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Keywords:

  • H21;
  • H55

Studying and advising about mandatory pension systems while also researching optimal tax theory, with particular attention to the taxation of capital income, brought attention to differences in both analyses and policies, while these two subjects intersect in the common practice of the tax-favouring of retirement savings. I have long been concerned about the implicit methodology used by the profession in going from theoretical analyses to policy advice. In this essay, I touch on all four of these topics – pensions, capital income taxes, tax-favoured retirement savings and methodology. I give particular attention to the pension systems in Australia and New Zealand.