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This paper investigates individuals’ investment behaviour in their retirement savings surrounding milestone ages. Age is expected to play a key role in influencing investment choices, primarily through the risk of the investment strategy reflected in the asset allocation. Less clear is what particular age this occurs at or whether it is a smooth, incremental adjustment. We investigate whether milestone ages, that is those ending in “0” or “5”, play a role in the propensity to make investment changes. We utilise a large Australia retirement savings fund which provides the history of investment changes of a diverse sample of workers. We do find a clear role for age in the propensity to make investment changes. Pervasive milestone effects are not observed but we do observe some ages suggestive of milestone effects which are otherwise inconsistent with the expected age relationship. We also find a difference between genders surrounding the 50th milestone age.


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This Working Paper was produced by the CSIRO-Monash Superannuation Research Cluster a collaboration between the CSIRO and Monash University, the University of Western Australia, Griffith University and the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom. In addition, the Cluster engages on an ongoing basis with a range of industry supporters, government agencies and industry peak bodies who assist in providing guidance and feedback to researchers, providing data, and in disseminating outcomes. The purpose of the Super Research Cluster is to examine issues pertaining to the future of Australia’s superannuation and retirement systems.