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in brief: women at million dollar superannuation disadvantage

Image via Greg Newington

Image via Greg Newington

Men have 63 per cent of the nation’s $1 trillion in super, which equates to a financial disadvantage of approximately $1million dollars for women.

The statistics come from super fund First State Super, which quotes ACTU and federal government studies. The stats also indicate that women are further disadvantaged by taking time off work to raise children. The loss of employer contributions also impacts on the amount of interest earned, resulting in double trouble for women.

Research by ASFA suggests a 32-year-old woman on $65,000 a year will miss out on $28,000 in super if she takes two years off work; the same woman earning $85,000 a year will be $36,500 behind.

According to the Herald Sun, the government’s paid parental scheme, which pays primary carers 18 weeks at the minimum age, doesn’t include super.

The federal government plans to raise levy paid into super by bosses from 9.25% to 12%. While this does little to address the gender gap, it may ease the burden women will face in retirement.

Based on the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey, the gender gap in super balances starts expanding when workers are in their early 20s, widening to $10,000 for the 25-34 age bracket. This is largely before the average child-bearing age (30); reflecting the fact that the disparity is not based on unpaid maternity work alone.


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