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Alternative Retirement Income Arrangements and Lifetime Income Inequality: Lessons From Australia

  • M. Atkinson
  • John Creedy
  • David Knox

This paper examines the implications for lifetime income equality of alternative retirement income arrangements, using the Australian scheme as a benchmark. In Australia, the pay-as-you go financed age pension is means-tested and thereby provides a contrast with those countries where part or all of a basic pension is paid to all aged persons. Many governments are considering an increase in the level of means-testing. The results show that the introduction of a universal pension coupled with significant changes and simplifications to the structure of taxation and superannuation have little effect on the redistributive impact of the tax structure in a life cycle framework. The presence of means-testing appears to have no significant effect on life-time inequality. The results suggest that it is possible to eliminate complexities from the system providing retirement benefits without having any deleterious effect on equity. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1023/A:1008604121778
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Article provided by Springer in its journal International Tax and Public Finance.

Volume (Year): 6 (1999)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 103-117

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Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:6:y:1999:i:1:p:103-117
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  1. Atkinson, M E & Creedy, John, 1996. "Modelling Optimal Retirement Decisions in Australia," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(66), pages 39-59, June.
  2. M. E. Atkinson & John Creedy & D. M. Knox, 1995. "Planning Retirement Income in Australia: Routes through the Maze," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 28(4), pages 15-28.
  3. Powers, Elizabeth T., 1998. "Does means-testing welfare discourage saving? evidence from a change in AFDC policy in the United States," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 33-53, April.
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