Budget 2022: ‘Gender blind spot’ exists in superannuation

Superannuation funds Rest, Aware Super and HESTA have responded to the Budget, stating addressing gender inequity was a missed opportunity.

Changes were made to improve flexibility around Paid Parental Leave but the suggestion that super should be paid during this time out of the workplace was ignored. This was a move that been significantly pushed by organisations in the run-up to the Budget.

HESTA chief executive, Debby Blakey, said: “Our super system has a persisting gender blind spot that sees women retire with almost a third less super than their male counterparts.

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“Our super system needs to recognise this by helping new parents get their retirement savings back on track, ensuring they’re not penalised with financial insecurity later in life.”

She suggested measures in the next Federal Budget in 2023 should include paying super on Paid Parental Leave and introducing a super carer credit for new parents.

Rest chief executive, Vicki Doyle, said: “We welcome the changes to expand the Paid Parental Leave Scheme so it is more flexible and accessible. Measures that encourage women’s workforce participation, and a more equal division of domestic and caring responsibilities, can have a positive impact on retirement outcomes.

“However, without Superannuation Guarantee payments, these changes do not go far enough. This measure should be introduced without further delay, and we call on both major parties to commit to it ahead of the upcoming Federal Election.”

Deanne Stewart, chief executive of Aware Super, said: “The Budget represents a missed opportunity to have a significant impact on the economic security of millions of Australian women and their families.

“We need to take the working lives of Australian women seriously, because if we don’t get that right, women will be condemned to retire in poverty for generations to come.”

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