Over the past decade, the media and the government has done a great job of emphasizing the importance of super, especially for women. As you’d no doubt be aware, women typically retire with far less super than men, so much so that women of retirement age are the fastest growing cohort of people to be considered at risk of becoming homeless.
So given all the airtime the issue has been receiving and various initiatives to change things, have women’s superannuation balances increased at all over the last decade?
Unfortunately not, according to the latest research by Roy Morgan.
The research shows some depressing statistics. Despite the fact that in general, superannuation balances have doubled for both men and women over the past decade, women still lag significantly behind men. On average, according to the study, women retiring today will do so with just $177,000, compared to $309,000 for men. Although neither amount is considered enough to retire on, females are significantly worse off.
Roy Morgan’s communications director, Norman Morris, thinks he knows why:
‘Despite real gains in employment for women over the past decade, they still unfortunately lag behind men in terms of full-time employment levels and also overall employment levels over the course of their working life.’
‘Lower income [from part-time or casual employment] and interrupted employment means that women have been unable to close the super gap.’
Norman points out what we all know to be true:
‘It is likely going to take considerable time and changes to superannuation conditions for women to achieve the same level of superannuation as their male counterparts.’
And although change is slow, it certainly isn’t impossible, with more and more companies now offering to pay super for women on maternity leave.
Australian Super offers many benefits to its female members. To find out more about Australian Super’s services and superannuation, click here.