Gender super gap to span decades

Women retire with a quarter less super than men as Australia’s gender pay gap has been growing in the last six months widening the savings gap, Industry Super Australia (ISA) said. 


Although nationally, women lag behind men across all age groups, the gap widened dramatically in women aged 30 to 40 as they would take time out of the paid workforce to care for children, which cost them on average more than $14,000 at retirement. 


ISA found that the median super balance for a woman in her early 60s was just $131,352 lagging the male median of $177,882. 


According to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA), the new national gender pay gap increased to 14.2% in the past six months, a 0.8% increase, and the pay gap was expected to flow on to the gender super balances over time unless action was taken to boost women’s savings. 


WGEA found financial and insurance industry had the second largest pay gap in 2021 at 24.1% and the difference between male and female average weekly full-time earnings was $560.


Additionally, with the current policy course, Treasury’s Intergenerational Report found there would still be a gender super gap in more than four decades. 


“As the pay gap widens so does the gender super gap and unless we take action now whole generations of women are going to retire with too little savings,” ISA’s advocacy director, Georgia Brumby, said. 


“The Prime Minister needs to stop ignoring the gender super gap – otherwise we will continue to see too many women at risk of retiring into poverty. 


“He can start by paying super on parental leave, this super sting hits mothers’ savings hard and is a contributing cause of the gender savings gap.” 


Source: ISA

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Can someone one day suggest an idea to help boost super for women in their 50's? The biggest gap in the table above is women aged 50-54.
It would be great to see someone care about the geographical pay and super gap aswell. People living in a regional centre get paid less for exactly the same job, and retirement is also affected by slower house price growth.

Start working at 18 years of age and don't stop?

1. In divorce proceedings take half the equity in the house AND half the super - instead of what is usually done. Home ownership among women is higher than men (Souce:ABS) and divorce is a big reason. Also, if taking primary custody, ensure child support is paid to you - so many people let it slide and that's a bad decision. In a worst case scenario, it should accrue.
2. When you receive any amount of inheritance, that is ANY amount, get some advice. Maybe a Non Concessional Contribution instead of that home upgrade or renovation you had in mind?
3. Recognise the truth that there is in fact NO gender pay gap - nurses, teachers, soldiers, police officers, road workers, govt employees all get paid the same regardless of gender. There is some inequality for a small number of people in high performing white collar roles and tons of "inequality" across self employed persons. Go figure.
4. If you live in a "regional centre" your cost of living is lower, so stop whining about your smaller and affordable mortgage and "slower house price growth"
5. The super gap, which IS real, is in part due to: a) child rearing, b) the number of children and c) what a person did as a job before child care. Be intelligent and evolved enough to understand that many choices in life involve a trade-off. This is one of the MANY of them.

Who says you deserve to do whatever you want but still own a big house and have plenty of super? Most people who have 'done well' have sacrificed for that outcome.

NB, the smart millennials, knowing property is expensive aiming for a lot of super later in life are maxing super contributions and using FHSSS.

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