Make super fair – A fair go for everyone
The idea of the 'fair go' is central to Australian society – we believe everyone should have an equal chance and be treated fairly. Why then are so many Australians not treated fairly when it comes to saving for a secure retirement?
Australian women currently retire with an average of $115,000 less than men, and one in three retire with no super at all.¹ It's estimated that 40% of older, single women are living in poverty² and are the fastest growing cohort of homeless people.³
There are a number of well documented reasons the gender super gap exists, including the persistent gender pay gap, women taking breaks from the workforce to raise families, and super tax concessions skewed in favour of high income earners.
While super funds try to provide members with tips to help compensate for these issues, the onus shouldn't be on women to fix the problem – change is needed at a government policy level.
What needs to be done
Women in Super have developed the Make Super Fair policy initiative, a five–point plan to address this inequality and work towards developing a fairer system that sees women (and all low income earners) reach greater economic security in retirement.
- Provide women and other low income earners with an additional $1,000 contribution annually into their super, boosting their balance and helping them make up the gap.
- Make sure there are no further delays in increasing the superannuation guarantee to 12%.
- Remove the $450 monthly pay threshold which sees an estimated 220,000 women and 145,000 men miss out on super every year.
- Make sure that super is paid during paid parental leave, to ensure it is treated like all other types of leave.
- Measure and publish the impact that any future changes to super would have on women.
While the initiative is predominantly aimed at closing the super gender gap, many of the proposed measures will also benefit the significant number of Australian men who earn below $37,000 per annum.
For full details of the policy proposals, head to makesuperfair.com.au.
You can help
Women in Super has been meeting with politicians and government bodies to ensure Make Super Fair is understood and on the agenda. They also have been working with and have the support of key super, social services, women's and community groups.
Media Super, along with a number of industry super funds, are working with Women in Super to support Make Super Fair. And you can too.
Head to makesuperfair.com.au, sign up to be counted, and spread the word to your family and friends.
Make Super Fair isn't just about women; having a fair superannuation system is about all Australians having the chance to achieve a secure retirement.
This article originally appeared in the Spring 2018 issue of Insider magazine issued with 30 June 2018 statements. Read the full issue.
1 Super Guru Women and super (www.superguru.com.au/about-super/women-and-super)
2 ASFA Development in the level and distribution of retirement savings (2011)
3 Council of the Ageing Submission to the Senate Inquiry into the extent of income inequality in Australia (2014)