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Public Policy Institute

PPI Solutions Forum

Retirement Savings in Australia, Asia and Beyond: What are the Lessons for the US?

The Retirement Security Project and the AARP Public Policy Institute hosted a discussion of what we might learn from retirement savings systems in Australia and Asia.

Australia’s mandatory Superannuation Guarantee which requires its citizens to save at least 9 percent of their income towards retirement.  They also looked at recent changes in many Asian nations, where economic growth has spurred reexamination of pension systems to meet the needs of rapidly evolving societies. 

Our panel of retirement experts considered how reforms in Australia and Asia can shape the American debate and whether this country should adopt key features. The conference explored a range of issues, including:

  • Whether a mandatory retirement savings plan like Australia’s would be more effective than the current US voluntary system with automatic enrollment and automatic escalation. 
  • How Asian nations have restructured their pension systems to deal with legacy costs and their experience with establishing retirement savings plans. 
  • What Americans can learn from the way Australia’s industry funds use both employer and employee representatives to shape investment choices.


  • Nick Sherry, former Australian Minister for Superannuation and Corporate Law
  • Josef Pilger, Executive Director, Asia Pacific Pension Practice Leader, Ernst & Young Sydney See Presentation


  • Steve Utkus, Principal, Vanguard Center for Retirement Research See Presentation
  • David Harris, Managing Director, Tor Financial Consulting, Ltd. See Presentation
  • Benjamin Harris, Senior Research Associate, Urban Institute See Presentation

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