6361.0 - Employment Arrangements, Retirement and Superannuation, Australia, Apr to Jul 2007 (Re-issue)  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 02/06/2009  Reissue
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Account balance

This is the amount of superannuation a person has accrued in an accumulation fund account. The total account balance is the sum of all balances for up to three accounts per person. Balances are available only for accounts in the accumulation phase.

Accumulation account

Accumulation accounts are superannuation accounts held with accumulation funds. See also Defined benefit fund and Hybrid fund.

Accumulation fund

Accumulation funds are superannuation funds where all members have defined contributions (accumulated benefits). These funds are also sometimes called allocated funds. The assets of the fund are invested and any earnings (or losses) are credited (debited) to the member's account less any costs or taxes. The value of a retirement benefit from accumulation funds depends on how much money is contributed to the fund and how much the fund earns from investing the money after deducting costs and taxes. Members bear the full effect of fluctuation in investment performance. In SEARS 2007, self-managed funds and small APRA funds were categorised as accumulation accounts. See also Defined benefit fund and Hybrid fund.

Accumulation phase

A person accumulates superannuation balances over a period of time in order to support their future retirement. Accounts accumulate from a mix of personal and employer contributions, and investment earnings. Accounts are considered to accumulate even if contributions are not currently being made to them, or if there are negative investment returns.

For some people, it is possible to accumulate benefits, as well as to draw on superannuation, at the same point in time.

Benefit structure of a superannuation fund

The way in which a member's superannuation benefit is determined. Superannuation benefits may be 'accumulated benefits', 'defined benefits', or a combination of both. For more information about the different types of benefits see Accumulation fund, Defined benefit fund and Hybrid fund.


For the purposes of this survey care is provided by any person in Australia aged 15 years or over who:

  • had their own child(ren) aged under 15 years living with them;

or who:
  • looked after their own child(ren) aged under 15 years who do not usually live with them;
  • looked after a child other than their own child aged under 15 years of age;
  • helped or supported a frail aged person in day-to-day activities;
  • helped or supported any person aged 15 years or over with a short or long term sickness, injury or condition with day-to-day activities

where this care was not done as part of paid or voluntary work.

Separate estimates are available for care given to person living in the same household as the carer and care given to people who do not live in the same household as the carer, but the publication shows all care provided.

It is possible for a carer to provide care to more than one person. It is also possible for more than one person in a household to provide care to the same person.

Compensated extra hours worked

Refers to extra hours worked that were not paid but were compensated in some other way such as time off in lieu of extra hours worked, non-cash benefits provided as part of salary package/working agreement or other non-cash benefit. While payment for extra hours worked is one type of compensation, for the purpose of analysis details about paid extra hours worked are shown separately from extra hours otherwise compensated. Details of unpaid extra hours are also available.

Defined benefit fund

A superannuation fund in which the retirement benefit is determined by fund rules usually based on a formula that takes into account years of service with the employer or years of membership with the fund, and average salary level over the last few years prior to retirement. The defined benefits do not depend on the investment performance of the fund. See also Accumulation fund and Hybrid fund.

Dependent children

All persons aged under 15 years; and dependent students as defined.

Dependent students

A child who is 15-24 years of age, who is attending full-time education, and who has no partner or child of his or her own usually resident in the same household.

Drawing on superannuation

A person is considered to draw on their superannuation if they receive a superannuation pension or annuity, or if they have received a superannuation lump sum within the past 4 years. A person can draw on their superannuation usually only after reaching the preservation age for the account or on attaining age 65.

For some people, it is possible to draw on superannuation, as well as to accumulate benefits, at the same point in time.

Employed full-time

Employed persons who usually work 35 hours or more a week (in all jobs) and others who, although usually working less than 35 hours a week, worked 35 hours or more during the reference week.

Employed part-time

Employed people who usually work less than 35 hours a week (in all jobs) and who either did so during the reference week, or were not at work during the reference week.

Employed persons

Persons aged 15 years and over who, during the week before the interview:
  • worked for one hour or more for pay, profit, commission or payment in kind in a job or business, or on a farm (including employees, employers and own account workers); or
  • worked for one hour or more without pay in a family business or on a farm (i.e. contributing family workers); or
  • were employees who had a job but were not at work and were:
      • away from work for less than four weeks up to the end of the reference week; or
      • away from work for more than 4 weeks up to the end of the reference week and received pay for some or all of the four week period to the end of the reference week; or
      • away from work as a standard work or shift arrangement; or
      • on strike or locked out; or
      • on workers’ compensation and expected to be returning to their job; or
  • were employers or own account workers who had a business or farm, but were not at work.


