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The Case for Gender-Sensitive Superannuation Plan Design

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  • Anup K. Basu
  • Michael E. Drew

Abstract

"A key feature of superannuation plan design is the assumption that members have long and continuous periods of employment over which contributions are made. This heroic design feature has led to debate on the adequacy of superannuation plans for those with interrupted employment, particularly the adverse impacts this has on the retirement income prospects of women. This paper employs non-parametric stochastic simulation to investigate two possible solutions to gender inequality in superannuation, higher contribution rates and more aggressive asset allocation. Our results suggest that while both these strategies in isolation are effective in reducing the current gender disparity in superannuation outcomes, they demand significant changes to current arrangements when employed individually to address the problem. A combined approach is found to be more powerful in ensuring a more equitable superannuation outcome for women, as it nullifies the relative disadvantage of interrupted employment with only modest changes to contribution rates and asset allocation." Copyright (c)2009 The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research.

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File URL: https://www120.secure.griffith.edu.au/research/items/fd095a2b-bebe-780c-ee28-1f9701a0c9cb/1/2009-04-case-for-gender-sensitive-superannuation-plan-design.pdf
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Paper provided by Griffith University, Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics in its series Discussion Papers in Finance with number finance:200904.

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Date of creation: Apr 2009
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Handle: RePEc:gri:fpaper:finance:200904

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Keywords: Superannuation; Gender;

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  1. Blake, David & Lehmann, Bruce N & Timmermann, Allan, 1999. "Asset Allocation Dynamics and Pension Fund Performance," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 72(4), pages 429-61, October.
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  4. Dwyer, Peggy D. & Gilkeson, James H. & List, John A., 2002. "Gender differences in revealed risk taking: evidence from mutual fund investors," Economics Letters, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 151-158, July.
  5. Poterba, James M. & Summers, Lawrence H., 1988. "Mean reversion in stock prices : Evidence and Implications," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 27-59, October.
  6. Gerrans, Paul & Clark-Murphy, Marilyn, 2004. "Gender differences in retirement savings decisions," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(02), pages 145-164, July.
  7. Therese Jefferson, 2005. "Women and Retirement Incomes in Australia: A Review," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 81(254), pages 273-291, 09.
  8. James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian & Andrew Metrick, 2001. "For Better or For Worse: Default Effects and 401(k) Savings Behavior," NBER Working Papers 8651, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1988. "Dividend yields and expected stock returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-25, October.
  10. Henrik Cronqvist & Richard H. Thaler, 2004. "Design Choices in Privatized Social-Security Systems: Learning from the Swedish Experience," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 424-428, May.
  11. Bajtelsmit, Vickie L. & Bernasek, Alexandra & Jianakoplos, Nancy A., 1999. "Gender differences in defined contribution pension decisions," Financial Services Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 1-10.
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