Projecting the distributions of superannuation flows and assets

Dr George Rothman and David Tellis
Publication type


Conference Paper 08/1

Paper presented to the 16th Colloquium of Superannuation Researchers, University of New South Wales
3 July 2008 - 4 July 2008

The views in this Paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the RIMA Unit, the Treasury or the Government.

This paper has benefited from comments and suggestions provided by Julie Tinnion, Simon Lambert, Phil Gallagher, Trevor Thomas, Nigel Murray, Chris Timotheou, Olga Evans and Kane Travers. The contribution is also acknowledged of Simon Lambert of the RIMA Unit who carried out the detailed update of RIMGROUP.

A comprehensive analysis is presented of the distribution of contributions by gender, income and age. Concessional (employer) and non-concessional (member) contributions are considered, together with the Government Co-Contribution. A number of recent data sources are used and compared, including data derived from member contribution statements received by the Australian Taxation Office.

These distributions have been used to update Treasury’s RIMGROUP model, together with assumptions on behavioural changes related to the introduction of Better Super from 1 July 2007. RIMGROUP is a comprehensive cohort projection model of the Australian population which starts with population and labour force models, tracks the accumulation of superannuation in a specified set of account types, estimates non-superannuation savings, and calculates tax liabilities, social security payments including pensions and the generation of other retirement incomes.

RIMGROUP projections of superannuation flows and aggregates up to 2040-41 are presented, including as proportions of projected GDP. Some distributions of projected superannuation assets are also presented. Key results are discussed including the higher superannuation wealth of successive cohorts of retirees and the improving relativity between the superannuation accumulations of women and men.