Calls for Budget policy impact assessments on women’s super

Women in Super (WIS) has called for a gender analysis of future Budget decisions to ensure that adverse impacts on women are assessed as part of policy design.

WIS’s 2022 Budget submission outlined several measures, including the proposal for super to be paid on Paid Parental Leave, with each measure designed to bridge the superannuation gender gap in which women retired with around a third less super than men on average.

WIS chair, Kara Keys, said: “The super gender gap challenge is like a ship with lots of leaking holes. We can and must plug as many of the holes as possible, such as the recent welcome abolition of the $450 income threshold for super payments.

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“But the super gender gap will persist without broader policy reform. Super is tied to wages, and with women disproportionately in lower paid work and doing more unpaid caring, they receive less super. If we don’t fix this, women will continue to retire in poverty.”

WIS also called for the Government to address areas of the economy where super was not paid such as the gig economy, apply a Low-Income Super Tax Offset to wages up to $45,000 and commence work on a framework for a national carers’ credit as part of the retirement system.

Keys said putting a gender lens over policy making would ensure that adverse impacts on women were avoided.

“A Budget and policy gender impact analysis would have identified many recent problems before they existed.

“For example, it could have resulted in a better design of the early release of super to ensure protections for women in unsafe situations, prevented the $450 monthly income threshold for super payments, or ensured that paid parental leave is not the only form of leave where no super is paid.”

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