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Informed Superannuation Choice: Constraints and Policy Resolutions

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  • Brown, Kerry

    (Queensland University of Technology)

  • Gallery, Gerry

    (University of New South Wales)

  • Gallery, Natalie

    (University of Sydney)

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    Abstract

    The latest controversy to emerge in Australia's ever-changing superannuation system is the failure of the proposed "member choice of fund" legislation. While superannuation choice continues to be widely supported, the debate lacks coherent policy direction. This paper addresses the policy hiatus by developing a framework to systematically examine endogenous and exogenous constraints affecting the achievement of informed choice, members' choice preferences and associated policy resolutions. Applying this framework, we argue that a genuine choice of fund model should cater for active and passive choice, where passive choice applies to fund members who, for various reasons, are unwilling or unable to make active choices. Appropriate education programs and standardised disclosure are identified as critical prerequisites to enable informed choice by those members who want to actively participate in the management of their superannuation savings. To protect the interests of passive choice members, we recommend the option of a government-regulated universal default fund (UDF).

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Queensland University of Technology (QUT), School of Economics and Finance in its journal Economic Analysis and Policy (EAP).

    Volume (Year): 32 (2002)
    Issue (Month): 1 (March)
    Pages: 71-90

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    Handle: RePEc:eap:articl:v:32:y:2002:i:1:p:71-90

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    Web page: http://www.journals.elsevier.com/economic-analysis-and-policy/
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    1. Michael E. Drew & John Stanford, 2001. "Asset Selection And Superannuation Fund Performance: A Note For Trustees," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 20(1), pages 57-65, 03.
    2. Armen A. Alchian & Harold Demsetz, 1971. "Production, Information Costs and Economic Organizations," UCLA Economics Working Papers 10A, UCLA Department of Economics.
    3. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
    4. Black, Fischer & Scholes, Myron S, 1973. "The Pricing of Options and Corporate Liabilities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 637-54, May-June.
    5. Fama, Eugene F, 1980. "Agency Problems and the Theory of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(2), pages 288-307, April.
    6. Lakonishok, Joseph & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1992. "The Structure and Performance of the Money Management Industry," Scholarly Articles 10498059, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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    Cited by:
    1. Wilson Sy, 2009. "Towards a national default option for low-cost superannuation," Accounting Research Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 22(1), pages .46-67, July.
    2. Michael E. Drew & Jon D. Stanford, 2003. "Retail Superannuation Management in Australia: Risk, Cost and Alpha," School of Economics and Finance Discussion Papers and Working Papers Series 126, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.
    3. Adam Clements & Michael E. Drew, 2007. "Institutional Homogeneity and Choice in Superannuation," School of Economics and Finance Discussion Papers and Working Papers Series 218, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.

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