IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iae/iaewps/wp2014n05.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Measuring Adequacy of Retirement Savings

Author

Listed:
  • John Burnett

    (Towers Watson)

  • Kevin Davis

    (Australian Centre for Financial Studies; Department of Finance, Monash University; and Department of Finance, The University of Melbourne)

  • Carsten Murawski

    (Department of Finance, The University of Melbourne)

  • Roger Wilkins

    () (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)

  • Nicholas Wilkinson

    (Towers Watson)

Abstract

This article introduces four metrics quantifying the adequacy of retirement savings taking into account all major sources of retirement income. The metrics are applied to a representative sample of the Australian population aged 40 and above. Employers in Australia currently make compulsory contributions of 9.25 per cent of wages and salaries to tax-advantaged defined-contribution employee retirement savings accounts. Our analysis reveals that compulsory retirement savings, even when supplemented by the means-tested government pension and private wealth accumulation, are not in general sufficient to fund a comfortable lifestyle during retirement. We further find that omitting one or more ‘pillars’ of saving will significantly bias estimates of retirement savings adequacy. Our analysis also points to several shortcomings of the widely-used income replacement ratio as an indicator of savings adequacy.

Suggested Citation

  • John Burnett & Kevin Davis & Carsten Murawski & Roger Wilkins & Nicholas Wilkinson, 2014. "Measuring Adequacy of Retirement Savings," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2014n05, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  • Handle: RePEc:iae:iaewps:wp2014n05
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://melbourneinstitute.unimelb.edu.au/downloads/working_paper_series/wp2014n05.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Choi, James J. & Laibson, David & Madrian, Brigitte C., 2004. "Plan Design and 401(K) Savings Outcomes," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 57(2), pages 275-298, June.
    2. John P. Haisken-DeNew & Markus H. Hahn, 2010. "PanelWhiz: Efficient Data Extraction of Complex Panel Data Sets - An Example Using the German SOEP," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 130(4), pages 643-654.
    3. Lusardi, Annamaria & Mitchell, Olivia S., 2007. "Baby Boomer retirement security: The roles of planning, financial literacy, and housing wealth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 205-224, January.
    4. Gabriel D. Carroll & James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian & Andrew Metrick, 2009. "Optimal Defaults and Active Decisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1639-1674.
    5. B. Douglas Bernheim & Antonio Rangel, 2005. "Behavioral Public Economics: Welfare and Policy Analysis with Non-Standard Decision-Makers," NBER Working Papers 11518, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. John Beshears & James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian, 2009. "The Importance of Default Options for Retirement Saving Outcomes: Evidence from the United States," NBER Chapters,in: Social Security Policy in a Changing Environment, pages 167-195 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. B. Douglas Bernheim & Jonathan Skinner & Steven Weinberg, 2001. "What Accounts for the Variation in Retirement Wealth among U.S. Households?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 832-857, September.
    8. Basu, Anup K. & Drew, Michael E., 2010. "The appropriateness of default investment options in defined contribution plans: Australian evidence," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 290-305, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Retirement savings; financial literacy; life-cycle consumption and savings; household finance;

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • P46 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Consumer Economics; Health; Education and Training; Welfare, Income, Wealth, and Poverty

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iae:iaewps:wp2014n05. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sheri Carnegie). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/mimelau.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.