Calls to bridge the gender super gap

Women in Super (WIS) and Industry Super Australia (ISA) are calling on the Government to make changes to the superannuation system which would help bridge the gender super gap, as one in three women retire without a super balance.

Currently, men retired with an average of $90,000 more than women in their superannuation balance and received $11 billion more in employer contributions.

The gender super balance began to expand when a woman hit her 30s with the average super balance gap doubling with 15% at age 30 to 30% in their 40s.

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According to a 2016 Senate report, one in three women retire with no super balance at all.

WIS and ISA suggested the Government should pay super on Commonwealth paid parental leave, abolish the $450 threshold and stick to the legislated super rate increase.

The $450 threshold, where super is only paid if an employer earnt more than $450 per month, disproportionately affected women over men as they were more likely to be working in casual or low-income roles.

Women were also hindered by factors such as taking time off work to care for family, having multiple jobs and earning lower salaries than their male counterparts.

Sandra Buckley, chief executive of Women in Super, said: “Women should not be asked to trade off rent allowance or wage increases for super. Every Australian is entitled to a dignified retirement.

"For too long the structural inequities of the current super system have failed to take account of the women’s working patterns and lower lifetime income.

“A growing number of women older than 55 face the dilemma of a poverty-stricken retirement, as a result of caring for others.

“We have a unique opportunity now to act to change the structural inequities or we will be condemning future generations of women to the same appalling outcome.”

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