With the gender pay gap still proving a major challenge for women nearing retirement, Dixon Advisory’s Nerida Cole has called on the Government and major political parties to lobby for better policies to ensure women do not continue to be disadvantaged by systemic barriers, a reducing career window and lack of employment opportunities.
Nerida Cole, head of advice at Dixon, said an ageing and growing population means one of the biggest challenges for Australians is supporting themselves in retirement, and women are doing it tougher than men.
“Women retire with almost 50 per cent less in super than men, and single women in particular can struggle to attain homeownership,” she said. “That’s an important point to acknowledge – a stable retirement is not just about your super balance. It’s also access to affordable and stable housing and access to mature age employment opportunities.”
Cole said single, older women who rent were at the greatest risk of poverty in retirement, and a third of women who retire between the ages of 60 and 64 do so involuntarily because they can’t find suitable work.
And while governments and the major political parties have attempted to address the challenges women face in retirement with better childcare support and more flexible superannuation measures, a more “co-ordinated effort” was required.
Cole pointed to policies like closing the gender pay gap; allowing more flexibility with super contribution limits; stopping gender-based pricing which sees women get lower annual payments from annuities; and proving more support for the cost of renting in retirement.
She also warned women and men alike to ensure their super funds were consistent good performers; matched the level of control they needed; that the insurance on offer suited their needs; and the fees and charges were modest.