Workplace pension reform: lessons from pension reform in Australia and New Zealand

Collard, Sharon (2013). Workplace pension reform: lessons from pension reform in Australia and New Zealand. Social Policy and Society, 12(1) pp. 123–134.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S1474746412000474

URL: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstra...

Abstract

The UK Government's workplace pension reforms introduce major changes to the way in which employees save for retirement. Eligible employees will be automatically enrolled into a workplace-based pension scheme and, for the first time in the UK, employers will be legally required to contribute to employees’ pensions. This article critically examines the evidence from New Zealand and Australia, two countries that have undergone pension reforms similar in some ways to the UK reforms. We assess what we can learn from their experiences in two areas: firstly, how pension schemes are structured and, secondly, the outcomes for individuals. The evidence highlights the potential of automatic enrolment to overcome people's disinterest in pension saving. At the same time, relatively few UK employees are likely to choose where their pension savings are invested. As a result, default funds will play an important role in determining the pension outcomes for individuals.

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