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Reports & Government Submissions

Federal Budget

Hazel Bateman, Robbie Campo, David Constable, Isabella Dobrescu, Ailsa Goodwin, Junhao Liu, Ben R Newell and Susan Thorp

By mid-August 2020, Australian superannuation fund members had made more than 3 million applications to withdraw retirement savings under the COVID-19 Superannuation Early Release Scheme, supporting more than $31B in payments. The relaxation of conditions for early release of superannuation savings changed a fundamental feature of the Australian retirement savings system. Responses of members to the early release scheme highlight the effectiveness of the standard superannuation preservation rules. Early withdrawals have short-term and long-term consequences for individual members who take payments under the scheme, and for society as a whole.
We report results of a survey of over 3,000 members of Cbus, a leading industry fund, who withdrew some or all of their superannuation savings in the first phase of the COVID-19 early release scheme between April and June 2020.


Rafal Chomik and John Piggott 

This submission has grown from a series of interactions with the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety secretariat, broadly focused on the question of financing aged care. Communications with the Commission have included a series of questions on this topic. This submission provides responses to these questions, but provide a broader frame for context and coherence.


Michael Sherris

This submission to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety provides responses for a possible approach to the Financing of Aged Care in Australia.


Michael Sherris

This submission to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety provides initially some general background comments on Aged Care Financing and a discussion of Aged Care Risks and Private Market Insurance Product Innovation based on collaborative research on aged care financing and insuring. Against this background, it then provides selective responses to relevant Questions in the Consultation Paper 2 - Financing Aged Care.


Various CEPAR staff and affiliates contributed to this submission.
Major contributors were Katja Hanewald and John Piggott.

This paper is written in response to DFAT’s request for submissions on Australia’s proposed new international development policy. This policy should be developed with comprehensive understanding of, and a recognition of the importance of, demographic change and its political and socio-economic impacts across the Indo-Pacific region.



Various CEPAR staff and affiliates contributed to this submission.
Major contributors included: Hazel Bateman, Rafal Chomik, Marc de Cure, Michael Keane, George Kudrna, John Piggott, Michael Sherris, and Alan Woodland

This submission was prepared for the Retirement Income Review.

Mature workers

Daniela Andrei, Sharon Parker, Andreea Constantin, Marian Baird, Lucinda Iles, Gretchen Petery, Leah Zoszak, Alison Williams, Shannon Chen

By 2050, almost one third of Australia’s population will be older than 60 (p. 9). With an ageing population and workforce, Australia, like many OECD countries, faces the challenge of adapting workplaces and work practices to meet the needs and interests of this changed demographic.

This report is based on research findings from a large-scale survey (N = 2009) of Australian workers aged 18 to 81. A convenience sample was obtained using online Australian panels. Our interest is in the mature workforce, so workers over 45 years were over-sampled. Younger workers were included for comparison purposes. 51% of the sample is male, and 49% is female. The sample is mostly metropolitan based (72%) and includes workers in a broad range of occupations, industries, and job roles. The spread of jobs is similar to national samples, although caution should be exercised when making inferences from this study to the Australian population.

CEPAR industry report

Hazel Bateman, James Brownlow, Ben Culbert, Charles Chu, Christine Eckert, Bin Fu and Susan Thorp

We investigate how the decision to take out a residential mortgage is interrelated with engagement with superannuation, measured by changes in superannuation contributions and interactions with service providers (the mortgage provider and the super fund). We do so by analysing matched samples of superannuation fund members who do and do not take out mortgages in calendar year 2014. We measure the timing and size of changes in four types of superannuation contributions in the 36 months prior to and following mortgage commencement, and changes in interactions with service providers in the 6 months before and 12 months after mortgage commencement.

We find that the decision to take out a residential mortgage is associated with engagement with superannuation. Super fund members who took out a new residential mortgage in 2014 exhibited changes in their superannuation contribution behaviour before and /or after mortgage commencement (as compared with those who did not take out a mortgage), with the timing and size of these changes differing by mortgage type (owner-occupier or investment), employment status (employee or self-employed) and key demographics (gender, age and income).


Elderly couple researching pension options

George Smyrnis, Hazel Bateman, Isabella Dobrescu, Benjamin R Newell, and Susan Thorp

This industry report investigates the impact of retirement income projections on superannuation contributions, investment choices and engagement from fund members.

Executive Summary:
Australian workers rely on information from their superannuation funds to ascertain if they are saving enough for retirement. Until recently, most funds gave members only their current balance to go on, leaving to the member the tough problem of translating that balance into a future lump sum or income stream. In 2013, Cbus sent approximately 20,000 members a retirement income estimate (RIE), along with their current balance, for the first time. The goal of the RIE trial was to help members grasp the implications of their current superannuation savings pattern for their retirement wellbeing.
The impact of this new message on members’ contributions, engagement, and investment choices was remarkable. We measure this impact by comparing carefully matched groups of Cbus members – a group who received the estimate and an (observationally) identical group who did not. The matched sample groups each include 15,273 Cbus members. Our analysis shows what members did up to end-June 2014, after receiving the RIE for the first time in September 2013.  This method allows us to draw inferences about the causal effect of the new communication.