Super on PPL a missed opportunity

Putting superannuation on paid parental leave (PPL) has been a missed opportunity in the 2021 Federal Budget, according to Aware Super.

Although the Budget included the removal of the $450 threshold for super payments, which would help low income earners which was often women, it would only add around $100 a year.

Speaking at a panel discussion, Deanne Stewart, Aware Super chief executive, said not adding superannuation on to PPL, as well as better childcare would help boost women’s super accounts.

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“[$450 threshold] is really a drop in the ocean, I think we were really hoping there would be superannuation on PPL,” Stewart said.

“Both PPL for men and women, and paying superannuation on that and making sure we close the gap.

“Women fall behind on superannuation as it’s based on their working careers.”

Stewart said the super gap opened when women took time off to take care of children, where they were unpaid for their labour.

“They’re not getting superannuation and the gap starts appearing between men and women,” Stewart said.

“Then they have a pay gap coming back, a super gap, and a career gap and it’s that triple whammy that really hurts.”

On the pay gap, Stewart said companies were doing a better job of trying to close it, however more companies should be doing it and disclosing it.

“They [women] also fall behind because they have lower paid jobs,” Stewart said.

“I’ve offered wondered to myself ‘what would happen if there were more men that were teachers or in childcare and more women in politics and as chief executives’ would you actually see a real shift in how paid is distributed?”

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