Raising a family & your super balance

8 Mar 2018 By Media Super Team

Women are still the primary caretaker in most Australian families; we take time out of the workforce for maternity leave and often take longer periods off (potentially working part-time) to raise children. But what effect is this having on our financial confidence and security down the track? 

Taking time off work means you’re unlikely to be receiving employer super contributions or you may return to work part-time and receive lower contributions than when you worked full-time. Over a few years, this can have quite a significant impact on your super. 

In fact, having a family can create a ‘super baby debt’ for mothers of up to $50,000 by the time they reach retirement age* and Australian women retire with an average of $150,000 less than men.** 

So what can you do to help reduce the ‘super baby debt’? 


Here are three ways to keep your super growing while you take time off work:

1. Ask if you can get super paid on your parental leave 

If you were taking annual leave, your super would still get paid. Why should parental leave be any different? Currently your employer is not required to pay super on your parental leave, however there’s no harm in asking.

2. Get your partner to make contributions to your account

If you’re married or in a defacto relationship and your partner makes contributions on your behalf, they may be eligible for a tax offset of up to $540 for the financial year. 

Your partner will receive an 18% tax rebate on contributions he or she makes from their take home pay (up to $3000 per year) if your income is less than $37,000 per year, or a partial rebate if your income is between $37,000 and $40,000.  

You may also want to consider ‘splitting’ some of your partner’s concessional (before-tax) super contributions to your account each year. You may be able to split up to 85% in a financial year (please note this still counts towards your partner’s annual contribution cap). 

3. Get a boost from the government

Depending on your income, you may be eligible for a government contribution. 

If you earn less than $51,813# p.a. and make a voluntary contribution, you may be eligible for a government co-contribution of up to $500. 

If you earn less than $37,000# p.a. you will be eligible for the Low Income Superannuation Tax Offset. This contribution will match 15 per cent of concessional (before-tax) contributions, up to a maximum of $500. This contributions is automatically calculated by the ATO after you lodge your tax return. 


The best plan to help reduce the ‘super baby debt’ will be different for everyone.  

If you have any questions about your super or want to talk through making additional contributions, spouse contributions, super splitting or your investment options, give our friendly Super Helpline team a call on 1800 640 886

If you’re after more complex financial advice, the Helpline can organise for you to talk to a Media Super Financial Planner^. 

Raising a family doesn’t mean you can’t continue to raise your super balance too. Take action now and help reduce the super gap. 




** www.superguru.com.au/about-super/women-and-super 

# Applicable for the 2017-18 financial year.

^ Media Super has engaged Industry Fund Services (IFS) ABN 54 007 016 195 AFSL No 232514 to facilitate the provision of financial advice to members of Media Super. Advice is provided by one of our Financial Planners who are Representatives of IFS. Fees may apply. Further information about the cost of advice is set out in the relevant Financial Services Guide, a copy of which can be obtained by calling IFS on 1300 138 848. IFS is responsible for any personal advice given to you by its Representatives.