Net Assets Available at Age of Death in Australia: An Extension of the National Transfer Accounts Methodology
AuthorTemple, JB; McDonald, PF; Rice, JM
Source TitlePopulation Review
PublisherSociological Demography Press
AffiliationMelbourne School of Population and Global Health
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsTemple, J. B., McDonald, P. F. & Rice, J. M. (2017). Net Assets Available at Age of Death in Australia: An Extension of the National Transfer Accounts Methodology. Population Review, 56 (2), pp.78-101. https://doi.org/10.1353/prv.2017.0008.
Access StatusOpen Access
Population ageing through much of the developed world presents the opportunity for a massive transfer of wealth across generations. One important and understudied intergenerational transfer in Australia occurs at or near death through inheritance or inter vivo transfers. In Australia, the number of deaths is projected to increase by 13% in just 10 years time, and by 95% mid century. With this significant change on the horizon, little academic interest has focused on the value of assets at age of death in Australia. In this report, we utilise the National Transfer Account (NTA) methodology to examine the per capita and aggregate (i.e., economy wide) value of net assets available at age of death in Australia for the years, 2003-04 and 2009-10. We take a substantial step in the development of a wealth transfer account within the National Transfer Account methodology by providing a procedure to estimate economy wide levels of assets and liabilities. We show that the assets available at age of death in Australia are very significant, amounting for between 60 and 70 billion dollars in 2003-04 and 2009-10. The majority of the asset value was tied up in property, with about three quarters of total average assets held in property by those dying at ages 65 and over. Using simulations, we also illustrate, that relative to the past, assets are now transferred much later in life because of the extended delay of death. We conclude with a discussion about government policies targeted at elder abuse and policies which constrain desired familial transfers.
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