You are here

Research Briefs


Rafal Chomik, Fatima Jamal Khan, and Jeromey Temple 

This research brief presents some of the latest research insights, highlighting CEPAR research in a series of themed boxes from more than a dozen CEPAR researchers. The evidence can aid in understanding the heterogeneity of ageing. However, in presenting mostly descriptive quantitative assessments (in a somewhat chart-book format), the authors do not presume to know the nuanced lived experience of individuals in different communities or to weigh in prescriptively on the solutions to challenges faced. It is hoped that syntheses of evidence can arm those within different communities to seek change on their terms. 

The research brief assesses wellbeing outcomes across the lifecycle (e.g. education, employment, retirement, health) by three high-level migrant and CALD categories: (i) place of birth, (ii) language use at home, and (iii) spoken English proficiency. Despite the limitations of grouping people by just three variables (i.e. mixing all migrants and language groups and ignoring ethnicity or time since arrival), the brief offers a helicopter view of lifecycle outcomes of Australians from migrant and CALD communities. It covers major demographic shifts; highlights potential migrant and CALD groups’ vulnerabilities; and illustrates the need for further monitoring and research to inform and develop policy.


Rafal Chomik, Gaoyun (Sophie) Yan, Kaarin Anstey, and Hazel Bateman

This research brief assesses how these decision processes can go wrong and how we can put them right. It evaluates the age profiles of financial literacy and cognitive ability on the one hand and behavioural biases and mental shortcuts on the other. In doing so, it describes the types of interventions that help boost our abilities and nudge our behaviour, improving financial decisions in the process.

The focus of this brief is on decisions related to personal retirement finances, which in Australia are overwhelmingly about superannuation – the individual savings pillar of the retirement income system (even though housing assets make up a greater proportion of wealth). Much of the presented research relates to super, with considerable attention given to the topic of the moment: the decumulation of super. But examples touch on and can be applied to other financial decisions related to housing, insurance, aged care, and retirement from work.


mature worker

Rafal Chomik and Fatima Jamal Khan

This research brief takes stock of the latest trends and present the newest research insights, particularly from CEPAR researchers, of whom over 30 are featured throughout the brief. 

The brief is in four parts. Part I sets the macro demographic context, presenting past trends and projections for the future. These combine population, participation, and productivity, in what is known as the 3P framework, to show that more mature workers could increase economic prosperity. 

Part II outlines trends relating to health, caring, education, and social attitudes, which are some of the commonly cited examples of barriers to work. 

Part III assesses outcomes for older workers in Australia compared to other countries, to prime-age workers, and over time. These imply that the age-friendliness of Australia’s labour market is lagging, and that, while there are positive signs of progress, some mature workers, particularly women, continue to experience poor outcomes. 

Finally, Part IV presents research on what employers can do to respond. This includes the helpful 3i framework, developed by CEPAR researchers (Andrei and Parker, forthcoming), which proposes a series of strategies to help employers better Include workers over the life cycle, Individualise their responses to different circumstances, and set up processes that better Integrate workers of all ages in an organisation.

The brief concludes with a call for government to implement a coherent, multipronged strategy to support an ageing workforce. 

CEPAR housing and ageing research brief

Rafal Chomik and Sophie Yan

This brief is in three parts. It first tackles the dynamics of the housing purchase in working life, describing the patterns of housing tenure across generations, demographic and market dynamics, the likely future effects of demography on housing demand, and the policies that can affect home purchase outcomes, particularly taxes. In part two, the brief considers housing consumption in old age, discussing the retirement income context, the value and distribution of housing wealth, the preference of older people for remaining in their community, and how older people bequeath or can make better use of the equity in their home in retirement. Finally, part three tackles housing lack in old age, describing the implications and vulnerabilities that arise from renting in retirement. Overall, the brief provides a broad stocktake of research that touches on many different areas of housing-related policy.

Research brief on retirement income - part I

Rafal Chomik, Simon Graham, Sophie Yan, Hazel Bateman, John Piggott

This series of three CEPAR research briefs explores the current state, and projected future, of Australia’s retirement income system, marrying policy developments with the latest research. Brief 1 describes the demographic context and structure of the system, how retirement resources compare across benchmarks, countries, and generations.

Research brief on retirement income - part II

Rafal Chomik, Simon Graham, Sophie Yan, Hazel Bateman, John Piggott

This series of three CEPAR research briefs explores the current state, and projected future, of Australia’s retirement income system, presenting the latest data and highlighting relevant research. Brief 2 focuses on the public element of retirement income provision, primarily related to the Age Pension. It discusses policy trends, the design of pension access, benefit level, and means testing, as well as poverty and fiscal outcomes.

Research brief on retirement income - part III

Rafal Chomik, Simon Graham, Sophie Yan, Hazel Bateman, John Piggott

This series of three CEPAR research briefs takes stock of the current state, and projected future, of Australia’s retirement income system, presenting the latest data and highlighting relevant research. Brief 3 covers private retirement income provision, focusing on superannuation.


Rafal Chomik, Simon Graham, Roderick Gawthorp and Kaarin Anstey

Cognitive decline is feared by many as they approach old age. Yet the severe cognitive decline associated with dementia is not a normal part of ageing. This research brief explores the impacts of cognitive ageing and decline on individuals, as well as on the wider Australian economy. 
Colleagues collaborating

Rafal Chomik and Mary MacLennan

Population ageing is likely to result in more people requiring care. Australia's aged care system is the set of public, private and community institutions that offer care interventions to older people suffering chronic illnesses, disability, or physical and cognitive decline.

Elderly couple researching pension options online

Rafal Chomik and Mary MacLennan

For a proportion of people, a long life comes with chronic illnesses, disability, or physical or cognitive decline. Population ageing means more people will require care and support. Much of it will be provided informally by family, but increasingly it will take the shape of formal aged care.