The distribution of superannuation by sector, account type and personal characteristics

George Rothman
Publication type


Conference Paper 95/2

Paper presented at the Colloquium of Superannuation Researchers, University of Melbourne, July 1995.

Results are reported for Australian superannuation funds providing estimates for the distribution of assets, employer and member contribution rates, and fund members all on a highly disaggregated basis by

  • sector (private, public, or self employed);
  • type of superannuation account; and
  • the personal characteristics of the persons holding the accounts in terms of gender, age and (lifetime) income decile.

A new analysis of multiple accounts is presented as a stepping stone to the allocation of aggregate assets, contribution flows and total members to account types.

The aggregate assets and contributions for specific account types are further allocated by gender, age and income decile. This allocation is not straightforward and requires the synthesis of multiple, incomplete and sometimes conflicting data sources with different approaches needed for the private sector, the self employed and the public sector. In particular the public sector results should be regarded as very preliminary. Related processes are used to estimate a mapping of the total numbers of working persons of a given gender age and decile onto their principal accounts.

This work was carried out as parameter research for the RIMGROUP project of the Retirement Income Modelling Task Force. Accordingly the analysis focuses on July 1992, the starting date of this model which builds upon and extends the Task Force's aggregate modelling capability.

Some detailed results are presented in summary form and the distributional and equity implications discussed briefly. Possible policy usefulness is suggested even outside the full RIMGROUP model.

The Retirement Income Modelling Task Force is financed equally by the Departments of Treasury, Finance and Social Security from the reallocation of existing resources.

The views expressed in this paper are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Departments financing RIM or of their Ministers or advisers. The author would be pleased to discuss aspects of this paper and can be contacted at the above address or phone 06-2633947.