Australia's superannuation system : a critical analysis

Hanegbi, Rami 2010, Australia's superannuation system : a critical analysis, Australian tax forum, vol. 25, no. 2, pp. 303-326.

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Title Australia's superannuation system : a critical analysis
Author(s) Hanegbi, Rami
Journal name Australian tax forum
Volume number 25
Issue number 2
Start page 303
End page 326
Total pages 24
Publisher Taxation Institute of Australia
Place of publication Sydney, N.S.W.
Publication date 2010-07-01
ISSN 0812-695X
Summary Australia’s superannuation system consists of individual retirement accounts that cannot be accessed until the taxpayer reaches the legislated preservation age. Most of the deposits to these accounts are the mandatory contributions that employers make. Some of the claimed justifications for superannuation are weak. Specifically, claims that superannuation is necessary to prevent a looming ageing crisis and is justified on the grounds of intergenerational equity lose much of their force when examined in the context of substantially higher future incomes. One of the justifications for superannuation that has merit is that it helps promote income smoothing. Although there are some strong arguments for retirement policies that help promote income smoothing, given the long term trend towards income inequality, there are also convincing arguments towards an emphasis on retirement policies that distribute incomes more equally. If income smoothing is on balance seen as a desirable goal then there is merit in Australia’s superannuation system being complemented by a fully funded government run defined benefits scheme.
Language eng
Field of Research 180125 Taxation Law
Socio Economic Objective 910110 Taxation
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
HERDC collection year 2010
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Business and Law
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