Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) commissioned New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) to investigate attitudes to
retirement income policies in New Zealand and Australia in light of the fiscal consequences of population ageing and both countries’ fraught history of reforms in this space.
Both countries face an ageing population increasing the cost of their Pillar 1 superannuation/pension schemes. While the main focus of the work was looking
forward, we briefly surveyed the two countries’ experience with pension reform to understand the starting point. We then explored the fiscal outlook in both
We worked with ResearchNow to produce the first survey that compares New Zealanders’ and Australians’ attitudes to retirement income and their preferences on
how retirement incomes policies should be reformed.
Public pension systems funded from general taxation have been in place in both countries since the beginning of the 19th Century. Public pension spending is
relatively low by OECD standards but so are poverty rates amongst the aged.
Where the two countries’ regimes differ is in the second-tier occupational superannuation: Australia has compulsory private superannuation, New Zealand a
voluntary scheme with automatic enrolment and a limited opt-out opportunity. Both private schemes, particularly in Australia, have been the target of repeated reforms over more than three decades.
Both New Zealand and Australia face similar ageing populations but the future settings for retirement policy, and their fiscal outlooks, are different.