Policy & Research Archive

2011 Research


In the 2010 Federal Budget, the Government proposed a gradual increase in the Superannuation Guarantee from nine to 12 per cent. This paper, commissioned by AIST and produced by the Australian Centre for Financial Studies (ACFS) explores the costs and benefits of the proposed increase, and both measures retirement income adequacy and calculates the replacement ratio, using a number of simulations.

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AIST commissioned Trucost to analyse carbon risks and management of climate change issues in the Australian equity portfolios of superannuation funds. The research aims to answer three questions:

  • How exposed are Australian superannuation fund assets to carbon costs under proposed regulations to limit carbon emissions?
  • How significant is the variation in exposure to carbon costs (identified by carbon footprints) among Australian equity portfolios?
  • How can investment professionals measure and manage carbon risks and opportunities in equity investments?

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Asset Owners Climate Change Initiative

In 2008, AIST partnered with the Climate Institute to establish the Asset Owners Climate Change Initiative, involving surveys of both superannuation funds and asset consultants.

The third annual fund survey results reveal the climate change capabilities of Australia's largest superannuation funds, including their abilities to manage risk and realise opportunities for growth.

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AIST - Russell Investments super engagement index

AIST is encouraging the debate on the overall structure and level of fees paid to fund managers, and has undertaken research into questions raised but not fully answered by the Cooper Report.

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Super-poor but surviving: experiences of Australian women in retirement

Many studies have explored the issue of adequate retirement incomes, but few have explored in detail the actual experiences of people in retirement, particularly women, and how their incomes and other lifestyle factors have affected their lifestyles.

This study aims to do just that. AIST has sought to build on current research around the gender gap in retirement incomes, particularly in terms of superannuation coverage, and to explore more ways in which policies and products can better cater to women's needs.

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The Federal Government's decision in December 2010 to allow super funds to use Tax File Numbers (TFN's) as the primary superannuation account identifier is a deceptively simple reform that brings real benefits to superannuation members, and will change - for the better - the way the superannuation system operates.

This paper discusses the use of TFNs as the primary identifier in superannuation and the issues that surround the implementation of this process.

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