By Wayne Davy
Women are at a significant disadvantage when it comes to super, generally earning less than men, and taking more time out of the workforce to care for family. Statistics show that Australian women retire with 47% less super than men, only receive one third of the government’s super tax concessions and, as a result, 40% of single retired women live in poverty.
These statistics are very confronting, but unfortunately this is the reality for a lot of women at retirement age.
In May 2019, Tasmanian women earned $1,320.50 each week while in contrast, Tasmanian men earned an average of $1,473.10 each week, a difference of $152.60 each week.
The gap in retirement savings among women is the culmination of a lifetime of lower wages and the need for many women to leave the paid workforce in order to have children and care for others.
Super is dependent on wages and, with lower and less frequent contributions, women also miss out on experiencing the full benefits of compounding returns over their lifetime.
While Government action is required to address this inequality issue on a larger scale, businesses can also take a progressive stance to make super fair for women. National advocacy body Women in Super is leading the charge across Australia and has recommended a five-step plan to help close the gender super gap. This includes:
- Giving low income earners an annual contribution of $1,000 from age 25 for those with super balances under $100,000;
- Removing delays to increasing employer super contributions;
- Removing the rule that those earning less than $450 each month don’t receive super;
- Paying super on parental leave;
- Measuring and publishing the super gap each year to inform legislative decisions.
We’re encouraging women to take control of their own super to ensure it is fully maximised by following our simple super to do list located at women.tasplan.com.au. The super to do list has three top priority items, the first of which is to take stock of exactly where your super is at by checking how much you have, how your balance compares to the national average and working out how much you need to have a comfortable retirement lifestyle.
The next two priorities on the action list include making sure your account details are up-to-date and combining your super so you don’t lose any through fee erosion.
Also for review on the action list is topping up your super contributions, optimising your investment options, securing your income and seeking financial advice.
Tasplan is proud to be supporting The Tasplan International Women’s Day Awards for Excellence 2020 which recognises and gives visibility to outstanding contributions by women in local government, the Tasmanian State Service and the community sector.
The Tasplan International Women’s Day Awards for Excellence will be presented at the International Women’s Day Luncheon on Friday, 6 March at Blundstone Arena. Tickets for the luncheon can be purchased at iwd2020tas.eventbrite.com.au.