Financial Literacy and Retirement Planning in Australia

Julie R. Agnew, Hazel Bateman, and Susan Thorp

Abstract — We implement a customized survey to a representative sample of 1,024 Australians to examine the relationship between financial literacy and retirement planning. Overall we find aggregate levels of financial literacy similar to comparable countries with the young, least educated, unemployed and those not in the labor force most at risk. However, unlike the international norm, we find that financial skills increase with age. The role played by the Australia’s mandatory private retirement arrangements, system of defaults, and interactions with the means-tested safety net pension at older ages remain open questions.