The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) has called on the Federal Government to use its budget next week to progress structural policy reforms to improve the economic security of women in retirement.
Eighty per cent of women would currently retire with insufficient super savings to fund a comfortable retirement, with women approaching retirement (age 55-59) averaging $123,642 in savings.
This was well below the $545,000 needed for a comfortable retirement.
ASFA chief executive, Martin Fahy, said that the Government should use the opportunity offered by the Budget to “ensure women are not condemned to experience poverty, and even homelessness, in retirement”.
Homelessness Australia found that single older women are one of the groups who are particularly vulnerable to experiencing homelessness.
Potential reforms put forward by ASFA to protect women in retirement included:
- Lifting the Superannuation Guarantee (SG) to 12 per cent;
- Applying SG to the self-employed and to income replacement payments;
- Removing the $450 a month threshold for SG;
- Reforming the Anti-Discrimination Act;
- Allowing access to super in cases of domestic violence; and
- Improving the operation of family law and super splitting.