New analysis released today by the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) shows the $2.3 trillion superannuation system is delivering bigger superannuation balances across the community and lifting living standards for retirees.
However, while women now have a bigger slice of superannuation benefits, they are still behind men when it comes to average balances.
Average balances achieved in 2015–16 were $111,853 for men and $68,499 for women.
These figures are well up on the equivalent figures for two years’ earlier, (2013–14) when the number was $98,535 for men and $54,916 for women. And substantially higher than in 2011–12 when the numbers were $82,615 for men and $44,866 for women.
In percentage terms, men held 61.2 per cent of total super account balances in 2015–16 compared to around 38.7 per cent for women. The estimated share for women in 1994 was 23 per cent.
ASFA CEO Dr Martin Fahy said addressing the disparity between the super balances of women and men was an imperative for greater social equality and better outcomes for all in retirement.
“While women can look forward to retiring with more superannuation than their mothers and grandmothers, the ongoing issue of broken employment patterns and a troubling persistent gender pay gap means we cannot afford to be complacent,” he said.
Women are still retiring with substantially lower balances. Average superannuation balances at the time of retirement (assumed to be age 60 to 64) in 2015–16 were $270,710 for men and $157,050 for women.
In 2013–14, there were averages of $292,500 for men and $138,150 for women.
Dr Fahy warned lifting the Superannuation Guarantee (SG) to 12 per cent needed to happen sooner rather than later to adequately address the glaring lack of sufficient super suffered by so many Australians.
“Many recent retirees will need to substantially rely on the Age Pension in their retirement,” he said. Phased increases in the rate of SG contributions to 12 per cent would benefit women in particular.
Women working in insecure employment – the so called gig economy for example, are also impacted by the $450 per month threshold where superannuation isn’t required to be paid by employers. The removal of this historical anomaly will also help women in the long term.
For further information, please contact:
Teresa Mullan, Media Manager, 0451 949 300.
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. ASFA’s mission is to continuously improve the superannuation system so people can live in retirement with increasing prosperity. We focus on the issues that affect the entire superannuation system and represent more than 90 per cent of the 14.8 million Australians with superannuation.