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 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.”