Women’s super needs urgent policy fix

Despite the importance of increasing financial literacy among women to engender trust in the superannuation system, financial advisers do not have the time, especially for female clients who are about to retire, a financial adviser told the Sunsuper Women and Money Summit.

Multiforte Financial Services director and adviser, Kate McCallum, pushed for urgent policy responses that could have immediate effects for women who had not had the benefit of the superannuation guarantee or the benefit of a full working life.

"We have 64-year-old women about to retire if they're actually working, who are retiring on less than $300,000 in superannuation. I don't know about you but that would make me feel really scared… $300,000 doesn't go very far," she said.

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Dartnell Advisers' principal and senior adviser, Eleanor Dartnell, urged for policies that would enable those retiring to downsize their family home and roll those proceeds into a super fund so they could fund their own retirement.

"What's happening is they're still living in family homes that are too big for them, too costly for them, because to downsize they're putting untaxed money into a taxed environment. And we need to change that," she said.

However, the discussion steered back to the importance of education, with Bloom Advisory Group certified financial planner, Jennifer Porter, arguing that members lacked faith in the super system, and people on lower incomes were not embracing super.

"It was something the CBA did recently, it was an innocent comment about how you educate your children about super, and social media slamming that… I don't trust super, no one should trust, super's only for politicians, super's only for the wealthy," she said.

Integra Financial Services director, Deborah Kent, proposed tax deductibility around getting financial advice, where they could salary sacrifice advice through an employer.

"Or can we give the employer an incentive to give all of these people advice so they can start to understand what their super is about?" she asked.

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