The certainty of uncertainty: Superannuation and globalization

Borowski, Allan
December 2009
Health Sociology Review;Dec2009, Vol. 18 Issue 4, p364
Academic Journal
This paper explores a number of the ways in which globalization can accentuate the uncertainties and risks borne by Australians with retirement savings in superannuation funds or who are receiving superannuation benefits. It begins by addressing the impact of globalization on job prospects as a result of off-shoring. It then turns its attention to the impact of globalization on domestic inflation. The third area addressed by this paper is the vulnerability of superannuation funds to the ‘regular’ financial crises of the world financial system. Here, particular attention is given to the way international hedge funds operate in bear markets. Finally, the paper describes the increasing prominence of sovereign wealth funds and explores the implications of their growing role for future superannuation fund earnings. A major conclusion of the paper is that the certainty of the financial uncertainties and risks associated with the occupational superannuation pillar means that Australia's retirement income system needs to be modified in order to limit the exposure of workers' retirement savings and benefits in payment to some of the consequences of a globalized financial system.


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