The Australian Government has announced an independent review of the retirement income system chaired by former Treasury senior official Michael Callaghan.

In a press statement, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the review would look at the three pillars of the existing retirement income system, being the Age Pension, compulsory superannuation and voluntary savings.

It will cover the current state of the system and how it will perform in the future as Australians live longer and the population ages.

This review was recommended by the Productivity Commission in their report Superannuation: Assessing Efficiency and Competitiveness and comes 27 years after the establishment of compulsory superannuation.

The review will be conducted by an independent three person panel. Another two panelists are Carolyn Kay, a member of the Future Fund Board of Guardians, and Dr Deborah Ralston, a Professorial Fellow in Banking and Finance at Monash University.

A consultation paper will be released in November 2019 and the final report provided to Government by June 2020.

Terms of Reference

As recommended by the Productivity Commission in its report Superannuation: Assessing Efficiency and Competitiveness, the Government is commissioning an independent Retirement Income Review.

Australia’s retirement income system is based on three pillars:

  • a means-tested Age Pension
  • compulsory superannuation; and
  • voluntary savings, including home ownership.

It is important that the system allows Australians to achieve adequate retirement incomes, is fiscally sustainable and provides appropriate incentives for self-provision in retirement.

The Review will establish a fact base of the current retirement income system that will improve understanding of its operation and the outcomes it is delivering for Australians.

The Retirement Income Review will identify:

  • how the retirement income system supports Australians in retirement;
  • the role of each pillar in supporting Australians through retirement;
  • distributional impacts across the population and over time; and
  • the impact of current policy settings on public finances.


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