Robert Merton on retirement incomes and Jane Austen

Insights / March 22, 2019

 

Nobel laureate Robert Merton is on a global crusade. At the moment, he’s travelling in Asia and Australia for the best part of a month, and after returning briefly to the United States, he’ll make his fifth trip for the year to Beijing. Around the world, governments and businesses want to talk about pensions and retirement income.

 

In Australia, he’s arguing for a change in our superannuation thinking and culture. Although he recently turned 70 and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Economic Sciences in 1997, he still has boundless enthusiasm to make his case forcefully.

 

“Retirement is a global challenge, but it’s an engineering problem not a science problem. It’s not like coal fusion, where we don’t know whether the science can solve our energy needs.

 

The good news is it’s addressable. The retirement challenge is due to demographics, the ageing of the population, plus people are living longer. That’s not a problem, it’s a good thing. It’s wonderful, but you have to do something about it.”

 

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