More work needed to close super gap

ASFA superannuation gap women

Closing the 23 per cent gap between women and men’s superannuation has been too slow, with ASFA calling for committed strategies to reduce inequality.

Research has shown the retirement savings gap between men and women has slowly decreased, but the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) has called on the federal government to commit to further strategies to equalise super for women by 2030.

ASFA senior policy adviser Helena Gibson said more initiatives need to be implemented to have an active impact on the 23 per cent superannuation gap between women and men heading into retirement.

“As we recognise International Women’s Day in 2022, we are calling for support for women who take time out of the workforce to have or care for a baby,” Gibson said.

According to ASFA economic modelling, the unequal retirement gap could be significantly reduced for women earning $80,000 and completely eliminated for women earning $60,000 or less provided adequate strategies are introduced.

The superannuation industry peak body suggested the government extend the super guarantee to paid parental leave and introduce a super baby bonus of $5000 for each child a woman gives birth to or adopts.

It stated a survey it conducted of 1000 people found 81 per cent agreed with boosting the superannuation balances of women, while 8 per cent disagreed, and 10 per cent remained neutral.

“There is strong support among Australians for policy action,” Gibson said.

“This means the 300,000 women in Australia that give birth each year will no longer be ‘behind the eight-ball’ with their superannuation because they have chosen to have a baby and take a year out of the workforce.

“This is the first step to closing the retirement savings gap and needs to be supported by measures that support eliminating the gender pay gap and providing gender-neutral flexible work arrangements.”

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