Women and super: challenges and tips

1 min read
1/06/23 10:39 AM

Women in Australia are facing a troubling reality when it comes to retirement savings. But what are factors that lead to the retirement gap and what are the actions being taken at both a societal and governmental level to make sure everyone has an equal opportunity to save for their financial future.

The Gender Pay Gap

One of the biggest contributors to the retirement savings gap between genders is the gender pay gap itself. According to figures from the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA), women in Australia earn 15.3% less than men on average. This means that women have less money available to save for retirement which results in lower superannuation balances at retirement age.

Women are more likely to take time off for caring responsibilities

Another key factor is the fact that women are more likely than men to take time off work for caring responsibilities such as raising children or caring for elderly family members. This often leads them away from paid employment which reduces their ability to contribute towards their superannuation fund, meaning they have significantly lower balances when they come time to retire compared to their male counterparts who are able to continue working and contributing throughout their lives.

What can be done?

At a Government level, there have been several initiatives put forward by successive governments in order to provide additional support for those taking time off work due to caring responsibilities. These initiatives include payments such as Carer's Allowance and Parental Leave Pay which provide income support while people take time off work in order care for others or raise children.

At a personal level there are some simple things that can be done to improve your retirement outcome

  1. Consolidate your super to avoid unnecessary fees, duplicate insurance policies and to maximise your investments
  2. Boost your super through salary sacrificing or spousal contributions, also make sure to take advantage of the Government’s co-contributions if you are currently on leave or on reduced hours.
  3. Keep an active account of your super balance to make sure you are up to date on your super balance.

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