One of the basic rights of the Australian employee is superannuation. Mainly, it is set aside for them to use when they are not working anymore. Superannuation helps in securing the citizens’ future in Australia. It’s tax effective and is protected from bankruptcy. Truly, it is a benefit that all of us, men and women alike, will want to enjoy.
However, the ugly truth is that there is still a big difference between the benefits of men and women. In an interview with Deborah Rognlien, chief executive officer of the Intelligent Financial Group, she stated that according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 55% of women spend more than three months out of the workforce in order to care for her family. In contrast to this, only 12% of men stay at home to take on similar responsibilities. Parallel to this difference, women’s superannuation is significantly less than it should be.
How Bad is the Super Gap?
The superannuation gap is at a staggering 46.6% on average in 2017, as compiled by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency. Basically, the men retire with more money than the women. Since women spend more time out of work, they get lesser pay, which means their percentage of contribution is less, too. Because of this, women are getting worried about their future. If nothing is done, more women will be at risk of not having a comfortable retirement.
What can Women Do?
In 2017, the Senate Economics Committee made a list of things that people are recommended to do in order to overcome the superannuation gap. Here are some of them:
- Study and create a game plan. Everyone should take time and analyze their super, and work out steps to avoid the cons of the superannuation gap. Always review your finances and record your progress. It is highly recommended to speak to a financial planner to seek advice.
- Stick to one. Make sure that you are working on one account only; otherwise you might pay for fees that you shouldn’t be paying for. Your tax file number must be attached to your account, too.
- Do it yourself. You can always opt to pay for your own super contributions. This way, it is easier to keep track of how much your fund has grown.
- Be open. Do not hesitate to speak to your partner about your financial situation and your decisions. For example, if you have a low income and your partner helps in contributing to your super, he/she may have tax benefits. At the same time, it is perfectly fine to approach your employer about gender pay gap. You can send them a link to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, where you can find free pay equity tools.
Australia needs to try to work harder on gender equality in the workforce to provide a better future for the women. It can be by paying women equally, or rebalancing the super’s taxation to support low-income earners better. Always remember that as long as there are people who work on it and never give up, there is hope for the future.
If you’d like some help with your superannuation become a member with Dollars with Sense at www.dollarswithsense.com.au/membership and we can direct you to the right expert.