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Senate Inquiry report a good start to address the gender gap: ASFA

Media Release 29 April 2016

29 April 2016

Senate Inquiry report a good start to address the gender gap: ASFA

The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) welcomes today’s release of the Senate Economics References Committee report A husband is not a retirement plan – achieving economic security for women in retirement.

Given the large disparity in account balances between men and women at retirement, ASFA has long advocated for changes to the superannuation system, which will address the broken work patterns experienced by women throughout their working lives and allow them to ‘catch up’.

“Women retire, on average, with $92,000 less in superannuation savings than men,” said Ms Pauline Vamos, CEO, ASFA.

“We also know that around 90 per cent of women will retire with inadequate savings to fund a ‘comfortable’ lifestyle in retirement, which is why we are pleased that the committee has made recommendations consistent with ASFA analysis and recommendations.

“We know that many women work multiple part-time jobs in order to support their families and as a result they miss out on retirement benefits. Fixing this is one key lever to addressing the overall gender gap in superannuation,” said Ms Vamos.

In particular, ASFA welcomes recommendations on payment of the Superannuation Guarantee (SG) on parental leave, abolishing the $450 per month threshold for SG, maintaining the low income superannuation contribution, increasing the SG to 12 per cent as soon as possible and amending the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 to allow higher superannuation contributions.

“We urge the Federal Government to commence implementation of at least some of these measures as part of the 2016/17 Budget along with allowing greater flexibility in the system for those with broken work patterns to catch up.  

“The report acknowledges issues outside of super including pay rates and workforce participation rates, which we believe are also important in addressing this disparity between women and men in retirement,” Ms Vamos concluded.

For further information, please contact:

Katrina Horrobin, 0451 949 300.

About ASFA

ASFA is the peak policy, research and advocacy body for Australia’s superannuation industry. It is a not-for-profit, sector-neutral, and non-party political national organisation, which aims to advance effective retirement outcomes for members of funds through research, advocacy and the development of policy and industry best practice.

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