A person who works for a public or private employer and receives remuneration in wages, salary, a retainer fee from their employer while working on a commission basis, tips, piece rates, or payment in kind, or a person who operates their own incorporated enterprise with or without hiring employees. The employment type classification separates owner managers of incorporated businesses from other employees.

Employees with paid leave entitlements

Employees excluding owner managers of incorporated enterprises (OMIEs) who were entitled to either paid sick leave or paid holiday leave (or both). Available in SEARS 2007 in relation to main job, second job, third job and fourth job.

Employees without paid leave entitlements

Employees (excluding OMIEs) who were not entitled to paid holiday leave or paid sick leave, or did not know whether they were entitled to paid holiday leave or paid sick leave. Available in SEARS 2007 in relation to main job, second job, third job and fourth job.

Employer contributions

The amount contributed (pre-tax) to a person's superannuation fund by their employer or business. The Superannuation Guarantee scheme, introduced in 1992, requires employers to contribute a minimum amount to superannuation for most of their employees (there are some exemptions). In 2007 employers were required to contribute an amount equal to 9% of an employee's wages or salary into superannuation.

While salary sacrifice is technically an employer contribution, the amount of salary sacrifice is shown separately to other employer contributions. (See Salary sacrifice to superannuation for more information).

Employment agency or labour hire firm

An organisation which is engaged in personnel search, selection and placement of employees for an employing organisation or person, and/or is engaged in supply of their own employees to other employers, usually on a short-term basis. Information is gathered about whether an employed person obtained their job through an employment agency/labour hire firm. Further questions are asked to establish whether or not the relationship with the labour hire company is ongoing: whether they are still paid by the employment agency/labour hire firm, and whether they are still registered with the labour hire firm.

Employment type

Classification of employed persons according to the following groups:
  • employees (excluding OMIEs) with paid leave entitlements
  • employees (excluding OMIEs) without paid leave entitlements
  • owner managers of incorporated enterprises
  • owner managers of unincorporated enterprises
  • contributing family workers

SEARS 2007 collected only limited information about contributing family workers and they have been excluded from most tables in the publication.

Equivalised gross household income

Gross household income adjusted using an equivalence scale. For a lone person household it is equal to gross household income. For a household comprising more than one person, it is an indicator of the gross household income that would need to be received by a lone person household to enjoy the same level of economic well-being as the household in question. For more information about deriving equivalised income see User Guide: Employment Arrangements, Retirement and Superannuation, Australia, April to July 2007 (cat. no. 6361.0.55.002).

Extra hours or overtime

Work undertaken which is outside, or in addition to, ordinary working hours of the respondent in their main job, whether paid or unpaid.

Fixed-term contract

Employees (excluding OMIEs ) with a contract of employment which specifies that the employment will be terminated on a particular date/event and who consider themselves to be working on a fixed-term contract.

Formal child care

Regulated care away from the child's home. This includes before and/or after school care, long day care, family day care, preschool and kindergarten centres, and occasional care.

Government co-contribution

The government co-contribution was introduced from 1 July 2003. This is an additional super contribution paid by the Australian Government to low income earners who make after-tax contributions.

SEARS 2007 did not collect the amount of government co-contribution but it did ask people making personal contributions to superannuation if they made those contributions in order to receive the government co-contribution.

Hours actually worked

The number of hours actually worked during the reference week, not necessarily paid for.

Hours usually worked

The number of hours usually worked per week by an employed person.

Hybrid fund

A fund in which benefit entitlements are based on a combination of accumulated benefits and defined benefits. See also Accumulation fund and Defined benefit fund.


Any accruing cash receipts that are of a regular and recurring nature including money received from:
  • wages and salaries (from an employer or own incorporated enterprise), including income provided as part of a salary sacrifice arrangement;
  • profit/loss from own unincorporated business (including partnerships);
  • investment income (interest, rent, dividends);
  • pensions and allowances;
  • superannuation payments;
  • other private cash transfers (eg. regular workers' compensation, child support and other transfers from other households).

Gross income is the sum of income from all these sources before income tax or the Medicare levy are deducted.


An industry is a group of businesses or organisations that undertake similar economic activities to produce goods and services. In this publication industry is classified according to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 2006 (cat. no. 1292.0). Information is also available on request for industry classified by the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 2003 (cat. no. 1292.0).

