Associate Professor Susan St John

PhD, MA (Hons), BSc


My research and teaching interests are focused on public sector and retirement policy issues, including decumulation of savings and annuity issues, tax and poverty issues, and applied macroeconomics. My doctoral research focused on the retirement of middle-income baby-boomers and integrated reforms to managing the risks of longevity. My Masters thesis was on the cost allocation of Accident Compensation New Zealand.

Areas of interest include taxation of saving, pensions, long-term care insurance, levies and experience rating in accident compensation, family law and economics, economics of the welfare state, and income support. I have developed various local, national, and international forums for policy debates in welfare, accident compensation, and retirement incomes.

I am an associate professor in the economics department and the director of the University of Auckland Retirement Policy and Research Centre.  Current projects include an analysis of suitable decumulation products for New Zealand, the family tax credit system, overseas pensions and their treatment in New Zealand, child poverty in New Zealand and family income assistance, income and asset testing for long-term care, the welfare state and targeting, the role of home equity release and, international pension systems, the economic implications of New Zealand's Accident Compensation, and tax reforms especially the taxation of housing.



  • QS0 2010, CNZM, 2019

Areas of expertise

  • Accident compensation in NZ
  • Applied issues of the New Zealand macro economy
  • Issues of retirement income and superannuation
  • Ongoing work on marginal tax rates
  • Support of the ageing population
  • The economics of the family and the relationship of the law to family economics
  • The relationships between national saving and personal saving
  • Welfare and tax reform

Committees/Professional groups/Services

  • Director of the Retirement Policy and Research Centre.
  • Member of the expert advisory group to the Retirement Commissioner.  
  • Economics advisor to Child Poverty Action Group Inc, an interdisciplinary group which advocates for better policies for children
  • Member of the ACC futures coalition

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • St John, S., & Dale, M. C. (2012). Evidence-based evaluation: Working for Families. Policy Quarterly, 8 (1), 39-51. Related URL.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Claire Dale
  • St John, S. (2010). ACC: The Lessons from History. Policy Quarterly, 6 (2), 23-29.
  • St John, S., & Dale, M. C. (2010). New Zealand Family Assistance for poor children: the experience of child-based work incentives. European Journal of Social Security, 12 (3), 216-241.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Claire Dale

Contact details

Primary office location

Level P1, Room P101A
New Zealand

Web links