Govt responsible for fixing gender super gap

The onus to fix the problems of the super accumulation gap lies solely with the government and not with women, according to Women in Super (WIS) national chair Cate Wood.

Speaking at the WIS Make Super Fair campaign launch, Wood said retirement outcomes for women required an urgent reconsideration of the super system which saw women retire with an average of $85,000 less than men.

“We must do better than a system that sees women retiring with 47 per cent less than men. This is a crisis and unless we act now we will be leaving a tragic legacy for younger women,” she said.

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“It is not fair or reasonable to simply tell women to fix the problem themselves. We need to get the basics right.”

Wood also outlined WIS’ policy proposals to increase retirement outcomes for women:

  • Removal of the rule that those earning less than $450 a month to not receive super payments;
  • Pay super for those on parental leave;
  • Give low income earners an annual contribution of $1000 (with conditions);
  • Better acknowledgement and annual publication the super gap annually;
  • Assessment of legislative changes to super and their specific effects on women, and;
  • Increase employer super contributions to 12 per cent.

WIS calculated the pay gap between men and women averaged across the past two decades as sitting around 18 per cent, with 40 per cent of older single women living in poverty.

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