Informal child care

Non-regulated care either in the child's home or elsewhere. Care may be charged for or provided free of charge. It includes care provided by (step) brothers or sisters, grandparents, other relatives or other (unrelated) people such as friends, neighbours, nannies or babysitters.

Intends to retire from the labour force

Those people who indicated that they intend to give up all labour force activity, that is working or looking for work.

Labour force status

A classification of the civilian population aged 15 years and over into employed, unemployed or not in the labour force, as defined. The definitions conform closely to the international standard definitions adopted by the International Conferences of Labour Statisticians.

Landlord type

For renters the type of entity to whom rent is paid or with whom the tenure contract or arrangement is made.

Last job

Refers to last job held by an unemployed person or a person not in the labour force. In this survey details about the last job are collected only for persons aged 45 years or over and no details were collected if that job was held 20 or more years ago.

Last full-time job

Refers to last full-time job held by a person currently employed part-time as well as the last full-time job of an unemployed person or a person not in the labour force. In this survey, details about the last full-time job are collected only for persons aged 45 years or over, and no details about the last full-time job were collected if that job was last held 20 or more years ago.

Long-term health condition or disability

If a person has provided care to someone for 6 months or more, or expects to care for someone for at least 6 months, then they are identified as caring for someone with a long-term health condition or disability.

Main job

The job in which most hours are usually worked, excluding voluntary jobs. SEARS 2007 collected detailed information for main job and second job, and a reduced set of information for the third job and fourth job, where applicable. Information about the main job, or all jobs collectively is presented in the publication.


The median is the middle observation in a set of observations ranked from largest to smallest, that is, the observation for which there are as many observations with higher values as there are observations with lower values.


The mean of a numeric variable is calculated by summing the values of all observations in a data set and then dividing by the number of observations in the set. It is often referred to as the average.

Non-dependent children

All persons aged 15 years or over (except those aged 15-24 years who are full-time students) who have a parent in the household and do not have a partner or child of their own in the household.

Non-income source

Sources of funding for individuals which do not create a periodical inflow of revenue/cash direct to the individual. Includes spouse/partner income, selling assets and living off savings.

Not in the labour force

Persons not classified as employed or unemployed, as defined.


An occupation is a collection of jobs that are sufficiently similar in their title and tasks, skill level and skill specialisation which are grouped together for the purposes of classification. In this publication occupation is classified according to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO), 2006 (cat. no. 1220.0). Occupation classified according to the Australian Standard Classification of Occupation (ASCO) 1997 (cat. no. 1220.0) is also available on request.

On call/stand-by

An arrangement for an employee to be available, while not at work, to be contacted to resume work. An allowance may be paid for being on call.


See Extra hours

Owner managers

A collective term referring to both owner managers of incorporated enterprises and owner managers of unincorporated enterprises.

Owner managers of incorporated enterprises

Persons who work in their own incorporated enterprise, that is, a business entity which is registered as a separate legal entity to its members or owners (also known as a limited liability company). These people are classified as employees under 'status in employment'.

Owner managers of unincorporated enterprises

Persons who operate their own unincorporated enterprise, that is, a business entity in which the owner and the business are legally inseparable, so that the owner is liable for any business debts that are incurred. This includes those engaged independently in a trade or profession.

Personal contributions

Post-tax contributions made by a person to their own superannuation account.

Post-tax contributions

Contributions made to a superannuation account from own sources, such as post-tax income, savings, business profits, or from selling an asset. These contributions comprise personal contributions and contributions made by a persons spouse/partner into their superannuation account, as defined.

Preference for the number of hours worked

Whether an employed person would prefer to work more hours, fewer hours, or the same number of hours as they currently work while taking into consideration the effect this would have on their current pay.

Pre-tax contributions

Contributions made to a superannuation account from pre-tax income. These contributions comprise employer/business contributions and salary sacrificed contributions to superannuation, as defined.

Previous retirement

Where persons have in the past given up all employment, with no intention to returning to work at the time, but who have now returned to either part-time or full-time work.

Principal source of income

The source of income from which the most positive income is received. If total income is nil or negative the principal source of income is nil or negative. If more than one source of income was not stated/not known then principal source of income is unable to be determined. As there are several possible sources, the principal source may account for less than 50% of total income.

Provided care

Whether a person provided care (see 'Care') in the reference week.

Reference week

The week preceding the week in which the interview was conducted.

Relationship in household

The relationship of each person in a family to the family reference person, or where a person is not part of a family, that person's relationship to the household reference person.

