Institute for Governance and Policy Studies

Contact Details

Phone: +64 3326 7697


Senior Associate

Alison O'Connell has an MA in Mathematics from Cambridge University and an MSc in Gerontology from King’s College, London.  She is a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries.  Alison was the founding Director of the Pensions Policy Institute (PPI) in London, and continues as a Governor.  The PPI provides non-political, evidence-based comment and analysis on public policy about pensions and the provision of retirement income in the UK.  Alison has been a contributor to retirement income policy in New Zealand since the early 2000s and to the UK's pension policy reforms since the late 1990s.  Alison has also contributed to financial literacy policy and practice in New Zealand and internationally.  As an actuary, Alison worked in the financial services industry for fifteen years including at McKinsey & Co management consultants. 

Research Interests
Forecasting mortality and longevity trends, and the use of forecasts in policy
Subjective longevity expectations and their impact on retirement planning
The ageing society
International pension policy reforms
Public and private pension policy structures and outcomes
International approaches to promoting financial literacy and financial education
The impact of financial education

O'Connell A. and Dunstan K. (forthcoming) Do Cohort Mortality trends emigrate?  Insights on the UK's golden cohort from a comparison with a British settler country British Actuarial Journal

O'Connell, A. (2009) Financial Literacy in New Zealand Research Paper for the Capital Markets Development Taskforce, Ministry of Economic Development

O'Connell, A., (2009) KiwiSaver: A Model Scheme? Social Policy Journal of New Zealand Issue 36

O’Connell A., (2008) Evaluating the effectiveness of financial education programmes, OECD consultant reports on financial education, OECD/US Treasury International Conference on Financial Education Taking Financial Literacy to the Next Level: Important Challenges and Promising Solutions, Washington D.C., 7-8 May 2008.

O’Connell, A., (2008) Evaluating the effectiveness of financial education Retirement Commission.

O’Connell, A., (2007). How effective is financial education? Policy Quarterly, 3(3), 40-46.