Super gender gap has shrunk in past decade

Gender gap

Gender Wage gap concept. Man and woman figurines standing on top of the pile of coins. Copy space

The latest analysis from Roy Morgan Research has shown the gender gap with regard to superannuation balances has reduced noticeably over the past decade.

The study showed in 2012 the average superannuation balance held by females was $111,000, representing 64.7 per cent of the average balance held by their male colleagues, which was $172,000. However, currently the mean retirement savings balance for females has risen so as to represent 71.2 per cent of the male average.

The research house has attributed this reduction in the gender gap to a greater focus on the issue along with the improvement in retirement funding for women.

In addition to an uplift in the average balances of females, the cohort’s superannuation ownership has also significantly positively shifted. In 2012, 74.8 per cent of men had some form of retirement savings whereas only 66.2 per cent of females were in the same position.

In comparison, 70.9 per cent of women currently have superannuation benefits versus 74.8 per cent of males.

According to Roy Morgan, the difference in wages between men and women remains a significant contributing factor in the superannuation gender gap. To this end, the data shows females with retirement savings who currently work have an average annual income of $72,800 compared to males with an average yearly salary of $95,300.

The gender gap also continues to be negatively impacted by the interrupted working patterns of women, as well as the higher likelihood of females to fill part-time employment positions.

“Clearly part-time work is associated with a lower annual income than full-time work and this continues to contribute to the ongoing gender superannuation gap. The latest figures on income show that average female incomes are at only around 76 per cent of the male average, which in turn leads to lower superannuation contributions and balances compared to males,” Roy Morgan chief executive Michele Levine said.

“In addition to lower average incomes, females are more likely to have interrupted employment. However, despite these negative factors operating against them, women have made gains in closing the superannuation gap to men, although progress is slow and additional policy actions should be seriously considered to close the gender superannuation gap.”

The results are based on Roy Morgan’s Single Source survey that consists of in-depth personal interviews conducted with over 500,000 Australians over the last decade, including over 300,000 with superannuation.

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