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Development of Treasury's New Model of Australian Retirement Incomes and Assets

Treasury Working Paper 2017-021

Release date: 17 March 2017

Bruce Bastian, Matthew Smith, Belinda Cheong, Virginia Pineda, Martin Stevenson, Owen Hutchison, Madeleine Nargar and Susie Kluth2

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Treasury currently has a project underway to significantly enhance its capability to produce detailed modelling of retirement incomes in Australia. The Model of Australian Retirement Incomes and Assets (MARIA) is a long-term dynamic microsimulation model of Australia’s retirement income system. When fully operational, MARIA will provide whole-of-population projections beyond the medium term of: Age Pension expenditure and take-up; superannuation funds under management; and retirement income adequacy. It will also enable detailed distributional analysis of both current and hypothetical policy settings. This paper provides high-level details of the model and outlines a number of challenges and research questions for further consideration by Treasury and interested researchers.

  1. The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of The Australian Treasury or the Australian Government. We thank Phil Gallagher, Matt Brine, Robert Ewing, Gareth Wett, Mark Bott and William Young for their valuable feedback on an early draft of this paper.
  2. Tax Analysis Division, Revenue Group, The Treasury, Langton Crescent, Parkes ACT 2600, Australia. Correspondence: department@treasury.gov.au.

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