Age Pensioner Decumulation: Responses to Incentives, Uncertainty and Family Need
Posted: 26 Oct 2017
Date Written: May 3, 2017
Effective design and regulation of retirement benefits require accurate understanding of how the elderly decumulate. We analyse the income, assets and decumulation patterns of a longitudinal panel of 10,000 Australian age pensioners. On average, age pensioners preserve financial and residential wealth and leave substantial bequests. There is, however, considerable heterogeneity in decumulation patterns. Younger households generally run down financial wealth, while older households maintain their assets or save. Means-testing accelerates decumulation, with average drawdown rates 3% higher for pensioners subject to the income test relative to full pensioners and 9% higher for those subject to the asset test relative to full pensioners. Loss of a partner is linked to large falls in assets. The theoretical, empirical, and practical implications of these findings are discussed.
Keywords: Life-cycle saving, portfolio choice, public pension, retirement wealth
JEL Classification: D91, E21, G11
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation