The employment effects of Australia's transition to retirement income streams program

Presented by ANU College of Asia & the Pacific

This presentation examines Australia's Transition to Retirement Income Streams (TRIS) program. TRIS aims to prolong participation for older workers (55 years or over) by offering early access to a worker's retirement income savings (superannuation).

Using a difference-in-differences approach, the study finds small positive labour supply effects which increase after the program's initial years. The size of the effects appears consistent with the program adoption profile which was low initially. For this reason, the results should be viewed as a lower bound on the true effects.

The study finds individuals with higher incomes and men have stronger labour supply responses. At least half of program participants appear to be employing strategies to minimise tax, a behavioural response which seems at odds with the intent of the program.

Andrew Carter is the Director in Tax Policy Research at the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). He has held tax and macroeconomic related roles at the World Bank and the Department of Treasury. Andrew is also a PhD candidate at the Crawford School in Economics. His research is examining responses to Australia's income tax and superannuation systems using administrative data.

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