Chronology of major superannuation and retirement income changes in Australia

Population Retirement Superannuation Australia

Introduction: The purpose of this chronology of key events is to provide an historical context with which to understand the evolution of superannuation and retirement income policy in Australia. More specifically, the chronology is intended to:

  • provide a quick reference guide to what happened and when
  • facilitate access to relevant documents and
  • complement other sources on changes to retirement income policy by providing an account that focuses on government decisions, reports and legislation.

The chronology focuses on key events in the development of superannuation and retirement income policy including:

  • major milestones and changes relating to the Age Pension
  • the development and implementation of mandatory and voluntary retirement income arrangements and
  • the development of, and changes to, taxation arrangements applying to superannuation generally.

The number of possible entries in a chronology of this kind is very large. By outlining only key events, the chronology is intended to convey the character of change since 1901. An important criterion in determining whether an event warranted inclusion was whether secondary sources referred to it.

Key changes to the Age Pension arrangements are included in the chronology due to its importance within the retirement income system. The Parliamentary Library has also published a separate, more detailed, chronology of changes to Age Pension arrangements and other support payments which may be of interest in understanding related changes in these areas.

There are some areas that the chronology does not canvass. For example, the development and evolution of Commonwealth and state public sector schemes and military superannuation schemes are not included; nor are changes to superannuation arrangements that have a narrow focus or impact.

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