Attitudes towards and experiences of retirement and social security income during the COVID-recession and initial recovery

Authors: Nicholas Biddle, Robert Breunig and Dinith Marasinghe

In January 2021, the Social Research Centre on behalf of the ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods undertook a survey of 3,459 Australians through the Life in AustraliaTM panel. The aim of this paper is to explore the attitudes towards, and experiences of, retirement income at the start of 2021 and provide comparisons with a 2015 survey. Our analysis suggests that the general public would prefer a higher age pension than is currently legislated. There is support for an even greater increase in the JobSeeker payment that is received by those of non-retirement age who are actively seeking work. There is less support for changes to the income test for the age pension and most Australians appear to be supportive of the currently legislated increase in the superannuation guarantee. We find that there are three groups within the population who have higher than average perceived longevity risk – females, those with low levels of education, and those who live outside of a capital city.

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