Gerry Croy

Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - ECU Access Only


Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Faculty of Business and Law

First Supervisor

Associate Professor Craig Speelman

Second Supervisor

Dr Paul Gerrans


It is generally accepted that the rate at which any individuals presently save falls substantively short of that which will enable them to achieve their lifestyle aspirations in retirement. This, combined with the social-support funding demands of an ageing population makes the subject of retirement savings one of crucial importance to Australia and to most countries worldwide. An obvious approach to improving the quality of life in retirement and to alleviating the forecast social-support burden is to induce people to save in a more effective manner. This point is not lost on the Australian government, which, in recent times has introduced several initiatives that promote improved retirement savings. However, it is generally regarded that a good deal more needs to be done to motivate people to save more and to invest more efficiently for their retirement needs. Yet, much past research regarding the psychological determinants of individual’s retirement savings choices can be characterised as disparate in the sense that it fails to be couched within any integrative theoretical framework. One outcome of this situation is a lack of opportunity to assess the relative importance of various determinants of retirement savings behaviour.

Using the framework of the theory of planned behaviour, a pre-eminent social-psychological model for predicting human behaviour, the present research explored an extended range of psychological determinants in order to explain retirement savings behaviours within an Australian context and to test the sufficiency of the standard theoretical model for this purpose. The study chose two important retirement savings behaviours, namely volitional superannuation contribution behaviour and superannuation investment strategy-change behaviour to investigate a number of behavioural determinants. The intent of the research was to identify the relative importance of key behavioural determinants and to relate these to intervention possibilities applied to the individual, the workplace and the general public…