Behaviour ; Labour and Demographic Economics ; Gerontology and Ageing

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