Discussion paper

The Retirement Income Review Panel has been tasked with establishing a fact base to help improve understanding of how the Australian retirement income system is operating and how it will respond to an ageing society.

The retirement income system is fundamentally important to the Australian community. However, the settings for the system and its underlying principles have historically been a source of significant public debate. As part of its work, the Panel will undertake a holistic assessment of how the retirement income system is functioning and the interaction between the various components of the system.

Decisions around retirement income invariably involve a range of trade-offs. Judgement is required in determining the value of those trade-offs. It is ultimately up to the Australian community to make judgements about the merits of the various trade-offs. The contribution this Review seeks to make is to identify relevant issues, provide a better understanding of the nature and consequences of trade-offs, and develop a fact base to help the community make any decisions.

In helping to improve understanding of the retirement income system, the Panel will take note of the large range of research papers and reports that have been published on this topic, focusing on identifying the basis for some of the very different conclusions made in those papers and reports. The Panel will draw on the findings of the Productivity Commission report Superannuation: Assessing Efficiency and Competitiveness, which assessed the fees, investment returns, overall efficiency of the superannuation system, and how these factors affect retirement outcomes.

The Panel will undertake new analysis of the operation of the retirement income system, including modelling how the system performs today and how it will perform in the future.

The Panel welcomes contributions and invites submissions from the Australian community on the issues and material it should examine in establishing the fact base that will help improve understanding of the retirement income system. This consultation paper outlines some of the issues the Panel will be considering and is intended as a guide to those making a submission. While the Panel welcomes responses to the questions outlined in this paper, submissions need not be limited to these issues.

The Panel is interested in hearing views on any issues considered relevant to the Review. However, consistent with the focus of this Review on establishing a fact base to improve understanding of how the retirement income system operates, the Panel is seeking that supporting evidence is provided for views expressed in submissions to assist the Panel in its considerations.

Related Information

Retirement Income Review: final report https://apo.org.au/node/309611

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