The Federal Treasurer, Wayne Swan, has launched the nation's first Longevity Index at the opening of the Australian Institute for Population Ageing Research (AIPAR) at the University of New South Wales.

AIPAR, an initiative of the Australian School of Business, brings together research from across UNSW on population ageing, harnessing expertise from the fields of business, social sciences, engineering, medicine and the built environment.

Mr Swan said: The AIPAR Longevity Index is an important contribution to those seeking to understand the changing costs facing those who wish to fund their retirements. These costs are affected by changing interest rates, inflation and, of course, longevity.

The Index was developed by Professor Michael Sherris and Professor John Evans.

Mr Swan also announced a high-profile advisory group that will assist the Institute to formulate its research agenda.

The members of the AIPAR Leaders Forum are: Marc de Cure (Chair); Professor John Piggott (Director AIPAR); Dr Jennifer Alexander (Royal Australasian College of Physicians); Cameron Clyne (National Australia Bank); Craig Dunn (AMP); Professor Les Field (UNSW); Dr Jeff Harmer (Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs); Dr Ken Henry (Federal Treasury); Mark Johnson (PricewaterhouseCoopers Australia); Matthew Quinn (Stockland); Heather Ridout (Australian Industry Group); George Savvides (Medibank Private); Professor Peter Shergold (Centre for Social Impact) and Glenn Stevens (Reserve Bank of Australia).

There's never been a more pressing need to bring together academia, government and industry to consider the impact of population ageing, Mr Swan said.

AIPAR Director, Professor John Piggott, said: The proportion of Australians aged 65 and over is projected to almost double to a quarter of the population by 2050. Critically, while there are now five Australians of working age to support every person aged 65 and over - by 2050 it is forecast that there will only be 2.4 people in that crucial support role.

Read the full story at the Australian School of Business website