The push to achieve superannuation equality for women continues to be undermined by broken employment patterns, according to the latest research from the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA).
The research, published this week, found that there was a clear correlation between average account balance and age and income level but that females tended to be worse off because of time out of the workforce.
It said that average account balances increased with age and at any given age were very strongly correlated to income level.
“However, females tend to have slightly lower average account balances compared to males of similar age and income level, particularly after around age 45,” it said. “Breaks from paid work due to family responsibilities contribute to these outcomes.”
The ASFA research said that, as well, there are more females than males in the lower income bands and fewer in the tax bands above $87,000.
“This is a strong contributing factor to entire population of females having less superannuation than the entire population of males on average,” it said.
The average balance for males aged 60 to 64 in the $37,001 to $87,000 tax bracket in 2016-17 was $280,468 and for females it was $268,910. In comparison, the average balance for males aged 60 to 64 in the $87,001 to $180,000 tax bracket was $530,401 and for females it was $570,556.
Balances for those in the $180,000 plus tax bracket are even higher. Tables 4 to 7 set out the number of people with superannuation and average account balance and median account balance by age and gender for each income tax band.