Confidence needed for female SMSF trustees

Only half of self-managed superannuation fund members would be very confident that they have sufficient knowledge to take sole responsibility for managing investments in the event of divorce or separation, a report found.

Commonwealth Bank's and the SMSF Association's joint report on women and SMSFs found events like divorce for multiple SMSF trustees, women in particular needed extra assistance in managing their investments due to low confidence.

The report found although women account for almost half of all SMSF trustees they are less confident than men in managing their SMSF (83 per cent to 62 per cent).

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Among SMSFs with multiple trustees, 65 per cent of men are the sole decision maker, and 28 per cent women, according to a report.

Commonwealth Bank's head of SMSF customers, Marcus Evans, said more needed to be done to better support and empower female trustees.

"This is also true when it comes to funds with joint-trustees, with major like events such as a divorce leaving many female trustees without the confidence to manage what is many individuals biggest investment," he said.

SMSF Association managing director and chief executive, Andrea Slattery, said the research showed when relationship breakdowns occurred women in particular needed extra assistance to become confident in continuing their savings programs.

"It also highlights the significance of parental leave and broken work patterns and shows that we must have flexible policies which address and protect women from being left behind by Australia's superannuation system," Slattery said.

The report also found one-third of trustees who did not make any special arrangements for their super while on parental leave would do things differently and make additional contributions to cover any future periods of leave.

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