Population ageing issues in Australia and Asia Pacific

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Director's Message

Australia's Age Pension has been through various eras of indexation and discretionary change. For a couple of decades now, it has  been indexed to full time male earnings (now 27.8% for a single person, from 25% in 2009.)
This is enough to keep most retirees out of poverty, at least those who own their own home. While not ideal as an index, wages or earnings do anchor the value of the pension to community standards, removing some of the politics that inevitably enter into periodic discretionary adjustments. More uncertainty is the last thing a retiree needs, and the community anchor embodied in wage indexation provides some certainty about retirement incomes to those who most need it. So I'm delighted that, in the Treasurer's Budget last month, wage indexation was once more embraced.Read on
CEPAR Research: projects, people, presentations and publications
CEPAR People
Senior Research Fellow Dr Fedor Iskhakov has spent much of 2015 advancing projects involving international collaboration.

At the start of the year he revisited the University of Copenhagen to work on an endogenous gridpoint method (EGM) paper and went on to give  presentations on his findings at the Zurich Center for Computational Financial Economics, and Higher School of Economics, Moscow. He met with Chief Investigator Mike Keane at Nuffield College, Oxford University for work on their project about human capital accumulation and labour supply over the life cycle and retirement. This project has built a comprehensive life-cycle model comprising labour supply decisions, consumption savings choices and human capital accumulation. Human capital investment accrues along with working, through experience gained on the job and they investigate how this affects optimal behaviour under different institutional settings.

One of our UK Partner Investigators, Professor Carol Jagger, AXA Chairholder on Longevity and Healthy Active Life, Newcastle University Institute for Ageing, describes how health and disease change with age, and the consequences this has for planning health and care services. more
Director John Piggott joined fellow UNSW academics (pictured above) for a roundtable moderated by the UNSW Business School to analyse what Associate Dean James Morley described as 'the Dr Strangelove Budget, or how Joe Hockey had to stop worrying and learn to love the deficit'. A podcast is available

John Piggott visited Zhejiang University for a conference on Interdisciplinary Research on Long-term Care and Healthy Aging, where he delivered the keynote address Projecting the fiscal impact of population ageing.

Further budget commentary was provided to The Conversation by Chief Investigator Hal Kendig on pension policy reform, and Senior Research Fellow Rafal Chomik on means testing of age pensions.

Both Director John Piggott and Research Fellow George Kudrna feature in the current issue of UNSW Business School's on-line journal BusinessThink.

George discusses the fiscal challenges caused by demographic shift, pointing to the findings of two recent working papers co-authored with CEPAR's Alan Woodland and Chung Tran: one on behavioural responses to ageing and the other on the implications of different policy responses.

When ABC's FactCheck examined who benefits the most from Australia's current superannuation tax concession system, George's work showed the level of government support for high income earners' retirement.

Five new working papers appear on the CEPAR website this month:

'Under-consumption' and retention of assets by Australian pensioners is considered by Shang Wu, Anthony Asher, Ramona Meyricke and Susan Thorp.

Ching Choi and Peng Yu look at recent increases of older Australians - male and female - in the work force.

Two papers by Research Fellow Vasant Hirani et al report on findings from The Concord Health and Ageing in Men (CHAMP) Project.

Modelling mortality development on a multi-cohort basis is examined by Yajing Xu, Michael Sherris and Jonathan Ziveyi.
 23rd Super Colloquium - speakers and program  
A plenary roundtable on the FSI's recommendations for a comprehensive income product for retirement will open the 2015 Colloquium of Superannuation Researchers, hosted by the UNSW School of Risk & Actuarial Studies and CEPAR.  Further details of speakers, subjects and sessions are on the CEPAR website.   For more information and details of registration
2015 APRU Ageing in the Asia Pacific Research Symposium
UNSW Australia and CEPAR will host the APRU Research Symposium in Sydney from  27 - 30 September 2015. This will provide a platform for discussion, sharing ideas and formulating answers to one of the major social challenges in our region in the 21st century.  Call for papers now open. More

2015 Diary
The Summer School On Longitudinal and Life Course Research
Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories, University of Bamberg
31 August - 4 September 2015 more

CESifo Conference
Pension Taxation, Population Ageing, and Globalisation
3 - 4 September 2015 more

ERA 2015 Conference
The theme is 'Bringing Research to life'
7 - 8 December 2015





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