Retired from labour force

People who had previously worked for two weeks or more, were not in the labour force and who did not intend to look for, or take up, paid work in the future.

Salary sacrifice to superannuation

Salary sacrifice to superannuation is an arrangement between an employer and an employee which involves the employee giving up a part of their pre-tax salary in exchange for having the employer provide an alternative tax effective benefit, such as superannuation contributions.

Sector of employment

Used to classify a respondent's employer as a public or private enterprise. The public sector includes all government entities including local, state and federal government departments, non-market non-profit institutions that are controlled and mainly financed by government, and corporations and quasi-corporations that are controlled by government.


Those who expect to be self-funding in retirement include those whose main expected source of income on retirement is profit or loss from own unincorporated business, profit or loss from a rental property, dividends or interest, or superannuation or annuity. These people are asked to estimate how long they will be self-funding after they give up all paid work.

Self-identified casuals

Employees (excluding OMIEs) who considered their job to be casual. In SEARS 2007, 'employees without leave entitlements' is the primary measure of casual employment, however self-identification of casual status and 'whether a casual loading is paid' are also available as supplementary indicators of casual employment.

Social marital status

The relationship status of an individual with reference to another person who is usually resident in the household. A marriage exists when two people live together as husband and wife, or partners, regardless of whether the marriage is formalised through registration. Individuals are, therefore, regarded as married if they are in a de facto marriage, or if they are living with the person to whom they are registered as married.

Spouse contributions

Contributions paid into a person's superannuation account by their husband, wife or de facto spouse from post-tax income.


A long-term savings arrangement which operates primarily with a superannuation fund in order to support future retirement.

Superannuation balance

The total amount of superannuation a person has accrued in their superannuation funds which are in the accumulation phase. In SEARS 2007, the total superannuation balance was obtained by adding the total account balance of accumulation account/s and total withdrawal or resignation benefit of defined benefit account/s or hybrid account/s for three main superannuation accounts.

Superannuation contributions

Superannuation contributions are payments made by an employer or an individual in the superannuation fund. For more details see Employer contributions, Salary sacrifice to superannuation, Personal contributions and Spouse contributions.

Superannuation coverage

In this publication, a person is considered to have superannuation coverage if:
  • they have superannuation accounts in the accumulation phase;
  • they have superannuation accounts from which they are currently drawing benefits, such as receiving a pension or annuity; or
  • they have received a superannuation lump sum within the past 4 years.

Superannuation lump sum payment

A superannuation benefit taken fully or partly as a single payment, rather than in the form of pension or annuity on retirement. It does not include any annual leave payments, sick leave or other payments due to termination of employment.

SEARS 2007 collected detailed information on lump sum payments received during the previous 4 years and whether any lump sum payments had been previously received.

Superannuation pension or annuity

A pension or annuity payable from a superannuation account or retirement saving account (RSA) and eligible for tax concessions. The payment must be made at least annually and must be within limits set by legislation.


Persons aged 15 years and over who were not employed during the reference week, and
  • had actively looked for full-time or part-time work at any time in the four weeks up to the end of the reference week and were available to work in the reference week; or
  • were waiting to start a new job within four weeks from the end of the reference week and could have started in the reference week if the job had been available then.

Withdrawal/resignation benefit

A proxy measure of the present value of the benefit accrued to members of defined benefit and hybrid funds. Total withdrawal/resignation benefits include the balances of up to three accounts. In many cases withdrawal or resignation benefit values will understate a person's full benefit entitlement because the withdrawal or resignation benefit will exclude provisions for superannuation liabilities that are not contributed to the individual's accounts.

Working arrangements to care

Working arrangements that were used so that the respondent could care for someone in the week prior to the survey. Arrangements include: paid leave, unpaid leave, flexible working hours, rostered days off, working from home, informal arrangements with employer or taking a child in to work. Further information was collected to determine whether respondents would like to have used more of any working arrangement that they had accessed, or any other arrangement to help with their caring responsibilities. Also, those who had not used any working arrangement, were asked whether they wanted to but couldn't. People who cared for someone in the reference week and who had not used any working arrangements to help them manage this responsibility were asked whether they would like to have accessed any arrangement but could not, and why they did not access any arrangement.

In SEARS 2007 inadequate information about working arrangements used to care was collected for a small proportion of households (<1%). These are shown in a 'not determined' category for the applicable data items.

Working on a contract basis

Owner managers of incorporated and unincorporated enterprises who worked on a contract, that is, who were engaged to provide a particular service or undertake a particular task at an agreed price or rate, and generally for a specified period.