The questions that count

Does super dud women?

Apr 3, 2012

Cate Wood explains why super should be part of maternity leave payments if we are to correct inequities in the system.

It’s been called a national disgrace by the ACTU. At the moment, over 60 per cent of women will be reliant on the pension because they do not have enough super to retire on.

The national chair of Women in Super, Cate Wood, tells 3Q that some good changes are in the wings but more needs to be done — including paying superannuation during maternity and leave-without-pay periods.

Women do badly out of superannuation. After 20 years of compulsory superannuation, women have much less in their superannuation funds than men.

According to the latest figures from the ABS the average payout for women at age 65 is $112,000 whereas for men of the same age, it is $190,000.

The reasons? More part time and casual work in lower paid jobs, time away from work for family commitments and a wage gap of up to 20 per cent between men and women.
Do you think it’s time to change the way super works for women? Read below and find out what we can change to make sure Super works for everyone.

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It’s estimated that six years out of the workforce can cost the average woman $77,000 in super—something that could be significantly reduced if women continued to receive Super payments whilst on paid and unpaid maternity and parental leave.
Just over 70 per cent of all single pensioners are female. Divorce or death of a partner plus a disengagement with super has left women nearly destitute.

But there is some help on the horizon. The mining tax will help lift compulsory super from 9 per cent to 12 per cent from July 1 next year until 2019-20.
And from 1 July, the Government will be assisting low income earners by ensuring no tax is paid on the superannuation contributions for Australians earning up to $37,000 – instead, that money will be directed into their superannuation.
Sixty per cent of the beneficiaries of this policy are women
There is also a new movement towards getting young women engaged through super funds like Care Super which has 60% women in its membership and is appealing to the youth market, by using former swimmer Giaan Rooney as their ambassador.

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