The ATO longitudinal information files (ALife): A new resource for retirement policy research

Author name: 
Polidano, C
Carter, A
Chan, M
Chigavazira, A
To, H
Holland, J
Nguyen, S
Vu, H
Wilkins, R

The Australian Taxation Office release of annual longitudinally linked individual tax and superannuation records, known as the ATO Longitudinal Information Files (ALife), opens-up opportunities for new research. In this study, we provide an overview of ALife, focusing on its use for retirement income research. To this end, we provide the first longitudinal estimates of superannuation outcomes for one-year birth cohorts. Results show marked increase in disparity of super balances in the lead-up to retirement as those in the top quartile ramp-up their contributions, possibly to take advantage of the favourable tax treatment of superannuation income in retirement years.

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